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!

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.

The Google Click to Text Beta: What It Can Do For You

We all know the importance of mobile advertising strategies to generate phone calls to your business, but how about getting customers to text you as well?  Similar to the click to call ad buttons, Google is testing the ability for customers to send an SMS to your business. With a simple tap of the icon, Google will launch the customer’s primary texting app, with a prefilled message containing your business’ information, and a message you can control.

Google's click-to-text feature gives your customers a whole new way to communicate!

Continue reading “The Google Click to Text Beta: What It Can Do For You”

Include Bing in Your Online Marketing Portfolio

As a Google Search Partner agency, Strathcom believes we have the highest standards in Google AdWords advertising. We apply the latest tools and strategies to maintain top-performing accounts. But often overlooked is our ability to provide excellent performance on the Bing Ads Network. Bing has grown quickly to become Google’s top competitor in the search engine market, so it’s important for your business to not overlook its potential. But which platform is the best for you? Look no further, as we breakdown some of the highlights of advertising with Bing.

Bing

Bing’s Ads Platform is Identical to Google AdWords

Setting up and maintaining your account on Bing is practically identical to Google. The same tools and metrics used to measure the performance of your AdWords accounts are also used in Bing. Plus, you are able to import your AdWords campaigns directly to Bing , so you won’t have to recreate campaigns that have proven performance. Bing also provides a similar tool to AdWords Editor, conveniently named Bing Editor, which allows you to make changes to your account offline.

Setting Monthly Budgets to Campaigns in Bing

A feature available exclusively to Bing is the ability to set your budgets to a dollar amount that will be spread throughout the month, as opposed to capped each day. This ensures that your monthly budget is spent accurately instead of being over/under-spent during the month due to your daily pacing.

Bing Ad Group Settings

Unlike Google, which limits settings on only the account and campaign levels, Bing allows you to make settings at an Ad Group level. For individual ad groups, you can set advanced settings such as geo targeting, language, and ad distribution. This means that if you would like to advertise your pickup trucks to rural communities surrounding your dealership, but the sedans within city limits, you can do that without having to create multiple campaigns.

Multiple Bid-Adjustment Options in Bing

Google AdWords gives advertisers the ability to increase/decrease bids for mobile devices, locations, and the time of day, depending on performance. Bing takes bid adjustments one step further and gives advertisers the ability to modify bids for tablets and smartphones, age groups, and gender. If you’re noticing that the tablet traffic indicates high interest in your SUV inventory from females between the ages of 35-49, then you can set bid adjustments to capitalize on the opportunity.

Still not Convinced?

If you’re confident that killing it on Google is enough for your online advertising strategy, think again. Compared to Google, there is very little competition in Bing auctions, meaning a lower cost-per-clicks, better average positions, and higher click-through-rates for similar content. Also, when you combine Bing’s 13% share of the search engine market with Google’s 71%, you can conquer almost 85% of available searches in your market. At Strathcom, we provide optimal advertising performance on both Google and Bing. Call our team at 1-(888)-914-1444 to find out how you can get started in online advertising!

The Importance of Top Positions on Mobile

 

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Do you like this Google search situation for your ads?

You should. Unlike with desktop, where you have 4 “on the top” search positions available to you, with mobile devices, you have only 2 positions (3, if you’re lucky). If you aren’t in the top positions, you’re missing out on big opportunities. Your mobile presence is important.

When you’re not in the top positions for mobile, you’re like a store in a strip mall, with an Open sign in the window–but you’ve placed the front door in the back.

Now that is just traffic that we’re referring to; you could be missing out on other opportunities as well. Being in the top positions means you get to leverage your ad extensions. If you’re not there, you may as well own a store, but have no showroom.

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Being in these top positions also puts you in an influential position. When you’re there, if there’s room for another ad, Google can decide to throw in a third sponsored ad. And if you and the other advertiser take the top positions, there’s a unique opportunity. When we add ad extensions (which perform well), Google will push out a third position, expanding your ad real estate. What’s the point? A higher click-through rate. More clicks means more traffic. More traffic means more opportunities for leads.

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.

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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:

Usage

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

  • 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.

The New Google-Yahoo Search Agreement

Google continues to hold the lion's share of the search engine market.

 

After taking a break, Yahoo and Google are getting back together in a new, non-exclusive relationship.  Yahoo has revealed a three year deal with Google that will allow Google to supply search ads to Yahoo’s search results page.  The deal sets up Google to provide search results and ads for an undisclosed amount of Yahoo search queries. The ads will appear on desktop and mobile platforms.  The new deal comes long after Yahoo and Google ended their first search advertising relationship in 2004 when Yahoo decided to develop its own service, Gemini.

Still have questions about the deal? Here are several other things you need to know:

Continue reading “The New Google-Yahoo Search Agreement”

How To Revamp Your Search Strategy with Audiences

In the world of Google Search, keyword targeting has become the most specific method of reaching out to customers with the intent of purchasing the products and services your dealership has to offer. Traditional keyword targeting also ensures ads are within relevant context by including several metrics such Quality Score and Click-thru-Rate.  However, no matter how granular you try to be in your keyword basket, it’s difficult to understand audience behavior based on their keyword searches.

