With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now

On January 11th, 2018 Facebook announced a major change to their News Feed algorithm that will cause some impact on brands’ ability to reach users on Facebook through organic distribution.

The change will focus on prioritizing content from friends, family and groups, rather than less public content like posts from businesses, brands and the media.  This means news feeds will likely start to show more pictures of your friend’s new puppy and fewer Buzzfeed articles.

As the changes roll out over the next several months, businesses will most likely see a decrease in their organic reach, but there’s opportunity here… Continue reading “With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now”

Analytics Intelligence

Google Analytics is releasing an update that will make it much easier and quicker to find the data you need.  The new tool Google Analytics will be rolling out is called: Analytics Intelligence.  Analytics Intelligence will allow you to type in what it is you are looking for and give you those results. Instead of navigating through multiple sections within Analytics, you will now be able to type in questions like “How much traffic did CPC bring in this month compared to last?”, and it will quickly show you the answer.

Man working on a project in an office using a tablet; images of analytics intelligence graphs

Beyond answering your questions, Analytics Intelligence also shows new opportunities for you through automated insights, now available in the web interface as well as in the mobile app. These insights can show spikes or drops in metrics like Revenue or Session Duration, tipping you off to issues that you may need to investigate further. Insights may also present opportunities to improve key metrics by following specific recommendations.

To find out more about Analytics Intelligence, check out the complete article here!

What Are Canadian Car Buyers Looking For & How Do You Appeal to Them?

According to recent Mintel data, Canadians are practical in what they look for within automotive innovations. While they show consideration for innovations that elevate comfort and convenience, they prioritize affordability, safety and reliability.  This is where smart communication through our social media platforms comes into play.  For each different manufacturer, competitive edge is not only within innovation, but in how they communicate their commitment to meeting consumers needs and wants.

Safety Features are always top of mind.  Canadians are most interested in the different safety features different manufactures offer in their vehicles.  As we find more and more interest in automated features – such as blind spot warning systems and rear and front cameras – dealers must make sure they are mentioning these features while also conveying that consumers should feel safe working with them.

Women are becoming more and more involved in the vehicle purchasing process and are showing interest in automotive innovations – especially safety features. However, they remain far less engaged in keeping up with the latest vehicle innovations.

Female buyers' leading emotions for mentions of buying a car
Female buyers’ leading emotions for mentions of buying a car

With women accounting for over one-third of online discussions around the car buying journey and showing a fair amount of anticipation, it is important to be sure we are still catering to them as an audience as well as what they are looking for in a vehicle. A great example of this is Mercedes-Benz’s ‘She’s Mercedes‘ campaign.

More people are also starting to show more interest in Hybrid/Electric vehicles when talking about automotive innovation.  Studies show that those who are engaging in online discussions or posting about automotive innovation are much more likely to be interested in hybrid and electric vehicles than the general population.  A 2016 report from Mintel’s New Cars – Canada showed that nearly a quarter of Canadians 18-24 years old are considering a hybrid/electric car for their next vehicle.

Making relevant posts to your Social Media platforms is an easy powerful way to promote your product.  If you want to learn more about how to be successful on Social Media, contact us today!

The Top 10 Super Bowl 51 Commercials

friends watching football on TV

Super Bowl LI featured the most exciting 4th quarter in the history of football, Lady Gaga jumping off the roof of the arena, and some really great commercials.  USA Today has released the results of their annual ‘Ad Meter’, where people can rate the commercials that were aired during the big game.  Out of the top 10, 5 were vehicle commercials from Honda, Kia, Audi, Ford and Buick.  Check out the top 10 below:

#1 2017 Kia Niro | “Hero’s Journey” Starring Melissa McCarthy

#2 All-New Honda CR-V 2017 Big Game Commercial – Yearbooks

#3 Audi #DriveProgress Big Game Commercial – “Daughter”

#4 Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”

#5 Tide | Super Bowl Commercial 2017 with Terry Bradshaw

#6 Mr. Clean | New Super Bowl Ad | Cleaner of Your Dreams

#7 Big Game Commercial with Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr | Buick

#8 Super Bowl Baby Legends | Who’s Next? | Football is Family

#9 2017 Ford Go Further | Ford

#10 Inside These Lines

The Ford Bronco and Ranger Will Ride Again!

The Ford Motor Company announced on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show that the Ford Ranger will be returning again in 2019, followed by the Ford Bronco’s return in 2020.Ford Bronco Concept

Both of these models will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The two models are expected to be built on a shared body-on-frame platform, which will create a midsize SUV and midsize pickup.  The Bronco has not been in production since 1996, while the Ranger is currently sold in other markets outside of the U.S. and Canada; we are likely to see the next generation of the model once it is available.

