Is your brand working against you in the search engine? When your prospects search for you by name, are you the first brand they see? If you aren’t the number one listing for your community’s brand you might just have a brandjacking problem. You wouldn’t be the first community to experience this, even marketing agencies like us experience brandjacking attempts. We know being brand jacked can be a frustrating experience, but rest assured, it’s a battle you can win. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to overcome brand jackers and reclaim your rightful place in the search engine.Continue reading…
If you took a sneak peek into thousands of apartment websites’ analytics accounts you might find that they tell a similar story. Most of their website traffic is coming from Google. Google is arguably the most important marketing channel for apartment marketers today, but it’s also one of the most difficult to compete in.
If you aren’t keeping up with mobile optimization trends, you won’t rank as well in search engines or ad platforms. You’ve likely heard by now that Google penalizes site designs that aren’t responsive to mobile. As a result, many companies have adapted their websites in the last few years to become mobile responsive. But what many companies don’t realize is a mobile-first experience has come to mean more than, “does it work on mobile?”. What mobile first really means is, “does your site work better on mobile?”. In an attempt to stay ahead of the mobile movement, some companies have gone as far as restructuring their site to prioritize mobile page speeds above all else. What are these companies doing to beat out their competition? “AMP”
Google is king of search engines, but Microsoft’s Bing is still a worthwhile investment. To reach your audience in all the places they are looking, it’s important to have a presence on Bing. This search engine powers nearly one in three U.S. searches and 11 billion monthly searches around the globe. Through a partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo, your ads could appear on the top or to the right of Bing, Yahoo and MSN search results. Just like Google, you can choose to target your ads to different geographic locations, times or days of the week, and consumer demographics.
What are Bing product ads?
Products Ads include custom images from your own online inventory, plus unique promotional text and pricing. Product Ads use your specific product information to determine who sees your ads. If someone’s search query is relevant to your products, your Product Ad can show up on the search results. Photos and relevant information help catch a user’s interest, and influences purchase decisions even before they click your ad.
Following Google’s lead, Bing is now showing carousels for their Product Ads in the Bing search results. The new Bing carousels are showing up for a variety of searches, showing eight products within the carousel. Informative product ads can translate into greater engagement, higher click-through rates, and higher conversion rates.
Where will your ad appear?
Like Google, Bing Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system. You bid based on how much you are willing to pay per each click on your ad. Bing has limited online real estate so they auction available spaces. You are bidding against other advertisers selling similar products or services who want to place their ads into the space you want. Your ad position is based on several things, including:
- How relevant your ad and website are to the search terms a user enters.
- How your bid compares to other bids in the Bing Ads auction.
- Your ad’s click-through rate and past performance.
The stronger you are in these areas, the better your chances of winning the top ad position.
If you want to extend your paid search campaign to Bing, we can help! Contact us today and we’ll get your comprehensive PPC advertising strategy up and running.
Google recently announced that it is revamping its indexing criteria to better align with smartphone users. Google’s new mobile-first index delivers more relevant search results and accurate content to searchers.
Google’s indexing process makes up a large part of the algorithm that determines what a user will or will not see. Historically, Google’s index was based solely on desktop websites. Google crawls your desktop site, creating ranking signals and categorizing content. When a user searches Google, the retrieval part of the algorithm looks at the desktop index. It finds relevant results based on this index, then ranks them.
The mobile-first index will look at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals and fall back on the desktop version when there is no mobile version. This means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users. Google wants its search results to reflect the majority of its audience: mobile users. If you want to remain visible and competitive, you need to include relevant, informative content on your mobile site.
How can you respond to make sure you take full advantage of the new mobile-first index?
Create a responsive website: A responsive website serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device, but will adjust the display based on screen size. When you have a responsive site, the indexing doesn’t change because Google sees the same content.
Create relevant, informative mobile content: When the mobile-first index rolls out in its entirety, Google will search your mobile site and index your site based on mobile content. Creating high-quality content will help Google understand the relevance of your site when searches look for what offer.
