Google’s Canadian YouTube Ads Leaderboard

YouTube Canada

We have been hearing (and speaking) a lot about video lately – and so has Google. If you are thinking about creating your own videos and need some inspiration, Google has recently shared their Top 10 Canadian YouTube Ads Leaderboard for month of September.

And for more information about creating quality videos, check out these 10 YouTube fundamentals!

Google Think Auto 2016

Google Think Auto 2016
Massey Hall, Toronto, September 8, 2016

Another edition of Google Think Auto is in the books and, as always, it was an insightful afternoon from the online powerhouse.  The theme of the event was change, but this always seems to be the case with technology.  Technology drives change and creates the expectation of change.  We have all been talking about Uber, Air BnB and Netflix for awhile now, but it still remains relevant to be cautiously paranoid about someone coming to our industry and turning it upside down.  We need to continue to push forward and effect change.

Speaking of change, this year Google made some changes to their Think Auto study. They expanded their study from 3,000 car shoppers to 5,000 car shoppers which means that they have deeper data than they have had in previous years. This was also the first year that Google included a dealer-specific segment.

Here are some highlights from this year’s study:

  • Online video is continuing to become more important for consumers but is still not being fully utilized by the auto industry in Canada. Since OEMs are not producing the content, it is up to individual dealerships to start creating the content that customers are looking for.
  • The average car buyer is making 3 dealership visits, but:
    • 40% visit one dealer only
    • 23% visit multiple dealers of the same brand
    • 37% visit multiple dealers and brands
  • Prices and Payments and Booking a Test Drive are pain points for customers
  • 65% of shoppers have emailed a dealer
    • About half of customers are not happy with the timeliness or the quality of responses
  • Google is going to have a Dealer Digital Excellent Award this coming year

We will have a more complete summary to follow with more detailed info and stats, stay tuned!

Expanded Text Ads Best Practices

Expanded Text Ads (ETA's)

As of July 26th, Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s)  officially rolled out for advertisers everywhere. With up to 50% more ad space, text ads will now consist of 2 Headlines, an 80 character description line, and 2 display URL paths. With all of these new additions, how can we properly optimize these ads for the best performance? Here are 3 things you should be doing in your ETA’s to generate the best results:

1) Still include a standard text ad in the mix

Although standard text ads are expected to go extinct by October, you shouldn’t neglect the past format just yet. If you have a standard ad that is successful at generating qualified leads for your company, keep it in the mix with your ETA’s so you don’t lose out on proven leads.

2) Include the Call To Action (CTA) in one of the headlines

With the standard format, 25 characters was only enough for a headline indicating what your product or service was. Now with 2 headlines, you can now encourage customers to engage with your ad right when they see the ad. Don’t bury your CTA in the description line.

3) Optimize for clicks or conversions

Picking the right ad rotation is crucial in maintaining optimal campaign performance. By rotating for clicks or conversions, we can be sure that the ETA with the higher likelihood of desired performance will be shown more frequently.

ETA’s are a historic innovation coming from Google AdWords. If you are interested in how your dealership can start introducing ETA’s to your strategy, contact Strathcom Media today!

Google My Business

Google My BusinessThis week, Strathcom had the chance to tour Google’s new office in Waterloo as well as hear what Google has planned in the coming years by the head of Google Canada – Sam Sebastian – and also attend some training on Google products. As a Premier Google  Partner and the largest partner in the Canadian automotive space, we find this training invaluable. Getting information from the horse’s mouth allows us to keep our clients’ campaigns top performing, and gives us insight into new strategies we can use to progress them even further. Not to mention, we can ask about our clients’ pain points, and that brings me today’s blog topic: Google My Business.

Google My Business is not a product to be bought/sold, but it is a roadblock that all of our clients have to go through. Having a well maintained Google My Business account is vital for any business. People want to know where you are located, see photos of your business (show people that renovation you just invested $1,000,000 in, for example), what your phone number is, what time you open, what time you close etc., and Google is where they go to get this information; being a business owner, you want them to find, and you want it to be accurate. Most dealers have a Google My Business account, but it has sat dormant for a while. The information is wrong and no one knows the login to change it. Here are the steps to regain access to your existing Google My Business account so those potential customers out there can find you.

Step 1: Sign In To/Create Your Google Account.

Use the same email you think was used to originally create the account, if you don’t know, a general account should be used, not an individual employee’s personal account.

Google My Business - Sign In

 

Step 2: Search for Your Business.
Find your Google My Business account by clicking here and search your business name.

Google My Business - Search You Business

Step 3: Select Your Business or Add It.

Google My Business - Select Your Business

Step 4: Enter Your Business Details
Choose the “Car Dealer” category, fill out as much information as possible.

Google My Business - Enter Business Details

Step 5: Confirm Your Information

Step 6: Verify Your Business

This is where people usually get hung up. Google has a manual process for verifying your business. For most businesses, Google is important to customer acquisition. You can imagine how many shady business owners try to go after their competitors Google My Business account, so there is a way around this: Google will send a postcard to your business with a code on it to enter into your Google My Business account page. Make sure to let your receptionist know the card is coming so they don’t throw it out with the junk mail.

