Making the most of your online dealership profile

Making the most of your online dealership profile

By Matt Sellhorst

What is one of the first things people do when they are shopping for a new boat? What do they do after talking to your salesperson or seeing a boat listing from your dealership?

The answer: they google “Boat Dealers Near Me” or the name of your dealership.

What will your potential future clients find when they do this in your local area? Note: If you’re not sure, you may want to do it right after you finish this article – read to the end so you can see exactly what they see.

Here are five simple steps to improve the first impression when your potential future clients search. And by the way, 88% of potential customers will do this before choosing a local service according to digital marketing research.

1. Claim and update your Google Business Profile – address, phone, email and hours

Ensure you enter all your information exactly as you enter it on your website, social channels and other online properties. For example: 123 Main Street on all versus 123 Main St. This will help the algorithms connect all businesses as you and increase your visibility.

2. Add all appropriate Business Categories to your listing

The more specific and detailed you enter this information, the more likely Google will show your business when local people search for that product or service.

3. Earn and ask for 5-star reviews

This is one I write and speak about often. Start by offering an experience your clients will want to give a 5-star review and then ask them for it. A majority of them will happily give you one, if you’ve earned it.

4. Add photos of your happy clients, staff and lifestyle photos of boating fun in your area

As with all online activity, this is not a do it once and you’re done. For the best results, upload new pictures every month.

5. Add videos from your YouTube channel

You are using video, right? Using video to promote your business, assist your sales team and compete in today’s world is a must. One great way to leverage those videos you’re already creating is to post on your Google Business Profile. Again, once a month is an effective frequency. And a bonus tip for good measure: Ensure Facebook and Google listing information matches exactly so your Facebook reviews automatically pull through on your Google Business Listing. This is something Google does automatically, so if your reviews don’t pull through, update your information so everything matches exactly.

This month’s challenge:

Open a private or incognito window in a web browser and search “Boat Dealers in Your Area” and your dealership name. This will give you the results more similar to what the general public will see when they search. If you’re business is not coming up or does not look as enticing, it’s time to put some additional effort into improving your first impression. 

Matt Sellhorst is the founder of Boat Dealer Profits Marketing Agency and author of the only business-building book for the retail boating industry, “Boat Dealer Profits; How the SPLASH System can help you sell more boats, make more money and have more fun.” Claim your free copy at


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