Launch a paid search campaign: To ensure that your ads land at the top of search engine results pages despite indexing, launch a paid search campaign. Compel prospective customers to click by exploring all possible keyword angles. Consider connecting ads to specific landing pages on your site to produce the most relevant results and best experience for your potential customers.
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A couple of years ago, Google debuted a new product called Google Cars. Dealerships everywhere were curious and apprehensive about the new product. There was talk about Google gaining too much power in how consumers would search for cars, and a few dealers were skeptical it would work.
Now, after a couple years, we’ve been able to determine that Google Cars was not a success. Consumers didn’t use the tool nearly as much as was anticipated, and dealers received mixed results from the leads generated by the program.
The failure of a company Google’s size at creating a tool to connect with car shoppers shows that it’s harder to sell cars online than everyone thinks. It’s not about “doing digital;” it’s about doing digital right.
If you’re trying to connect with car shoppers in search engines, you can do it two ways: a traditional PPC program, or a dynamic, inventory-specific program like Search Liners.
Search Liners aggregates your inventory and creates individual search ads for each car on your lot. That way, when a consumer does a search for a specific car you have, the PPC for that specific model will display and when they click it will drive them right to the VDP for that specific car.
Just because Google Cars didn’t work out doesn’t mean it’s impossible to connect with car shoppers on search engines – you just have to do it right.
How to measure your Automotive SEO on a CPC level
Is your Automotive SEO company really moving the needle for you, or are they selling you snake oil? I have watched a lot of dealers spend a lot of money on microsites, premium content, videos, blogs and more, all in the name of “SEO.” I think it is time to discuss some ways to measure your SEO to make sure you aren’t the guy buying a muffler bearing warranty from your web company.
A couple of caveats before we move on: I am NOT calling all Automotive SEOs snake oil salesmen. I DO realize that every situation is different in regards to dealer placement on the SERP. The purpose of this article is simply to discuss some methods of measurement to make sure you are getting the most from your SEO budget.
Remember that search engines make money by delivering the best, most relevant search results possible. Therefore, your dealership should automatically show up in the results for queries like: “your dealership name,” and “your make your city.” SEO’s true value comes in on trickier searches like; “make, model, your city” or “your make your metro” or “your make your state.” You should benchmark your search results on these types of queries on a regular basis.
Searches like these are easy to measure in your analytics. Here’s how you can calculate exactly what your CPC is on your SEO keywords:
- Log into your Google Analytics.
- On the left hand side of the dashboard click Traffic Sources, click Sources, then All Traffic.
- Adjust your dates to the last 30 days.
- Navigate to the Source/Medium column and select Search Engine/ Organic.
- You’ve now isolated your organic traffic. Find the dropdown menu called Secondary Dimension and toggle that to Keyword. Now you can see nearly all of the keywords that were searched in order to drive traffic to your site.
- Go up to the search bar for these results. Click on Advanced and set the search to Include, Keyword, and Containing. Type in your word and hit apply.
- Now you can see exactly how many times these words have delivered a prospect to your website.
Add up these clicks and divide the number into what you’re spending for SEO. This gives you an approximate cost per click on your SEO keywords. You can also measure the value of each click by analyzing the time on site and bounce rate for these words. Plus, you can measure any goals you have set up in your analytics by hitting the Goal tab at the top of the page.
I’ve seen dealers spending thousands of dollars per month on elaborate microsite SEO programs that were yielding very few actual visitors. Plus, when we looked at cost per click we found they were paying 10 to 15 times what they were paying for similar paid search clicks.
The point here is that if you are paying monthly for SEO you should measure the results to make sure that you aren’t paying for snake oil, or overpaying for clicks you could have gotten cheaper through a paid search campaign.
Dave Pavlu is a twenty-year veteran of the retail automotive industry and the founder and CEO of AdsUpNow.com. AdsUpNow is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Seattle, WA that specializes in online marketing strategies that drive and capture first-party leads for car dealerships.