Google Analytics / Facebook Ads Discrepency

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising, Tracking | Posted on 29-10-2015

As local clients get just a little “on the surface” knowledge about online marketing they become more and more inquisitive and distrusting.  As they say, knowing just a little is enough to be dangerous.  Today’s topic has to do with a pretty well known discrepancy between Facebook Ads & Google Analytics.  If you tell a client that they got 1,000 website clicks from Facebook Ads, they expect to see the number 1,000 in their Google Analytics traffic sources.  If they don’t, they think shenanigans are abound.  The truth is that Google Analytics almost NEVER matches Facebook Ads reporting and I wanted to detail some of the reasons why that is:

1) Clients are likely looking at Google Analytics sessions which is defined completely differently then a Facebook Ads click.
Google Analytics Session: This is long and complex but essentially a session is a 30 minute time period of a user on your website.  If someone clicks your ad, mistakenly closes the window and clicks the ad again, that’s 2 Facebook Ads clicks and 1 Session.  If they see the ad multiple times and click it within a half hour it only counts once in analytics whereas it will count multiple times as a Facebook Click.  Official Documentation:
Facebook Ads Click: This counts anyone who clicks an external link from a Facebook ad.  (an external link meaning a link to your website).  Someone could double click the link because the website is loading up slow or hit back because the site is loading slow and that would be 2 Facebook Ads Clicks.

2) Cookies & Javascript:  Google analytics requires cookies & javascript to work.  Some people have cookies enabled and some do not.  Cookies/javascript also have a particularly hard time with mobile & web browsers that operate within Apps and a lot of Facebook Traffic is mobile.

3) Sloppy Website Script Installation: Since a lot of “local client” websites are based on industry specific templated platforms they tend to have multiple installations of Google Analytics, sometimes they collide or one loads and the other doesnt.  Sometimes there are other scripts that load up first and analytics doesn’t load completely.  Sometimes the website has old/outdated versions of the analytics script installed as well.
There are just so many variables when it comes to Analytics.  People always think that it’s a flawless traffic system and what it reports is to always be trusted blindly.  Yes, Google Analytics can prove to be extremely useful, but take the metrics with a grain of salt and understand that discrepancies can occur.
Keep Hustlin’
Ad Hustler

Automotive Leads Are Getting Harder To Come By

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 21-01-2015

It’s no secret that I’m heavily involved in automotive marketing (most of which is online marketing).  While I don’t strictly do lead generation, that is of course the holy grail of the automotive industry.  Car dealerships LOVE leads and they love working leads and turning them into sales.  Unfortunateley (but not surprisingly), I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately.  Automotive leads are EXTREMELY hard to come by.  This doesn’t mean that online marketing for car dealerships isn’t working.  It most certainly is.  However, quantifying a click to a lead to a sale is becoming harder and harder.  Less people are calling and less people are filling out forms when they are interested in buying a car.  The public is getting smarter and it’s making marketers lives harder.

When you think about it, it makes sense.  Let’s say you’re in the market to buy a BMW.  You probably know all of your local BMW dealerships by name and already decided that you want to buy from a close dealership so that if you have any problems, it’s easy to deal with them.  Next, you probably go online, check out their websites, see what inventory they have and then come into the dealership.  Why do you really need to call?  You know what inventory they have, you know what it’s priced like.  You don’t really think they are going to give you the best price over the phone and quite frankly you don’t want to be harassed constantly by filling out a form to get a quote on a car that the website is already providing you a price on.

Automotive lead generation has always been difficult and complex.  I expect it to get to be even more so in the coming months and years.  Let’s face it.  Dealerships NEED to advertise and they need to advertise online because that’s where the eyeballs are.  Advertising works.  Branding is important.  The problem is that if you can’t tie the ad spend back to an ROI because they people who were advertised to don’t submit a lead but instead just walk through the door, then you will have an extremely hard time justifying ad spend.  The results become less concrete and more anecdotal (just like traditional media).

It’s not all doom and gloom as there are ways forward.  Here are some predictions I have as far as how the industry will change

  • Attribution Methods will become more advanced and better online to offline attribution models will prevail.
  • Dealerships will start communicating more effectively in the ways that millennial like to communicate such as texting, helpful live chat and social media.  Millennials don’t like talking so when you’re main method of communication is the phone, that isn’t going to cater much to your audience.
  • Completely online transactions where the first time you actually deal with the dealership is when you pick up the car.

The auto industry will be an interesting one to watch when it comes to lead gen and online to offline attribution methods.  The industry accounts for a HUGE percent of ad spending every year and if you want their ad dollars, you’ll find a solution to these problems.

Ad Hustler

Black Friday And Nothing Has Changed

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 24-11-2014

Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote the post Why Your Black Friday Sale Will #FAIL and not a darn thing has changed.  Retailers on the the local level are getting even more excited about Black Friday and jumping on the bandwagon with tons of advertising.  The only problem is that they are advertising NOTHING!  The offers they are making are the same offers that people can get all year ’round.  Auto dealers are giving out a Free TV or a Gift Card if you buy a car and every auto dealer seems to be giving out the same “bonus.”  There is no creativity and there are NO DEALS.  I said it last year and I’ll say it again.  If you want to succeed at Black Friday you need to make an event out of it.  I highly suggest you read last years post which is linked above if you are a local business and you want to capitalize effectively on  Black Friday.

