An ADM member named Anirban Das posted a Forum discussion within the Google Adwords User Group in the ADM Community a few days ago. His questions and observations were around several of Google's new Adwords products and enhancements. I have been working under an NDA with these new Google products since April 18th, but Google has published their existence in online blog posts over the past few weeks, so I can speak openly without getting into trouble (I hope). First of all, I sincerely believe the new Adwords enhancements and campaign features are going to make a major impact for those car dealers who learn how to use their new capabilities to gain a competitive advantage... This blog article was stimulated by reading Anirban's ADM Forum discussion posted inside the ADM Google Adwords User Group.
In regards to Anirban's post on Google Adwords Site Extensions and Sitelinks as extended Google Adwords campaign tools, I decided to respond via several completely new posts so I could get the HTML and Videos embedded (below) easier to install and quicker to complete the post... I am supposed to be going out with a buddy!
In January 2010 our team at ADP Digital Marketing was awarded Google's Adwords "Partner of the Year" for 2009 across all industries... Shocked the heck out of me! But, the criteria used made sense and the rest of the world went to hell in a hand basket in 2009, with "churn" rates over 60% and another 167,000 professional marketers laid off and kicked to the curb. So, anyways... In April 2010 when ADP was invited to Google's very exclusive annual "ThinkAuto" Symposium and Future Product Review for 100 of America's automotive digital marketing thought leaders, I received an invitation for the 4th year (every year Google has done it... YES!... Thank You, Bonita... You are my Google Superhero!) of Google's ThinkAuto invitation only event.
While there at the Santa Monica Googleplex that serves the Asian car companies and the big Advertising Agencies based in California, I watched the Adwords and Analytics Product Managers at Google showcase and present about a dozen completely new products I had never seen before... Many of them were based on what Google calls "Extensions", which refer top the text links that appear immediately below the description of a website in Google's SERP listings that show up for relevant queries...
When I found out that ADP Digital Marketing was approved to participate in the Beta testing of the Adwords version of Google's Search Campaigns with SITE EXTENSIONS I got very excited and went back to the Googleplex the next AM to work out our details. We have been building Adwords Campaigns for car dealers since early May and have learned a lot... But most importantly, these new tool sets from Google are making it easier for Dealers to get better and better results from Adwords. Although there are several categories of Site Extensions being "Beta Tested" the one I find the most interesting are the "Location Extensions", "Ad Sitelinks" and "Social Extensions" that selected Adwords users can now set up in their search advertising campaigns within Google Adwords. The "Social Extensions" are in Beta still and getting your Google Adwords account ID number authorized to use the beta version is by invitation only...
The concept would be to have 3 or 6 Site Extensions as links that go to a businesses various social media accounts, profiles, channels and pages... For right now we have been limited to the dealer's Twitter profiles, Google Buzz and the Community sites we build for dealers. Strangely enough, still waiting for YouTube Channels, although they are probably available for the other Google Site Extension products in Beta...
The key will be for Google to allow Advertisers to select from a wider choice of site subdomains for these extensions... Their is always the daughter pages within your eCommerce site as Site Extension direct links to targeted content, but you can expect Google to be watching the quality of their search engine user's experiences with advertiser paid site extensions quite closely.
Here is some information from Google on Extensions and a few types of them:
Adwords Site Listing Extensions - Introduction Ad extensions expand a dealership's site listing in Google Search Engine results beyond Adwords Campaigns standard text ad with one or more lines that provide additional information such as an address and phone number (location extensions and phone extensions), more page links (ad sitelinks), and product images (product extensions).
Ad extensions help car buyers and owners seeking service for their vehicle to easily find out more about your business and its offerings. Ads will appear just as they do now across Google and the Google Network, but the additional information may also appear on Google.com and its properties, such as Google Maps (for location extensions), in an enhanced format.
Which ad extensions you use for your dealership will depend on how you want to reach customers, and how you want to extend their experience. For example, if you own a Ford Dealership in downtown Minneapolis and a customer near your store is searching for Ford factory authorized repair shops or a place to buy the right parts to repair their Ford car or truck, as a local user you could more effectively reach this customer with location extensions. The customer will search Google and see your text ad, along with your local business address, phone number and links in the form of site extensions that give him single click access from Google Search results to the exact information he wants.
