HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC

T-Shirt from HeroConf 2017 that says PPC Nerd

From April 17th-20th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest gatherings of PPC nerds in North America: HeroConf 2017 hosted in Los Angeles.  This was my first PPC conference and I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t have felt more at home at the conference among other people who live and breathe PPC.

It was a busy week filled with learning, networking, and free drinks. Despite all the fun, I came home excited to share my new knowledge with the Strathcom team. Here are my key takeaways about what to expect in the world of PPC in the future.

 

It’s Time to Move on From Last Click Attribution

Attribution Modeling was one of the hottest topics discussed at HeroConf. Speakers from all industries agreed that it’s time to ditch the last click model, and focus on other touchpoints that lead to a conversion. However, there is no magical way of knowing which model is right for you. Speaker Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics discussed the importance of not waiting around for the perfect model, but to test and test again. The only way to prove the value of attribution models is to test until you become less wrong. Attribution modelling is extremely important in the automotive industry as we move away from the standard sales funnel, to a customer journey with multiple touchpoints. By ignoring the touchpoints a customer reaches today, we may never see them again for another 3 years.

Integrate Your Paid Social & Paid Search Strategies

Marketers are making the mistake of not integrating search and social strategies, or choosing to ignore social all together. Keynote speaker Jason Dailey of Facebook’s US Agency Development team stressed the importance of running a social campaign along with search ads, and how to properly run the content together.

To no surprise to anyone, mobile is the leader in performance marketing channels, and is the key platform to integrating search and social. Jason mentioned that people are on their phones from when they wake up to when they go to bed, and are less distracted by things around when consuming content on their smartphones (as opposed to TV).

The key to integration is recognizing that search and social advertising have the same outcomes, but with different signals. On social media, we can identify our audience based on their profiles and engagement, but cannot identify their intent online. Paid search allows us to discover our customer’s intent with keyword targeting, but cannot identify who they are as a person. Integrating social and search brings us to the middle ground of the two to execute a successful online advertising campaign.

Making Sure Your SEO & SEM Get Along

My favorite session of the week was keynote speaker Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. Wil brought an exciting insight as an SEO expert on how paid listings should complement organic. As PPC analysts, it is so easy to forget why customers are using Google, and focusing too much on getting them in our sales funnel.  His key take way was optimizing for the real world, and making sure you answer the customer’s question. If your organic or paid listings don’t help the customer, another source will. A true example below shows that both ads on the top of the page have no mention of the price of a Toyota Rav4, and the answer is provided by a non-dealer website.  Making sure ad copy or ad extensions match the “why” of a consumer’s search will improve the quality of traffic SEO and SEM listings receive."how much is a rav4?" typed into Google Search

It would be difficult for me to include everything I have learned in a single blog post. HeroConf 2017 was a great experience and provided so much insight into how to succeed in PPC in 2017. Can’t wait to return next year in Austin!

Social Advertising in a Mobile First World

mobile devicesThe mobile consumer experience is rapidly changing. Consumers are checking their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones when they wake up, and before they go to bed. At this point, it is no secret that your business needs to be reaching customers on social media. How does your business stand out from the other content your customers are consuming daily? The optimal consumer experience consists of three things: using the power of videos, content consumption, and the quality of engagement.

Videos are becoming an important form of expression and communication over social media. Gone are the days of long statuses or posts to express yourself. Individuals are now sharing short videos to convey a message. However, most people don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to view it. To get your customer’s attention, make sure the message of your video can be expressed without sound. Use text or subtitles in your video to get the customer to focus on your ad for a few seconds.

“Thumb stopping” content is one of those buzzwords everyone is using. But how do you create content that will stop people from scrolling?

Two women sitting in a bar and staring at mobile phones - Girls watching a video online on portable device

People recognize pictures more than they recognize a wall of text. You may provide the best description of your business possible, but if you are not utilizing photos, or using very dull photos, no one is going to recognize your brand in the future. You need to also consider the age of your target demographic. Younger people tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, whereas older individuals tend to take their time. You should use interesting graphics to capture a younger audience, and consider using quality photos to keep an older audience interested in your post.

