DSES Keynote: “The Future of Search” with Michael King (@iPullRank)

By: Felicia Savage

The second keynote session I attended on Day 2 of this year’s DrivingSales Executive Summit was presented by the incomparable Michael King, founder of digital marketing agency, iPullRank in New York City. In his keynote presentation, Michael King provided attendees with valuable insights on the current state of search marketing as well as where it’s likely to go.


Here were a few of the things Michael went over in his keynote presentation, The Future of Search:

The History of Search One the Last Decade

Over the last 10+ years, search has evolved significantly; causing organizations across all industries to evolve along side it by improving and altering their marketing strategies. Because Google’s sole purpose was and still is to organize the world’s information and implicitly know what consumers are searching for, a number of algorithm changes were made and a number of new tools were developed to better provide valuable, relevant information to consumers. Some of the more noteworthy updates made were: the Caffeine update, the Panda algorithm update and Predictive text.


How to Capitalize on Opportunities in Search

As I mentioned before, many algorithm and site structure updates were made that caused the majority of search marketers to make changes to their website and overall website/marketing strategy. Although some companies would make the appropriate changes just to ensure that they stood afloat, there were also organizations out there that used these updates to their advantage.

To truly capitalize on these opportunities in search, one would need to think about every aspect of their website that had the most prominent impact on search. Dealerships that want to stay ahead of the curve (or at least keep up with it) should do the following:

  • Focus Locally — or focus on content specifically for the location they’re serving.
  • Be Mobile-Friendly – Make sure your dealership’s website is optimized for mobile devices.
  • Focus on Speed – Make sure your website loads in an optimal manner without any major issues.
  • Maximize the visibility of both paid and organic search efforts.


Finding an SEO Partner

Let’s face it: Not everyone is an SEO expert. Even if your marketing team has some knowledge of SEO or SEM, they don’t possess the knowledge of those who literally dedicate their professional lives to the wonderful world of search. That being said, it helps to have an SEO partner that will help your dealership reach its search ranking and traffic goals in an efficient manner.

When searching for an SEO partner, make sure you find someone that’s actually going to partner with you. Avoid search marketing contractors and organizations that just provide you with results and nothing else. Although the ultimate goal for doing any sort of marketing is “seeing results” and boosting revenue, you want to know about the how and why those results came to be. You owe it to yourself to have this knowledge do that you can make better business and marketing decisions in the future. Having a dialogue is important.

Have a Tool Library

Last, but not least, you’ll want an extensive library of tools that can help you to measure results and help you to plan for future marketing campaigns. Many of the tools on the market today are quite diverse and can assist with a number of components relating to SEO: keyword research, duplicate content, backlink management, keyword rankings, the list goes on.


Here’s a list of SEO tools that Michael King uses regularly with his clients:

  • Moz Local
  • Yext
  • Citation Building Service
  • Google Search Console
  • Structured Data Testing Tool
  • Page Speed Test
  • Chrome Dev Tools
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • Search Metrics
  • On-Page.org
  • Linkdex
  • Botify
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • STAT

Going into “Overtime”

I had an opportunity to sit down with Michael for a few minutes following the session and asked him the following: “Was there anything in the session that you wanted to say that you didn’t get a chance to say?” Here were his thoughts:

“Well, that’s a difficult question because I’m so passionate about search and digital marketing. I could have gone on for hours discussing how machine learning plays into this [search]. Of course, Machine learning would have required an extra 20 minutes to talk about.”

Photos from the Session


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