Pricing and traffic
There is no additional charge from Google for including "Ad Extensions" in your dealership's ads; just as with standard cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, you are charged for each click on your ad that leads to your site, even if those clicks are on product images, additional links, or other features in the ad extensions family.
Google Adwords Location Extensions
For dealer groups that wish to use "Location Extensions" as a means of leveraging their multiple franchises in the same ad, thereby achieving much higher CYTR, which in turn results in lower minimum bids, increased rotation and higher placement of a dealer's Google Ads. In a dealership's Adwords Campaigns that appear on Google Maps, you won't be charged for clicks on your ad that expand the info windows on the map interface, but you will be charged for clicks from the info window to your website. Likewise, when a user clicks the phone number on your ad to call your business, you will be charged for a click.
Even though most Car Dealers would rather receive a direct phone call from car buyers and service customers than a completed web form, it is still advisable that you read the Google FAQ document to learn more about Click-to-Call phone charges and how they work... This is definitely a case where you will WANT to use a dedicated and traceable unique phone number that is not available anywhere else... Which Google will supply if you let them!
To learn more about Google Adwords pricing for your dealership's location, please see the account fees finder.
Google Ad Extension formats and where they appear
The appearance and distribution of each Ad Extension or enhanced SiteLinks format depends on which type of Ad Extension you are ACTUALLY using. Please see below for information on different extension types and eligibility, and note that all ad extension features are not available in all areas.
Prospective Dealership Customers who Use this will also be able to click through to see the review of your business and verify the source and statements behind the ratings. However, you will not be charged for these clicks. This link also receives far less clicks than the actual headline for these ads, so users are unlikely to be diverted away from visiting your site. The benefit of this feature is the increase in click-through rates (CTR) based on the Dealership's customer review based star rating in the ad itself.
Where do the ratings in seller rating extensions come from?
The Ratings shown in Google's Seller Ratings are based on the Dealership's Customer reviews collected by Google Product Search, which aggregates reviews from a broad base of sources across the web, including DealerRater, Merchant Circle, Yelp, Insider Pages, ReviewCentre.com and Viewpoints. Google account user reviews are also included where applicable.
Is there a way I can take my dealership off the list for Seller Ratings extensions?
I am a completely customer service and digital marketing ignorant car dealer and my only objective is to force people who dare to complain about my dealership to delete any negative reviews they post on the Internet... My dealership is in China, because I would never last very long doing business the way I do, if I were located in the USA. To opt out of this feature, please let us know via this form.
If you do change your mind, you can always opt back in using the same form.
How can I place seller ratings extensions into my Google Adwords campaigns?
Only certain ads are eligible to appear with seller ratings extensions. You don't have to change any of your account settings. Once you meet the following criteria, the distribution is automatic and you are automatically opted in to showing seller ratings with your ads on Google Product Search. The criteria are:
Your campaign must be opted in to Google search.
Your campaign must be targeted to the US only.
Your business must have at least 30 unique reviews and a rating of four stars or above on Google Product Search.(another good reason to start driving your dealership customers to Google Maps business reviews!)
You do not need to have a Google Merchant Center account to be eligible to show your ads with seller ratings.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The best way to quickly improve your dealership's online customer reviews, ratings and reputation is to send Ralph Paglia large amounts of non-sequential serial numbered US currency in the form of large bills, nothing less than a $50... Hey, I am learning from Mark, Scott and others on ADM! Make sure that your dealership's sales and service customers receive excellent customer service. (I know, you never heard that before) Happy customers attract more happy customers who are willing to rate your dealership and staff well and who will in turn tell others about your dealership's sales and service departments.
Read the reviews about your business, and be proactive about resolving issues raised by your customers with a positive result that reasonably satisfies all parties, including you. When resolved, post a comment or response to the original customer review that expresses sincere thanks and appreciation for the customer allowing you to make it right. State what your dealership did for the customer so others can see how you resolved a customer concern.
