Last-Click Attribution is Fake News

The Stats: Conversion Rates, Goals & Assists

My personal favorite Wayne Gretzky statistic? If you take away all his goals and just count his assists, he would still have more total points in the NHL than any other player’s goals and assists. Combined.

It is worth noting, however, that a certain ageless wonder named Jaromir Jagr might just make this fact obsolete, depending on how much longer he can evade the chapped, grim clutches of Father Time. Especially remarkable, however, is that while highlighting the baffling number of career assists tallied by Jagr, the Great One remains the all-time leader in goals scored. It’s therefore safe to say that not all of his records are threatened by the mullet-icon. Continue reading “Last-Click Attribution is Fake News”

Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018

 

eMarketer.com recently published their report on Mobile Advertising in Canada and to no ones surprise, mobile is exploding. I wanted to condense and share some of the findings, but if you wanted to purchase the full report from eMarketer.com, you can find it here.

Before I get into the numbers, I wanted to give you an idea of what the end game for mobile is. Mobile has evolved to be a part of our lives; our phones are with us – for the most part – 100% of the time. Because of this, how much we use our phones to complete activities in our daily lives will only increase. It used to be just to make calls, then text as well, then email as well, then surf the internet on the early (crappy) mobile web browsers, then apps and so on. We even have the ability to track our health on our phone, and in a relatively short period, probably 10 years, when you go to the doctor’s office, you’ll just hand the doctor your phone, and it will have all your medical info and readings it has been taking since your last visit. Many companies are working on how the mobile phone will replace desktops, which – other than for work – have been declining in sales. Unless you need a desktop to run high powered programs like video/image editing or PC games, you’ll soon just have your phone and a couple monitors at home/work that you plug directly into.

 

Alright… onto the info:

Continue reading “Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018”

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

Continue reading “HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC”

Google Externship

Last week, Strathcom Media had the pleasure of hosting an exclusive 2-day “Google Externship” with Googler, Caitlin. As a first-time Edmonton-visitor, Caitlin was pleased to learn more about our Canadian culture and hear that Edmonton (yes, just Edmonton) was hosting 9 sold-out Garth Brooks concerts!

During her time with us, she was able to share her expertise of Google products and optimizations in order to help us improve some of our AdWords accounts. In addition to doing deep dives into specific accounts, she also provided us with insider tips and tricks on how to improve efficiency in our daily tasks and shared new insights and different ways to use Google products.Close-up view of Google apps on an Android smartphone, including Chrome, Gmail, Maps.

We all know the importance of Google and its impact on our daily lives. Whether it’s to learn more about a topic or to settle an argument, anyone can just “Google it” and find everything they need. In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and the use of search engines is expected to increase by another 15% in 2017. Additionally, 84% of new car buyers and 68% of used car buyers use Google in their shopping journey. Also, 75% of users do not scroll past the first page of search results, hence the importance of advertising.  As a Premier Google Partner, Strathcom understands how to get you noticed on the search results page.

Our ad operations and sales teams greatly benefited from Caitlin’s visit and we are now refreshed and ready to smash your advertising  goals out of the park!

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!

How are You Not Running a Paid Search Campaign for Your Dealership Yet?

While there is a good chance that your dealership is currently running a Paid Search Campaign, there are still (surprisingly) a good portion of dealerships that aren’t.

There can be many reasons for deciding not to: lack of marketing dollars, lack of expertise, lack of knowledge, lack of time, etc.

Nowadays, it goes without saying that businesses have a plethora of digital marketing options to choose from, but I’d like to make my case on why dealerships can’t afford not to be running a paid search campaign. Continue reading “How are You Not Running a Paid Search Campaign for Your Dealership Yet?”

What On-the-Lot Foot Traffic Data Reveals About Car Shopping

We know that car shoppers’ online behaviour is important, but that doesn’t mean that the behaviour of on-the-lot-traffic isn’t important, too.

mid age car shopper using cell phone on-the-lot

Google has recently released their data showing which month and which time of day the most people are visiting dealerships. Ten years ago, car shoppers were making an average of five visits to dealerships when searching for a car, but now the average car shopper makes only two dealership visits. This change in on-the-lot behaviour is why it’s important to make sure that you are showing your mobile ads to the right person, at the right time, to make sure that you are present for this stage of their car buying journey.

