Think with Google – Online Video Planning

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The Think with Google resource gives us online video planning tips for success with online videos. The first tip is to be mobile-minded. Google’s research found that viewers who watched an ad twice on mobile had – on average – a significant lift of 23% in unaided brand awareness, and 47% in unaided ad recall.

Think with Google also suggests to put YouTube alongside TV. But for most small to medium businesses, this might not be as easy as it would be for big-box businesses. So what’s the alternative? Put YouTube alongside Facebook. Not only are you adhering to the first tip, but you’re also choosing to advertise on a platform where people spend their time watching videos. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? The answer is probably yesterday or when you were on your coffee break.

Facebook is also more measurable than TV because you can track conversions from pixels and generate leads right from Facebook through their lead ads objective. In addition to the ability to generate leads, you can also track performance and measure key performance indicators to see if it’s all living up to your expectations.

online video planning tips

You can read the referenced Think With Google content here. If you would like more online video planning tips, check out or previous post about YouTube or give our Online Marketing Team a call; and don’t forget to ask about how you can get $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Adjusting AdWords For Mobile Traffic

According to a Google study of mobile traffic, 96% of people use their smartphone to get everyday things done. To meet those needs, people will use search functions – the resource 87% of people turn to first. In moments of need, people turn to their smartphones.

Secondly, they found that 70% of smartphone owners who bought something in-store had turned first to their devices for information about that purchase. To tie it back to the previous finding, they found 92% of those who search on their phone made a related purchase.

So what does this mean for you?

This means that you need a strong mobile strategy. Smartphone owners utilizing searches are likely to make a follow-up action, and another after that, until they meet their needs. Having a strong mobile campaign in your AdWords will ensure you are taking advantage of this knowledge.

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What can you do to have a strong mobile campaign?

  • Mobile-only campaign
  • Mobile-specific bids – mobile bids are different from desktop bids, so why treat them the same?
  • Mobile-specific ads and extensions – with extended-text ads, you currently can’t make ‘mobile-preferred’ ads; however, the mobile-only campaign will make sure these ads show only on mobile devices. Use mobile CTAs as much as possible. If you have historical data on extensions (that’s good), use it as a starting point in optimizing your mobile campaign.

At the end of the day, your AdWords account should be built with a mobile perspective first. Need some advice about mobile traffic? Contact our online marketing team today!

Read the referenced Google material here: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-search-consumer-behavior-data.html

Build a Desktop-Focused Campaign in a Mobile-First World

Yes, you read that correctly. Implementing a desktop-focused campaign can get you a better CPA – not alone, though.

Close up of elegant young business men standing against the wall and checking their mobile phones.

Every day, users search on the go with their mobile devices. You never know where people will be, so you can’t lock down one postal code or small area around your store. People search from everywhere, which is completely different from a desktop search. That’s why we need to be able to focus on mobile and desktop separately, and by making both a desktop-focused campaign and a mobile-focused campaign, we can achieve this.

AdWords accounts should be taking advantage of the ability for device segmentation. You should have campaigns that focus on both desktop and mobile search. You can do this by adjusting campaign settings so the mobile bid adjustment is set to -100%; this will make the entire campaign’s ads and keywords never show on a mobile device.

The next step is to clone that campaign and set up mobile-specific ad extensions, bids, and ad copy (and don’t forget landing pages if you don’t have a responsive website). This ensures that your keywords only activate the mobile ads in this campaign.

Now you have one campaign bidding for desktop and mobile at the same time and can focus your ad copy to speak to mobile users. In addition, you can see the value come from each device-segmented campaign at a higher level, whereas before you’d need to look at a segmented view in AdWords, which can be a bit of a mess to look at.

For more information, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter!

The Outranking Share Bidding Strategy & How You Can Use It

The Outranking Share Bidding Strategy, it’s meant to do one job: automate your bidding to outrank ads. But just what does that mean for you?

