Google Selects Search Optics® as a Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner

SAN DIEGO—Mar.  23, 2015—Search Optics®, a leading digital marketing provider with a specialty in automotive, today announced it has been selected into the Google AdWords™ Premiere SMB Partner Program. Search Optics specializes in providing automotive dealer associations and dealerships with data-driven campaigns that are backed by real, human analysis from more than 150 Google-certified employees – the most in its industry. More than 1,000 dealers use Search Optics to create incremental  showroom traffic to push sales up.

“The Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program was created to help small- and medium-sized businesses who don’t have time or resources to manage their advertising campaigns,” said Ben Wood, head of Google’s Americas channel sales partnerships. “Our PSP partners like Search Optics offer expertise, experience and end-to-end customer service so business owners can focus on running their business.”

In 2014, Search Optics achieved record year growth thanks to integrated digital marketing platform with a full suite of digital services and digital marketing experience.  Search Optics’ flagship digital marketing platform, Blueprint, enables dealers and companies of all sizes to quickly and easily build their digital and mobile presence using responsive web techniques. Last year, Search Optics expanded its capabilities with the purchase of DigiGo, a leading automotive website design, social media and SEO business, adding more hands-on expertise to Search Optics’ already extensive portfolio of work.

“This recognition from Google as part of the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program reinforces our philosophy that quality, hands-on marketing has a more positive impact than automated digital marketing,” said Christian Fuller, chief relationship officer at Search Optics. “Over the past few years, Search Optics has been rapidly gaining a reputation for thoughtful marketing campaigns that are carefully constructed to fit each of our clients’ needs, thanks in part to our recently launched Blueprint platform.”

About Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program

The Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program (PSP) connects Google’s trusted and experienced AdWords partners with small- and medium-sized businesses that want expert help in creating, managing and optimizing their online advertising campaigns. In addition to in-depth AdWords expertise, PSP partners provide full-service campaign management, detailed reporting, one-on-one customer support, and broad marketing guidance to help advertisers make the most of their campaigns.

Premier SMB Partners meet Google’s highest standards and criteria for qualification, transparency, and customer service, which includes completing extensive Google product and account management training. This ensures they can provide small businesses with the most effective AdWords advertising solutions.

For more information about the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner program, visit: http://www.google.com/ads/premiersmbpartner/

About Search Optics

Search Optics is a digital marketing company that specializes in custom, integrated solutions with an emphasis on return on investment. The company uses an uncommon blend of leading edge technology and human interaction to turn virtual traffic into measurable results. Search Optics, which was founded in 1998, has corporate offices in San Diego, Detroit, Orange County, Calif., Toronto, Montreal and São Paulo, and field locations in major markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit www.searchoptics.com.  You can follow Search Optics on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Facebook.

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Media Contacts:

Adrian Eyre
Ogilvy PR
T: 415.677.2708
E: Adrian.Eyre@ogilvy.com

Google Launches New “Callout” Ad Extensions

Ad extensions have become a common sight when looking at Google’s paid search results. Less of an option and more of a “must have” when building a campaign, these extensions (including site links, call, location, social, review, and app extensions) give businesses an array of options to complement their ads. Recently, Google introduced another ad extension to the mix named “callout” extensions. This new extension allows you to include an additional two to four, 25-character lines of text along with your ad to highlight services, features, and benefits of your products. As with other ad extensions, there is no additional cost to use callouts. An example of the new extension is shown in red below:

example

Although this text is not clickable, it still provides major benefits to the ad. First, the extra line of text captures an increased amount of real estate on the page. This pushes competitors’ ads further down the page and helps attract the searcher’s eyes to your ad. Second, Google includes ad extensions in its quality score calculation, one factor that helps determine an ad’s position on the page. Including as many ad extensions as possible only helps boost the ad’s quality score. Finally, the callout extension allows you to include an extra line of persuasion that may not have otherwise fit within the ad’s text. When combined with other extensions, callouts can help create a very compelling ad.

Search Optics was quick to jump onto the new extension’s bandwagon, implementing it for a trial run the day it was released. Not only were our account managers happy with the overall effect of highlighting additional features and benefits, but the statistics were even better. Early results showed that callout extensions increased clickthrough rate by as much as 8 percentage points when they were present in an ad.

Cosmetically, callout extensions add to the overall appeal of an ad, giving advertisers more options to highlight their products and make their ad stand out. From a statistics standpoint, callouts have proven to be effective in driving more clicks so far. Overall, callouts are a win for advertisers and should become a staple in all AdWords accounts.