In order ensure your ads are in the right place at the right time, Google suggests adjusting your mobile budgets so your ads appear when people are searching for auto information in the vicinity of your dealership. They also suggest ‘day-parting’ so that your ads are delivered during the time of day that people are looking for information – during their lunch break, for example.

Another way you can effectively target on-the-lot shoppers is with Hyper (re)Targeting. With Hyper (re)Targeting, you can target on-the-lot customers in your dealership, your competitor’s dealership, or attending an automotive conference or auto show. You can even target specific postal codes down to a 50 meter radius.

To find out more about how you can be be present along every stage of your customers’ journeys, give us a call today!

eMarketer’s Automotive StatPack, 2016

eMarketer has released their Automotive StatPack for 2016. This statpack gives an overview of digital automotive trends in 4 categories:

  1. Industry Sales & Transactions
  2. Ad Spending
  3. Buyers & Consumer Behavior
  4. Consumer Attitudes Toward New Automotive Technology

Below is a quick summary of the report; even though it contains primarily U.S. data, there are still trends in ad spending for OEMs and Dealers, as well as changes in consumer behavior that are relevant to the Canadian market.

Happiness of Buying a New Car Continue reading “eMarketer’s Automotive StatPack, 2016”

Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto

Back in the fall, we attended Google Think Auto and gave you our key takeaways. Now Google has given us their top 5 principles from their 2016 Think Auto research!

Google talked to 5,000 Canadian car buyers while they were in the “thinking”, “researching”, and “buying” stages and found out how Canadians shop for cars and how dealers can reach them in the key moments of their buying journey. We have summarized the results of their research and what these results mean for Canadian car dealers.

customer buying stages

Continue reading “Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto”

Google’s Possum Update

Google's Possum UpdateHow significantly did the Possum update impact local search results in Google?

From the perspective of the local SEO results, Google’s most recent update was substantial.

Some major changes resulting from this update are:

1.  City Limits:
If a company’s brick and mortar location exists outside city limits, but most of its clients are within that city, it’s quite likely that search results have not been helpful to these businesses in the past. However, with the recent Possum Update, these issues have seemingly been fixed as city limits are playing a less prominent role in SERP. It is not yet confirmed whether or not Google Maps was given an update to accommodate this or if the search algorithm was tweaked. However, we do know progress is being seen.

2. Address Affiliation Filter:
In the past, the local algorithm filtered out local profiles that shared either a phone number or domain in order to weed out duplicates. In order for businesses to avoid being filtered out by Google in a situation like this, companies should provide a business license to Google, particularly if listings are negatively affecting their website rankings. This will distinguish the listing/domain from another business with the same address.

3. Location:
The new algorithm update is using IP address locations to ensure more detailed local results to nearby users. Further, Google has dedicated larger emphasis to location, which translates to the searcher’s location settings playing an increasingly large role in displaying and ranking which adds are viewable from which location.

For further information regarding Google’s Possum update, check out the link below!

http://searchengineland.com/everything-need-know-googles-possum-algorithm-update-258900

 

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.

mobile traffic

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

Cross-Device Remarketing, Finally!

Advertising has come a long way since the days of Madison Avenue executives, in their glass towers coming up with the next great marketing campaign.
madmen
We are able to target people based on age, gender, location, interest, if they are in the market to buy your product, and so much more. Remarketing (showing ads to someone that has previously visited your site but has not converted) is one of the coolest targeting methods, but for a long time there has been something us advertisers have been waiting for… cross-device retargeting.
Cross-device remarketing has been on our wish-list since 2013, and it’s crazy to think it has taken this long for Google to enable it.

Why is cross-device remarketing important?

To try and put this in perspective, let me ask you a question. How many devices do you use a day? 2… 3…? I personally use 5:
• Work Laptop
• Home Laptop
• Mobile Phone
• Tablet
• Apple TV

And according to Google, this is standard for the average person.

Up until now, if you wanted to remarket to someone like me, you had to do it separately for mobile and for desktop, which makes it tougher to keep your story consistent; and because most online conversions start on one device and end on another (60%), telling a single story, with consistent and linear branding to your audience, is essential. This is now possible with cross-device remarketing, where – in an advertising sense – you are able to view someone as a single person, instead of Person A on mobile an Person A on desktop.

This also give us greater control with how often those potential customers see your message, as we can cap the frequency your ads are shown overall to that person, instead of separately on mobile and desktop, which had the possibility to show your ads too often.
A user has to be signed into their Google account for this to work, but considering Google now has over 1 billion monthly active users, that is a big pool for you to pull from.