Ad Hustler Out.

Effective Use Of Retargeting & Exclusion Pools In Local Online Marketing

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Networks, Local Online Advertising, Tracking | Posted on 26-09-2014

When it comes to local online marketing, just because you’re options and budgets may be more limited then big national advertisers, it doesn’t mean you can’t THINK like a big national advertiser.  Retargeting is HUGE for large eCommerce companies however it is often overlooked on the local level.  I’m not really sure why it’s overlooked or ignored but I’d much rather be doing a retargeting campaign then a lot of other things that local companies spend their money on.

I want to show you an effective way to use retargeting on the local level.  I’ll use a random example but feel free to apply this to whatever campaign you are currently managing.

Let’s say the client is a sports equipment store and they are driving traffic to a landing page offering a 20% off coupon for your in-store purchase using a multitude of media sources including traditional and various online media sources.  Retargeting’s job would be to maximize the effectiveness of all the other media being purchased.  In order to do that you have to think out the strategy a bit.  For the purposes of an example let’s say that 100,000 people were driven into the landing page with this 20% coupon.  20,000 People claimed the 20% off coupons and 80,000 people didn’t and bounced off the page without doing anything.  Let’s refer to the 20,000 people who claimed the coupon as the “Claimed Pool” and the 80,000 people as the “Bounced Pool.”

You need to have different objectives for the people in the “claimed pool” and the people in the “bounced pool” if you want your retargeting to work effectively.  The “Claimed Pool” people don’t need to claim the coupon anymore because they already did.  The “Bounced Pool” people still need to claim the coupon because they previously went to the page and didn’t do anything.

Ideally you want to serve the “Bounced Pool” people an ad saying to “claim the coupon” because that would maximize the traffic previously sent to the page.  You want to send the “Claimed Pool” people messaging saying to come into the store and use the coupon that they already claimed.

The way you would do this is through multiple campaigns and exclusion pools.  First you would install your retargeting tags on both the landing page and the thank you page.

#1 – You would setup a campaign targeting everyone but EXCLUDING anyone ending up in the “Claimed Pool” that has “claim your coupon messaging.”  This would effectively retarget to everyone who DID NOT claim the coupon.  To create a claimed pool you would basically have a pool of anyone ending up on the thank you page.

#2 – You would setup another campaign targeting only people who are in the “Claimed Pool” with “come in and use your coupon messaging”

The benefits of this is that people would see the correct messaging at the correct time in the buying process.  Why serve someone an ad saying “claim your coupon” if they already did that?  Why send someone a message saying “Use your coupon” if they don’t have one?

If retargeting is not currently a part of your local online marketing mix it should be.  If you have any questions leave a comment.

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What’s Been Up? Why No Posts? A Prediction About The Future.

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Hustler, Local Online Advertising | Posted on 18-09-2014

I feel like it’s been LONG time no speak.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions like is your blog dead?  Did you give up?  What’s going on with Ad Hustler?

All is well.  Really well.  I’ve been focusing on the local lead gen/local marketing side of the business more and more.  Business has exploded.  Newspapers are dead and I’m taking their revenue.  Online marketing reigns supreme for local advertisers.

This is a far cry from where I started with local online marketing almost a decade ago.  When I started devising products and services for the local advertiser, most people we pitched viewed it as a joke and “maybe something to try at some point.”  Now local advertisers are grasping for anything that WORKS online, ANYTHING.  Lucky for them there are a multitude of online media sources that work well if you have someone who knows what they are doing handling them.  Some of these more successful sources include Adwords, Facebook Ads, Email & Media Buys.  It’s funny how even the dollars that were traditionally earmarked for radio and cable TV on the local level are now flowing into products like Pandora and Pre-Roll video advertising.

I plan to write more about all of this.  I want to start writing again somewhat regularly (not every day for sure).  I more importantly want to drop some knowledge bombs about local online marketing because when I started blogs helped me quite a bit.  I want to return the favor.

So now for my prediction: Everyone saw the death of print coming.  It was somewhat obvious.  I’m predicting the death of Cable TV.  Local advertisers spend a good chunk of their budgets advertising on TV.  In the next 5 years and quite possibly sooner, Cable TV will die.  In the same way that millenials don’t read the newspaper, they are watching less and less tv and consuming their media on computers, tablets and phones.   This will create more and more fragmentation that will eventually kill ratings, which will kill ad dollars going to Cable TV which will kill Cable.  All Cable dollars will come to the internet in other online video advertising opportunities.  Terrestrial Radio may suffer the same fate but I think it has more lasting power until mobile bandwidth comes down in price or becomes unlimited.

That is all for now.  Stay tuned for more Ad Hustler.

I missed you all.

Ad Hustler