Own the SERP Market Share Like Garrett Mehrguth

Optimize for #1. Not #8.


We were just three sessions into State of Search 2016, but it seemed that a theme had already developed:

“SEO is dead, but…”

Danny Sullivan said it.

Ryan Mclaughlin said it.

SEOs are tired of hearing that their industry is dead when it’s largely untrue.

But what’s a theme without a variation? Luckily, Garrett Mehrguth was here to save us from hearing it again.

With Google removing the side bar ads, adding an extra ad at the top of results, adding maps listings, info cards, rich snippets, shopping ads, lyrics, and anything else you can think of to the top of results BEFORE the organic listings, optimizing for the top organic spot means you may be optimizing for the EIGHTH position on the page!

Garrett reminded that SEO may not be dead, but it’s also no longer about optimizing for the top spot in an organic search engine results page. You’ll need to beat search engines at their own game.

SEO in 2016 is about owning as many of the results as possible on a search engine results page for maximum visibility and beating your competitors.


By using PPC, review generation, PR and local tactics in tandem with your SEO efforts, you’ll own more listings on a search engine results page, and beat out your competitors’ visibility.

Nelly once asked us “What does it take to be #1?” And Garrett gave us all the tactics so we could be #1, and not just #8. And do we mean ALLLLL the tactics!

Some of the high-level tactics:

  • Start your campaign with a small PPC campaign to gain valuable insights that you can use in SEO, content, and other PPC efforts.
  • Big brands have domain authority in search results, but they struggle with creating hyper-local content. Create Hyper-local content your users want. And build your brand as an entity to compete with those brands.
  • Buy ads on keywords you rank well for organically to increase your market share.
  • Optimize your site’s load speed. Site speed is more valuable than any analytics insights you get.
  • Just get the most reviews. And use those reviews to generate social proof, and get more reviews.
  • Create content around your conversions.

But most importantly, never forget that good SEO is about good marketing.

SEO is most certainly not dead, but it is also certainly not enough anymore.