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March 23, 2021

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words (Or Possibly 1000's Searches)

In this blog post we’ll reveal how Heritage Toyota’s Service Department has grown search volume to over 5,300 searches a month and can boast that they appear on a strong number of category search terms, like “oil change near me.” In tandem, Heritage Toyota’s Service Department has boosted their Service star rating to 4.7 from 3.5 and generated 150 service-specific reviews.

But first let’s set the scene: As content on the internet continues to flourish and the average car buyer’s research on vehicles before purchasing has expanded, you and your dealership have probably decided to venture into the world of Google My Business (GMB).


GMB has become a new digital storefront for dealership sales and (as of February 2020) service departments. More often than not, your GMB listings will be the first digital touchpoint a consumer has with your dealership and if properly optimized, it very well could be the last before they select your dealership for service.  


Ross Mickel, Website Coordinator at Heritage Toyota, in South Burlington, VT, was an early innovator in realizing the asset GMB could be for his dealership and more specifically the Service Department.


Prior to Ross’s involvement, all of the store’s GMB reviews, calls and photos were being directed to the Sales GMB listing. Once understanding the missed opportunity and possible lost ROI for the back of the house, Ross made it his mission to get the Service Department posted as its own listing on GMB. 


However, the task was much easier said than done. Ross tried to validate the business by having a postcard mailed to himself, but the mail always seemed to go missing. After numerous attempts of trying on his own, he started reaching out to his network of vendor partners, and fortunately, he was able to get in touch with the Friendemic team. Ross states, “Friendemic has a magical relationship with Google and was instrumental in getting my dealerships listings in working order”.

Crystal Ball with GMB logo in the center

Once the listings were separated and functioning as two separate entities, Ross started to hone in on the actual content of the listings with a strong focus on photos. Ross knew, as stated by Google, Photos and videos help shoppers find your dealership. Heritage Toyota is located within a 2-mile radius of 6 other repair shops so Ross needed a way to stand out and outsmart the competition to ensure his potential customers didn’t stop along the way before pulling into his service lane.


With all of that in mind, Ross keenly focused on Google’s “360 photo capabilities”, which is now a staple for any great GMB page. Additionally, Heritage Toyota asked a staff member with strong photo skills to take pictures of the technicians, the service bays, and even some of the in-house amenities that separate Heritage Toyota from the others – like the coffee bar and work lounges. Ross compares, “having great photos is like making a great first impression and having them showcased on Google is the ultimate way to start the relationship off on the right foot. Similarly, visually showing all that we offer at Heritage Toyota can certainly help us stand out as car owners evaluate all of their options on Google.”


Heritage Toyota GBP photos on mobile

At Friendemic, we understand that not everyone will get to pilot new features with Google or have a photographer on staff to have a photoshoot, but we do offer solutions to help you maximize your potential with GMB. For example, our software solution, Content Fuel, can help your team quickly amass a large number of interior, exterior and staff photos for posting on GMB. Additionally, our team of experts is well versed in how to optimize your GMB, ensure you stand out from the competition, and maintain that “magical relationship with Google”. 


If you’d like to learn about our product offerings, speak with a team member, or have a free GMB evaluation performed on one of your dealerships just click this link now.

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