Archive for category Search Engine Marketing

Automotive Website Awards (AWA) Book is a Must Have for Car Dealers

The Automotive Website Awards (AWA) reception and celebratory event was held in conjunction with the 2014 NADA Convention in New Orleans.

Regardless of what anyone’s opinion is about the merits of the companies selected by Brian Pasch to receive the awards presented at this event, there is no other reference document, book, guide, website, Top Ten List or any other compilation of information regarding the companies that supply car dealers with eCommerce websites and associated peripherals that comes close to this book… As a reference tool used to see “Who’s Who” as an automotive supplier, the AWA Research Report for Car Dealers is without any competition… Neither is there anything out there that could serve as a reasonable substitute.

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So… With all that said, is this book worth the $50 cost to buy it from PCG Consulting? I have heard it said that actions speak louder than words. I purchased two of these books at the event in New Orleans and I paid full retail of $100. Every car dealer in America who considers Digital Marketing to be a core competency requirement for their business should order and retain this book… Every year.

If you are a Car Dealer then you need to invest the 50 bucks that this book sells for… The Automotive Website Awards #AWA2014 may not always pick the suppliers that I would have chosen, but the research done, which is published in this book, is the most comprehensive review of dealer website suppliers available from any source. Buy this book and review over 50 digital marketing suppliers who have their information listed, dealer customers cited and an assessment of their products and services shown. Learn more at http://ADMPC.com (photo taken at Automotive Media Partners, LLC)

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Is Your Mobile Website Ready for Google Enhanced Campaigns?

Is Your Mobile Website Ready for Enhanced Campaigns?

Is Your Mobile Website Ready for Enhanced Campaigns?

Today’s car shopper prefers a mobile-responsive experience. Tomorrow’s search ads demand it…

In an attempt to drag all of its advertisers into the new multiscreen reality, willingly or otherwise, Google recently announced the impending switch to Enhanced Campaigns. Ads in all campaigns will have the potential to run across all devices, so whether your prospective buyer is researching a car on a phone, tablet, or desktop, she may be served the same ad. 

If your site isn’t flexible enough to take users directly to the page they want – regardless of the device they are shopping on – then it’s time to start tweaking your stylesheets. Otherwise, you risk wasting thousands on mobile and tablet users who bounce the moment they’re redirected to your homepage instead of the inventory, lease offers, or service coupons advertised.

What’s changing?

Along with disabling the ability to select which devices you want your campaigns to target, Google Enhanced Campaigns usher in greater flexibility in device preference, ad extensions, geographic targeting, and conversion optimization.

In legacy campaigns, AdWords set device targeting and ad extensions at the campaign level. So, all ads in a particular campaign were set to show on phones, tablets, desktops, or a combination thereof, all with the same sitelinks, phone number, or address extension attached. Enhanced Campaigns let you drill down and select devices and ad extensions in a much more granular manner.

Here’s an example of a new Enhanced Campaign in action:

A dealership is ramping up its Service Enhanced Campaign. During business hours, mobile users are served ads with copy boasting quick wait times, an address with one-click directions, and a click-to-call phone number. Desktop users see coupon-focused copy with a tracking phone number and expanded sitelinks to soft-sell service pages. Once the dealership closes, ads with links to service forms go live in place of the phone numbers.

Another big change arriving with Enhanced Campaigns is geographic bid adjustment. Dealerships can now boost bids in zip codes where they sell the most cars. Before, advertisers chose geographic targets for their ads at the campaign level, and you were forced to create different campaigns for every zone in which you wanted to have separate bids. With Enhanced Campaigns, you can easily adjust bids by location without having to create dozens of separate campaigns.

Here’s an example in action: 

Browsing sales reports, a dealership sees that a significant number of their new vehicle sales are coming from users in select zip codes. Using bid adjustments in Enhanced Campaigns, the auto dealer can quickly and easily increase their bids by 50% for targeted keywords in that zip code, leading to a greater market share in an already receptive area, while decreasing bids in zips known to have a weaker return.

