It has been a while since I’ve written an in-depth article on helping out a random business in a random city.
Anyone can rank a non-competitive niche. I tend to pick challenging industries, and for good reason. I’ll try to help with advanced strategies that will blow your mind.
In the past, I would split up my content into four or five articles. I won’t do that this time. You don’t have to finish it all in one sitting, but you’ll have one URL to go to when you want to continue with the article.
In this post, we’ll pick an auto mechanic from a large city. I’ve decided on Dallas, Texas. We’ll then help them figure it out.
We’ll review everything this business needs to know about improving its digital visibility.
Let’s get started.
Our selection for this post
I want to find an auto mechanic in Dallas, Texas. This shop will need to be at the bottom of the first page of Google for most of its primary keywords.
For this post, I’ve chosen Chris Murphy’s Automotive. They’re a perfect candidate as most of their keywords are on the bottom of the first page, the top of the second page, or nonexistent.
They have a low domain rating of 4.7, which doesn’t mean much but gives us an idea of what kind of link-building campaign we’ll likely need to focus on.
This is a tough niche with plenty of competition. Just the way I like it.
Enough teasing. We’ll start now.
On most websites, hundreds of keywords can easily be a primary target. I see the same scenario for Chris Murphy’s Automotive.
When I click on the services link, there are dozens of services (with no dedicated service page).
You can read my mind right about now. I see an instant opportunity here.
Dozens of services and no pages to represent them? Oh, we’re game!
Let’s not get off on a tangent. Back to the primary keywords.
Car repair, oil changes, transmission repair, and the word mechanic are the primary keywords on most pages.
Take a look at the main keywords for Murphy’s Automotive here.
For the sake of time and this post, we’ll focus on the primary section. It would take weeks to review all the services and show Chris how he can optimize every service page.
Their most prominent landing pages will be the homepage and services pages.
I’ll pick the main service page to optimize. This page should technically be the primary category that holds all the sub-categories.
Before we do that, dig a bit more into the visibility of Chris Murphy’s Automotive.
Rankings and visibility
We need to benchmark where Chris ranks for all the primary keywords we’re targeting.
Okay, now we’re talking.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we want to target a business that ranks on the bottom of the first page or the top of the second page of Google for their primary keywords.
The good news is: It looks like Chris can rank better in Dallas and has a chance.
The bad news: Only the homepage ranks for all the keywords. No other page ranks for any main keyword we’re targeting. This means that Google doesn’t find value on any other page. It’s not a death sentence. We have to improve these pages.
Google maps rankings
Our map rankings aren’t any better.
If we look at the most important keyword, “mechanics Dallas” in a 3-mile radius, you’ll notice that Chris’s automotive shop is buried deep in Google Maps results.
If we look at “oil change Dallas”, the results aren’t any better.
When we look at all the keywords and how they rank on Google Maps within Dallas, the results are a bit worse than organic rankings.
We have our work cut out for us, which simultaneously makes this project challenging and exciting.
My agency works from the bottom up when we take smaller clients. This means that we go after their profitable keywords right away.
In this case, I want people to find Chris for most of his primary keywords when they look for a mechanic in a 3-5 mile radius.
We’ve all owned vehicles and understand the maintenance intervals.
There is an 8000 KM oil change (in most cases) and a yearly checkup. This is where you hook a customer with exceptional service.
What is user intent regarding oil changes in Dallas, Texas?
What about the keyword “mechanics Dallas”?
We have to understand the mindset of a visitor and where they are in their buying journey when they land on a specific page.
We then answer these questions as best as we can.
I will discuss this later when I recreate the service page for Chris Murphy’s Automotive.
It’s time to look at our competition.
Before I begin, let’s answer these questions for each competitor:
- What is the domain authority?
- How many backlinks do they have, and from what websites?
- What kind of ads are they running?
- How do they lay out the architecture of their websites?
- What does their copy look like?
- What’s the domain age?
For our main keyword, “mechanics Dallas” we’re competing with the following websites:
- Yelp.com – 18 years old
- Yelp.com – Again in the second spot
- Yourmechanic.com – 19 years old
- Kevsbest.com – 3 years old
- Dallassmobilemechanic.com – 4 years old
- Take5oilchange.com – 15 years old
Anyone below the fifth spot isn’t someone I’ll look into. This would be the case for all of our keywords. It’s just not worth my time.
Backlink GAP analysis
I will ignore Yelp in our analysis since they are massive and not an auto mechanic website. I honestly don’t know why they still keep showing up.
Our main competitors are Kev’s Best and Your Mechanic. They also have a massive domain authority which Chris will never beat. That doesn’t mean we can’t outrank them.
Chris needs to put more effort into link-building. Some of you think it doesn’t matter, but it does.
Without links, we’ve got no popularity and no authority. Unless you reinvent the wheel and have amazing content, media, or products/services, you’ll need to build links.
Your Mechanics is massive and national. Kev’s Best is a blog post that ranks for “mechanics Dallas”. Google is becoming a joke with these results sometimes. Seriously?
In the past, I used to share the backlinks of all competitors. I won’t do that in this post. Head over to Ahrefs or SEMrush, and the data is there.
