Optimize Your KPI’s With Google’s Newest Extension: Google’s Promotion Extension

As a veteran online shopper, I love seeing deals. Likewise, as a PPC analyst, I love helping clients sell their deals. Now imagine a world where both parties can benefit from savings and sales – and with Google’s newly introduced “Promotion Extensions,” this is now easier than ever.

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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!

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

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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!

Homepage Elements with the Highest Conversion Rates

Conversion Optimization: probably the most important topic imaginable for building car dealership websites, and a topic we’d like to shed some light on. Here’s what we at Strathcom discovered during our tests for conversion rates!Print

A Call to Action is Like Asking for the Sale

You train your Salespeople to close the deal, and the same kind of logic behind that also applies online. There’s no denying the insane importance of a Call to Action (CTA), and knowing just when and where to ask for the sale is just as important. In our tests, we excluded clicks from top-level menus. Here are the stats:

The Most Clicked-on Webpages

  • New/Used Inventory – people like to browse, so let’s suggest taking a test drive, for example
  • Specials – let’s load this page up with incentives; that’s the idea here anyways, right?
  • Service Appointment

Highest-Performing Design

Button-style CTAs outperformed “image + text” CTAs. Main CTA buttons account on average for almost half of the clicks on a webpage, making them by far the most important CTAs to include.

Best Placement

The higher above the fold, the higher the conversions.


A Convenient Quick-Search Bar

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Users want to find what they’re looking for right away and if they don’t, they’ll go somewhere else. The stats:


One of the top-performing homepage elements to encourage conversions – we found in our tests that quick-search bars average around 20% of all site clicks.


  • Placement on the homepage doesn’t matter, as it’s consistently used wherever we put it – it’s just a matter of making it accessible
  • When placed lower on a page, users will actively scroll down to use it

A Ton of Links

One paragraph on the homepage could contain links to just about every other section of the site, giving readers an easy way of searching for and finding what they need. Stats:

Most Clicked-on Links

  • Contact Info/Location/Directions/Hours – some users are customers already, and they just want to find out where and when they can drop by, so let’s be sure they can find out easily
  • Book Service Appointment
  • View New/Used Inventory

Highest-Performing Design

Links with button styles, but ONLY when used sparingly – let’s be smart about how we use buttons.

For our testing purposes, “conversions” was defined as clicks which took a user to an internal webpage. We tested using heat maps, click maps, and Google Analytics data, and our tests were done over multiple sites with differing designs.

YellowPages Advertising: How Not To Get Ripped Off Running PPC

It was YellowPages in the Library with the Candlestick!

A couple months back, Alexandre Brabant posted his experience helping a client decipher what was going on with their Ad Words campaign being run by the Yellow Pages Group, what he found was they were employing some shady techniques to increase the amount of money they were receiving for running the campaign – all behind the customers back. This gave us the idea to give you, the reader, some questions to ask your Yellow Pages rep or any rep who is running Ad Words on behalf of your business.

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Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads

Advertisers love the ability to follow around potential customers with remarketing ads because it’s a great reminder to customers of their ever growing list of wants, as the advertiser patiently waits until your will power is at its lowest and for you to finally return and make your next purchase. You may even be running these images ads for your own dealership.

Today, this is how most people search for new vehicles.

Now, what if I told you that you could have this same stalking ability but get your business in front of audience that is actively shopping for your products a second time? No more passive approach to remarketing, patiently waiting until a user is ready to continue down the purchase path. You can skip the waiting and now entice previous website visitors when they’re actively on the hunt again. How can this be? Well…

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8 Steps To Conversion Rate Optimization

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is certainly one of the most popular acronym’s rolling around the interweb at the moment. More and more businesses are attempting to optimize their sites in order to extract more customers from their site visitors, however most website providers in the auto industry don’t seem to have hopped aboard the bandwagon.


How can Conversion Rate Optimization help your business?