If you’re in a competitive market and you want to make sure you rank above your competitors, then this strategy might be for you. You simply identify the competitor you want to outrank, and then you set a maximum bid limit. You also set how much higher you want to rank above your competitor.

In the event that two competitors are engaged in outranking share bidding strategies against each other, the maximum bid limit will be the safeguard. The maximum bid limit will put a cap on how much to bid on a keyword when a competitor is also running an Outranking Share Bidding Strategy. This will prevent your CPCs from drastically increasing. Without the maximum CPC ‘safeguard’ in place, you should expect CPCs to potentially get a lot higher.

Outranking Share Bidding StrategyOne caveat to using an Outranking Share Bidding Strategy is that you should be prepared to raise your bids. This strategy might not meet your goals if the budget is limited.

In the auto industry specifically, don’t set this to an OEM if you are hitting your budget cap. This is especially important against competitors’ OEMs. The reason is that competitor OEMs often have a larger budget and are set up with a large bid to begin with. However, if you have room in the budget, then maybe this is something worth considering.

Another case for use of this bidding strategy is in mobile-only campaigns. Most times you will have a general idea of who is taking that first or second position away from you on a mobile device. Simply identify who the main competitor is, set the strategy with a large enough budget, and then sit and wait for the results!

Should You Use Responsive Ads?

In addition to Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s) Google has also recently released Responsive Ads – are they right for your business?

Depending on the website, you can feature different combinations of your Responsive Ads. A short headline with the description, a long headline and a description, or a short/long headline. All this means is that your ad will have more opportunities to reach your target audience while they spend their time online. Note that long headlines and description lines are 90 characters, while the short headline is 25 characters. They also allow for branding, since Google allows you to upload a logo and an image.

Increase your brand's awareness by including your logo

One concept to think about when using responsive ads is the number of characters you use in the headlines and the description lines. The possible combinations would mean that your ad will take on ad spots where your ad would make no sense without a concise message in the headlines. Additionally, because of the lack of control (i.e. telling Google an ad can only show if the description line shows), Google might feature your description but only half of it – due to the size of the ad. In other words: don’t say more than you need to!

Another point is that Google can’t show you previews for every type of ad , so the creative you come up with might not meet your expectations on different websites. It all heavily depends on where the ads are shown. I suggest controlling this by finding strong performing placements/websites where they show and excluding mobile apps at the campaign level.

Consider how to target the mobile market

At the end of the day, you should take advantage of responsive ads since they offer more than Google Text Ads. However, like anything else in an AdWords account, monitor them closely. You can let Google find strong performing websites, but rein in control right away when you find them. Don’t let these responsive ads run rampant! As soon as performance dips for an extended period of time let Google find better performing websites or change your creative and repeat the process.

Why Should You Hire an Agency to do Your AdWords?

Focus on your business knowing your advertising campaigns are in good hands!

Our Google Certified Paid Search Analysts have gone through extensive training internally, and are constantly learning new best practices, developing best practices for the auto industry, as well as investing in education and resources to make sure you succeed. Not only are we Google Certified for Google products, we are also well equipped to advertise on your behalf on other advertising platforms (Facebook & Bing).

Get an AdWords campaign that's tailored for your business

Continue reading “Why Should You Hire an Agency to do Your AdWords?”

Keyword Opportunity Analysis

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The main question answered with an opportunity analysis on new keywords is: ‘How can I spend my money and not have it drowned out by competitors?’

If a search query involves the make of a vehicle, you can almost guarantee that ‘OEM’ and at least one other OEM-related keyword are in the search results page. This also means that local dealerships are probably bidding on those keywords too. The best keywords are keywords that are being searched for often, get conversions, and which you can place in top positions. However, to find those keywords, you have to do a little keyword digging.

One place you can start with is the tool, Ad Preview. You can preview keywords you believe will be less competitive, and it will give you a chance to see what your competitors are doing. Typically, terms in ad copy are used as keywords. So Ad Preview can give you an idea of what other keywords competitors are using, as well as confirm or disprove your hunches about potential searches.

