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

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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. Continue reading “Social Advertising in a Mobile First World”

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?

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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!

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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!

Conquering Mobile Conversions Part 1: The Moments That Matter

Going into 2016, Google reported some big changes in the way consumers are researching and purchasing online. Google has reported that 86% of research is done on mobile, and 52% of these searches are done during work hours. It’s pretty clear we are shifting to a mobile driven world, when we consider these additional stats: we are checking our phones 150 times, and spending 177 minutes on our phones a day.

Customers are spending more and more time on their smartphones

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The New Google-Yahoo Search Agreement

Google continues to hold the lion's share of the search engine market.

 

After taking a break, Yahoo and Google are getting back together in a new, non-exclusive relationship.  Yahoo has revealed a three year deal with Google that will allow Google to supply search ads to Yahoo’s search results page.  The deal sets up Google to provide search results and ads for an undisclosed amount of Yahoo search queries. The ads will appear on desktop and mobile platforms.  The new deal comes long after Yahoo and Google ended their first search advertising relationship in 2004 when Yahoo decided to develop its own service, Gemini.

Still have questions about the deal? Here are several other things you need to know:

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Google Removes Right Side Ads from Desktop SRP

Big changes are coming from the forces over at Google. As of February 19th, 2016, Google has removed the ability to serve ads on the right hand side of the desktop’s search results page. This means ads must place on the top three positions, or fall to the bottom of the page, to be seen on a consumer’s search result page.

Google has removed ads from the right side of the SRP

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#FAIL: 5 Things You are Doing Wrong on Instagram

We hope we have you convinced by now that your dealership should be on Instagram and that it’s important to your brand development. The insane growth of the app presents a great opportunity to define your brand and increase your presence on the mobile network. With over 400 million users worldwide, Instagram has now surpassed Twitter as the largest mobile photo-sharing app in the world.

Considering the amount of active Instagram users, it should be easy to collect a significant following in your area with some simple hashtags and nice pictures–but your dealership account can’t seem to break 10 Likes or increase followers. Instagram is so much more than a Valencia filter and #yeg. Let us help you get past the 5 mistakes you might be making and that you don’t want to throwback to.

Instagram-256

  1. Not Having an Optimized Profile

When a customer searches for your brand, there is nothing worse than for them to land on a private account. This makes your brand appear closed and selective, and customers do not want to be granted permission to view what you have to offer. Public accounts allow you to be easily accessible and approachable, and give them a visual glimpse of your brand.

It’s also important to fill in the Bio section of your profile. Use keywords to help customers find you, and include your website to encourage visits and leads.

  1. Misusing Hashtags

Maybe you aren’t using enough hashtags for interested customers to find you, and this means fewer interactions with your posts. More hashtags equals more Likes and comments, and Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per image. Start by testing 5 different hashtags per post until you’ve collected a significant amount of tags to use in every post and guarantee results.

  1. Only Posting & Not Engaging

Like on Facebook, users on Instagram want a glimpse into your brand, and to interact with whatever posts interest them. By replying to comments on your posts, you are demonstrating you’re a dealership that’s excited and committed to customer interaction and service.

  1. Too Promotional

Instagram is a great platform to promote any deals and specials running at your dealership. However, your profile should not be cluttered with promotional images that overshadow any of the personal content you post. Limit promotional posts to once a week, or get in touch with our team to start Instagram Advertising.

  1. Not Having a Plan

Like with other marketing tools you use at your dealership, always have a plan for what outcomes and goals you want to achieve through Instagram. Is it to promote a lifestyle or community engagement? Avoid random posting, but also make sure you have a consistent schedule for when and what content you plan to post to your account.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and we can ensure these words are being heard. Instagram is not your grandparents’ social network, and you can turn hashtags into dollars for your dealership. Contact Strathcom Media today to find out what we can do to improve your Instagram presence!

How To Revamp Your Search Strategy with Audiences

In the world of Google Search, keyword targeting has become the most specific method of reaching out to customers with the intent of purchasing the products and services your dealership has to offer. Traditional keyword targeting also ensures ads are within relevant context by including several metrics such Quality Score and Click-thru-Rate.  However, no matter how granular you try to be in your keyword basket, it’s difficult to understand audience behavior based on their keyword searches.

The first resource most people turn to when searching for their next vehicle.

With the launch of remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA); intent, context, and audience were combined to create a search campaign tailored to past visitors of your site who are searching Google for your dealership, vehicles, and services.  Since implementing RLSA’s to our accounts’ strategy, remarketing has now proven to be as successful at targeting past website visitors on the Display and Search Network.

Modern advertising involves targeting the individual.

Now, we are able to combine the success of keywords and RLSAs by adding different ‘bid only’ audiences to your targeting strategy in the Search Network. By adding different audiences to our ad groups, we can serve ads and unique landing pages depending on the audience the customer belongs to, the next time they conduct a generic Google search.

For example, we can add shoppers looking to buy a Honda Civic and a Honda CR-V on separate lists, and the next time these users search for “new Honda”, we can serve them either Civic or CR-V specific ads with landings pages that lead them to claim an offer or book a test drive for their desired model.

Targeted marketing can increase your sales

Coupled with Customer Match targeting, we can move prospecting car buyers down the conversion funnel from researchers to loyal customers.

Here at Strathcom, we are dedicated to improving our skills and knowledge by staying up to date on all new PPC trends and products. Call us today to get started on your new PPC account!

A Morsel of Structured Snippets

Ad extensions are a proven method of improving ad performance metrics by providing more relevant information extended from your ads. By implementing ad extensions, you can expect two things:

  1. Greater visibility of your ads: ad extensions are viewed at the top of the Google Search Network, instead of at the side of the search results page. They are also helpful in improving your ad position; if competing ads have equal bid and quality, the ad with relevant ad extensions will appear higher than the other.
  2. Improved ROI:  gain valuable clicks to generate profitable customer traffic. Your click-through-rate will thank you as well.

Example of a location extension

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