Having Issues Generating PPC Leads? Review These Great Ideas

Surprised man looking through a magnifying glass

Every aspect of your business is important, and you want to see a return on every dollar you spend—whether you’re a small, mom & pop business or a giant multinational. This includes your online advertising. While it can be disheartening when you don’t see the results you’re after, keep your head up! We’ve got some tips and tricks that’ll help you generate more online advertising leads.   Continue reading “Having Issues Generating PPC Leads? Review These Great Ideas”

To OEM or Not to OEM? That’s the Advertising Question

William Shakespeare in period clothing sitting in school desk with laptop computer shrugging at viewer.

As an automotive dealer you’ve got a lot to worry about. No doubt, when it comes to your business’ online advertising you’ve got a keen interest in sharing the most effective message that’ll have the most impact in service of your business goals—to sell cars. At your dealership, you’ve got a certain idea of what your business is. It has a certain voice, a certain persona that you want online users to get acquainted with; it resonates with your audience and eventually prods them to trust you with their business. But what if you’re not satisfied with the message or advertisements pushed on you monthly by your OEM? Maybe you think their incentive message is too weak? Perhaps too generic? If you run the incentive advertising of your manufacturer, are you simply settling for creative that doesn’t do your business justice? It’s a fair concern, and one that deserves serious consideration. This post delves into the question of “why” run OEM incentive advertising, and questions whether individuality in your advertising, at this level, might not be the hill to die on. Continue reading “To OEM or Not to OEM? That’s the Advertising Question”

Finding SEM-o: When You Can’t Find Your Search Ads

disoriented clownfish searches for his paid search ad frantically

I tend to walk around randomly during phone calls. A few years ago, I realized this as I saw my reflection in the glass patio doors and saw myself walking along the top of the couch. No idea why, but I’m at peace with this. I even move around absentmindedly on short calls, such as activating a new credit card, which I had to do recently.

I called the bank to complete the process, and after a few questions confirming my information, the rep completed the task and was very helpful throughout. I prepared to hang up and stop parkouring around my kitchen when she suddenly launched into an aggressive sales pitch for multiple other products offered by the bank. Identity protection, credit limit increase, insurance coverage – you name it, she was selling it. Continue reading “Finding SEM-o: When You Can’t Find Your Search Ads”

You Ask We Answer: Paid Search

pay per click lolo

Welcome to a brand-new installment of “You Ask, We Answer!” (*still waiting on that production budget, Bill*). We know navigating the vast tapestry of the internet can sometimes be difficult and a little overwhelming, which is why we host our weekly webinars for you to up your online savvy without the negative, thick-framed glasses-wearing, man-bun connotations that come along with it! 

For today’s webinar, we asked our Director of Online Advertising and Home Alone aficionado, Nathan Leverette, to answer any of your questions and concerns regarding Paid Search (as the organic search specialist writing this blog begrudgingly sat and watched in the corner while we recorded). We’ve embedded the webinar video below, along with a transcription of everything we discussed so you can follow along below!

Continue reading “You Ask We Answer: Paid Search”

When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?

Another little boy in math class overwhelmed by the math formula.

Not everyone is into numbers—and that’s fair. For some people, the math can be annoying because it’s hard to understand, confusing as hell, and I often wondered if I’d ever use it in my life again (which is why I hated it so much in school). But much like my own math teachers and Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they can tell us plenty of stories about how well your online campaign is doing; the hardest part is actually listening and paying attention to what they have to say.

Continue reading “When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?”

Translation vs Localization in Google Ads; or, An Ode to Poutine

french bulldog with red wine and baguette and french beret hat, isolated on white background

If you’ve ever tried to drop a sick pun with a relative whose first language isn’t English, you will understand the importance of conveying the more subtle meanings behind words. With the magic of the internet we can now type familiar or foreign phrases into Google and receive an instant translation in any language you want–some of them not even real languages . This is a wonderful resource when a well-meaning Aunt from Quebec sends you a birthday card, and you haven’t spoken French since Grade 6. The general gist behind what tante Laurence is saying can be mine in seconds! The problem is that as amazing as Google Translate is, it has limitations. The French employed is Parisian French, not Quebecois French, meaning some local words or phrases could be completely lost. Continue reading “Translation vs Localization in Google Ads; or, An Ode to Poutine”

Look Closer… Seeing the Difference Between Ads & Organic Search

Closeup of the word SEARCH on binary code on a computer screen.