The quality of engagement on social media is no match to other platforms. Individuals are more attentive and more positive to their experiences on mobile versus other platforms such as television. Even though smartphone screens are smaller than a flat screen TV, individuals are more focused to the content on their phones due to less distractions around them.

It’s time to revamp your social media strategy and Strathcom Media can help! Reach out to our sales team today to get started.

What IS Attribution Modeling?

Ever wonder why the conversion data in your Analytics account is different from AdWords?  That is because of attribution modeling. An attribution model is a rule or multiple rules that are assigned to different touchpoints in a conversion path.  Consumers may interact with multiple touchpoints during their purchasing journey. Attribution models help marketers develop a better understanding of how to optimize their website and online advertising to facilitate a consumer’s conversion path. There are 6 Attribution Models: Last Click, First Click, Linear, Time Decay, and Position-Based.

Google Analytics

Last Click Model

The last click model gives all credit of the conversion to the last ad and the corresponding keyword. This model is best suited for when your advertising goal is to attract people at the moment of purchase, or your sales cycle does not include a consideration phase. This is the default model in AdWords.

In the automotive purchasing journey, car shoppers experience many touchpoints before they commit to a purchase. According to Google, a consumer can have over 900 digital interactions over a 3-month period. By only tracking with the last click model, we are missing out on the hundreds of interactions before the final conversion.

First Click Model 

The first click model gives all credit of the conversion to the first clicked ad and keyword. This model is helpful when tracking initial brand awareness. If you are trying to build your brand, this model will help track when your customers are first exposed to your brand.

Linear Model

The linear model gives credit of the conversion across all of the touchpoints in the path. For example, your Paid, Organic, and Social channels will all equally contribute to the conversion. You will use this model if you want to maintain a presence with the customer throughout the entire purchasing journey. All of your campaigns are equally important during the buying process.

Time Decay Model

This model gives more credit to clicks that happen closer to the time of the conversion. If a customer clicked on your Facebook ad a week ago and never converted, but converted an hour after clicking your paid search ad, your paid search ad will be given more credit to the conversion than the Facebook ad. Advertisers who run short promotions will find this model most useful to give more credit to interactions that happened during the days of the promotion.

Position-Based Model

Position-based model gives 40% of the credit to the first and last clicked ads, and spreads the remaining 20% across all other touchpoints. Advertisers who use this model value the first interaction that introduced the costumer to the brand, and the last interaction that lead to a sale.

Fractional conversion credits are available to accounts that follow an attribution model that attribute fractional credit for each conversion across multiple clicks. The fractions are represented as a decimal such as 0.33 or 0.5 to give an accurate representation of the credit of the keyword or ad.

At Strathcom Media, our advertising experts have the skills and the tools to track all of the necessary touchpoints to understand your consumer purchasing journey. Interested in making the most of your online advertising with attribution modeling? Contact our sales team today to get started on a smarter way to advertise online!

Google and Facebook Ban Advertising from ‘Fake News’ Sites

Hot off the trails of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, internet conglomerates like Twitter, Google and Facebook have decided to prevent websites that publish falsified content from utilizing their respective advertising networks. The decision came after the companies were criticized for allowing fake news and false advertising to spread throughout the internet without any credible fact checking.Twitter, Facebook and Google after the U.S. election

Facebook is used by over 1 billion users worldwide and has been considered a primary news source for many adults. This new policy only applies to advertising and does not affect content shared between users’ newsfeeds.

In the past, Google has implemented policies against false advertising and the spread of inaccurate media; for example, when Google restricted the advertising of counterfeit products and weight-loss pills.

The goal of Strathcom’s advertising efforts is to provide customers with a relevant and quality experience. We always strive to maintain optimal Google and Facebook advertising accounts.