Ford Ranger ConceptFord has not speculated on technical details or images of the vehicles, yet, but they have suggested that the Bronco will offer some serious off road capability!

Ford is also planning to launch 13 new electric models by 2021, including hybrid models of the Mustang and the F-150.

Want to keep up-to-date with industry changes and insights? Subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Black Friday Deals Increase Automotive Sales for November in the US & Canada

Black Friday SalesNow that a week has passed since Black Friday, the stats are rolling in.

The Black Friday deals were so successful this year that they actually increased automotive sales by 4% for the month in the U.S. This makes November, 2016 the highest on record with 1.38 million units sold, beating the previous 2001 record of 1.32 million according to Kelley Blue Book.

Since 2013, sales during the weekend after American Thanksgiving have been nearly double the sales during a typical November weekend, according to car shopping site Edmunds.com. Prior to 2013, automakers only saw a 39% increase in sales that weekend.

For November, some automakers said:
— General Motors sales rose 10%. Its Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands all saw double-digit percentage increases in sales, while Chevrolet sales were up 8%. Full-size SUVs were strong sellers; sales of the Cadillac Escalade were up 25% while sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe jumped 31%.
— Toyota Motor sales rose 4%. Luxury Lexus sales were down 1 percent but Toyota brand sales rose 5%. Toyota Highlander SUV sales jumped 67 percent
— Ford Motor sales rose 5%. Lincoln brand sales were up 19 percent thanks to the new Continental sedan and the redesigned MKX SUV. Sales of Ford’s best-seller, the F-Series pickup, were up 11 percent as the new F-250 and F-350 went on sale.
— Fiat Chrysler’s sales fell 14%. All brands saw double-digit percentage declines except Ram, which was up 12%
— Honda Motor sales rose 6.5%, a November record for the company. Luxury Acura sales dropped 5%, but Honda brand sales were up 8%. Honda’s best-seller, the Accord sedan, saw sales rise 6%.
— Nissan Motor sales were up 7.5%, which was also a November record. Nissan brand sales were up 8%, helped by strong sales of the newly redesigned Armada full-size SUV. Luxury Infiniti sales were up 4%.
— Hyundai Motor sales rose 4%, another November record. Sales of the Sonata and Elantra sedans fell, but the Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs both saw double-digit percentage gains.

Row of cars

This is only U.S. data, but November was a successful month for Canadian dealers as well. Toyota Canada has reported that their hybrids and trucks have set annual sales records, Kia Canada November sales are up 20.5%, and GMC and Ford both reported double-digit rises in Canadian sales.

Black Friday may have a bad rap in terms of large crowds and crazy customers, but it appears to be a very successful way to boost sales boost in the automotive industry!

Penguin 4.0 is Live!

After a 2 year wait, Google’s Penguin algorithm has finally been updated!  The Penguin filter was designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spam detection systems might not have noticed.  Previously, the Penguin filter would “catch” sites deemed as spammers, and they would remained penalized even if the site improved or changed until the next time the filter would run (which could take anywhere from several weeks to several months).

Google's Penguin 4.0 program has launched!

With this latest release, Penguin now operates in real time.  Now when Google recrawls and reindexes pages, these pages will be assessed immediately by the filter and then released or caught as a part of this process.

Penguin will now also devalue spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site.  Previously, Penguin was a site-wide penalty, but now only specific pages on a website may be impacted rather than the entire site.

For more information on how this can affect your site’s ranking, contact one of our friendly OMM’s here at Strathcom Media!

Google Kitchener-Waterloo Breakfast Highlights

Baristas, hidden rooms, a cyborg moose, oh my!

cyborg moose at Google Kitchener-Waterloo

This week I had the privilege of visiting the newest and coolest Google office, located in Waterloo, to learn how dealers can capitalize on  their  fixed ops departments.  Here are just some of great stats that Google shared in their presentation:

  • $19 billion is spent annually on automotive parts and service in Canada
  • 80% of consumers who service their vehicle at your dealership are 2 times more likely to make a purchase from your dealership
  • Parts and Service queries peak in October and November

We also got to see some great stats from this year’s Think Auto Study:

  • 55% of buyers use their smartphones to research vehicle models while on the lot of a dealership
  • 56% of buyers purchased from a dealership with whom they had no previous relationship with
  • 77% of buyers are looking for vehicle promotions
  • Online video has a positive influence of 53% on car buyers in the market

For this particular breakfast, we were able to go on exclusive tour of the office along with our Golden Ticket contest winners. We will have another blog post including photos and some video of the office, so stay tuned! And to stay in the loop about our upcoming contests and Google events, please subscribe to our newsletter. Hopefully you can join us next time!

