Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics

Young man at the psychotherapist, lying on couch, emotionally speaking, discussing with psychotherapist his problems, practitioner making some notes. Horizontal photo banner for website header design

In the 70s people hung out at roller disco rinks wearing bellbottom jeans and big perms. In the 80s they hung out at the arcade, and acid-washed denim was all the rage. Fast forward to 2018 and all the cool kids are wearing morose, Zuckerberg-esque heather grey hoodies, sitting in independent coffee shops, spending their time on Google Analytics.

Okay, maybe not quite. But if you’ve been hanging around in Google Analytics lately, you’ve probably seen a few new things pop up. And while we’d never toot our own horn about how cool we are (*sound of crickets*), we do know a thing or two about Google Analytics. Cool or not, you can never say we’re not helpful, so here’s a quick summary of those new features and how they can make your life easier. Continue reading “Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics”

What’s New and Exciting in Google Analytics for 2018?

We as customers have very high expectations for relevant and customized content from businesses. Google is always trying to improve and understand the user’s journeys and find new ways to deliver us that data.

According to Google, almost 90% of marketing executives say that understanding user journeys across channels and devices is critical to marketing success.

So let’s take a peek at the four new features in Google Analytics for 2018 to help us better understand our customers. Continue reading “What’s New and Exciting in Google Analytics for 2018?”

Analytics Intelligence

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

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

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

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

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!

How to Reach More Customers in January, According to Google

As we near the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, Google has shared 4 ways that you can optimize your online strategy this year according to their data.categories seeing higher traffic from Google in January 2016 than October 2015

Use click share to drive more engagement

We all know that, generally, the closer to the top position you are on Google, the higher engagement you will see from shoppers; especially on mobile. As shown in the chart below, for the Vehicles & Parts category you will need about a 15% click share to be competitive in reaching the top positions. How do you increase your click share? Increasing your bids as well as your ad relevance are good places to start.

Create a strategic seasonal campaign

Having a separate campaign for certain products at certain times (winter tires, for example) allows you be more flexible with your budgets for these products.

Use custom labels to create seasonal product groups

Use custom labels to create a segmented product group in your campaign for products like winter accessories for vehicles. This allows you to adjust your bids for winter accessories and to monitor your click share.

Remarket your products to previous shoppers

Remind your customers of the products they viewed in the holiday season but didn’t convert on – chances are they are still interested in finding the best deal!

For more information on how to optimize your site for the Google SERP, give us a shout or subscribe to our newsletter!

Think with Google – Online Video Planning

Camera lens with lense reflections.

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.

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

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!

Bounce Rate: The Misunderstood Metric

Bounce Rate: the misunderstood metric

Today the internet is celebrating  it’s 25th birthday. In the early days, when people were still learning what makes the internet tick, they kept hearing about one metric: bounce rate – bounce rate – bounce rate. We were told that this was the metric we need to keep an eye on. High bounce rate was the smoke signal showing you may have issues on your site, causing people to view the page they landed on and leave. Even back in the early 2000’s bounce rate was a misunderstood metric, but 25 years later, in today’s world of online advertising, complex design, and extensive data, the relevance of bounce rate is only getting smaller and smaller.

How is bounce rate calculated? Google explains bounce rate like this” “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)”. To put that simply. If someone only views a single page or your website and leaves (bounces) that will increase your bounce rate.

bounce rate formula

Why Do People Think Bounce Rate Is Important? People assume if someone hits a single page and leaves the site, there must be something wrong with that page, why else would they leave and not continue on exploring the site? This is a legitimate question, but the answer depends on the situation. Maybe all the info the user needed was on that one page – Google doesn’t look at the amount of time they spend on that single page. I could spend 7 minutes reading about the 2013 Ford F150 you have in stock, call the dealership to book a test drive (which would be considered a success) but Google Analytics is going to show that as a bounce.

Bounce rate is even more watered down when you are running online advertising. Many online advertising campaigns target specific people searching for specific things. Landing pages for online advertising are designed specifically to remove the temptation of exploring the site. You want that user to see your ads, click to get to the landing page that is most relevant to the ad, and take the desired action; whether it be filling out a form, calling, printing off a coupon etc. If that person does the desired action, that is a success, a success by every metric except for bounce rate. This is why bounce rate is no longer the key performance metric you once thought it was.

So what metrics should I be using to determine if my site is working well? Unfortunately, there is no simple or single answer to this. You have traffic coming from many sources, and the different people from those different sources interact with the site differently. You may think time on site is a good metric, but you’ve noticed it go down. Is this bad? Maybe something needs to be done and let’s redesign your whole site! But did you also notice that the amount of traffic from mobile and tablet has gone up? People visiting the site on mobile spend less time on the site than those visiting from desktop, so now that drop makes sense. The solution is not to look at your traffic as a whole but to segment out the traffic. Look at the sources of traffic individually and whether they are going up or down. Look at what devices people are coming from, and check out behaviour flow to see how they are flowing through your site.