Car Parts & Service: The Auction Your Dealership Is Missing Out On

The hard truth: winter is coming. And with winter, comes white walkers snow and ice that require consumers to switch from their summer to winter tires. Car parts and services search queries happen year round, but many queries see huge seasonal peaks that your dealership should be capitalizing on.  With the looming seasonal change upon us, is your dealership ready to face the long night?

Continue reading “Car Parts & Service: The Auction Your Dealership Is Missing Out On”

Expanded Text Ads Best Practices

Expanded Text Ads (ETA's)

As of July 26th, Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s)  officially rolled out for advertisers everywhere. With up to 50% more ad space, text ads will now consist of 2 Headlines, an 80 character description line, and 2 display URL paths. With all of these new additions, how can we properly optimize these ads for the best performance? Here are 3 things you should be doing in your ETA’s to generate the best results:

1) Still include a standard text ad in the mix

Although standard text ads are expected to go extinct by October, you shouldn’t neglect the past format just yet. If you have a standard ad that is successful at generating qualified leads for your company, keep it in the mix with your ETA’s so you don’t lose out on proven leads.

2) Include the Call To Action (CTA) in one of the headlines

With the standard format, 25 characters was only enough for a headline indicating what your product or service was. Now with 2 headlines, you can now encourage customers to engage with your ad right when they see the ad. Don’t bury your CTA in the description line.

3) Optimize for clicks or conversions

Picking the right ad rotation is crucial in maintaining optimal campaign performance. By rotating for clicks or conversions, we can be sure that the ETA with the higher likelihood of desired performance will be shown more frequently.

ETA’s are a historic innovation coming from Google AdWords. If you are interested in how your dealership can start introducing ETA’s to your strategy, contact Strathcom Media today!

The Google Click to Text Beta: What It Can Do For You

We all know the importance of mobile advertising strategies to generate phone calls to your business, but how about getting customers to text you as well?  Similar to the click to call ad buttons, Google is testing the ability for customers to send an SMS to your business. With a simple tap of the icon, Google will launch the customer’s primary texting app, with a prefilled message containing your business’ information, and a message you can control.

Google's click-to-text feature gives your customers a whole new way to communicate!

Continue reading “The Google Click to Text Beta: What It Can Do For You”

Automotive Marketing: 4 Strategies to Drive Leads on Mobile

The shift to mobile is happening and there is no doubt that consumers are making most of their purchasing decisions based on searches from their mobile device. According to a U.S. study, 4 out of 5 car shoppers use their phones in the purchasing process, and 63% of shoppers are still shopping on mobile while at a dealership. With 86% of consumer research being done online, how does your dealership stand out in a mobile-driven world? Here are some mobile-driven strategies to help your dealership win mobile moments.mobile

1.    Calls are the Most Important Conversions

Before shoppers visit a dealership in-person, they’re likely going to make a phone call instead of using email, chat, text, or social media. 60% of car shoppers would use a “call” button if it were available in a search ad. Call extensions should be a standard feature to your mobile ads, but making sure your call extensions are running during your operating hours, and are tracking Call Forwarding numbers will drive your dealership phone leads.

Optimizing your mobile site to allow phone calls can also increase your dealership’s mobile performance. If you are only tracking form completions from your mobile site, you could be missing half of your website conversions.

2.    Target Automotive Keyword Trends with Mobile Ads

Thanks to search term reports, marketers have easy access to the search terms that are rising in the mobile landscape. Since 2015, there have been two keyword trends that are increasing in popularity in mobile auctions:

  1. Price Searches: more shoppers are searching for the prices of their vehicle of interest on mobile. By targeting “MSRP” and price keywords, you can help shoppers make quick decisions regarding the vehicle they’d like to purchase.
  2. Near Me Searches: 80% of searches for “car dealership near me” were made on mobile. By enabling location extensions, you can appear on the top results for shoppers looking for the nearest location to them.