Keyword GAP analysis
My data for the keyword GAP analysis is national, so the information isn’t that useful.
However, I use it for ideas on smaller projects. For example, based on my keyword GAP analysis, mobile mechanics are very popular.
If I were Chris and ambitious, I would look into this information in Dallas. Let’s find out for him.
Check out the complete keyword analysis here.
Quick copy analysis
Since we’ll be improving the service page for Chris Murphy’s Automotive, I’ll only look at the copy for this page.
Right off the bat, we can notice that the person who put up this page is trying to target “auto services in Dallas, TX”. This keyword has zero volume.
I would target the keywords “mechanic” and “vehicle inspection” more than the word “service”.
The page has 3 large paragraphs. None of it is written for people who visit the page. Clearly, we’re dealing with an SEO trying to rank a bunch of keywords using methods from 2002.
How do you improve your sales copy:
- Make sure your copy addresses the pain points of your customers
- Make sure your website looks credible
- Create some authority with great content
- Ensure the information architecture of your website follows basic guidelines
- Be there when people ask questions with compelling content
None of that is followed on the service page.
Although, I can pick out pieces to work with.
What can we use?
- Chris has been in business since 1992
- The mechanics at this s shop are ASE certified
- DMV-certified inspections available
- Chris has all the latest diagnostic tools
- This shop offers hybrid repairs
- Craftsmanship is guaranteed
- Financing is available
The rest of the copy is repeated.
We also have a section with all the services.
If we were hired for this project, every single service would be planned with a dedicated landing page.
There isn’t much else to analyze. We need to get to work and wireframe a new service page.
Our service page wireframe
Without further ado, I give you the wireframe for the service page on Chris Murphy’s Automotive.
On the service page, I focused on the primary services and highlighted them in their sections.
I also put a lot of emphasis on the team and certifications. After all, it’s all about credibility (or juice, as I call it).
Finally, I included a section for objective customer reviews and pricing.
Quick SEO wins
This website is very small. I think we’re dealing with a handful of pages.
All my tools returned a good score, which is misleading.
In reality, the person who built this website (probably with a mickey mouse budget) tried to put as much as possible on a few pages.
The real SEO game here is creating rich pages for every service. That’s a great SEO plan.
In my posts for dental offices, I went over the SEO strategy in detail. Take a look if you want to see how I would audit a website like this.
We’re not dealing with much here at Chris Murphy’s Automotive.
Nothing to see here. Let’s move on.
Optimizing Google My Business
On a positive note, Chris Murphy’s Google My Business account has a lot of positive reviews.
They also reply to negative reviews, which is rare in most businesses.
The photo game is also strong; I give them props.
I would add their services, posts, specials, and videos of the team. Nothing screams credibility like a stacked Google my business page.
Head on over to optimizing your GMB page here and on my dental marketing post. I don’t want to repeat myself. The logic and steps are the same.
Our team has switched to pain-point SEO for the past two years as a content strategy.
What does that mean? It means that we talk to people in the industry alongside our keyword research.
Doing this gives incredible insight into our industry.
The results have been epic.
Once you have access to the team (mechanics, front desk clerk, and owner), you’ll create a content machine on auto-pilot.
Let’s come up with a quick content cluster for Chris.
I use both Ahrefs and SurferSEO in conjunction with our pain-point SEO strategy.
Let’s assume we want to rank for a cluster of keywords about transmission repair.
This is a difficult keyword to rank for and is broad. I am going to narrow it down.
I’ve narrowed my Ahrefs filters down to the following:
- A maximum difficulty score of 15
- Minimum word count of 3
- Excluded cost, near, shop, orlando, miami, atlanta, omaha
With these filters, I found a bunch of golden nuggets to capitalize on. We can take a lot of these keywords, but I will go with transmission line repair.
This keyword has massive potential and a guaranteed target if we ever work with Chris.
Based on the keyword, transmission line repair, I’ve found several clusters I can work with, with the main cluster with the word replacement being the synonym.
Here’s my proposal:
The money page in green is our service page (our money page). The main topics are yellow in our cluster, and the sub-topics are orange.
In a perfect world, I would build tier-1 and tier-2 links for all these clusters. We will probably dominate the Dallas metro area if we do this.
Capitalizing on video
I’ve started two YouTube accounts and working on a third.
Our two accounts are doing exceptionally well in terms of subscriptions and loyalty.
Our second project has fewer subscribers but is generating more revenue.
The point here is not to generate ad revenue but create a following and the possibility of working with large organizations.
Through these accounts, we signed up massive clients, worked with the government, and requested loyal subs to sign up for other programs.
We started with one person to record, edit, and publish videos four years ago.
We now have a team of four managing multiple accounts and publishing almost daily.
The gains are way too sweet to miss out on.
Yes, I got a little lazy with this post.
I didn’t get into budgets, link velocity, or a CRM strategy or run a survey in Texas. I’ve done that enough for you to see the process on my other blogs. I don’t see the point of doing it again for this post.
You can see a pattern in my thought process if you’ve read my other posts. It’s not rocket science. I’ve launched dozens of websites, and all of them have performed very well, with a simple list of action items to follow.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have any questions.
Until next time, catch you all on my next post.