You should have access to your Google Analytics, your website provider has no good reason to keep that from you, so make sure you have access and go in and look around, if you see anything you don’t understand ask you website provider or drop us at Strathcom a line and we can help decipher the data for you. Data is power, but only if you look.

User viewing many pages online

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?”

Why You Can’t Afford to Skip YouTube

YouTube has about 16.6 million unique users in Canada; if you are not advertising your dealership on YouTube, you are leaving out this audience and these potential customers. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip YouTube.

Before you get into the reasons why YouTube is absent from your marketing portfolio, let me tell you that recent studies have shown that viewers retain 95% of information from video ads as opposed to just 10% from text ads. With advertisers being charged only when users watch their videos, YouTube is one of the most effective and cost-efficient channels to market your business and yet, surprisingly, is also one of the most underused channels in the automotive industry!

Users aren’t just watching videos, they’re also being impacted by them. About 70% of car shoppers say that YouTube influences their purchase decisions. YouTube lets dealerships reach new visitors who are not only interested in their business, but also eager to take action. With call-to-actions on video ads, YouTube also allows potential customers to connect with dealers to begin their car-buying experience. Studies show that 49% of vehicle shoppers who watch a YouTube video ad end up visiting a dealership.

Don't Skip YouTube
Don’t Skip YouTube

YouTube also allows dealers to remarket to specific audiences. This audience might include users who interacted with your ads and are much more likely to be receptive to additional brand messages. Remarketing can reach users who have already shown interest in your dealership and bring them to your website. By letting you reach your most valuable customers, this can lower your cost per acquisitions. And yes, we just touched on one of the reasons that should make YouTube very attractive to your dealership. It is highly cost-effective, costing you only pennies to get your message in front of interested buyers.

Google researchers found that 92% of vehicle consumers visit YouTube every month. With an eager and interested audience like that just waiting to be engaged by compelling offers and enticing visual messages, there are more than 16.6 million reasons why you should be advertising on the world’s second-largest search engine.

Start building an effective YouTube campaign with Strathcom Media today! Call our team at 1-888-914-1444.

Keyword Opportunity Analysis

keyword

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!

Strathcom Media, Your Premier Google Partner!

These days, it seems that everyone is a Google Partner. Google has recently revamped their partnership program, and we are excited to announce that Strathcom Media is now a Premier Google Partner – the highest possible partnership level! So, what does this mean, exactly? Premier Google Partner

It means that Strathcom Media has delivered strong client and agency growth. Google awards this status to small-medium sized businesses that are experienced in managing large campaigns.

What does this mean for our customers? First, it means that you can rest assured that we know what we’re doing when it comes to making the most of significant AdWords investments. It also means that Strathcom is going to have more Executive Business Trainings that will make us more knowledgeable and able to share more insights and recommendations with you!

For more information about our partnership with Google and how you can benefit from this partnership, drop us a line at (780) 433-8844 or  info@strathcom.com!

 

No Bullshit Here! Google Comes to Edmonton

Google Event

June 23 was our first Google Event in Edmonton and it was a huge success! This event was special not only because it was the first event of its kind in Edmonton, but also because it was the official launch of our non-automotive division – The UnAgency. Check out our full blog post, as well as our band new UnAgency website here!

 

Google+ Local – A Business’s First Impression

It’s time to buy a new car – you know your favorite brand and you’ve done your research on the models you want to try, but where should you start?

How does a customer decide which store to go to, the location, or even which phone number to call? With Google processing over 40,000 search queries every second, the possibility that a buyer may start on the web are extremely high. Google is currently being utilized by over 85% of today’s users, and can easily function as a primary connection between the customer and dealer.

Typing Into Google Search EngineBy typing a business into the Google Search engine, a quick search can produce millions of results for a user to choose from. But which one do they choose? A dealer who takes into account the importance of Google’s marketing ability will recognize that a proper search will pull up a link to the main website, quick links to many frequently sought out pages, as well as the convenient, easy to read Google+ Local page.

This area on the right hand side provides a first glance at the business. User friendly and appealing to the eye, the Google+ Local business page provides potential customers with quick links and more.

Professional photos, a map to the location, reviews, hours, and contact information give the customer access to everything needed to get a first impression and seamless accessibility to contacting the business.

Data shows that Google+ Local has had a steady increase in interest and users through to the year 2016. What better way to showcase a first look at your business than to do so with a strong development like Google+ Local!

From a business owner perspective, Google+ Local is easy to use and update. Plus enjoy the benefit of Strathcom Media tracking your reviews so that your business maintains a quick response rate.

Happy Customers with Google+ Local

Don’t overlook this simple business tool. Google+ Local is a first impression before the customer steps through the door!