Apartment SEO vs. SEM in 2019

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.

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Three Ways to Prepare for Google’s Mobile-First Index

google's mobile first indexGoogle 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.

Did you find this blog post interesting? Comment below with your thoughts or questions? 


Hey, Google: Selling Cars is Harder Than You Think

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.

Google Cars

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.


Tablet users are engaged during primetime – are you marketing to them?

Tablets are becoming more and more commonplace both in work and at home, and they are now the ultimate companion device for consumers as they watch TV.

In a new report from Flurry Analytics, tablet users are shown to use their tablets throughout the day, but during the primetime hours the usage spikes.

What does this mean? It means tablet users are using their devices as they watch TV. They’re searching, networking and playing games. Their high engagement during the primetime TV hours means that you have an additional way to get their attention instead of just TV commercials.

Imagine you run a primetime TV spot at 7:30 p.m. on a local news channel. An interested customer sees your ad, grabs their tablet and looks you up online. You have two opportunities to grab them while they are searching for your business.

The first is with a search targeting campaign. Also known as paid search, search targeting puts your ad at the top of search engines. This gives you the chance to reach people as they look up your business.

The second is with Retargeting. Retargeting displays ads to people after they visit your website, allowing you to remarket your business to them. So if the interested tablet user searches and finds your website, but leaves without taking action, you can still reach out to them through a Retargeting campaign.

Tablet users have high primetime engagement, and tend to be older and more affluent than other demographics. It’s time to target tablet users with search and display ads.


Boeing Classic Campaign Part Two: Pixel Targeting

The second part of the campaign was a Pixel Targeting campaign. Pixel Targeting is a unique product that we developed to find appropriate customers based on their purchase history, search intent, search history and more. For Boeing Classic, the Pixel Targeting campaign was aimed at Washington State golf enthusiasts. This allowed Boeing Classic to reach out to people who might not have heard about their website, but would be interested in attending the tournament.

The Pixel Targeting campaign used the same creative as the Site Retargeting campaign, and the eye-popping design grabbed the attention of golf enthusiasts as they browsed their favorite websites. This part of the campaign was focused on high-volume ad inventory and succeeded in reaching thousands of people in Boeing Classic’s target demographic.

Overall campaign stats were just as impressive as Retargeting: 301,051 impressions, 527 clicks and a CTR of .18%


AdsUpNow Sponsored the Boeing Classic

The Boeing Classic annual golf tournament draws large crowds throughout the Puget Sound Region and Washington State every August. The $2 million purse and $300,000 first place prize money bring out some of the best golfers on the PGA TOUR Champions Tour. To help promote this famous Washington State event, AdsUpNow sponsored the Boeing Classic with a full digital marketing package and mobile website. The end results were fantastic, as the various campaigns delivered more than 500,000 ad impressions and drove more than 1,000 people to the Boeing Classic Website. Over the next few days, I’ll take you through our campaign and what we did for each part.

The first part of the package was a Site Retargeting campaign. Site Retargeting allowed Boeing Classic to serve ads to everyone who expressed an interest in the Boeing Classic by visiting their website. This repeat exposure helped increase top of mind awareness as the event drew closer, and succeeded in bringing more than 600 people back to the website who otherwise wouldn’t have returned.

The Site Retargeting campaign was designed to grab the attention of Boeing Classic’s website visitors. It involved nine sets of creative, each one advertising different events that happened over the weeklong tournament. The campaign was hugely successful, and shows the power of following-up with your current website visitors.

Overall campaign stats were extremely impressive:  195,643 impressions, 606 clicks, and a CTR of .40%.


It’s Time to Start Targeting

Targeting is the new way to reach your customers. In a new study from ValueClick, more than half of all marketers said that they thought Retargeting was one of the most important forms of targeting available.

The reason is simple: you are able to advertise and reach out to your website visitors repeatedly, giving you more opportunities to bring them back to your site and heightening brand awareness so they’ll remember you.

You already spend money bringing people to your website, so don’t you want to have multiple chances to reach out to them? Retargeting increases the ROI on all your other advertising because it brings back people who you hear about your website through all other advertising.

There are other forms of targeting such as behavioral, contextual, pixel and search retargeting. Each one offers a different way to reach your customers, and can be combined to bring you the best mix of traffic to your site.

If you currently don’t do any targeting, however, Retargeting is a great way to start. It makes use of your existing advertising and the website traffic you currently have. Retargeting is so simple that if you aren’t retargeting then you aren’t even in the game. It’s time to step up and start Retargeting your website visitors.


Are You Doing SEO? Try Some SEM Instead

Don’t think of search engine optimization as the end of your online strategy. SEO should play an important role, but don’t get caught up in the hype of so-called “free traffic.” In fact, you are paying your SEO company to get you that “free traffic” every month.

A great alternative to spending money on SEO is SEM. Don’t listen to companies who say their SEO is foolproof. Purchasing ads in Google AdWords is the only surefire way to appear at the top of the search results.

The fact of the matter is that SEO is still a guessing game, and that’s the way Google likes it. Google doesn’t make any money off of SEO. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for them to help websites optimize for higher search listings.

A simple search engine marketing campaign can help bring your website more traffic than you would get normally. Plus, in a report from Google, 89% of traffic gained from a search campaign was lost when the ads were paused. That means that an SEM campaign lets you reach an entirely different audience than you would get from organic results.

If you’ve never done SEM, give it a shot. Go to Google AdWords and create a test campaign and bring some new traffic to your website.


Add Search To Your Display Campaign

Display advertising has been around almost as long as the Internet; however, we’ve seen advanced changes to how display advertising works since those early days of the web.

We can now target every display ad to people based on their search history, what websites they’ve visited and what webpage they’re on currently. This gives us powerful tools to provide relative ads to all your customers.

Now, a new survey from Econsultancy says that adding search to display campaigns helps improve ROI across the board. In fact, 56% of marketers said they planned to integrate search with their banner campaigns.

One type of banner advertising that benefits from search is Site Retargeting. Site Retargeting delivers banner ads to people who have visited your website, helping you increase branding and mindshare throughout the buying cycle. By using search engine marketing to drive people to your site, you can target more people with your message.

At AdsUpNow, we provide a la carte packages for all your digital marketing needs. We can help you with search, display, SEO, local, and more. Contact us today to get started with your digital marketing campaign.


Google’s War on Free Clicks: Why SEO Isn’t the Answer

Search marketing company WordStream says Google has declared war on free clicks and the SEO industry. And I agree with them. Here’s why.

1. Google doesn’t make any money from SEO.

That’s right, Google is a multi-billion dollar company whose business is based almost entirely on getting you to click on search ads. It doesn’t benefit Google for you to have “good” SEO – they care about more people clicking.

2. People Click Search Ads

We all like to think that no one clicks on search ads. Wrong. In fact, 64.6% of commercial intent keywords come from SEM ads in Google. Only 35.4% come from organic, unpaid results.  That’s almost two-thirds of all clicks that go to paid results.

3. SEO is Convoluted and Dying

In the modern Google search page, ads and local listings dominate the results. On average, less than 15% of the page is from organic listings. Additionally, the top three spots take 41.1% of the clicks, whereas the top organic listing only gets 8.9% of the clicks. Since Google never discloses exactly what makes “good” SEO, most companies are forced to make educated guesses on exactly what Google is looking for.

Those are just three of the many reasons why the SEO industry is dying. Clickstream made an awesome infographic which you can find here.

It’s time to start putting your hard-earned advertising dollars into something that converts. Contact us today and see why you should get started with Google AdWords.