While Ad Preview is a great tool to see what the search results will look like, you still need to figure out just how much traffic those keywords can generate. Keyword Planner can tell you the average monthly searches, and Google determines the level of competition. While you can’t use this tool to gauge the exact amount of competitors, you can use it to gauge if your money will be drowned out. The Keyword Planner has accurate enough estimations of what a cost-per-click would be so you can tell right away if you have the financial means to bid on those keywords.

As long as you utilize a combination of Ad Preview and Keyword Planner, you’ll get a reasonable understanding of potential new keywords for your account.

Want to get a deeper analysis to gain more actionable insights? Or other methods of finding new keywords? Contact the Strathcom Media team to learn more!

Facebook Is A Must-Have Advertising Platform

In March 2016, Google came out with a case study that highlights how the modern car buying process predominantly involves digital interactions, 71% of which occurred on mobile devices. In November 2015 they stated that 1 in 4 car buyers turned to mobile every day to do research on vehicles prior to purchasing. Google’s 5 big moments should be something all digital marketers think about, which is why I think Facebook is an advertising platform that will strengthen any marketing efforts if executed properly.

Facebook advertising can help you generate more credible leads.Facebook has over 1.65 billion monthly Facebook users1 and that number grows each year. On average, users spend approximately 20 minutes on each Facebook session2. In Canada, about 21 million people are on Facebook and about 16 million of those users are on Facebook every day. Just the sheer amount of daily users should be enough to consider advertising on Facebook, and we haven’t even gone into the features and tools that help you get more leads and engage potential and past customers. Not to mention, you’ve probably heard more than once that everyone is always on their phone. Well, 1 out of every 4 minutes spent on mobile is spent on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Connect with potential customers via Facebook and InstagramIf you want to compete and get ahead of your competitors you should be where people spend their time – Facebook. Not only will people be familiar with your brand, but the people who are truly interested in purchasing will interact with you on Facebook. How, you ask?

  • Your ads can generate website or page traffic which can result in a lead.
  • Competing to engage with people interested in makes or models outside of your own.
  • Facebook allows users to fill out a form directly on the app or website.

The third point should stand out the most. Facebook has lead ads that allow users to fill out a form quickly through Facebook. You don’t even need to worry about a form being too long. Facebook pre-populates their info reducing the time it takes a user to fill out a form. Which means you get all the information you need to get more qualified leads.

Want the best strategies and optimizations for Facebook and Google? Contact one of our Strathcom Online Marketers to learn more.

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Fast Company

How Should I Target My Location?

If this question has never crossed your mind, it’s a good thing I’m asking it.

There are many ways to target one city or location, but some methods are going to be much more effective than others. It also depends on the size of your budget. Obviously the larger your budget, the more you can target in regards to location.

Geotargeting helps grow your business

So let’s consider your budget. Ask, “What locations can I effectively target with my budget?” Asking the right questions will move you one step closer to targeting more effectively. On top of that, if you are planning on expanding your location targeting, can you still afford to target that many locations with your current set of keywords? The last thing you want is for campaigns that are providing a strong ROI to be in the hot seat when you open up the location targeting because they become limited by budget.

Once you have the available locations you’re able to target with your budget with the current set of keywords (or the select few you’ve chosen), you can ask “Is this a radius target or specific target?” In my opinion, you should always be targeting specific locations if Google allows you to. Heck, if you can target individual postal codes within a location, do that! Only use a radius targeting zone if you can’t target specific individual towns or communities.

Choosing the right geotargets is critical

But why?

The reason is, if you know exactly what kind of performance data comes from each individual zone, you can make smart bidding decisions. Pay less for less qualified traffic. Pay more for more qualified traffic. Or you can simply make the decision to no longer actively target that location.

There is definitely some leg work to figure out this kind of information to make more informed decisions. If you need some help, or want even more advanced strategies contact one of our Online Marketing Managers for more helpful insights or advice.