5 Ways to Improve Your Google Ranking

seoEveryone wants to have that number one spot on the Google Organic Search Results page.  Here are 5 simple things that can help to improve how you rank on Google:

1. Create useful, relevant content

Quality content created specifically for your intended users will not only help with user engagement, but will improve your site’s authority and relevance, which will increase your rank on the Google Search Results page. It’s also important to update your content regularly.  Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy. Be sure not to use duplicate content throughout your website, though; this could harm your ranking.

2. Have a blazing fast website

Page speed is an important factor on how you will rank on Google. A slow page speed means that search engines crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budgets, which negatively effects your indexation. Page speed is also important for user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates, and lower conversions.

Not sure what your page speed is? Google has a great tool to test it!

3. Make sure your website is responsive and optimized for mobile users

Responsive sites are designed to provide optimal viewing and easy navigation on any device or screen size. This makes it great for users viewing the site on a mobile device. Even though you may have a separate mobile site, Google has started to punish sites that are not responsive or mobile friendly, causing them to rank lower in the search results pages.

4. Make sure all of your citations are correct and up-to-date

Citations are online references to your business name, address and phone number (NAP). Some examples of citations are your Google+ Page or YellowPages. Google uses these citations when evaluating the authority of your business website, and is a key component in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Citations from well-established portals will help increase the relevancy of your business.  Make sure your address, website url, phone number and business name are consistent across each website.

5. Blog!

Blogging is a great way to help boost your ranking on Google. Google crawls blog content more frequently than your web page content because blogs are constantly being updated.  A blog page is essentially another web page and every web page is another opportunity to rank in the search results page.

Blogs can also help you become a local source of knowledge and with lots of great keywords written into the content you can rank for many different topics related to your brand and dealership.

If you have any other questions on how to improve your organic ranking on Google, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team or subscribe to our newsletter!

Why Strathcom Has “The Power to Surprise” for Kia Dealers

kia lineupThinking about switching current website providers?  Looking for a solution to help with your online presence?  Kia is committed to providing their customers with high-quality vehicles and is committed to making ownership a satisfying experience.  Strathcom is also in the business of providing a great experience for users shopping online.

So why choose Strathcom to build and maintain your Kia website?  Here are a few reasons why – just like Kia – Strathcom has “The Power to Surprise”:

Kia Compliant Websites 

  • From having the correct fonts, colours and logos, we work closely with Kia to ensure all of our sites meet Kia’s standards.

24/7 Online Chat

  • With the changes to Kia’s website standards, all sites should include an online chat. We work closely with CarChat24 to provide Kia dealers a 24/7 online chat solution that is monitored by actual people, and not robots.

Incentives

  • Present the monthly cash, finance and lease incentives right on your vehicle description page.

Responsive Design

  • We will make your website look good on all devices and screen sizes.

Brand Standards for Online Advertising

  • As a Google Partner we work closely with Google to create high quality AdWords campaigns to generate you more clicks and leads. We will also submit all of your co-op claims!

Syndication Services

  • We currently syndicate to over 70 destinations like Kijiji, and Trader. We make sure your inventory gets in front of the right people.

On top of all of these kick ass features, we also offer Blog Services, Ongoing SEO, and Google Certified Representatives that will help take care of the ever changing online landscape.  We also offer technologies like Personalization, Geofencing, Silent Salesman, Notepad, and more.

Let us be your one-stop-shop for all things Kia. Contact us today to find out more, or subscribe to our newsletter!

kia sportage

7 FREE Google Tools to Start Taking Advantage Of

website performance

Did you know that Google has several FREE tools that they have made available to all users to see how they are performing online?  Here are 7 of the best to help you be more effective online:

