Welcome to the Jungle – Volume 1 – “Entering the Jungle”

Entering The Jungle Article

Dan Brauer came to DPS with plenty of enthusiasm about cars and limited experience with Search Engine Marketing. This ongoing story called “Welcome to the Jungle” will be a journal about his experience going from a normal man to a hardcore digital marketing pro. Welcome to the jungle, indeed. – Ed.

Joining the team at DPS has been nothing short of fantastic. From the moment I stepped through the door, I knew that I would be able to make an easy and efficient transition into an area of work with aspects relatively new to me. I sat down a few months back and told myself that I needed to find a career that allows me to work with cars in some capacity. Well, I’ve found it.

After five years with a well-respected market research company, I realized that  I needed something slightly more challenging. It was, however, an excellent experience to be able to work with, and learn from, clients who frequented the office to conduct research. They offered me a variety of professional skills I knew would benefit me in future endeavors. Patience, understanding, motivation, customer service, and analytic thinking have all allowed me join the team in a way that has made me beneficial for all my team members.
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Developing a Social Media Strategy for Car Dealerships

Social-Media-Strategy

In 2014, it is estimated that 68% of internet users will engage and consume all types of Social Media (eMarketer). That means that almost 70% of all consumers on the internet will be posting, blogging, liking, tweeting, retweeting, sharing, reviewing, etc. regarding everything from viral videos/content to brands/products. So what does this mean for car dealerships? Well Mr. Dealer, Social Media is here to stay and the need for embracing it couldn’t be more evident.

Developing a sound strategy for a car dealership can be tricky. I’ve heard it time and time again from Dealer Principles, GM’s, GSM’s, Service Directors, etc. that the biggest problem they have is combating negative posts or reviews, creating engagement, or driving new consumers to their pages. All of these issues can be combated with having a fine-tuned social strategy, customized around the core marketing objectives at hand.
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Apple’s CarPlay may bring iOS Apps into your car

CarPlay

As if Apple didn’t already have their hands in enough of your technology, they recently announced CarPlay, a revolutionary entertainment system.

CarPlay is an in-car infotainment system that will allow you to connect your iOS device to your car. CarPlay will allow iPhone users to make phone calls, access text messages, listen to music, and access the Maps app in their cars using Siri, touch controls, and of course, the standard knobs and dials that would usually come with a car’s entertainment system.
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Embrace the negative

NegMatchtypes

How Negative Keyword Lists and Matchtypes can make your PPC life easier

Avoiding wasted impressions and clicks is an important part of PPC strategy. Irrelevant traffic can drain your PPC budget and increase bounce rates while decreasing CTRs. Creating a robust negative keyword list for campaigns (or even adgroups) aids paid search advertisers in their struggle to avoid the dreaded irrelevant traffic. Adding negative keywords to your campaigns allows you to use phrase, broad and modified broad match keywords more liberally while avoiding a lot of irrelevant traffic.

When first creating a PPC campaign, it can be difficult to come up with a truly exhaustive list of negative keywords to add. There are negative keyword tools around the web that can help you gauge what types of searches a keyword might trigger. Once your campaign starts getting some traffic, it’s a great idea to check your search terms report to see what queries are leading to clicks on your ads.
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The Full Value of Search in an Automotive World

Google CarsIt’s Evolution Baby

We all know it. The landscape of how we market to our car buyers has changed, and is still changing. With consumers increasingly in control, the traditional sales funnel is becoming less and less relevant. Our consumers have the ability to start their purchasing journey at any point along the traditional sales path. Dealers must adapt in this ever-evolving space in order to compete in an already highly-competitive automotive world.

Search ads have always been a proven method of marketing to prospective consumers. What hasn’t always been so clear cut is attributing offline sales to them. Google Think recently posted an article answering what we, as automotive search marketers, have always questioned: Can search ads impact offline sales? The answer they came up with from this study is YES. (Proof That Online Search Ads Can Boost Offline Store Sales” Nov.2013, Kirthi Kalyanam Ph.D.)
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In Social Media, Google+ platform should never be ignored

Google+Perception can often be the enemy of innovation in the digital space. Too often a great idea is disregarded because of an undeserved image problem. Google+ is an example of this. Google+ is completely misused in the automotive world because of a perceived lack of interest by potential customers.

Many believe no one is using Google+, so why should they take the time to post to their Google+ pages?

Google+ is obviously a fantastic SEO tool, but its value stretches far beyond the realm of Search Engine Results Pages. Some companies even use Google+ purely as a SEO tool, but even this is a mistake. Next time, don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t have any value as a Social Media platform. There are several reasons for this.

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Understanding the Relationship Between Business Objectives and PPC

PPC & Business ObjectivesIn PPC, you must never forget that the goal of marketing is to satisfy client expectations and help them meet their business objectives. Client objectives and expectations should be reflected in everything you do for them, including how you set up your PPC campaign and what metrics you report on. It’s a bad idea to push forward with campaigns when they are completely misaligned with your client’s actual business objectives. Some companies may strive for growth or pushing a specific product or service more than they care about short term profitability, but you will never know unless you stay in touch with them. Keeping an open line of communication with clients is essential to retaining business, understanding client objectives as well as managing their expectations of your performance.

Asking questions is a great way to learn more about the business you’re representing and what their objectives are. It’s also important to understand how they will measure your performance. Figure out what metrics matter to your clients so you can tailor your reports to be as relevant and actionable as possible. Most clients aren’t experts in PPC and by giving them reports with lots of irrelevant metrics will likely to confuse them or give them the wrong idea about your performance.
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Gorilla PPC Warfare – How To Pull Competitive Insights

Gorilla WarfareIt’s a jungle out there and the key to survival is making sure you are swinging high in the branches of search results. Guaranteeing that your dealership is being competitive in the automotive jungle is crucial to PPC campaign success. Fortunately, Google has a tool for this called the Auction Insights Report.

This post is going to give a step-by-step guide to understanding these reports and how any Grease Monkey out there can pull them.

This wonderful tool provides the ability to take a deep dive analysis of how you are comparing to your direct competitors in market for the same auctions you are in. With this report, dealerships can see how often their ads rank and how their share of total possible impressions compares with their competitors. We utilize these reports to make informed business decisions on bids, budgets and keyword choices to show where we are winning and even losing at the campaign, ad group and keyword level. These reports will give any dealership or client the opportunity to get ahead of the pack.

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Conquering the mysterious Google Knowledge Graph

Why Knowledge Graph logos need a mix of patience and a willingness to embrace your Google+ page

Each time a potential client asks our one of our Social Media staff about the Knowledge Graph, it reminds me of a cartoon I saw in a recent Search Engine Journal Facebook post. It shows Google as the vengeful father of the shunned Social Media platform Google+, determined to make the world love his son. The cartoon is utterly hilarious for people within the SEO industry.

Search Engine Land CartoonWhy? Well, the Google Knowledge Graph pulls much of its information directly from the Google+ page. That’s right, Google+ – not Facebook, not Twitter, not Instagram, and definitely not Snapchat. Google is not pulling these photos and posts from the social media properties that most businesses mainly use.
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