The Importance of Top Positions on Mobile

 

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Do you like this Google search situation for your ads?

You should. Unlike with desktop, where you have 4 “on the top” search positions available to you, with mobile devices, you have only 2 positions (3, if you’re lucky). If you aren’t in the top positions, you’re missing out on big opportunities. Your mobile presence is important.

When you’re not in the top positions for mobile, you’re like a store in a strip mall, with an Open sign in the window–but you’ve placed the front door in the back.

Now that is just traffic that we’re referring to; you could be missing out on other opportunities as well. Being in the top positions means you get to leverage your ad extensions. If you’re not there, you may as well own a store, but have no showroom.

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Being in these top positions also puts you in an influential position. When you’re there, if there’s room for another ad, Google can decide to throw in a third sponsored ad. And if you and the other advertiser take the top positions, there’s a unique opportunity. When we add ad extensions (which perform well), Google will push out a third position, expanding your ad real estate. What’s the point? A higher click-through rate. More clicks means more traffic. More traffic means more opportunities for leads.

Finding the Difference Between Mobile and Desktop Visitors

Since Google has announced the types of online moments most relevant to a customer, we need to understand what our market is doing on our websites. The sooner we can deliver the information they want, the more useful we become to our users. One of the ways to identify these online moments is to dive into Google Analytics.

mobile users

Here’s a case for leveraging Google Analytics:

In an initial look at one of our clients, we found that one of the differences between mobile users and desktop users was  page views on certain pages.

What else did we find?

A lack of page views and a higher bounce rate on mobile for the Build and Price page and the Our Dealership/About Us page.

What does it mean?

If clicks could vote, they wouldn’t vote for those pages. It’s not that users don’t care about those pages, it’s just that they’re browsing with a different intent than if they were on desktop. So where did these users go? Most mobile users ended up exiting the website on inventory pages. They found the information they wanted, then left.

This means we should cater to what mobile users want and don’t want. Knowing this information, we’re not going to create sitelinks or set landing pages for content which isn’t useful or relevant to mobile users. Doing that doesn’t help the client.

Mobile optimization requires a different perspective and approach, and Google provides the tools needed to make decisions for mobile optimizations. The analysts at Strathcom can identify those optimizations which benefit Paid-Search performance and your company’s objectives and goals.

Driving Engagement on Facebook

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If you scroll down the news feed on Facebook you’ll probably encounter a video. And not just any video–it’s probably one that will make you at least consider watching. That’s all it takes to be successful on Facebook. Attention, in the world and age of mass information, is the currency potential customers will offer you. One of the best ways to get that currency is through engagement.

But how do you get engagement and what is that engagement worth to you? After all, at the end of the day, everyone should benefit. Here’s 3 ways to benefit:

  1. Videos (entertainment, viewability)
  2. Consistent, barrier-free value
  3. Sticky pages

Videos

Videos are the easiest way to deliver a message. Gaining access to information at the push of a button makes it a lot easier for the user to digest information. It’s also a good method to stand out from the competition. If the competition isn’t entertaining the same users you’re targeting, than you have an advantage.

Consistent, Barrier-Free Value

The more value you can provide, the better. However, the best value comes when the interested user doesn’t have to jump through many hoops to get it. In a Facebook post, try to give all the information you have. For instance, if there are multiple vehicles you’re promoting, provide all the information– don’t make the user search for it. Besides, the ‘read more’ option lets users sincerely interested in that information find what they want.

Sticky Pages

This is the result of a having a strong presence on Facebook. On your page, as you accumulate more and more content, you increase the time spent on your page. In addition, you’ll also very likely increase the chance someone views content on your page again. For a car dealership, it’s imperative that you interact with everyone at every level in the car-buying process. Even after they’ve purchased a vehicle, they now look to you for other services.

