Are Your Ads Mobile-Friendly?

Women hold the phone to enter the code to get a discount from the store. The concept of providing marketing services on the internet for easy access to information.

We’ve all heard it before, “the world is going mobile”. But that’s old news. As a matter of fact, the world is not going mobile — it’s already there (and that’s not just my opinion either). According to a recent study done by comScore, Canadians spend 59% of their total internet time on their smartphone. That’s an average of 3,927 minutes per user per month, and counting!

If you’ve got a website, you’ve probably got the mobile side covered, right? Site speed and responsive layouts are pretty well a mandatory feature if you want to reach (not to mention engage) as many visitors as possible.

But how about your ads? Are they also mobile-friendly? Continue reading “Are Your Ads Mobile-Friendly?”

How To Avoid Scammers

Scam sign

We’ve all had it happen to us at one point in our lives; a deal too good to be true, a stranger that was just too nice. And there is a name for those people scammers! Scammers have been around for a long time, and will continue to operate in their shady ways if there are people and businesses around to scam. Often, if you have an online business, these scammers appear in the form of 3rd party companies claiming to be from Google and claiming they can improve your search ranking (or offer services that Google already provides for free).  Not only is this frustrating for small business owners, but Google isn’t too happy about it either. Continue reading “How To Avoid Scammers”

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”

3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google

In a recent edition of Google Best Practices they laid out the difference between auction-time quality and the 1-10 quality score. Regarding your quality score, here are 3 things that matter:

  1. The User’s Device
  2. Relevance
  3. Performance on Related Keywords

Hands typing on laptop computer - there are several misconceptions about quality score on Google

I don’t think that there is anyone out there that can argue that these factors do not effect your quality score. But here are some factors that, contrary to some opinions, do not matter: Continue reading “3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google”

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”

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”

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!

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?”

Most Googled Car Brand by Country

Ever wondered what brands are most popular in other countries? The British based auto parts retailer ‘Quickco” analyzed the most searched car brands on Google throughout 2016.

The most Googled car brands

As we can see from the findings, nationalist tendencies seem to be more apparent in Europe than the anywhere else; with Sweden, Germany, France and Italy all remaining homegrown in their brand searches.  As always, a few nations failed to provide data for the study, it’s hard to imagine what brand North Korea might have made up for this study.

Perhaps for some, the biggest surprise was to see BMW (a relatively small company) take 2nd place overall. However, if you’re a follower of BMW on social media this global presence is something you likely comprehend wholeheartedly. For the past three years BMW has created dedicated social marketing campaigns (remember the ‘Drift Mob’ video?)  to assure brand reputation and user engagement. With over 19 million fans of BMW’s Facebook page, the online initiatives seem to be paying off both at home in Europe and abroad as BMW sits only below Toyota in Google searches across the globe.

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”

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!

Click-to-Message Ads: Starting Conversations Even Quicker

The latest and greatest from Google AdWords: Click-to-message ads.

Earlier this year, Google announced a new beta that would allow advertisers to augment their search ads with an SMS feature so customers could send the business a text message. With Google Consumer Surveys reporting that 65% of customers would rather learn more about a product or service through a message, it was only a matter of time before such an extension was developed. After a couple of months of successful testing, Google is now rolling out click-to-message ads out globally.

So how do these click-to-message ads look? Google played around with a couple different layouts throughout the beta testing and promises to keep testing different layouts, but it looks like the final layout has the feature sit at the bottom the ad, accompanied with a custom call-to-action.

Click to Message Image

When a customer taps the message icon on their phone, the texting feature of their phone is opened with a pre-populated message (as set by the advertiser) to help streamline conversations even further for the customer. For those who are looking to send a more creative message, the customer will also have the opportunity to edit the message before sending it off.

Be sure you are catering to your mobile customers and take advantage of this stellar feature today. Stay tuned for some best practices and initial performance highlights!

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

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.

Google Kitchener-Waterloo Breakfast Highlights

Baristas, hidden rooms, a cyborg moose, oh my!

cyborg moose at Google Kitchener-Waterloo

This week I had the privilege of visiting the newest and coolest Google office, located in Waterloo, to learn how dealers can capitalize on  their  fixed ops departments.  Here are just some of great stats that Google shared in their presentation:

  • $19 billion is spent annually on automotive parts and service in Canada
  • 80% of consumers who service their vehicle at your dealership are 2 times more likely to make a purchase from your dealership
  • Parts and Service queries peak in October and November

We also got to see some great stats from this year’s Think Auto Study:

  • 55% of buyers use their smartphones to research vehicle models while on the lot of a dealership
  • 56% of buyers purchased from a dealership with whom they had no previous relationship with
  • 77% of buyers are looking for vehicle promotions
  • Online video has a positive influence of 53% on car buyers in the market

For this particular breakfast, we were able to go on exclusive tour of the office along with our Golden Ticket contest winners. We will have another blog post including photos and some video of the office, so stay tuned! And to stay in the loop about our upcoming contests and Google events, please subscribe to our newsletter. Hopefully you can join us next time!

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.

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!