- Matt Ganey, SEM Manager

Seven Steps to an Influential Facebook Presence

In today’s content-saturated world, there are a lot of things competing for our attention. Marketers are challenged with not only ensuring their clients stand out above the competition, but also keeping them relevant enough to produce engagement. Here are a few tips and tricks to meet these challenges:

  1. Analyze Your Results
    Tracking results is key to developing what your social media content should look like. Within Facebook, marketers can use Page Insights, Audience Insights, and Ads Manager data to build a strong social strategy for their clients. Indicators from Page Insights allow marketers to drive down on what audience they are reaching, when they are engaged, and the type of content that engages them. Audience Insights lets marketers understand not only who their audience is, but also their lifestyles and purchase behaviors. These metrics help marketers better customize content to the audience they are targeting. With Ads Manager, marketers can dive into how well their campaigns are performing and optimize them, as well as manage ads and budgets.
  1. Pay to Play
    Organic reach has been declining for Facebook Business Pages at a staggering rate. Brian Boland, VP of Ads Product Marketing and Atlas at Facebook, ties two key factors to this decrease. The first is that more content is being created, and with this increase, there is more competition for a page’s audience to see posts. The second has to do with the way that the News Feed works, which is designed to show users the most relevant content for them. In 2012, Facebook for Business began with an organic reach of 16%, which has since dropped to roughly 6%. According to a Facebook Newsroom article from this November, a new algorithm will launch in mid-January, whereby pages producing promotional posts without putting spend on them will have a reduced ranking in the News Feed.
  1. Listen to Your Audience
    By listening to a client’s audience, marketers can get a feel for what they are hoping to see from the brand’s page, as well as deliver content that resonates with them. Marketers need to consider what excites their client’s audience. When talking about the brand, what is the audience saying? Facebook uses a ranking system to decide which content will be relevant to its users; just because someone likes a business’ page does not mean that he or she will see the page’s content. Understanding what fuels the brand’s fan base will increase the reach of the pages content, as well as drive more shares, comments, and likes.
  1. Nurture Relationships with Your Audience
    Marketers need to follow up with those who check in and interact with their clients business. According to Social Bakers, up to 70% of questions are not answered on page walls. This portion of the audience cares enough about the brand to interact with it. Taking the time and effort to respond and give feedback will show them that they are valued, as well as help to build brand loyalty. Facebook lets brands understand how their audience speaks to one another. It is important that marketers listen to these conversations and speak to the page’s audience in a similar tone.
  1. Engage Your Community
    When thinking about what makes a customer brand-loyal, things like exceptional service, a great product, and an overall pleasant experience come to mind. Brands have an ideal opportunity to connect with their customers in an entirely new way when they engage with their community. This can include hosting or sponsoring events or donating to a cause. For example, Search Optics supported a social media campaign that raised funds for Detroit-area school projects. This campaign showed the company’s commitment to the community, increased visibility for the brand, and improved page reach and engagement. At the end of the campaign, more than $10,000 was donated.
  1. Promote Company Culture
    An article in Huffington Post by Zappos CEO Tony Hsiehv says it best: “Your culture is your brand.” A company’s culture says a lot about what it stands for, and in today’s saturated marketplace marketers are challenged with making sure that their clients stand out above the competition more than ever. Providing a behind-the-scenes look works to build a personal relationship with customers.  Successfully promoting company culture can also lead to customers engaging with the brand long after they’ve made a purchase.
  1. Create Your Own Shareable Content
    People go on Facebook to connect with friends and talk about current topics and events, which has led to News Feeds favoring relevant high quality articles. Creating and posting original content helps to build a brand’s SEO value and gain leads. Not only is it important to ensure that content is original and high quality, but also that it is shareable. When a piece of content is shareable, the potential reach increases greatly and leads to higher site traffic.

- Andrea Brown, Content Strategy Analyst

 

The Top Three Digital Marketing Predictions in Automotive for 2015 at NADA

Search Optics® Encourages Auto Dealers to Embrace the Mobile Internet and Real-Time Data

NADA CONVENTION & EXPO, SAN FRANCISCO—Jan. 22, 2015—Search Optics®, a leading digital marketing solutions provider with a specialty in automotive, today announced at NADA 2015 the top three digital marketing trends it predicts will reshape industry dynamics for automotive dealerships. Working in the trenches with several of the largest auto OEMs and dealers, Search Optics sees the rise of the mobile Internet, the value of real-time content, and consumer demand for real-time data as priorities for auto brands to reach customers with a personalized online and mobile buying experience.

“With online influence now reaching critical mass in automotive purchase decisions, digital marketing will become far more strategic to automotive dealerships in 2015 than ever before,” said Troy Smith, Search Optics’ President. “Well beyond 50 percent of auto buyers are searching, reading and watching relevant content online or on their mobile devices before making a vehicle purchase . It’s clear that implementing proven digital marketing practices to address the changing market is what will separate the good dealers from the great ones in 2015.”

The dealers the implement the most dynamic digital marketing tactics can quickly adapt to constantly changing inventory, events, promotions, buyer preferences and more. Search Optics recommends the following trends as the most transformational for automotive marketing in 2015:

1. Real-Time Content: Real-time content is a new way to empower dealers to nurture leads, advance sales processes and improve engagement with potential buyers by making up-to-the-minute data actionable. This allows dealers to respond to user/buyer behavior on the fly with personalized display advertising, including header bars, pop-ups, retargeting and other online tools for faster, more efficient time-to-close ratios and better return on investment than traditional marketing methods.

