alakov

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Hi everyone,

Here is the issue:
I manage 2 Hyundai dealers in Mississauga, Ontario. While the dealers rank ok locally and organically for queries like "hyundai service", "hyundai dealer" "hyundai in Mississauga", etc. There are 2 queries I cannot figure out how to rank for.

"Mississauga Hyundai" and "Hyundai Mississauga". There is a dealer named Mississauga Hyundai (it is the largest Hyundai dealership in Canada), and these 2 queries result in knowledge graph with this dealer information, although these queries (especially "Hyundai Mississauga") clearly should not be treaded as branded queries for this business due to their generic nature.

Basically, Google thinks that there only one "Hyundai Mississauga", but there is a bunch of "Hyundai in Mississauga"s. (there are 5 Hyundai dealers in the city. all of them have verified GMB profiles, local links, citations).
Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.37.22 PM.jpg


I've been trying to fight for these 2 queries for about 6 months, as you see, unsuccessfully. Any ideas, suggestions, similar stories with a happy ending? Will highly appreciate any input.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.37.22 PM.jpg
 

DanLeibson

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Hi everyone,

Here is the issue:
I manage 2 Hyundai dealers in Mississauga, Ontario. While the dealers rank ok locally and organically for queries like "hyundai service", "hyundai dealer" "hyundai in Mississauga", etc. There are 2 queries I cannot figure out how to rank for.

"Mississauga Hyundai" and "Hyundai Mississauga". There is a dealer named Mississauga Hyundai (it is the largest Hyundai dealership in Canada), and these 2 queries result in knowledge graph with this dealer information, although these queries (especially "Hyundai Mississauga") clearly should not be treaded as branded queries for this business due to their generic nature.

Basically, Google thinks that there only one "Hyundai Mississauga", but there is a bunch of "Hyundai in Mississauga"s. (there are 5 Hyundai dealers in the city. all of them have verified GMB profiles, local links, citations).
LSF_CTA.png


I've been trying to fight for these 2 queries for about 6 months, as you see, unsuccessfully. Any ideas, suggestions, similar stories with a happy ending? Will highly appreciate any input.

It's going to be hard to fight this, as you are right they are mistaking the query as a brand query solely based on the competitors business name.

The only times we have really seen success changing this is by really going after being authoritative e.g. more/better links & more/better citations. Also, make sure you are targeting the exact term "Hyundai Mississauga" in the Title tag for the page that is linked to the dealer's GMB page.

It's difficult to do, but if another highly authoritative and relevant result comes up for a branded search Google will sometimes change how it treats the query.
 

alakov

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Thank you Dan,

So, you are saying it is more of a general SEO question now than strict local search optimization? The solution is in getting more high authority anchored links rather than establishing local relevancy through local blogs, directories, etc., correct?
 

DanLeibson

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Thank you Dan,

So, you are saying it is more of a general SEO question now than strict local search optimization? The solution is in getting more high authority anchored links rather than establishing local relevancy through local blogs, directories, etc., correct?

It's definitely a little of column A (traditional) and a little of column B (local). Really it's just about becoming more authoritative and relevant for the search term in Google's eyes.
 

alakov

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I guess we are at the point where local relevancy has been established. Perhaps I never thought of it as a traditional seo challenge. Will look more into that. Thanks again.

P.S. your February blog post on GMB categories had some effect on our team's operation. We manage about 30 dealers and revisited all their GMB profiles after reading it. Stuffed all relevant categories to a few profiles to test. Have not seen massive changes so far, but apparently it has not hurt the performance.
 

DanLeibson

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I guess we are at the point where local relevancy has been established. Perhaps I never thought of it as a traditional seo challenge. Will look more into that. Thanks again.

P.S. your February blog post on GMB categories had some effect on our team's operation. We manage about 30 dealers and revisited all their GMB profiles after reading it. Stuffed all relevant categories to a few profiles to test. Have not seen massive changes so far, but apparently it has not hurt the performance.

Awesome, glad you found it useful!
 
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Organic SEO factors have been a bigger part of the local game for quite a while now, and if you haven't been addressing that in your campaign, it's definitely time to start. Though I've heard that's less the case for the algorithm that pulls results when it's geo+keyword vs just keyword.
Still good to address that though. Looks like there's not a huge hurdle to overcome there or anything.