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3 New Ways to Get to Know Your Customer in Google Analytics

It used to be easy to tell who was looking at your vehicles. You could glance over at the people who were strolling through your lot or poking around the showroom and see that your customers were typically male, aged 35 – 44 and liked really big trucks for hunting or fishing (if you’re a typical Dodge dealership in Alberta, for example). But now, it’s a different game. These days, most of your customers are visiting your website before dropping by your dealership. Programs like Google Analytics provide basic (if technical) information about online visitors like their location, operating system, browser and device. While this information is helpful, it only gives us part of the picture. That is, until now.

3 New Google Analytics Audience Demographics

Google Analytics is launching additional Audience Demographics:

  1. Gender
  2. Age
  3. Interests

While these new Audience Demographics will not appear automatically on all accounts, you can get this new feature by having your webmaster make this small change in the Analytics code, if your account supports display advertising. Here’s a preview of what the new reports will look like:

Google Analytics Gender Demographics Graph
Google Analytics Age Demographic Graph
Example of the new Interests Category Graph

These new analytics open up a goldmine of information and can answer key marketing and strategy questions:

  • What interest groups make up your highest converting customers?
    • Consider sponsoring events or organizations that they also would attend.
  • Are men or women watching more video on your website?
    • Tailor your content to the type of people who are watching it.
  • Do different demographics or people with certain interests use your website differently than others?
    • How can you make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for?

Use this information to find the customers most likely to convert and target your Google Adwords or other marketing campaigns. Contact Us for More Information

Start Tracking this Information!

  1. Have your Webmaster modify your Google Analytics tracking code.
  2. Update your privacy policy. Google recommends this one: Policy requirements for Display Advertising.
  3. Have your Online Marketing Manager enable Demographics reports in your Google Analytics account.

Not sure if you have a Google Analytics account set up? Check out this video on how to set up Google Analytics for your car dealer website:

Online Analytics for Car Dealers – Cost per Acquisition

Most car dealers now measure their marketing fairly well.  There are a ton of tools that make it easy, and most service providers have some kind of chart/graph/wizardry that purports to explain the Cost per Acquisition (CPA) of said service.  Having said that, I have seen some highly questionable measurements come out of this.  I have seen service providers in the online space measure a visit to the contact-us page of a website as an acquisition.  While this is quite likely going to lead to a lead or contact of some point, it is a bit loose in my opinion.  In my last post, I talked about Faith Based Marketing, which is essentially what calling a visit to the Contact-Us page is.

Measuring CPA for Car Dealers (in Canada)

Most of the dealers I talk to measure CPA in some way, shape, or form.  Some simply allocate a marketing budget based on the number of vehicles they expect to move in a given month.  With all the data that is easily available, and the ability to tag virtually every aspect of online traffic, there is no real good reason not to allocate your marketing dollars to the platforms that produce leads (and more importantly, sales).

Automotive marketing is a fairly complex animal.  Below is a list (by no means comprehensive) of the major portions of a dealer website in Canada today, and where the marketing falls into:

  • Your Dealership Website.  Your dealer site is your main online marketing tool.  It is where you drive everyone through your branding, SEO efforts, PPC, and so on.
  • Your Direct Online Marketing Campaigns.  Newsletters, E-Mail Specials, any digital communication direct to your existing or new client base.
  • Your Major Online Auto Portals.  Kijiji, Auto Trader, Wheels.ca, CBB, and so forth.  These sites have a broad national reach.
  • Your Local Portals.  The Edmonton Journal Driving Section, Castanet, The Chronicle Herald.  Sites local to your shoppers.

Here is a simple table to get you started: (Click for full size)

I know how simple it seems, but I am willing to bet over 50% of car dealers are not doing this currently.  All this information is readily available with a little legwork (or say, a Premium Website Solution and a Google PPC Campaign) and some monthly updates to a simple spreadsheet.

This is also just the start.  From this, with a proper CRM (or a more serious excel doc and a lot of legwork), you can actually narrow each lead source down to revenue, gross,  and net.  How many marketing dollars could you save if you knew exactly what sources drove THE MOST PROFITABLE leads, not just the most leads.

