marketing strategies

How to Set Up Google My Business (GMB) Nested Department Listings for Car Dealerships

by Matt Childers

Leveraging the power of Google My Business can place your store before the right customers, increase your sales potential and grow your dealership revenues. Most dealerships structures are broken down into departments, and it might be beneficial to increase the visibility of the service, parts, etc. departments of the dealership. That is where Google My Business Departmental listing can help in nesting them.


To create nested departments for your dealership, you first need an optimized main Google My Business profile page for your parent store. Before we dig deeper, let’s first have an overview of Google My Business for those that are not familiar.

Google My Business Overview: What is it and what are its benefits?

It’s a Google service, which allows dealerships and other businesses to manage their online presence.  

With My Business, you can:

  • Manage your dealership contact information on Google Maps.
  • Get directions to your store and share it with others.
  • Share updates about your business and connect with customers via social media.
  • See insights such as when you receive calls and when the store is busy. 

Before you set up nested departments for your business, you should ensure you have optimized the appearance of your main Google My Business profile page for your business. Besides the obvious of having name and address correctly completed, here are some tips: 

1. Complete the description field of your profile

The description field is often overlooked but it is where you can describe your store offerings and what makes you different. This is also an area that you can use to highlight the brands that you sell.

2. Upload photos of your dealership’s exterior and interior in the "Photos" section of profile

Posting photos of the store in the Places section will help prospective customers to see what the store looks like prior to visiting. It helps them feel more comfortable when they arrive. Customers like images of people smiling and dealership personnel. It humanizes the store and also puts customers more at ease prior to their visit. However, be aware that Google users can also upload images to the page, so you need to closely monitor the page. 

If the store fails to add photos, Google places a Google Maps image that is not very attractive. Adding photos also help customers see how popular your dealership is by viewing the number of reviews and photos other users have uploaded.

3. Add a Virtual Tour if you have one. Upload a 3D virtual tour of your dealership to showcase vehicles and the customer experience

3D virtual tours are becoming more and more popular with dealers and are a great way to showcase your business, employees, products, and services in an innovative way.

4. Ensure all contact information is correct and up-to-date, including phone number 

Google has now become the phone book of the world. It is critical that the phone number you use for the store is local and that it is the same phone number listed throughout the main other online directories. Do not use different phone numbers for Bing, Facebook or other sites for tracking purposes as it will reduce the Google rank for the store. If you want to check how your listings look across the website I suggest the use of Moz.com or BrightLocal citation checkers. 

Once you have the Google My Business listing up to date here is how to create the nested departmental listings:

Step 1: Create a new Google My Business listing and assign it a different number and category other than that of your dealership. For instance, “Mercedes-Benz Beaverton Parts Center”. It will require you to verify the listing which can take some time if you have to complete it by mail. If you already have department listings you can skip this step. 

Step 2: Once verified, as a Google User, search in Google Maps for the newly created Google My Business page created in step 1 above and click “Suggest and Edit”. This cannot currently be done by the GMB Owner of the dealership page. It must be done in Google Maps as a Google User.


Step 3: Select or choose “Change name or other details”, once on the change page, navigate to “Located within” and type in the name of your primary business where you would like to nest the department.


Step 5: Your department page should now display on the primary dealership’s GMB page as “Located In”.

Although your department page displays “Located In” Google will take a few days to review your submission then it will be live on Google under the main business Google My Business page profile. So, be patient.

That’s how simple it is to create Google My Business department listings for your dealership. Feel free to reach out to me if you get stuck and need a hand. 


Matt Childers

Matt's passion is to provide dealership professionals direction on how to increase unit sales through the use of better marketing and sales tools. Matt's dealership knowledge stems from working inside a thirteen-store dealer group for ten years and knowing what works first hand. He has worked all the variable operations positions at a dealership and ultimately ran multiple stores as the General Manager over the course of 10 years. Matt is well versed in tools of the digital marketing trade including Google Analytics, Google Adwords, SEM, SEO, website optimization, lead generation add-on tools.


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