Google Offline Conversions are Driving “The Why” in Paid Search Strategy for Auto

May 30, 2017

The day web marketing was born, so too was optimizing for it. The recent trend from desktop search to mobile search has driven a rise in phone calls and with that increase in calls has come the attention to offline conversions, specifically appointments set on phone calls created by paid search campaigns. Leading dealer groups like Asbury are shifting their attention within Google Analytics from clicks to calls. “The data contained in the call recording tells us why the customer searched on the keyword phrase they submitted. Previous to harnessing this data we were limited to only what they were searching” says Miran Maric, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Asbury Auto Group. CallRevu helps its clients shift their digital strategy off of what car owners are searching for to why car owners are searching. This shift is changing search strategy. And the timing could not make this shift more relevant.

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Shift to Mobile
In the past few months, Google has announced two new updates. The first is that mobile search will now be driven by a separate algorithm than desktop searches, with page load speed being a major component of this algorithm. This means your DNI widget must not hinder you mobile page load speed. If you haven’t audited your mobile load speed recently, do so now with

Secondly, Google has added text extensions to its mobile ads with promising results. Dealers that opt-in for text extensions will in effect be training their customers to text them. The more users use text extensions, the more users will text the numbers posted on dealers websites. Whether using local numbers or toll free numbers, make sure your phone numbers are text-enabled.

Shift to Conversion
When it comes to conversion tracking, don’t settle for tying a call to its ad source like Facebook, rather tie your calls to specific keyword phrases. By combining dynamic numbers and call monitoring, you can track how the call started, what the call was about, and how the call ended.

For sales campaigns, it is also important to have the ability to benchmark what your sales conversion percentage is prior to investing in a larger campaign. More money will lead to more calls, but the goal is to increase the percentage of sales conversions, not only the number of calls. Insist that your agency and digital marketing team move to why your customers searched. Was it sales related? Service? Other? Capture it all, tie it to keyword phrases, and optimize your paid search to get more of the calls you want.

Shift to ‘The Why’
Google, Bing, and keyword buying solutions have easy-to-use ways to pass conversion metrics, like the department the caller requested and whether the call converted to an in-store appointment. This data is driving paid search strategy in 2017.

Updating these data points in near-real time with Google’s off-the-shelf APIs can create opportunities that might not have existed otherwise. Agencies using these systems can view 40,000 keywords phrases they have optimized for, along with phone and text conversion metrics to take advantage of keyword price fluctuations and improve ROI.

If you and your agency are not using Google Analytics offline conversion functionality including appointment setting, then you are not utilizing the tool’s full potential. Phone calls to dealers are up considerably and texting is on the rise. We are in a dynamic era where we can no longer use a straight line correlation between clicks and calls to measure our search effectiveness. It is time to shift to ‘Why’ DNI.

DNI is readily available, affordable, and easy to implement. It’s time to rethink offline conversions with DNI.

Author: Mike Markette
Title: Partner and President of CallRevu

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