3.    Target On-the-Lot Shoppers

Shoppers carry their mobile phones everywhere they go. Even once a shopper arrives at the lot, they are still comparing price and inventory with other local dealerships. Here are the strategies you should use to target on-the-lot shoppers:

  • Run geotargeted ads for your dealership, and your competitors
  • Use ad copy emphasizing savings and inventory
  • Include call extensions so customers can quickly connect with your team

4.    The Power of Facebook

Canadians spend one out of every four minutes of their time spent on mobile surfing Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is effective in the consideration phase of the customer journey since targeting includes options such as vehicles of interest, current vehicle, life events, and many more. Utilize Facebook ad formats and targeting to reach your customers where they are the most.

Mobile marketing can provide your dealership with plenty of strategies to drive sales offline. Don’t let your dealership fall behind on the shift and contact the experts at Strathcom Media at 1 (888) 914-1444.

Your Guide to Google Engagements Ads: What are they and who should use them?

Step up your strategy on the Google Display Network (GDN) and increase user interaction with Google Engagement Ads. Rolled out by Google in 2013, Engagement Ads allow advertisers to use rich media ads that allow your customers to engage with your ads. Compared to traditional Display Ads in the GDN – that use still images to entice users – Engagement Ads give the customer a choice to play a video, or interact with an expanded canvas. If you’re a business who is looking to improve your GDN game, or to engage with your consumers, look no further.

GDN ads help engage potential customers.

Continue reading “Your Guide to Google Engagements Ads: What are they and who should use them?”

Include Bing in Your Online Marketing Portfolio

As a Google Search Partner agency, Strathcom believes we have the highest standards in Google AdWords advertising. We apply the latest tools and strategies to maintain top-performing accounts. But often overlooked is our ability to provide excellent performance on the Bing Ads Network. Bing has grown quickly to become Google’s top competitor in the search engine market, so it’s important for your business to not overlook its potential. But which platform is the best for you? Look no further, as we breakdown some of the highlights of advertising with Bing.

Bing

Bing’s Ads Platform is Identical to Google AdWords

Setting up and maintaining your account on Bing is practically identical to Google. The same tools and metrics used to measure the performance of your AdWords accounts are also used in Bing. Plus, you are able to import your AdWords campaigns directly to Bing , so you won’t have to recreate campaigns that have proven performance. Bing also provides a similar tool to AdWords Editor, conveniently named Bing Editor, which allows you to make changes to your account offline.

Setting Monthly Budgets to Campaigns in Bing

A feature available exclusively to Bing is the ability to set your budgets to a dollar amount that will be spread throughout the month, as opposed to capped each day. This ensures that your monthly budget is spent accurately instead of being over/under-spent during the month due to your daily pacing.

Bing Ad Group Settings

Unlike Google, which limits settings on only the account and campaign levels, Bing allows you to make settings at an Ad Group level. For individual ad groups, you can set advanced settings such as geo targeting, language, and ad distribution. This means that if you would like to advertise your pickup trucks to rural communities surrounding your dealership, but the sedans within city limits, you can do that without having to create multiple campaigns.

Multiple Bid-Adjustment Options in Bing

Google AdWords gives advertisers the ability to increase/decrease bids for mobile devices, locations, and the time of day, depending on performance. Bing takes bid adjustments one step further and gives advertisers the ability to modify bids for tablets and smartphones, age groups, and gender. If you’re noticing that the tablet traffic indicates high interest in your SUV inventory from females between the ages of 35-49, then you can set bid adjustments to capitalize on the opportunity.

Still not Convinced?

If you’re confident that killing it on Google is enough for your online advertising strategy, think again. Compared to Google, there is very little competition in Bing auctions, meaning a lower cost-per-clicks, better average positions, and higher click-through-rates for similar content. Also, when you combine Bing’s 13% share of the search engine market with Google’s 71%, you can conquer almost 85% of available searches in your market. At Strathcom, we provide optimal advertising performance on both Google and Bing. Call our team at 1-(888)-914-1444 to find out how you can get started in online advertising!