SEO – What & How To Measure: How to Spot & Stop SEO & SEM Waste & Fraud (PART 6)
TRANSCRIPT: All right, let’s take a look at SEO. What do we need to measure and how do we measure that? First, let’s talk about what good SEO is. There is no secret sauce. The only white hat SEO, that has ever endured, that means been good over time, is simply this formula here. Good content plus good distribution of that content equals good SEO. See, this has withstood the test of time. This was true in 2008 and it’s true today. This is what drives quality traffic and quality links back to your website.
Now, what is good content? Good content is simply what people want to read. It’s also content they’ll share, that’s your distribution, when they start sharing it with others. It’s relevant and useful, that’s what good content is. Not, How to Prepare Your Car for Austin Winters. It’s well written, especially if it’s a blog. It’s timely. There is no secret sauce. Though remember, this is not an SEO class. I’m just giving you the overview of what good content is.
Your team doesn’t need an SEO class. I’m not trying to give you an SEO class. They need to know how to easily and accurately measure your relative search visibility over time. Search visibility, by the way, is just a way of saying, “How high do I rank for the important keywords?” But, it’s how high you rank locally and relative to your competition that matters.
So, let’s learn the basic Google SERP, Search Engine Results Page. I know lots of you know what this is, but I want to make sure that we level set and everybody gets the same information. All right, this is the Search Engine Results Page, SERP. Results area one, those are paid ads, pay per click, PPC, SEM, Search Engine Marketing. Results in area two, those are the free or organic listings. Results in area three are the Google My Business listing. You’re also going to hear this called Google Local, Google Pages, Google Maps. Some people also call it the Business Card. All of those are the same things.
For SEO measurement, we focus on area two and area three. But, your SEO, your vendor, might only show that you rank second in the organic spot for a Honda dealer, right under number, in area number two. Now, what does that tell you? Should you spend more to be number one, if you rank second for a Honda dealer in your market? I don’t know. What if honda.com is ranked number one, but you had the second, third, and fourth results for a Honda dealer and you had the Google My Business, or the Business Card. Now would you spend more to maximize that keyword? Of course not. You can’t compete with your OEN in this case. You’ve already got the Business Card, so somebody looking for the Honda dealer is going to find you and you basically dominate page one with results number two, three, and four.
But, your SEO doesn’t show you all that, do they? They show that you ranked second for a Honda dealer. Your ranking relevant to competition, over time, and who has the Business Card, Google My Business, for searches conducted in your market are 99% of what you need to know about any keyword that’s important to you. So, my rank relative to competition, over time, and who’s go the Business Card, that’s what’s important. Your SEO probably doesn’t show you any of that. Also, with the emphasis on mobile most generic dealer searches don’t include the word dealer plus city name, right? So, “Steve’s Ford Dallas” or “Ford dealer Dallas.” They’re either “near me,” “Ford dealer near me,” or they’re “make city Ford Dallas,” or simply “make plus dealer,” “Ford dealer.” They don’t have “Ford dealer Dallas,” “Ford dealer near Dallas.” Yet, those are the keywords that your SEO is trying to get you to rank for. Let’s also track that way. All right?
As far as I know there’s no other tool, this is the only tool, that lets you track relative search position over time from a location actually in your market, plus one that compares you to all the competition and shows who is getting the Google My Business results for keywords important to you. It’s the only way I know to hold your SEO vendor accountable. See, I’m not advocating that you get rid of your SEO. I’m saying, let’s find a way to actually hold the SEO vendor accountable. Let’s find a way to show the SEO, to help the SEO, even if we’re doing the SEO in house, let’s find a way to maximize our efforts on SEO. Now, there are places on the web that you can manually gather bits and pieces of similar, or approximate, data in real time. But, there’s nowhere I know to get these historical trends from actual searches done within your market or anywhere to get all of this competitive data combined into one place.
Now, I’m going to dive into it a little bit here, this chart is for used Hyundai. At a glance, I can tell you how my store ranks. Let’s make my store the orange dot. At the beginning of the chart, I’m in fifth place. By the time we get to the end of the chart, I’m in first place. But, at a glance I can tell you how my store ranks relative to all the competitors, not just the other Hyundai store. What’s interesting is that we’re so concerned sometimes about where we rank with the other Hyundai store, with the other competitor in our market, that we end up losing where we rank against the actual competitor. See, most SEO’s don’t even show you how you rank over time, let alone against Carfax, against CarGurus, against Autotrader, or against the other dealrer.s so, I can see this over time and I can called my SEO vendor to the carpet when my relative rank slips.
With SEO, everybody is your competition. Let me repeat that. With SEO everybody is your competition. It’s not just the other Hyundai store. In fact, it’s most often third party sites like Carfax, CarGurus, and Autotrader. Knowing exactly, exactly where you rank, relative to all the competitors over time for important keywords, locally is the only want to know if your SEO efforts are paying off. So, let me go over that again. I want to know exactly where I rank relative to my competitors, over time. For the keywords locally. The search is actually done locally, in my market. It’s the only way I know if my SEO is paying over time.