All your information is now complete and accurate and will be updated across all Google properties.

When we visit Google offices around North America for training or meetings, the mind set is always the same – if it’s the user’s problem, it’s our problem – and Strathcom shares that ideal. The dealerships that also share this logic will find far more success than those that don’t. So make your potential customers life easy, and action this blog. Someone is on Google right now looking for a car, will they find you?

What’s New in Waterloo? Google!

Google WaterlooWe were honored to be one of only 16 Google Partners invited to come and spend the day at Google’s latest and greatest office in Canada’s tech hub – Waterloo, Ontario.  This is one of the many perks that we get as a Premier Google Partner in Canada.  The day was packed with insightful speakers, great content, exclusive training, lots of food, and a tour.

If you were not aware, we are giving away 6 trips in September to this very same office where you will be treated to a similar experience – click here for details and to enter.  You will not be disappointed if you win!  

So what did we learn? A lot!  We are going to break this down into three additional posts.  One on Google’s brand new Expanded Text Ads, another on every business’s favorite source of frustration: Google My Business, and finally, one on What’s New with YouTube.  

A little about the newest Google office first.  It is in an incredible building that was built in 1918 and was actually a former rubber plant.  It houses approximately 500 Googlers with the capacity for about 500 more.  These engineers don’t work on Canadian specific projects either; they work on big ticket items like Gmail, Chrome and the Ads Infrastructure.  Like all Google offices that I have had the pleasure of visiting, it has wicked food at the main cafeteria, mini cafe’s on all floors, a cyborg moose (what’s more Canadian tech?) a gym with a climbing wall, nap pods and a whole lot more.

Google Waterloo - CafeteriaGoogle Waterloo - Cafeteria                    Google Waterloo - Cafeteria

What did we learn? For this post I am going to focus on two speakers, the individual posts will take care of the rest.  First up was Ben Wood, Director of Channel Sales Americas.  Ben spoke about how Google focuses on the ‘whole problem’ and works from that perspective.  If someone using Google can’t spell, it’s a Google problem.  If the internet is not fast enough, it’s Google’s problem.  This type of thinking has lead to great developments like Google Suggest (you know when Google suggests searches before you are done typing) and Google Chrome, a way faster and way better internet browser than what was available.  Further to looking at the whole problem, he spoke about 10X and moon shots – essentially the big, big wins that will transform your business, maybe even your industry.  Google considers these types or products over small iteration.  This is how we get self-driving cars, contact lenses to measure insulin levels for diabetics, and project Loon (balloon powered internet for the remote parts of the world).

Google WaterlooAfter Ben we heard from Sam Sebastian, Managing Director of Google Canada, or the big boss.  Sam provided us with an unbiased look at what Google is trying to accomplish in Canada – mainly diversify away from search advertising.  He spoke candidly about ad blocking and that one solution will be for Google and Premier Partners like us to build better ads.  One comment that he made was that in 10-15 years every business will be a software business.  He provided examples from big banks and agencies and how software is starting to be at the core of all we do.  Whether he is right or wrong, I am going to learn how to code.  The last concept he shared that really resonated with me was about Yahoo’s sale to Verizon for ~$4.8B.  Yahoo was valued at more than $100B at its peak in 2000.  What happened to the other $95B?  No one knows exactly, but it is this type of event that constantly reminds him (and perhaps it should all of us) that we need to be a little bit paranoid about the next start up.  It is this paranoia that needs to drive us to hit our 10X goals that Ben outlined, to stay in business and not lose 95% of our value.

Overall it was a great day and it is always an honor to be invited to such an exclusive event.  For more information on the day and all the training we received, check out our three other blogs on the event:   Expanded Text Ads, Google My Business, and  What’s New with YouTube.

Thanks,

Duncan Cochrane

Google & Strathcom in Toronto

GoogleToronto

Google and Strathcom have joined forces to give Canadian automotive dealers all the answers in a special one-day event coming to the greater Toronto area in London, Mississauga and Vaughan Ontario.

Book Now:

London, ON – October 22 Mississauga, ON – October 23 Vaughan, ON – October 24

Few auto dealers in Ontario are taking full advantage of the most effective means of online advertising like Google Adwords, YouTube and remarketing. It’s time for your dealership to pick up the slack and become an online leader and sell more of your inventory online.

The new Google Partner program  has already made it easier than ever for businesses to learn and implement online marketing tools, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

logo-google-partner

There are questions that many managers and even owners are too intimidated to ask like where your money goes when someone clicks on your online ad, or what re-targeting or re-marketing is. If you want the answers, then this is the event for you.

Representatives from Strathcom and Google will discuss:

  • The difference between a good website and a bad one, and why your website should be the number one marketing priority
  • The do’s and don’ts of vehicle merchandising
  • How to turn website visitors into leads
  • What is paid search, re-marketing and display advertising
  • What happens to your money when you advertise with Google
  • How YouTube advertising works
  • How to measure what works and what doesn’t work online using Google Analytics

You can catch this one-day event on three days and locations:

London, ON – October 22 Mississauga, ON – October 23 Vaughan, ON – October 24

Reserve your spot now, as space is limited.