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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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TK Carsites

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Over the years, the debate has raged over the priorities when it comes to search engine marketing. Most understand that search engine optimization and pay per click advertising are both valid sources of traffic for car dealers, but the disagreement comes up in regards to which is more important and which deserves the "lion's share" of the Internet marketing budget. Throw the local business "Maps" section into the equation and suddenly it's a 3-way-race.

SEO vs PPC vs Maps

We are looking for people within the industry to discuss this matter in an open forum -- friendly-debate-style.

If anyone is interested, please contact me here in comments or via email: jrucker@tkcarsites.com.

Brian Pasch
JD Google Place (aka Maps) is probably the most important SEO focus of any dealer since on average, a dealer's listing is shown 10,000 -20,000 times a month. In this range, it will generate 500-800 direct visitors to a dealer's website and dozens of high quality calls. Google Maps appears often for a car dealer when consumers are searching their exact name (think Yellow Pages) and when consumers search broad search terms (like Boston Nissan Dealers). In both cases, these are great customers to make sure you have the correct phone number ,website URL and call to action messages on Google Places. Dealers will be surprised to know that by adding a few customer testimonial videos to Google Maps, how many more calls they will get. Google also has new 30 day status updates that appear on Google Maps which can also increase click through rates. So, Google Maps is free and intuitive so it could represent the BEST place for car dealers to start and best of all its free. Free is good. Now if your Google Maps listing is NOT showing for basic broad OEM searches in your market, just call me or JD and we can help. There are some strategies to get YOUR Google Maps listing showing more often than your competitors. Brian Pasch, CEO PCG Digital Marketing
Brian Pasch
As a secondary note, studies have shown that when a search results page is shown, consumers click on images and videos more often than text listings. If this is the case, imagine the increase in click traffic that Google Maps represents compared too organic text listings.
JD Rucker
That puts Brian in the Maps camp. That's good - I wasn't sure which part of the panel I wanted to be on - Maps and Organic are both strong and something we specialize in. Anyone ready to back PPC?
Richard Valenta
I believe all 3 are a good part of an on-line marketing strategy. However, you can run up a pretty big bill very quickly if your PPC campaigns are not managed well. Personally, I am leaning towards organic as most important with maps second. I believe maps will gain more traction over time but organic allows a much further reach. You will not be able to have a map listing for many keywords that currently drive traffic to your site. On the other hand, most dealers don't realize you can optimize map listings just as you can with organic. This will become very important as more and more dealers see the benefits of map listings, especially in the metro areas.
Richard Valenta
By the way, technically, these are Local Business Results since Google Maps sometimes differ.

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