2. Responsive Design and the Mobile Internet: With tablet and smartphone usage by in-market auto shoppers increasing by 35 percent year over year in 20141, responsive design is becoming essential and a major competitive advantage for dealers. Responsive design ensures dealer websites are accessible to a greater number of consumers who increasingly research and make purchase decisions from their mobile devices. This leads to increased SEO and higher levels of online lead conversion.

3. Data-Driven Marketing: Data-driven marketing helps dealers secure incremental revenue and brand trust over the full lifecycle of the customer relationship. In fact, data-driven marketing moves the needle in fixed operations, which, according to NADA, accounts for 12 percent of a dealership’s total revenue on average and can surge to up to 60 percent of overall net profits. By drawing upon sales transaction information and customer contact data, dealers can use data-driven marketing to reach out to customers and prospects over time—via email, phone, text message and other channels—with offers for service, parts, accessories, upgrades, lease buyouts and more, all while keeping a pulse on their ongoing automotive needs.

For more than 15 years, some of the world’s largest automotive brands have used Search Optics, including GM, Ford, Land Rover, Toyota and BMW, amongst many others. It provides a fully integrated digital marketing platform called Blueprint to power auto dealers’ online and mobile presence with a fast-loading inventory and responsive content management system.
Search Optics will discuss these trends and predictions at the NADA Convention & Expo 2015, held January 22-25 in San Francisco. To find out more, please visit them at booth #6044W.

About Search Optics
Search Optics is a digital marketing company that specializes in custom, integrated solutions with an emphasis on return on investment. The company uses an uncommon blend of leading edge technology and human interaction to turn virtual traffic into measurable results. Search Optics, which was founded in 1998, has corporate offices in San Diego, Detroit, Orange County, Calif., Toronto, Montreal and São Paulo, and field locations in major markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit www.searchoptics.com. You can follow Search Optics on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Facebook.

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Media Contacts:
Adrian Eyre
Ogilvy PR
T: 415.677.2708
E: Adrian.Eyre@ogilvy.com

Search Optics® Reports Record Year in 2014

Fast-Growing Digital Marketing Innovator Achieves 60 Percent Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth

SAN DIEGO—Jan. 20, 2015Search Optics®, a leading digital marketing provider with a specialty in automotive, today announced it achieved a record year in 2014 with 60 percent year-over-year revenue growth. The privately held company attributes its record growth to the successful launch of its flagship product, notable customer wins, international expansion and recent acquisitions.

“It’s been a banner year for Search Optics, and we’re looking forward to continuing our rapid expansion. Throughout, we’ll remain committed in our focus on developing and deploying effective, tailor-made digital marketing products that support our clients’ business objectives and provide a high return on investment,” said David Ponn, CEO of Search Optics.

The past year marked the launch of the Blueprint Platform™ by Search Optics, which enables companies of all sizes to quickly and easily build their online and digital presence across desktop, tablets, and mobile devices using responsive web techniques.

Responsive web design and development ensures websites are viewable across every device and screen size. This is a must-have digital strategy to reach consumers increasingly conducting research on their mobile phones.

Notably, large automotive manufacturers and dealerships are adopting the Blueprint Platform to bring their traditional in-dealer car buying experience online. For example, Jaguar and Land Rover North America used Blueprint to build its online web presence to support its certified pre-owned inventory sales across the U.S. for hundreds of dealers nationwide.

Growing the Search Optics Product Portfolio and Global Footprint
Search Optics also completed its first acquisition, purchasing DigiGo, a leading automotive website design, social media and SEO business, in August 2014. As a result of the acquisition, Search Optics grew its employee base by 15 percent and extended its leadership in the automotive dealership market.

The company also increased its global footprint. In 2014, Search Optics opened a new office in San Diego and Orange County, Calif., expanded its Detroit headquarters with new hires as well as its presence in Toronto, Montreal. In early 2015, the company grew internationally, expanding into South America with the addition of an office in São Paulo, Brazil.

In 2015, Search Optics will continue growing market share in the automotive industry and acquiring customers stateside and internationally in new verticals such as healthcare, casino gaming and hospitality.

About Search Optics
Search Optics is a digital marketing company that specializes in custom, integrated solutions with an emphasis on return on investment. The company uses an uncommon blend of leading edge technology and human interaction to turn virtual traffic into measurable results. Search Optics, which was founded in 1998, has corporate offices in San Diego, Detroit, Orange County, Calif., Toronto, Montreal and São Paulo, and field locations in major markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit www.searchoptics.com. You can follow Search Optics on Twitter, LinkedIn, G+ and Facebook.

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Media Contacts:
Adrian Eyre
Ogilvy PR
T: 415.677.2708
E: Adrian.Eyre@ogilvy.com