The first resource most people turn to when searching for their next vehicle.

With the launch of remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA); intent, context, and audience were combined to create a search campaign tailored to past visitors of your site who are searching Google for your dealership, vehicles, and services.  Since implementing RLSA’s to our accounts’ strategy, remarketing has now proven to be as successful at targeting past website visitors on the Display and Search Network.

Modern advertising involves targeting the individual.

Now, we are able to combine the success of keywords and RLSAs by adding different ‘bid only’ audiences to your targeting strategy in the Search Network. By adding different audiences to our ad groups, we can serve ads and unique landing pages depending on the audience the customer belongs to, the next time they conduct a generic Google search.

For example, we can add shoppers looking to buy a Honda Civic and a Honda CR-V on separate lists, and the next time these users search for “new Honda”, we can serve them either Civic or CR-V specific ads with landings pages that lead them to claim an offer or book a test drive for their desired model.

Targeted marketing can increase your sales

Coupled with Customer Match targeting, we can move prospecting car buyers down the conversion funnel from researchers to loyal customers.

Here at Strathcom, we are dedicated to improving our skills and knowledge by staying up to date on all new PPC trends and products. Call us today to get started on your new PPC account!

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.

Continue reading “YellowPages Advertising: How Not To Get Ripped Off Running PPC”

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…

Continue reading “Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads”

A Morsel of Structured Snippets

Ad extensions are a proven method of improving ad performance metrics by providing more relevant information extended from your ads. By implementing ad extensions, you can expect two things:

  1. Greater visibility of your ads: ad extensions are viewed at the top of the Google Search Network, instead of at the side of the search results page. They are also helpful in improving your ad position; if competing ads have equal bid and quality, the ad with relevant ad extensions will appear higher than the other.
  2. Improved ROI:  gain valuable clicks to generate profitable customer traffic. Your click-through-rate will thank you as well.

Example of a location extension

Continue reading “A Morsel of Structured Snippets”

Dynamic Remarketing 101

 Is it fair to expect to convert visitors on their first visit to a website? According to Hub Spot, approximately 96% of visitors that come to a website are not ready to buy….yet[i]. For the casual browser who is looking for more information, offering the visitor relevant information to keep them on your webpage for longer could mean the difference between a conversion and a bounce.

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

That being said, we all know that a certain percentage of bounce  is inevitable for any website out there, particularly when we are dealing with an extremely competitive landscape such as automotive marketing.

Continue reading “Dynamic Remarketing 101”

Make sure your Dealership Doesn’t Hit the Holiday Slump

 

We all know that December and January aren’t stellar months for the automotive industry, but that’s no excuse to roll over and accept defeat. Yes, the market may be slower, but that means every deal is that much more precious and we as marketers should be doing our utmost to squeeze out every lead possible.

Do not fall prey to the dreaded holiday slump, use these strategies to end 2015 off on a high note and ride that momentum into the New Year.

Use Paid Search to Increase In store Traffic:

Don’t Play Follow the Leader: Many dealerships lower their advertising spend over the slower months, in an effort to cut back. Instead of following this tradition, break the mould and stay ahead of your competition. As others lower their campaign spend (or pause it altogether) the competition over keywords decreases. This allows you to get more clicks at a lower cost, and steal leads from others in your market. It also ensures your account maintains a healthy quality score with Google , so when everyone inevitably comes back to the party, they will be paying more than you and working harder for their clicks.

  • Bullseye your Prospects: Christmas is prime shopping season. What better time than the present to look for ways to increase foot traffic to your stores? This can be beneficial for both Sales & Fixed Ops. Because of this, it is recommended to set up tiered geo-modifiers around store locations in order to bid highest for people nearest the store, slightly lower for a broader radius, and even lower for an even broader radius. This will ensure the biggest bang for your buck during the holiday crunch.
  • Show ‘em what you got: A Google study asked participants what information was considered “extremely helpful” in planning a store visit. Seventy-five percent responded price, and 74 percent responded availability; those were the two highest-ranked answers. Ensure you have ads running of your actual inventory, with your real photos and pricing, and watch your click through rate skyrocket. If you aren’t running dynamic ads, talk to your provider to get started.

 

Use Social for Lead Generation:

  •  Be Santa’s Little Helper: Most dealers are using social media in some form, but the holidays is a great time to step up your game. Your consumers are stressed and frenzied over the festive season, so use promotions to make their lives easier. Create ads, posts and events that show them you’re here to help. Help them avoid the anarchy of the shopping mall and maybe have Santa come to the store for photos. Offer stocking stuffer gifts like 4 for 3 oil changes, winter ready gift sets in a variety of price points, emergency kits or detail gift cards. If you offer a shuttle service or loaner program, blast that messaging out on social channels- nobody likes being stranded in a Canadian winter.
  • Get Snap Happy: Instagram has opened up their advertising product to all advertisers, internationally. No brand, budget or idea is too small to take advantage of this next wave of social media advertising. Mercedes Benz USA was able to increase website visits as much as 54% through their efforts, according to a case study put together by Instagram. Couple your photo, or 30 second video, with the geo-targeting that best fits your goals. Take advantage of Instagram’s sponsored ads to run a giveaway or promotion that requires users to follow your page, share your photos and/or interact with your posts. (Think: “Enter to Win a Detail Package by Sharing & Following Our Page!” or “Take a Selfie in a 2016 Ford Fusion & Tag Us to Win a Free Gas Card”)

