is seo dead search box

by Brett Sutherlin

How to dominate the new Organic SEO

As Google continues to evolve, my question to you is simple: is SEO dead? Ads are pushing all listings down the page. Next, you have Google Maps that take up a large amount of real estate. In addition to maps, you now also have ads that also take up valuable real estate. See below for an example. Organic SEO has been pushed so far down the fold, is it worth spending money on? Where does Google Maps and Google My Business fit in your SEO strategy?

maps ad on google

Example of ads in Google Maps.

Let’s look at a simple search “Nissan Dealerships Near Me.” See screenshot below (I had to zoom out to even fit this image on one page). As you can see, Organic search has been pushed so far down the fold, it is almost irrelevant. SEO companies that sell their services can not even tell you when you will see results. The chances of a customer scrolling down below the map section is slim to none. In the automotive world, the days of paying Auto Trader or a third-party provider to outrank you organically are gone! This is GOOD NEWS! For contractors, paying Home Advisor is virtually the same thing. You are basically paying these companies to out rank you. But why? To me, this is incredibly unhealthy for your business. These third-party listing sites, unfortunately, became a necessary evil. In today’s digital landscape, please know you DO NOT need to advertise on third-party sites!

maps location in organic search

Google Maps is the new organic SEO.

Why Automotive Dealerships Need Google Maps Optimization

Back to the question, Is SEO Dead? Yes, SEO is dead- in the conventional form. When consumers conduct searches, you want your business to appear in Maps. Think of the last search you conducted on Google… it could be Pizza Near Me or Gas Stations Near me. You most likely relied on Google Maps to find what you were looking for. In maps, it is possible to show your business in map searches for up to 16 cities, within a reasonable radius from your business, in up to 10 categories. Google Maps is the NEW organic SEO. There has never been an easier way to move the needle with your business. When dialed in correctly, you will bring more customers to your business, more requests for directions and many more phone calls than you have ever received.

Regardless of the industry, customers search the same way now on Google. Their search patterns are easy to identify. You as a business owner need to adapt to this new strategy and you will see your business flourish!

8/10 people will be on their smartphone to pull up a search such as “Restaurants Near Me”. These potential customers will simply click CALL to make a reservation. In the automotive world, new car dealers sell tires, and they have great prices! One problem car dealers have is they never appear in tire searches. You should be front and center in the map section when a customer searches “New Tires Near Me.” This potential customer will be on their smartphone and will click to call and then will book their next appointment with you. An additional way these same potential customers will find you is to click “Directions”. Next thing you know you have a customer who was on Google arriving at your business. Search is ever evolving. If you do not conform to “The New SEO” you and your business will be left in the dust.

I would like to invite you to a free webinar where we discuss how to move the needle with Maps. I will be hosting this webinar on Friday, November 19th 9AM PST/ Noon EDT. This is not a sales presentation but a how-to-course to have your business front and center in the only search that matters.

Learning How To Dominate on Google My Business and Google Maps
Presented by Brett Sutherlin, Friday 11/19/2021 9 AM PST – 12 PM EDT

We all know the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s how we get Google to rank our websites and businesses at the top of the search results page. Now that you’ve done that, you’re hearing you need something called Local SEO, and you’re probably wondering, what is local SEO?

National SEO focuses on Google searches happening across the country, while local SEO focuses on a specific area.

Local SEO is essential to businesses that operate regionally, not nationally. A company like Amazon doesn’t need Local SEO because Amazon is everywhere. However, a local mom-and-pop bookstore or car dealership that serves their customers face-to-face needs local SEO. Any brick-and-mortar business that operates in a specific city will benefit from maximizing its local SEO efforts.

Which, of course, begs the question, how do you maximize your local SEO? Here are four quick tips on how you can optimize your local SEO.

Doing so will bring more traffic to your website and help you convert search traffic to sales.

     1. Create a Google My Business Account

A Google My Business (GMB) page is a great tool to boost your local SEO. When you create a GMB, you must complete all the fields on the form with accurate information. Answering every question is essential and will ensure that your customers can find you and prevent anyone from updating your page with inaccurate information.

Standard fields include business name, address, phone number, email address, and operating hours.

A GMB page will appear in Google search results and help bring awareness to your website. An added benefit is Google will automatically create a Google Maps location for your business, immediately boosting your local SEO efforts. If Google knows how to find you, it can help your customers find you, which is the name of the game.

You should also include pictures and videos of your business and upload new content weekly. By continually updating your GMB page and curating it, you will engage with your customers and make them feel like they already know their way around your store before they step through your doors.

     2. Request Reviews From Your Customers

Before Arrowhead and Sparkletts came along, humans drank from watering holes. But how do you know if the water’s safe to drink? You watch your friends drink first. If other people are drinking from the waterhole, you assume it’s safe.

The idea of social proof and peer affirmation is still in our DNA today. People buy from who they know and trust. Referrals are a great way to generate business, but if someone stumbles upon your website through a Google search, they’ll likely want to see what other people have to say about you. They’ll also want to know how you handle both positive and negative reviews.

By getting reviews from your shoppers, you begin to build a watering hole that’s familiar to locals. But it’s not enough to only request reviews. You also have to respond. At first, when you’re only receiving a few reviews, it’s important to respond to all of them. If you start to receive more than 25 reviews-per-day, you can be more selective.

By engaging with the people who leave reviews, you can help your search results because more people interact with your page. Your answers are also a strategic opportunity for you to include SEO keywords.

Reviews help your business stand out and make your GMB take up more real estate on the Google Search Results Page. A positive review can help you rank higher than almost any other SEO best practice.

     3. Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices

More people search the internet on their phones than on their computers. If your page doesn’t load correctly and quickly on a mobile device, people won’t look at your page. They’ll hit the back button and go onto the next page. It’s as simple as that.

If you have an iPhone, Google your page. Does it load quickly? Is the formatting correct? Now borrow somebody’s Android and do the same thing. If your website isn’t loading for you, it’s not loading for your customers.

The first thing you need to do is compress all photos and videos on your website. Big file sizes slow down the loading speed of your website.

Optimizing your website for mobile use is critical to Local SEO because people will find your website when they’re out and about. People will be out shopping, realize they need the thing you sell, Google it, and your business will appear. Then they’ll click on it to call you or see if you have the item listed on your website. When your website loads quickly, people will find your business, walk through your doors, and you’ll get more in-store traffic.

     4. Incorporate Local Attractions

Think about popular searches in your area. Do any popular attractions or landmarks immediately come to mind? If so, incorporate them into your meta, URL slug lines, and content. If you own a restaurant in Anaheim, California, include references to “restaurant near Disneyland” or “happy hour near Disneyland.”

You have a local business, and you want Local SEO for it. Including local attractions will ingratiate you as a local.

By creating an accurate GMB, engaging with your customers online, optimizing your website, and incorporating local destinations, you’ll boost your Local SEO rankings and increase your sales.