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” – Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)

I had to get up from the computer and take a walk after realizing that, at the time of writing this, The Matrix is almost 20 years old. It was a game-changer which has stood the test of time, much like another entity which is around 20 years old: search engine advertising (abrupt segue, I know). Continue reading “Look Closer… Seeing the Difference Between Ads & Organic Search”

TrueView: Watch How YouTube Can Convert More, for Less

youtube homepage

In today’s online-marketing driven world, you want to reach an audience where people are paying attention. And with around 3 billion (yes, with a b) views a day, YouTube delivers this engaged reach. Factor in Google’s newfound knowledge that people are 3x more likely to pay attention to online video ads vs. television ads—and you’ve got a platform you can’t ignore. Continue reading “TrueView: Watch How YouTube Can Convert More, for Less”

Facebook vs Google: The Battle for Digital Marketing Supremacy

hands holding a smartphone with graphic that says facebook vs google

You did all the right things, talked to all the right people, and finally decided to utilize digital marketing–now what? Let’s not talk about budget, but rather the important question of what route to take. Do you use Google Ads or Facebook marketing? Which platform is going to give you the best bang for your buck? Which platform is ideal for your marketing needs? Is Strathcom trying to just sell me their service with this blog? The answer to the last question is a resounding “No!”, but the other questions aren’t quite as simple. Continue reading “Facebook vs Google: The Battle for Digital Marketing Supremacy”

Enhance Your Display Campaigns with Custom Intent Audiences

Beyonce on a billboard, holding a google logo

Like my diet, the Google Display Network can be a bit hit or miss. For those that need a quick refresher, think of the Display Network as a passive form of advertising where, unlike traditional search advertising, Google gives advertisers the opportunity to place ads on a variety of sites or apps beyond the ‘Search Engine Results Page’ (SERP). Users in this network may not necessarily be in “shopping mode,” rather, they are busy reading about crypto currency, watching Beyoncé’s latest music video, and learning why its good to drink kombucha (two of three being major components to my aforementioned diet). To be successful in the GDN, your ads must not only attract the users’ attention, but entice them enough to click through to your site, leaving the original content they were engaged with. Accomplishing this is not easy – have you ever tried competing with Queen B? Continue reading “Enhance Your Display Campaigns with Custom Intent Audiences”

Personalize Your Google Experience

Female hand holding an ipad showing Google

Have you ever wondered why you see ads which are tailored to you on your favourite blog, or while you’re catching up on local news online? These are the ads found on the Google ad network, and all the millions of websites and apps that partner with Google. This network is made up of Google services like Search, YouTube, and Gmail, and is borderline-omnipresent (we’re happy as long as they don’t change their name to Skynet). But did you know that you can personalize this information, telling Google what you do and don’t want to see? Continue reading “Personalize Your Google Experience”

Cool (or Creepy?) Ways to Target Your Audience

Red apple pierced by an arrow.

Ever wonder why after you’ve look at a pair of shoes online, you’re continuously haunted by ads for that store, or similar products? This is the beauty, and precision, of advertising in the digital world. And while many people have an issue with this invasion into their online privacy, whether this is a real or perceived invasion, platforms like Facebook and Google only have the users experience in mind. Collecting information about the unique interests of an individual and their tendencies creates a more tailored experience. If you like shoes, it would make more sense to see ads about shoes rather than furniture. If your search history reads like a new-age grocery list, with kombucha and faux-leather shoes and tofu — do you really want to see ads for a burger spot? Continue reading “Cool (or Creepy?) Ways to Target Your Audience”

Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising

businessman wearing boxing gloves,competition concept

“If you spend 15 minutes studying business, you’ll have wasted 14 minutes. I’ll tell you everything you need to know: supply and demand.” – Chael Sonnen

I always take quotes from people who get punched in the head for a living with a grain of salt. Mike Tyson interviews were entertaining, but they were hardly TED talks. However, Chael Sonnen is a bit of a different quote machine. Not only is he a former UFC title contender and current multi weight-class veteran, he has also been a politician, actor, business owner, realtor, and even has a degree in sociology. Some of his more devoted fans are known to feature him in parodies of The Most Interesting Man In The World commercials, and he has leveraged his status as a record-setting MMA pay-per-view headliner into a book deal and successful podcast. Quite the LinkedIn page, right? It makes me feel a little better about quoting someone who gets punched in the head for a living. Continue reading “Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising”

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?”

What? There Are Other Competitors Advertising?

shocked and angry man at laptop

How to Compete When the CPCs Are High.

In the automotive marketing industry every day is a battle.  Just as it’s a battle as a consumer to find the perfect car; from navigating the internet, wondering if you can trust your friend’s recommendations that he or she claims will get you the perfect car, or just wondering where to begin.

One question emerges more than most when advertising digitally, “How the #%@$ do I get to be #1, or how the #%@$ can I compete against the top guns that are ranking #1?”