Sometimes reviews will highlight issues that your dealership has no direct control over. For example, customers may have a problem with your bank or finance company used to finance their vehicle purchase, or the quality of a new vehicle that you sold to them, but which you did not manufacture. Since Google Product Search aggregates your dealership's customer generated reviews from several independant but trusted website publishers, a few negative or less than perfect score ratings shouldn't meaningfully impact your dealership's overall rating in a manner that drives away business... In fact, the team at ADP Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management has found that a few negative reviews or issues that need to be resolved posted by your customers enhances the dealership's overall reputation management results, when properly addressed and promptly responded to... An immediate apology along with an offer to "Make it Right" posted in a public manner will gfo a long way towards turning a negative review into positive reputation and credibility when you publicly and quickly resolve the customer's issue.
To help ensure that customers submit ratings to the right businesses, be sure to confirm that Google Product Search’s included review sites display the correct business name and website URL for your business listing. Your business name and website URL should be 100% consistent across all customer review and ratings sites. Your dealership must also ensure that all business, phone, name, address, URL, email addresses and cross relevant data posted to all consumer review site profiles and business listings is consistent with all the same data in your dealership's Google Merchant Center account (If you don't have one, then you are F*&^ed!)... Just Kidding... Go get one right now before you forget.
This helps customers identify the right dealership and helps avoid your dealership getting a bad rating from a customer who bought or serviced their vehicle from one of your competitors with the same franchise! What could be worse than a negative review posted to YOUR dealership's Google Maps account accidentally by one of their customers who mistakes your listing for the bad dealership's listing in any of thje many cutomer review sites. Don't make it easy for other dealerships to be mistakenly included within your own seller ratings.
How do these new Google Adwords customer generated Seller Rating Extensions work?
Google's recently launched Adwords Seller Ratings Extensions provide your customers who use Google Maps with ratings information about Car Dealers that appears next to the dealership's AdWords created and managed advertising when shown on Google Product Search. These reviews reflect customer’s experience with these dealerships, rather than the customer's experience with that particular vehicle they purchased or had serviced. Google matches these reviews to each dealer's Google Adwords based ads using the domain of the Display URL selected for placement in your ad within the Google Adwords campaign manager application used by your advertising manager or outside search advertising services provider.
This feature is offered as a service to our search engine and and Google Product Search customers to let them know about advertisers who are dealerships highly rated by previous customers... These Seller Rating Extensions appear while consumers are viewing your relevant ads as their search query results (SERP). This helps automotive consumers, car buyers and service department customers make more informed web browsing and vehicle purchase and servicing decisions while helping car dealers who are Google Adwords advertisers increase their potential for earning more qualified sales opportunities, phone calls and web form based leads.
EXTENSIONS FOR LOCAL PHONE NUMBERS:
There are two ways to add "Click-to-Call" buttons with phone functionality to your dealership's listing in Google Search and Product centers. The Click-to-Call Google Adwords feature provides a single click customer convenience to Google Adwords listed phone numbers used by your dealership in ads that appear on mobile devices with internet browsers.This article shows you how you can use location extensions to add your phone number for viewing and click-to-call access by automotive consumers who may be close to your business location, using their cell phone and ready to buy a new or used vehicle right now!
There are three easy steps to ensure that your dealership's phone number is set up to enable your customers and prospects with iPhones and other smart mobile devices with Internet browsers to "Click-to-Call" on your dealership's phone number that appears at the end of your Google Adwords Campaign Ad text entered when being created.
Set up your Location Extensions for Click-to-Call. In order to set up the Click to Call functionality for your campaign, you must set up a Google Adwords Location Extension. This ensures that your customer is shown the phone number for your business location nearest to them.
Include your Dealership's Google Local Business Listing phone number. When adding location information about your business, make sure you include your phone number. You should be using addresses from your Google Local Business Center account, so you'll have to login to view or edit your dealership's listing.
Advertise on mobile smart phones. Make sure you've opted-in to show your ads on iPhones, Droids, Blackberries and other "Smart Phone" mobile devices with internet browsers or applications that use the web to locate businesses based on the consumer's location... Such as the Yellow Pages iPhone app!. Check which devices you are advertising on from the Settings tab for your Google Adwords campaign.
After you've checked that all three things are implemented, customers will automatically be able to reach your business using Click to Call.
What performance data can I see for my Google Adwords Campaign Ad Extensions?