Bonus – Creating Organic Posts

 

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Always provide value in your posts. Whether your posts are to be entertaining or informational, make sure the user knows what they can get out of it!

And if you need help with your Facebook advertising, let us know!

Three Things You Need to Know About the New Bing Network

From February 18, 2016 onward, Bing Ads will further empower individuals and organizations to achieve more. How are they going to do that?

Bing has been in Google AdWords’ shadow for quite some time. With Bing’s new network (and with you in mind, of course), they’re lined up for growth and success.

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First, Bing has changed–and is still changing–the way we search. Let’s look specifically at Windows 10. In this latest version of Windows, you’re able to search for items right from your Bing-integrated start menu. It seems so simple. And that’s one of the reasons Bing has seen and will continue to see an increase in their searches–it’s so simple. Bing’s capabilities span across other devices, platforms, and partners such as the Xbox One, AOL, and the Wall Street Journal.

Second, Bing is setting up points of parity by remarketing the brand and offering an Ad Editor to Mac users for improved utility and usability. Bing wants to help you “Be There” during moments that matter, so these changes were no-brainers for ensuring advertisers had access to all the tools they might need with the Bing Toolkit.

Third, Bing’s statistics for search uniqueness are very attractive to individuals who love to test and then retest. Bing reports they get 1 in 3 of U.S. searches and 15 billion monthly searches around the globe. This number continues to grow. They even say 25 percent of clicks resulting from searches are exclusive to the Bing Network. This opens the door to so much more testing; for example, keywords that don’t work well in AdWords might be successful in the Bing Network.

Something Not Taught In School? – Copywriting for Conversions

If you write content, any kind of content, you probably wonder whether or not your copy is going to persuade someone to complete your desired action or conversion. The tips I’m going to share can be used for longer copy, but I mostly apply it to ads, Facebook posts, and landings page content that I write for increased conversion rates. Here we go!

Tip #1 Be Personal

Use you/your/I as much as you can. Especially if you’re posting in Facebook using your organization’s profile, you’re speaking to people – not another organization. Being personal will make your people feel like you’re another individual speaking directly to them, rather than a faceless corporation searching for sales.

Be personal, write on the individual level

Tip #2 It Doesn’t Have to Be Creative It Just Has To Have Resonance

Sometimes we think that we have to be creative, but you don’t always need to be. Your writing sales copy just needs to resonate with the person reading your content. As long as you’re accomplishing that you will see better results than if you focused on writing something unique or original that no one else has written about before.

Make content that resonates first, worry about originality after

Tip #3 Emotional First, Rational After

Appeal to people’s emotions. Then hit them with your rational argument. Popular emotions to appeal to are pride, fear, laziness, and approval. Rational arguments to make could be cost effectiveness, profit, and savings.

Tip #4 People Are More Likely To Read Headlines With The First Letter Of Every Word Capitalized

This is a North American thing. It won’t however be the same across the world, like in Europe, they might react better to headlines without the capitalization.

Capitalizing headlines tends to increase reader retention

Tip #5 No One Cares About Your Body Copy Unless They Care About Your Headline

You’re probably only reading this blog because the headline caught your eye, and it resonated with you. Spend most of your time thinking of a heading rather than the actual content. I spent 1/2 of the time working this headline with my colleagues and the rest on writing the content.

So follow these five tips in all of your ads, blogs, and social media posts, and soon you should notice greater reader retention and better conversion rates as a result!

Google’s Changes to Quality Score – What Does It Mean for You?

Quality Score is one of the key attributes in ensuring the success of your AdWords account. At the end of the day Quality Score does two things for you:

  • Enables your keywords to be eligible and tells Google your ads can be shown
  • Lowers your cost of advertising

Quality score can range from 1 through 10, 10 being the highest quality score can be and guarantees eligibility for your ad to be shown. Google wants to make sure that ads are relevant to the user, and a score of 10 proves this.

Continue reading “Google’s Changes to Quality Score – What Does It Mean for You?”