 Master the Content Game:

  • Get Organic: With less people coming in over the holidays, it’s a great time to get your sales team building out stellar content. It doesn’t take a wordsmith to get some quick and easy blog posts together. Maybe a section on everyone’s favorite car in the 2016 line-up and why? Explanatory seasonal posts on fixed ops (winter tires, snow safety, cold weather tips). Search Engines love regular page updates & blog content so getting into this habit for the new year will pay off with more traffic long term.
  • Light, Camera, Action: Get on YouTube. This segment is highly underutilized by Canadian car dealers. You do not need to be Spielberg to do this. A small investment in a couple good tools and dedicated sales rep is all you need to get started. Purchase a good quality phone, mic and some sort of tripod or stability system. Ask your sales people to film themselves doing walk arounds, introducing themselves and the languages they speak or showing the coolest features of a new vehicle. Most dealers know this is all it takes, but they do not consistently do it. Consistency in content is key!

We at Strathcom Media hope you enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season and wish you all the prosperity of the New Year. Get ready to kick ass in 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing The PPC Game with Google Customer Match

In the world of Google and PPC, there are currently only 4 ways you can target potential customers. These include:

  • Keyword searches
  • Past site Visitors
  • In-Market Audiences and;
  • Affinity Audiences

Recently, Google – in their infinite wisdom – decided to throw another targeting method into the mix and it is sure to float the proverbial boat of car dealers across the world.

Modern advertising involves targeting the individual.

Continue reading “Changing The PPC Game with Google Customer Match”

Google’s Changes to Quality Score – What Does It Mean for You?

Quality Score is one of the key attributes in ensuring the success of your AdWords account. At the end of the day Quality Score does two things for you:

  • Enables your keywords to be eligible and tells Google your ads can be shown
  • Lowers your cost of advertising

Quality score can range from 1 through 10, 10 being the highest quality score can be and guarantees eligibility for your ad to be shown. Google wants to make sure that ads are relevant to the user, and a score of 10 proves this.

Continue reading “Google’s Changes to Quality Score – What Does It Mean for You?”

5 Ways Digital Ads Trump Traditional

Digital Marketing written on a chalkboard

Traditional advertising vs. online advertising—two well-established formats fighting to promote your business.

In one ear you hear whispers from the old-school ad executive: “Radio, TV, and print are trusted, established, and proven ways to spend your advertising dollars.”

Continue reading “5 Ways Digital Ads Trump Traditional”

NEW EBOOK: The 4 Steps to Social Selling

The 4 Steps to Social Selling - Free E-BookHave you been eagerly anticipating the next Strathcom ebook volume? Unlike A Song of Fire and Ice series author George R. R. Martin, our content writers and designers have eluded the late night talk show circuit in order to bring you another fresh batch of knowledge for car dealers in the online age without delay.

Last month we published a list of the 29 best tactics for planning, writing, and designing content on a daily basis. This time we’re focusing on helping you navigate the often uncharted waters of marketing and selling cars through social media.

Selling cars on social media? Yes, it’s possible.

You don’t have to have a masters in Marketing to Millennials to know that today’s buyers, particularly in the 25-34 year old range, have largely abandoned traditional media like TV and magazines for other means in getting informed on what new or used vehicle to buy (and from whom). Instead, shoppers enjoy the speed and convenience of being able to ask their friends/followers, read reviews, and check out the latest pictures and videos—all though social media.

If your store’s Facebook and Twitter feeds have been left to wither and die like houseplants while mom’s down in Arizona on vacation, give them some TLC with this easy-to-read, 4-step guide.

We’ve written this ebook for the unabashed amateur, but even self-proclaimed social media moguls will find something of use. From creating account profiles that reflect your brand, to interacting with customers and serving up your unique content on multiple fronts, we’ll give you the tools to sell more cars and encourage your customers to keep coming back for more.

4 Steps to Social Selling Free E-book
Click to download our newest FREE online resource.

Get your ebook now!

You can keep all the how-tos for yourself or print off a copy to plunk down with authority on all your sales persons’ desks. Don’t miss this opportunity to get ahead of the competition when there is so much room for marketing growth in social media.

New Changes to the Keyword Planner Tool: Conversion Estimates

Google’s Keyword Planner is an essential resource for any PPC analyst, especially when coming up with a proposal for a current or prospective client. The tool allows you to create keyword and ad group ideas based on particular words or phrases, a website URL, a relevant category, or a combination of the above. The information drawn from this tool provides many insights, in particular:

Continue reading “New Changes to the Keyword Planner Tool: Conversion Estimates”