Want to start cross-device remarketing or have questions? Feel free to reach out to info@strathcom.com.

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!

Updates to AdWords Keyword Planner

Google announced an update to Keyword PlannerThe AdWords Keyword Planner tool is one of the best resources used by advertisers to pinpoint new opportunities and substantiate investment into paid search campaigns. Earlier this month, Google announced an update to the tool that would require users to have an active AdWords campaign in order to gain access to full data as well as restrictions to users with “lower monthly spend.” Unfortunately, the limited data from these restrictions includes broad ranges for potential search volumes that would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the Keyword Planner.

Although users of the AdWords Keyword Planner are accustomed to working with the ranges provided, which are rounded-up numbers divisible by 10, now the data is even more imprecise. The ranges provided to these restricted accounts are:

  • 0
  • 1-100
  • 100-1k
  • 1k-10k
  • 10k-100k
  • 100k-1m
  • 1m+

It would be reasonable to assume that smaller businesses have smaller AdWords accounts and therefore are likely to be impacted by this aspect to the update. According to Google, “most” advertisers will see the data as usual. Google did not provide specifics on what it deems to be “lower monthly spend,” and therefore at this time, it is unclear what the minimum ad spend is for full access to detailed search volume data.

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.

Double Serving

When working with clients that switch from another provider, we frequently notice that the old provider never actually cancels/ends the clients account and leaves it running… BONUS (Free AdWords) BUT in this case it can cause a ripple effect for the dealer and the new provider.

Not cancelling your original service can cause issues down the road

Continue reading “Double Serving”

Auto Service, Maintenance & Repair in Canada: Google Webinar Recap

Strathcom had the privilege of attending a webinar recently put on by Google and Mintel that focused on the issues and opportunities that exist for Canadian dealerships’ parts and service departments. Here are some key takeaways from Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst at Mintel.

parts & service department

The Issues

Canadians seem to be a little neglectful when it comes to vehicle maintenance! Mintel’s report shows that 19% of consumers bring their vehicles in for service just once or twice a year. Further to this, only 17% bring in their vehicle when there is an immediate problem. Whether it be financial barriers, scheduling barriers, or other barriers, consumers seem to be very hesitant to bring their vehicle in regularly.

There is also a strong presence of DIY (Do It Yourself) customers. About 10% of customers perform basic maintenance service on their own.

The Opportunities

  • Recent vehicle sales are up
  • Future sales projections are up. As millennials now represent 21% of the Canadian population, they are the most likely generation to purchase a new vehicle

This represents a great opportunity for service departments as these recent and future vehicle sales need to be serviced.


How to leverage this opportunity? What should dealerships focus on?

No surprises here…offering good customer service is a must. According to the findings, key components of exceptional service include:vehicle maintenance and service

  • Decreasing waiting periods
  • Having a mechanic or a repairman available
  • Offering free shuttle service
  • Offering a complimentary loaner car
  • Seamless spending: Assuring the shortest possible purchase path – challenge the convention with mobile technology and craft a payment process that makes it easy for the consumer
  • Making it easy to book an appointment – ask yourselves what prerequisite information is actually required. Are there ways to decrease the length or forms to make it more likely for consumers to submit the booking online?
  • Help owners track cost of ownership

Other ways to generate business from these opportunities include:

  • There is space for the service industry to leverage referral business generation. For example, UBER leverages digital referrals by offering a bonus to those that make the referral and those that receive the referral. Possible rewards could include a free car wash, or a discount, for example.
  • Consumers are also looking for tools that provide the reward / punishment system to help them better themselves. For example, just like Fitbit badge, digital achievements are acquired for achieving objectives.
  • Drive organic traffic by taking photos of your service and tagging photos to drive awareness among your customers’ networks. This is a great way to establish and expand on relationships on the digital space.
  • Attract the DIY customer by providing a high-level service class. This will facilitate relationship-building and rapport with the consumer.
  • The DIY customer can also be more price sensitive. Counter this by offering time sensitive promotions while the service bay isn’t heavily occupied.
  • Leverage YouTube advertising as DIY customers often consult YouTube for instruction on how to maintain their vehicle.
  • Perform efficient mobile marketing that will drive traffic with location based, long-tailed keywords
  • Customer service is still king: repeat business relies on good customer service

For more information, give us a call today! And for access to future webinars, subscribe to our newsletter!

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 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!