  1. Google Analytics: Probably one of the most powerful Google tools that you can use, and if you don’t have it on your website, you should. You can learn so much about your customers as well as track the success of your website.
    https://analytics.google.com/
  2. Structured Data Tool: This is Google’s tool for validating schema.org, microformats and other structured data. It handles HTML, marked up with microdata, RDFa, RDFA light and JSON-LD, by direct input or by fetching an existing URL. Translation? This tool separates the boys from the men in the SEO world and determines if your site is labeled properly for easy Search Engine Indexing.
    https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/
  3. Google PageSpeed Insights: Simply type in your website’s URL, and see how fast your business site is working on desktop & mobile. The higher the score the better, but generally aiming for a 70 on desktop and a 50 on mobile are a good starting points.  Fast and optimized pages’ lead to higher customer engagement, retention and leads.  Pagespeed Insights help you identify performance best practices that can be applied to your site.
    https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
  4. Search Console: Another free tool that helps you understand what’s going on with your website. This is the primary mechanism for Google bots to communicate with webmasters.  This will help you identify issues with your site, such as having broken links or dead pages.  It can even let you know if your site has been infected with malware.
    https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
  5. Mobile Friendly Tool: In April, Google announced mobile-friendly ranking labels which boosted qualifying sites to the top of the page. Wondering how your site fares after this Mobilegeddon? Check it out.  This tool will simply give you a pass or fail grade – your site is either mobile friendly or it’s not.  Since the average person in North America checks their phone 150 times per day – mobile-friendly websites are the new entry fee to play in the industry.
    https://www.google.ca/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
  6. Google Trends: Trends is a cool tool that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. This is a goldmine for blog topics, social media posts and to keep an eye on your brands relevancy.  “Google Hot Trends” is an additional Google Trends which displays the top 20 fastest rising searches of the past hour in the United States.
    https://www.google.ca/trends/
  1. Google Alerts: Use this tool to monitor the presence of your businesses mentions online. Google emails you when new web pages are published that are relevant to the alert you entered. It will not catch every single page, but it does catch a good chunk of them, especially the ones from authoritative websites. Track your brand name, your competitors and your leadership team or sales staff.
    https://www.google.ca/alerts
  2. Test My Site: Similar to the PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly tool, Test My Site is an easier tool to help understand how your business is performing online.                                                                                                          https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

If you have any questions about any of the above tools, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Google Certified Representatives!

And for more tips & tricks like these, sign up for our newsletter!

The New Google Ad Formats are Here!

expanded text ads allow 50% more ad textWe are living in a mobile-first world, and Google is now making it easier to succeed in this mobile-first world. Back in May, Google announced some huge changes to their ad platform. To make up for the removal of right-hand text ads, Google introduced Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Display Ads. These new features are going live in AdWords today!

Expanded Text Ads will be optimized for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones in the market, and will feature two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description. This will give you almost 50% more text for you to highlight your products and services.

Google has also built Responsive Ads for the Google Display Network to help your ads adapt to all of the different screen sizes we use every day – your phone, your computer and your tablet. These ads will provide 25-character and 90-character headlines, a 90-character description, as well as an image and a URL. The best part? These ads will fit perfectly across any website or app across the Google Display Network.responsive display adsStarting October 26, 2016, standard text ads will no longer be available. Get ahead of the competition! To get started with Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Ads, contact us today!

Leaving a Google Review Just Got Easier

We all know how important online reviews are, and Google just made it easier for users to leave reviews on your Google+ page.  Google+ accounts are no longer required for leaving reviews, and Google is now allowing users with just a Google account to leave reviews.  Users now have the ability to use either a Gmail or non-Gmail based account to post about their experiences.  The only requirement is users must display both their first and last name.

Your clients no longer need Google + to leave reviews!

This small change will make the review process easier, and will open the door for more of your customers to leave reviews!

Short Staffed? Hire a Digital Marketing Partner!

Social media, television, radio, print ads, digital advertising, in store displays, billboards, email blasts, text marketing… there are hundreds of different marketing strategies to promote your brand.  Most marketers will agree that multi-channel marketing is a key focus in one of their current marketing strategies.  As marketing evolves each year with new technologies, new social media platforms, and new ways consumers buy, trying to stay on top of these changes while finding the time and resources to develop a solid marketing campaign can be tricky.

Strathcom Media are experts in the realm of online advertising.

Most automotive dealerships can lack the resources to be able to create a fully staffed marketing team that can take on the responsibility of creating effective multi-channel marketing campaigns, while trying to analyze what is really working for them.

This is where investing in a digital marketing partner can be a huge asset to you, your employees, and your company.  With an account manager that will help you strategize and create effective online marketing campaigns, and a development and design team working hard to make your site stand out from the competition, what’s to lose?

Save time and money by letting us handle your marketing campaign.

From PPC campaigns to creating responsive websites Strathcom Media understands the importance of an online presence as mobile and digital marketing continue to dominate the marketing world.  Contact us to see how we can save you time and money without having to hire new employees to meet these demands.