Four things dealers can do right now:

1. Ensure that you have Google Analytics installed on your site, and link your AdWords and Analytics so that you can measure the effectiveness of your ad traffic.

Before you begin upgrading your account, make sure that you know what’s happening with the traffic you’re paying for. If you’re not looking at what’s happening after a user clicks on your ad, then you’re flying half-blind.

Linking accounts is easy – just make sure you’re an administrator on both your AdWords and Analytics accounts, and you’re halfway there. Follow the instructionshere to close the loop.

2. Make sure the destination URLs on ads for inventory or other deep links won’t redirect mobile users to the homepage.

If you have a responsive-mobile site – that is, a singular site for all devices that doesn’t redirect mobile users to a mobile.yourdealership.com or yourdealership.com/mobile/ version of your site – then you’re already ahead of the game. 

Otherwise, contact your PPC provider and make sure that they create new Enhanced Campaign mobile ads with destination URLs that go right to the relevant page. Even if they have separate mobile campaigns right now, once they’re upgraded to Enhanced, those ads will show on any device.

3. Adjust bids based on location to make sure you dominate in zip codes you know have high sales numbers.

Take a look at your sales data over the last 12 months and send your PPC provider a list of the zip codes where you know you do well. Start with those locations, and concentrate on building out more sophisticated targeting in the future.  Focus on areas aren’t ranking well Organically.

4. Use upgraded call extensions to get free call tracking on your search ads.

Upgraded call extensions on Enhanced Campaigns no longer charge $1 per call, so take advantage of that free call tracking by adding it to any ads where a phone number will make a difference. You can also set up conversion tracking through AdWords to register any call greater than a specific duration to count as a conversion. That extra data will help guide on where the call extensions are most effective.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report – November 2012 – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report

 

November 2012
Automotive Shopper Intensity Report

The Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Index (ASI) is a leading indicator of Automotive Retail Sales.

Dataium historical tracking shows that Automotive Retail Sales closely mirror the fluctuations of the ASI. This index serves as an early predictor of the next 30 – 45 days of automotive retail sales.


The report illustrates that the ASI index, a leading predictive indicator of automotive retail sales, reversed course in October, and reflecting seasonal trends, declined 5.78% from September.

Despite two major recalls within the past few months, shopping intensity around the Toyota brand remains at an all-time high, with the ASI ranking five Toyota models: the Camry, RAV4, Tacoma, Tundra and Prius in the top 10 for new vehicles.Moreover, the Toyota Camry gained a spot from last month to
rank highest in ASI of all new vehicles.

Similar to September, October introduced many newcomers to the top ten ASI ranking list, including three luxury imports: Acura’s MDX and RDX along with the BMW 328i. 

 

Additionally, in October, the former top ASI ranked auto for the past three months, the Chevrolet Silverado, experienced the largest declines in intensity of all new vehicles, and consequently, fell off the top ten list.

The Honda CRV, which has been consistently ranked in the top ten for new vehicles since July, moved up a spot in October, to rank fourth.  Furthermore, despite the lack of manufacturer incentives, the CRV has consistently outperformed the compact SUV market since June.

 

Eric Brown, Dataium CEO stated, “Import brands continue to dominate consumer interest and show no sign of weakening. This is reflected in continued expansion of their US based production capacity and consistent release of new models that are attracting new consumers in to the market.”

 

ADM Professional Community Members can download the entire report, including charts and detail by make and model by “right-Clicking” on the following link and selecting “Save File As” or the equivalent: Dataium_Nov_2012_ASI_Report.pdf  

 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Automotive Avenues Marketing Symposium October 7
Automotive Avenues Marketing Symposium October 7 (Photo credit: ralphpaglia)
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2013 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) Workshop Suggestions from ADM Members

 

 

I wanted to enlist the resources of the ADM community to suggest new workshop topics or keynote speaker topics to enhance the upcoming Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC).

This will be the third year that DMSC is scheduled just prior to the 2013 NADA Convention in Orlando, Florida from February 5-7th.