And, for those who are wondering, this data is actually a scaled down percentage wise from actual car dealers.  What can you take away from that?  Invest in your website, start with PPC, and banners are really awesome for branding, but are only ok for leads (or maybe the dealers need better banners).  From a Syndication perspective, I would try and highlight my inventory on Kijiji (Maybe a new Kijiji Features Package?)

Car Dealerships and Online Analytics: a primer

Website metrics.  Hooray.  Visits/Visitors, Bounce Rate, Time on Site, etc.  Where does it end.  And what measurements are important?  I could spend a week writing a novel about each measure, but wanted to write a quick primer for car dealers that explains the difference of the measurement and what they really mean.  I will cover off these topics in future posts in much more detail, but this guide is a good starting point for analyzing an automotive website in basic terms.

Visits and Visitors

Visits is the total number of times your site was visited.  Simple.  This number will always be higher than visitors because people buying cars tend to come back to websites throughout the buying cycle.

Visitors is *usually* (Not every analytics package is exactly the same, but I will settle on visitors being Unique Visitors) a measure of unique visitors coming to your site.  This is the actual number of  unique car buyers coming to look at your inventory.

These numbers can be affected by a few things.  First thing is any filters applied to your analytics.  I would typically recommend (if possible) that you filter out the IP Address of your dealership directly in analytics.  What this will do is NOT COUNT any visits to your website from your staff when they are at the dealership.  Counting those visits will artificially inflate your numbers and decrease things like your conversion rate, skewing the real results of your online marketing efforts (I would hope that your sales staff are not submitting leads on your dealer website).

Bounce Rate

Probably one of the more important but least understood statistics on your dealer website.  Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that arrive at a page somewhere on your site, only look at that page, and leave.  This is one of the best indicators of your online marketing efforts, especially when paired up by looking at the traffic source the visitors are coming from.  There is no right number for a bounce rate, but when you are selling cars, you want to make sure people land on a page that has something to do with cars (or service).  Having a box with specials right out front can help with this.  The other side to that coin is someone is simply looking for your phone number and that is that.  If you want to get super detailed, you can now track bounce rates relative to your inbound calls by using certain call tracking tools that provide your visitors with a unique toll free phone number.  If you are doing that, you are way ahead of the game today.

Time on Site

Time on site, like visits seems like it should be pretty straightforward, but there is certainly more than meets the eye.  Most analytics packages use sessions to track users on a site (some packages use your web log files, but that is a different animal).  In that session is a start time for each page visited.  By subtracting the time each page is visited from the previous page, Time on Site gets calculated.  See my lovely chart below:

  • 3:00 PM – I come to your Home Page.  I browse around your digital tent sale, look at your employee of the month, then I remember I came looking for a car.
  • 3:02 PM – I search for a BMW 750il on your site (I like big cars).  You have 6 in stock (clearly, you have fine taste in inventory).
  • 3:05 PM – I click on one of the BMW’s you have in stock and read your 6 paragraph description and look at the 45 photos you posted (good work!)
  • 3:10 PM – My attention span wanes while reading about this car and I leave your site heading to wikipedia to read about the higgs boson.

Time on Site: 5 Minutes

Whoa.  Wait a second.  You lied to me.  You said if I subtract the last time visited from the first, I get time on site, which in this case is 10 minutes.

True, I said that, but I also said there is more than meets the eye.  Since on the BMW page that I spent 5 minutes on, I then went off to some other page, most analytics packages (including Google) don’t know how long I spent on that page, since I left directly from it.  Since there is no trail after that, it assumes I left at 3:05 PM.

This method also relates to Bounce Rate.  If I come to your New Car Specials Page at 3:10, spend 20 minutes reading every special, then leave without having visited another page, Time on Site: 0 Minutes.  I know, it’s not fair.


These are 3 great Macro measurements for your websites performance, but they don’t really tie into your marketing efforts or dig beneath the surface of what makes visitors do things on your site.  In setting you up for the long game, ill cover off some heavy duty metrics for your site in my next post.  We will talk about CPA (Cost per Acquisiton), Loyalty, Page Depth, and more.