Well gosh, we thought you would never ask! Over the next few minutes we may change your life, by that we mean that we may teach you something new that will help in your future digital marketing efforts.

 What exactly is a cost-per-click?

Continue reading “What? There Are Other Competitors Advertising?”

Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan

marketing personas meeting

Marketing personas are a way for your dealership to connect on a personal level with your potential consumers. These personas allow you to relate to a consumer’s personality to create a positive interaction with your brand and its vehicle models. Personas can take some research and in-depth questions to really understand both who your audience is, and what speaks to which target demographic. Through this blog, you can see if a marketing persona approach fits within your advertising plan.

Using personas creates a very targeted approach to engaging potential customers who are interested in your dealership. Since there are many different personalities in the world, you will have to find a common theme and group individuals together based on their similar responses to your questions, as well as their characteristics. Continue reading “Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan”

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.

Continue reading “Optimize Your KPI’s With Google’s Newest Extension: Google’s Promotion Extension”

The Key Benefits of Google’s Local Pack Ads

Think of the last time you were out and about and found yourself in need of a good or service. Maybe you weren’t familiar with the area or just wanted to find the closest location. Our first instinct is to Google the answer, and with the Local 4-Pack, you are able to see at a glance a map with a selection of results for your area. In just a few clicks, you are connected with hours, directions, contact information and reviews. Clicking through on any of these results or on the More Places link sends you through to a larger map of your area and a fuller listing of applicable results for your area.

Imagine you are a business owner and you want to drive foot traffic into your location. You have a Google My Business (GMB) listing, and keep it up to date and well maintained. You also have Google AdSense set up to run search and display ads and have them targeted to your local area. Now you are ready to take your advertising to the next level. By linking your GMB to your AdWords and enabling location extensions, you have the option to start advertising directly into these local search results.

First announced in 2016 and rolled out in various forms through 2017, Google’s Local Pack Ads (also known as Local Search Ads) have begun to effectively integrate themselves into online advertising. Oddly enough, while these have become increasingly popular in America, we are just starting to see these sorts of ads show up in the Canadian marketing scene.

Google touts Local Pack Ads as having 3 key benefits…

Google's Local Pack Ads

Increasing Visits to Your Business

This is can be an awesome advantage for restaurants and boutique shops that want to able to target the foot traffic in their area or a home service that needs to be accessed on a tight time frame. A lot of our shopping has moved online, and while this can be an amazing everyday convenience, it does have its limitations. While a customer might research a big ticket item online, at the end of the day, going into brick and mortar store can be necessary. When these kinds of purchases happen its important for your customers to know you are in their area and ready to serve. Being listed before organic listings can help ensure your business is getting the impressions that might otherwise be lost.

Encourages Communication with Convenient Contact Options

On both Mobile Search and the Google Maps App platforms, the local search results have prominent call buttons that allow the customer to easily contact your business from the search results page. Note that this call information is linked directly to your Google My Business Listing, so its vital that this information is up to date. Additionally, this information is not trackable through Google Analytics as you might assume after working with call extensions within AdWords. This information is instead available to track through your AdWords account under click attribution. While this option is not available on Desktop, those customers instead have the option to click through to your website’s home page. Clicking through the ad will bring them to your GMB Listing, which then makes contact information available.

One-Click Overview of Your Business

When the client clicks on your ad, instead of being automatically linked through to your website, it will open your Google Business Listing. It allows the customer to get an overview of your business at a glance. Your location, hours, starred reviews, and the map are shown, as well as sections for Q&A, peak hours, and photos. The option to click through to your website and get directions are also available. This is the chance for the customer to get to know more about your business, and in particular, how your business interacts with its community.

While what Google has to say is true, its important not to let the flash of a new advertising option run away with our imagination. Its still a relatively new feature, and there are some outstanding questions on how quality score and keywords effect ad auction and position. This is a great new opportunity, and they are uniquely positioned to reach customers that are lower in the purchasing funnel, like customers that know what they want or need, and are now looking for a place to purchase it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these ads are in their element when it comes to businesses that are looking to capitalize on spur-of-the-moment transactions. It’s also important to remember that the success of Google’s Local Pack Ads hinges on the businesses interaction within their GMB account. Are the hours up to date; are reviews being replied to; are the questions being answered; are there recent photos and updates? You need to provide the customer with a good experience when they go to interact with your listing, because in some cases it might be the only online interaction they have with you.

At the end of the day, we should be viewing Google’s Local Pack Ads as a fantastic added feature, and not a new marketing strategy. If you already use both GMB and AdWords on a regular basis, it is a great opportunity to capture more advertising space in your immediate proximity. Interested in learning more about the benefits of Google’s Local Pack Ads? Get in touch with us at Strathcom to learn more.