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I've been actively writing about the weekly changes that seem to be impacting Google SERP and Google Places.
Are you getting dizzy by the work needed to keep Google Places up to date? I won't even mention the pain that many dealers have been having with Merged Listings!
One of the MOST crazy changes is that in many markets, the Google Places Business Name is being over-written with the dealer's Home Page Title tag.
This makes no sense since many websites are not optimized and have no proper Title Tag in place.
The Denver dealers listed below now have CRAPPY business names and descriptions? Why is Google asking for the business name and description in Google Places and not using it?? Obviously, the Google team needs to step back and get feedback from the business community.
Until this is fixed and if this applies to your listing, I would update the HOME PAGE title and meta description on your website immediately.
Today I was looking at some searches in the Miami market, and a search phrase like "Honda Miami" did NOT pull up Google Places. It normally does.
In other markets, like typing in "Honda Denver" Google Places does show. Google Places is not consistent, have you noticed?
But the point I want to make is that when Google Places does not show, the results are very "clean". Oddly clean.
The results were just like Google Places, in that the results were WAY TO CLEAN and ORDERED for my trained eye. What I mean is that 9 out of 10 of the organic listings were the primary websites of OEM Honda dealers.
These sterilized results are not representative of what Google SERP have looked like a year ago.
It is clear that Google is localizing search better and may be using third party validation and not just SEO to create a SERP. In the past, this page would have third party classified websites, press releases, and blog posts.
What is consistent, is that the only non dealer primary website in list is an exact matching microsite. (http://www.hondamiami.org) Now I have watched the video Matt Cutts filmed that said that Google will "weight' domain names less in organic search, but my experience is different.
I bring this up to make the point that Google seems to be making visible changes on a weekly basis that impact your digital marketing strategy. Google Places has become a magnetic for organic clicks which is reducing visitors to third party microsites that once easily apepared on Page One.
SEO strategies need to evolve and get more aggressive and that include more of an emphasis on Video SEO strategies.
Have you seen how much organic search results have been changing? If you need a better mousetrap, give me a call.
Share you challenges and success stories here.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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