This gives dealers the ability to attend two great conferences with one trip out of the dealership.

DMSC is an intimate learning environment that focuses on winning strategies and the processes to create change for the upcoming business year.  With dealership attendance limited to 250 people, the workshops will provide that one-on-one feeling that has made DMSC a top conference destination each year!

A number of top speakers have confirmed their participation at DMSC and with only a few speaking slots remaining, I would like the ADM community to share what is IMPORTANT for their dealership in 2013.

What are the strategies and/or processes you are considering implementing in the year ahead?  How can DMSC help you make the right decisions for 2013?

Confirmed Speakers – Alphabetical Order

First Class Educators (FCE) who hosts DMSC each year, has confirmed the following speakers for the Orlando conference:

  • AJ LeBlanc
  • Ali Amirrezvani
  • Brian Pasch
  • Carlton van Putten
  • Chris Reed
  • Craig Lockerd
  • Dave Page
  • David Kain
  • David Metter
  • Glenn Pasch
  • Jamie Oldershaw
  • Jared Rowe
  • Jerry Thibeau
  • Jim Flint
  • Joe Webb
  • Julio Gonzalez
  • Marc McGurren
  • Patrick Workman
  • Peter Leto
  • Ralph Paglia
  • Shuan Weissman
  • Stan Sher
  • Thomas Gage

So what do you want to know, learn, confirm?  This is your chance, as a member of the ADM community to make your voice heard and impact the direction of an upcoming conference.  Add your feedback in the comments below.

I hope to see many ADM members at DMSC, and you can register for the conference by visiting the official conference website at: http://www.DigitalMarketingStrategies.org.

Ralph Paglia, founder of the ADM community, will be doing a three part workshop series this year at DMSC, which you will not want to miss!

 

via 2013 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) Workshop Suggestions from ADM Members – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Using Your Website As Your Content Hub

Using Your Website As Your Content Hub – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

I have been a proponent of “Hub and Spoke” and “Content Marketing” components within automotive digital marketing strategy for many years and have written, published and created entire teams of people to deliver what is essential a hub and spoke social media marketing strategy.  HOWEVER, I may be in disagreement with several points in this article and the comments made beneath it… Or, at least having a different perspective.

 

Because most dealership websites are provided by Cobalt (an ADP Company), Dealer.com, Clickmotive, KPA/TK, Dominion, or any number of other established providers, in many cases the result of an OEM mandate or endorsement, I do not recommend and have not seen much noteworthy success with using one of these fairly “standardized” dealer website platforms as the dealer’s “Content Hub” of choice.  I believe that a different type of site platform should be put into service by car dealers as a content hub within their “Hub and Spoke” social media marketing strategy, at least the part that is focused on content marketing.

 

As all three of you and many others know, I once created over 600 dealership content hub sites for use in an extensive and for the most part grossly over-reaching “Hub and Spoke” strategy when my team launched the ADP Social Media managed services solution for ADP Dealer Services in 2008… By the end of 2010 we had 660 dealerships on the program, and there was a whole lot of learning during that 2 years development and launch program.

 

Please believe me when I say that even as far back as 2009 there were many people within the ADP Digital Marketing team that wanted and insisted that content for marketing purposes should all be published on the dealer websites supplied by various ADP dealer website solution teams.  Even before the latest changes to Google’s SERP generating algorithms and subsequent updates, we found that trying to take website platforms designed primarily for promoting dealership inventory and not built for frequent content postings, and sharing of that content by all visitors to the site, was simply not very effective.