I haven't worked in the auto industry before so I have no idea how insane click prices are (especially with the number of adwords spots being cut down to 4) but that might be a short term option for covering those keywords in the meantime, especially if you've got a high enough review flow to get ads with review stars showing. Gives you another clue too if the search volume there is high enough to be worth losing sleep over. After all, this isn't an ego game... all that matters at the end of the day is that you're showing where people are looking. If this represents less than 1% of the searchers, then there are more important things to pay attention to.

One interesting thing... you probably already know this, but Laurie Williamson Pontiac Buick seems to be another business with a verified Google My Business listing with the same address and the same phone number. I know absolutely nothing about looking up Canadian business records, but there's a TON of citations for that Pontiac listing. It's a little bit of a long shot, but if might be worth looking into to make sure they're playing by the rules, and not taking 2 listings for two branches of the same business or doing anything else strange. I wouldn't be surprised if that company was lagging in all the other keywords that it's not named after because of that huge NAP mess, it's kind of crazy.

As far as personal success stories goes, I've seen a few, and just happened to have another one last week. This one wasn't a client, just a friend I've been helping out. One of his competitor's was showing as a branded result for city + calligraphy, took us maybe 6 months to knock things down to a 3-pack like it should be. Local cleanup wasn't what did the trick, it was backlink building and general community authority building. It possibly took longer than it needed to, in part because we started with just local cleanup and citation building and then let things chill for 3 months. Should have started with more organic stuff too I guess.
 

alakov

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Thank you James,

We do invest quite a bit in targeting relevant keywords with adwords. "Mississauga Hyundai" and "Hyundai Mississauga" have about 1500 av. monthly searches each.

Mississauga Hyundai moved to this location from another place some time ago. These two dealers have no connection whatsoever. But the hyundai dealer has never really bothered to clean up citations (they still have duplicates with their old address).

The thing is (and it bothers me a lot) they do not really do any kind of SEO. They invest quite a bit in SEM and traditional marketing, but do not care about LSO/SEO (I just happened to know it). It is a well known dealer in the province (perhaps even in the country), so they do get a lot of branded "Mississauga Hyundai" searches. So, even if there has ever been a local pack for "Mississauga Hyundai" query, google likely omitted it due to insane CTR of the competitor. My only hope at the moment is a more generic "Hyundai Mississauga" query.
 
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Very interesting. Google went on record recently about clicks being a factor (though it was even more recently redacted somewhat) but either way, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you're right about that being a huge part of this.

As far as them moving into an old dealership... man. Why they wouldn't switch out their phone number is beyond me, but as you said, not all business owners are aware of the landmines. Looks like it hasn't hurt them too bad for these keywords at least though.

In the case last week that I mentioned, it was kind of the same deal... the person he was knocking back into the 3-pack hadn't done much SEO or optimization work to speak of either, I'm surprised it took that much effort to knock her off the knowledge panel. That does give you at least a fighting chance though I'd think... at least there's a lot you could do to show them up, and the extra nice part: even if it doesn't work, unless you're cooksville, it'll help you rank better organically there instead, and it'll definitely help your showing across the board everywhere else too. What's your site(s) showing on Majestic, just out of curiosity? If you do end up with an organic ranking there without a 3 pack, might be worth looking into getting review stars showing for your ranking to help it jump out a little better.
 

alakov

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The fact that you've successfully knocked competitors off the knowledge panel is definitely encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

Our majestic's numbers are even less impressive than Mississauga Hyundai's at the moment. So there's definitely a lot can be done on the traditional link building side.

Both Hyundai dealers' (Cooksville Hyundai is one of them) sites I manage show right next to Mississauga Hyundai for any Brand + City queries, so second-third place do not do the trick. I do not think my NDA allows me to disclose CTRs, but for the queries in question it's miserable. I've tired playing with titles and descriptions, never really seen any improvements from that.

To be honest, I've never seen a dealer's site with the review start in organic search nor have seen a dealer with custom comments in local pack. I just do not think google wants dealers to have them.

If anyone has examples that prove the opposite (any dealer in US/Canada with the stars/custom comments), I would appreciate you sharing them.
 
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If anyone would know the answer to that I imagine it'd be Mike Blumenthal, you should reach out to him with that question about review stars.

Back link building can be a heavy thing to jump into, good luck. Sounds like there's a lot of room for improvement there though, so at least that's a good signal that this is something that's needed to be addressed.
 
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