The Importance of Dealership Reviews

Online reviews can have a major impact on your business.  They can increase rankings within local search engines, and be the deciding factors for consumers choose to shop at your business over another.  Here are some interesting and important statistics regarding the importance of having an online reputation:

  • 90% of consumers say online reviews have influenced their buying decision.
  • 92% of consumers trust online reviews as must as personal recommendations.
  • 80% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a local business with good reviews.
  • A 1 star increase in star ratings on reviews can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.

Given the above statistics, asking consumers to review your business online is becoming increasingly more important.

Marketing Statistics

Here are some tips and tricks to start collecting those reviews:

  • Make it easy. Having reviews on multiple platforms like Facebook, Google, Reveiwsii, makes it easier for clients to use the platform of their choice.
  • Focus on Quantity over Quality. Not everyone is going to have a 5 star rating, consumers that see this will have an easier time believing that the reviews they are reading are true.
  • Ask buyers to post a review. Make it apart of your sales process to ask clients to leave a review base off of their experience.
  • Make sure you are actively responding to both Negative and Positive reviews. Consumers that notice this, will see that you care.

Use social media to your advantage, and gain an edge over the competition!

Remember, your customers will talk about you.  Why not let them share their experiences with the rest of the world?

GM Launches Online Used Car Sales Program

Buying a vehicle is about to get easier.  General Motors announced this week they will be launching a new online sales program to purchase factory owned Chevrolet, Buick, GM or Cadillac online.  Catered to buyers who prefer to shop online, shoppers will be able to choose a vehicle and a participating GM dealer and use the Shop-Click-Drive feature to purchase the vehicle.

Continue reading “GM Launches Online Used Car Sales Program”

What were the Top Search Engine Ranking Factors of 2015?

roger_and_logo_moz

Every two years Moz surveys dozens of the world’s biggest search marketers to better understand search engine algorithms. Moz has just released their 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors that looks at characteristics such as keyword usage, page load speed, anchor text and over 170 other attributes that determine your ranking in the Google search engine. Over 150 marketing professionals were asked to rank, on a scale of 1 to 10, the top factors thought to be used in Google’s search algorithm.

 

 

 

Here are some of the highlights and the top influential ranking factors surveyed:

  • Keywords present in title elements
  • Quality of links from high-authority sites
  • Uniqueness of content across the site

Some of the lease influential factors were:

  • The popularity of business social media profiles
  • Upvotes/likes for the pages’ social sites
  • Length of time until the domain name expires

Those surveyed were also asked to predict the future of search, and how they expected Google’s algorithm to change over the next 12 months. Here’s what they predicted would be some of the major factors expected to increase influence:

  • Mobile friendliness and compatibility
  • Analysis of a site/page’s value
  • Quality and quantity of instant answers provided in the Search Engines Results Page (SERP)

Traditional ranking signals such as relevancy of links, social signals (shares, likes, +1’s) and internal links were expected to stay the same in importance. It was also predicted that paid links and anchor text would largely decrease in influence.

To read more about the 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors, please visit https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors and see if your site is using some of the top influencers to gain rank in the SERP!

New Mobile Stats from Google

Google-Partner-Logo

As one of Google’s exclusive partners, Strathcom is invited to exclusive training sessions, and  we were lucky enough to attend another recently at Google Canada in Toronto. During this session, we learned about how Mobile is changing the digital landscape. Don’t worry; I made sure to take lots of notes so I could report back on some highlights I found quite interesting!

  • There are over 4 billion searches on Google each month in Canada, alone
  • 80% of mobile searches happen where a computer is otherwise available
  • 75% of mobile searches make a conversion within 1 hour
  • 30% of online purchases are made from a mobile device
  • 41% of mobile searches are goal-oriented
  • 77% of mobile searches lead to an action

With more Google searches taking place on mobile devices than on computers, it’s obviously important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly or -responsive—so much so that Google has now designated mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for search engines. Consider the “moments” that customers can be influenced to buy a car, book a service appointment.

If you have any questions regarding responsive- and mobile-friendly websites, or for more fun statistics regarding the automotive industry or search trends, check out the rest of our blog or contact us today!

Mobile-Moments-2

Nissan’s Selfie Friendly Vehicle

Say cheese! Soon you won’t need a smart phone to take a selfie with your vehicle.  Nissan has recently unveiled “Teatro for Dayz”, the first selfie-friendly vehicle.  Free of knobs and buttons, this car was designed to appeal to a younger generation.


Continue reading “Nissan’s Selfie Friendly Vehicle”