You can see statistics for any of your Google Adwords campaign Ad Extensions from the Ad Extensions tab. You can choose to see "All" or "All but deleted" extensions, and you can also choose the type of ad extensions to view, such as location, social or product extensions. For example, if you select "Locations," the tab will display all location extensions for that campaign (in the campaign details page) or all campaigns (in the "All Online Campaigns" overview).
Data by ad extension type
The data shown depends on the type of ad extension associated with the campaign(s). Ad extensions without any statistics (no earned click or impression activity) will still appear in the statistics table. In addition to basic performance metrics, you'll see the following data for each ad extension type:
Locations: Each row will show data for an address that is either manually entered or automatically retrieved from a linked Google Places account.
Phone: Each row will show data for your business phone numbers.
Ad SiteLinks: Each row will show data for a set of SiteLinks. Data at the individual site or single link level is not currently supported. Also, if you modify the link or the link descriptive text of any one of your SiteLinks, this will reset the SiteLink ad extension's statistics back to zero.
Product: Each row will show aggregate statistics for the linked Google Merchant account. Data at the individual product level is not currently supported. Also, if you activate or deactivate a product extension feed, this will reset the ad extension's statistics to zero.
Social: Each row will show aggregate statistics for the linked social media accounts and profiles. Data at the individual social media site level is not currently supported. Also, if you activate or deactivate a social extension feed, this will reset the Google Adwords social site extension's statistics to back to zero.
Campaign Changes; When you make changes to any of your extensions, this will reset their statistics to zero.
Ad extensions key statistics You'll see the following columns for each ad extension:
Status: The status for your ad extensions (Eligible or Disapproved). Eligible ad extensions will only be triggered when relevant and the associated ad is also eligible to run. You can confirm and review whether your ad extensions have earned impressions in the statistics table.
Clicks: The number of clicks on your ad when displayed with the selected extension type. This includes clicks on the ad headline as well as on the ad extension (if applicable). Currently, it isn't possible to see clicks statistics for only your ad extensions (clicks on your ad headline are not filtered out). For example, let's say an ad extension is shown with an ad ten times. Out of the ten times the ad and extension appear together, the ad headline receives 2 clicks and the ad extension receives three clicks. The numbers reported would be:
Clicks = 5
Impressions = 10
CTR = 50%
Calls: The number of calls initiated by a user with a click on your phone number from high-end mobile devices with full Internet browsers.
Impressions: The number of times your ad appeared with the ad extension. Impressions are only counted when your ad extension is actually triggered and appears with an ad.
Clickthrough rate (CTR): The number of clicks your ad received divided by the number of times your ad was shown (impressions).
Cost: The accrued cost of all clicks on your ad.
Avg. Position: The ad's average position on search results pages when shown.
Avg. Cost-per-Click (CPC): The average amount you pay each time someone clicks your ad extension. Average CPC is determined by totalling the cost of all clicks and dividing it by the number of clicks received.
We'll continue to expand the statistics available on this tab in the near future.
Limitations on available data The metrics shown for ad extensions are currently available for ads appearing on Google.com search and on Google's Search Partners for mobile and maps. Different extensions are served on different partners and networks, so visit our Ad Extensions Introduction to learn more about where and how ad extensions may appear on Google properties and partner sites.
This data is only applicable starting April 21, 2010. If you change your date range to include a period before this date, you will see incomplete ad extensions performance data for those days prior to April 21, 2010.
Why do my ad extensions show zero or lower performance metrics compared to my campaign reports?
Ad extensions must be triggered for any data to appear on the Ad Extensions tab. If you see no statistics on the Ad Extensions tab, this means that your ad extensions have not yet appeared with your ads.
Since ad extensions need to meet special requirements to appear with your ad, it's normal to see lower numbers on the Ad Extensions tab compared to your Ads tab. Only impressions where both your ad and your extensions have appeared together are reported on the Ad Extensions tab.
Also, location extensions are only eligible to appear when a user is near the physical address, or is searching specifically for that location. For example, you might have a physical business location in Rome and also serve customers online throughout Europe. If you use your Rome address for an ad extension, and within a campaign that geo-targets all of Europe, your ad will only appear with a location extension to users in Rome. Other users in Europe will see your ad without a location extension attached.
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