 

What we found a couple years ago, and what I still find to this day, is that the compromises required by the OEM mandated dealer website providers for the 10,000 of 17,000 or so total number of franchised dealers who are even remotely willing to consider content publishing for marketing purposes, so reduces the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy as to neuter it.  Yet, when we use a website platform that is optimized and designed to be used as a “Content Hub” with application layers syndication to the major social media networks, easily and readily adapted to multiple content sharing and appending apps, such as “If you like this article, you may want to check out these related posts…” type of technologies, along with Google verified authorship compliance, category and tagging features and other more social media 2013 type technologies… THEN the hub and spoke concept simply rocks and drives so much traffic, engagement, marketing communications objectives and SEO benefits to both the hub and the dealer’s eCommerce random access website (RAW – Larry Bruce) when appropriate reference and citations are implemented specific to relevant content posted and distributed from the hub, that we have a WINNING CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY.

 

So what types of platforms make good “Content Hubs”? Well, let’s start with the Ning Network platform that the ADM Professional Community, dealerELITE.net, AutomotiveSocial.comAutomotiveReputation.com and several other Content Hub purposed sites targeted to car business people have been built on by professionals such as myself, Brian Pasch, J.D. Rucker (@0boy), David Kain, Chris Saraceno and several others have done.  Not saying it is perfect, far from it, I have monthly meetings with the development team at Glam Media and they can be quite frustrating, but it does work, as shown by the success of the ADM Professional Community and over 30,000 monthly visitors from SEO alone.

 

Then there is WordPress and all the various “Theme” builds and templates designed to make it function as a great “Content Hub”.  Joomla, Drupal and many other platforms are all far better designed to serve as a content hub than any of the top 5 dealer website platforms that I am familiar with.

 

As for how to manage the schizo appearing strategy of having more than one website… That has been covered so many times I do not feel the need to repeat it in a comment.  But, once again let me state that due to the low costs involved and the increased effectiveness of purpose specific platform selection, along with the marketing reality of not wanting to take a “Buying Today” car shopper and send him/her right back up-funnel and into the research and info gathering mode by thrusting all sorts of content in front of their faces, which may distract them from their initial purchase intent that brought them to the website… ONE WEBSITE IS NOT ENOUGH FOR AN OPTIMIZED AUTOMOTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY at the dealership level. 

 

A Content Hub strategy requires a site platform optimized for its use as a centralized publishing point and a high frequency of such publishing in order to be as effective as possible.  And… Publishing a steady stream of content, much of which is relevant to customers focused on research and info gathering to a dealer’s eCommerce site may not be in the best interest of that site’s role as a lead, phone call and showroom traffic generator.

 

via Using Your Website As Your Content Hub.

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Google On The Verge Of Anit-Trust Lawsuit – Automotive Marketing Community

Written by Tim Martell of Wikimotive


The United States FTC is looking into the possibility of pursuing an anti-trust case against search engine giant Google.  

Sources close to the FTC say that four FTC commissioners: “have become convinced after more than a year of investigation that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals.” A decision to file a law suit against Google could have major implications for the future ofSearch Engine Optimization SEO and the search industry in general.

In 1998 a similar lawsuit was filed against Microsoft alleging that they abused their monopoly position. If Microsoft had lost they may have been forced to split into two parts. They ended up settling for an extremely large sum of money and, although they did not get convicted, they still lost. Many believe the case forced Bill Gates to resign as CEO and the company has never been the same since.

According to sources close to the FTC, it appears likely that they will pursue a case against Google. They won’t have to work very hard either, to come up with a good reason. They’ve been inundated with complaints about how Google is conducting itself. A lot of complaints have to do with Google favoring their own properties in vertical search results, but surprisingly that may not be what the FTC chooses to go after. One source said the FTC commissioners have given weight to… “complaints that Google refuses to share data that would allow advertisers and developers to create software to compare the value they get on Google to advertising spending on Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo.

In a related issue, the FTC is looking at Google’s handling of valuable patents, which are determined to be essential to smartphones. The agency is trying to determine if they are licensed fairly and whether patent infringement lawsuits are used to hamper innovation.”

If the FTC does decide to go after Google for anti-trust violations you can bet on one outcome with absolute confidence: Google will never be the same. And that will almost certainly mean a massive shake up in the world of SEO and digital marketing in general.

 

via Google On The Verge Of Anit-Trust Lawsuit – Automotive Marketing Community.

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