Search Engines MD Just another WordPress site Thu, 04 Jun 2020 22:14:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Create Successful Content on Social Media Wed, 03 Jun 2020 20:58:27 +0000 What is social media and why is it important for your business?

Social media is any digital platform where people can consume and engage with content. In our digital world today, it’s more important than ever for your business to have a digital presence and reach customers where they spend a large majority of their time.

In this guide, you will find tips on how to successfully create good content and utilize different social media platforms to help grow your business.

How to Create Successful Content:

Be Authentic

Authenticity is the #1 most important thing to keep in mind when creating content for your business. Gone are the days of posting a stock photo with some generic copy to see good results. Today, people want to see authenticity, and for good reason. With so many scams present on the internet, your business needs to show people they can trust you and why they should choose you over your competitors. The best way to do this is to post real content. Show customers your employees, facility, products, other satisfied customers, and how you support your community. This should be done through photos, video, and text. If your business is invested in helping people, people will be interested in supporting you. Also remember that authentic content doesn’t need to be perfect. If something isn’t absolutely perfect, don’t let it stop you from posting it all together. Your customers aren’t perfect and will more than likely relate better to imperfect content. It also has the opportunity to garner more engagement. Strive for good, relatable content.


If there was something equally as important as authenticity, it would be engagement. Engaging with your followers/customers shows them that their questions and comments are important to you, whether good or bad. Even a minor interest in a product or service your business offers can lead to a huge sale down the road. Don’t dismiss people and make sure to be real with your responses like your content. How your business responds to comments and messages can easily mean the difference between new life-long customers and lost business. Be sure to respond in a timely manner to direct messages and always try to respond to all comments, mentions, and reviews. Turning a critic into a customer will be the best word-of-mouth promotion for your business.

Get Creative

This should go without saying, but get creative. Try different things to see what works best for your business and customers when it comes to content. Know what your customers like best and when they engage most. Crafting some of your organic content based on previous successes can help posts reach further, just don’t get too repetitive. People like new and interesting content. Aside from just posting information about your products or services, try mixing it up a little bit.

Here are some ideas:
? Do a giveaway
? Issue a challenge
? Partner with another local business
? Ask customers to post & reshare
? Write/share relevant blog content
? Community involvement/service
? Sponsorships
? Time-sensitive deals
? Participate in a viral trend
? Paid Content

While posting regularly on any platform is going to help build trust with customers, paying the platform to sponsor some of your content is going to help reach them more effectively and also introduce new customers. In today’s ad space, it’s a pay to play environment, which is why it’s crucial to understand your industry’s average ad costs and where your margins should be to compete. Different platforms offer different types of targeting, but finding your target market with creative content wherever you are spending your ad dollars is imperative to a successful campaign.

Platforms to Consider


Facebook has been the big dog in social media for quite some time now. It offers the widest range of age groups, a large variety of content types that you can utilize, and also the most robust advertising platform.

(Side tip: Ask people to like your Facebook page after they have reacted to a post by clicking on the number of reactions and then clicking the invite buttons next to their profile names.)


Facebook owns Instagram, and because of this, your business can advertise on both Facebook and Instagram at the same time. It’s a very visual platform and all posts must have a photo or video (limited up to 60 seconds long).


LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals. While it’s advertising options aren’t as robust as Facebook’s, it can be a good starting point to reach professional customers.


TikTok is fairly new to the game and is strictly a video platform. The TikTok algorithm makes it reasonably easy to go viral with the right video for no ad spend whatsoever. However, a large portion of its users are a younger demographic.


YouTube is the classic video platform. It has been around since 2005 and is tied with Google. YouTube is perfectly positioned to display long-form video and also advertise your business on popular, related content.

Google My Business

Google My Business is key for your business when it comes to the Google search platform. Your business should keep on top of the information presented here, because when people search for your business, this is one of the first things they’re going to see.

Have any tips of your own? Let us know!

Great Big List of Useful Tools and Guides Mon, 11 May 2020 14:30:35 +0000 Google Tag Manager

  1. Stop Button and Form Redirect to Capture Events
  2. Adding JSON using Google Tag Manager
  3. Changing canonicals with Google Tag Manager
  4. Add Facebook Messenger to website
  5. Regex guide for Google Analytics
  6. Screen width variable

Facebook Advertising

  1. How to add products to Facebook through pixel events
  2. Removing duplicate events in Facebook conversions

Java and JQuery

  1. Accessing element content with Jquery

Search Marketing

  1. JSON-LD examples
  2. Adding weather tracking to Google Analytics
  3. Keyword concatenation tool
  4. Google Ads scripts
  5. Set up Google Ads tracking templates
  6. Google ads dynamic remarketing
Get Hired By Differentiating With Your Skills Wed, 08 Apr 2020 22:14:27 +0000 As the Director of Digital Strategy at Search Engines MD, which is vague enough that most job inquiries don’t come through me. The benefit of any potential employee is that they won’t get asked, “well, what have you done and how did you do it?” I’m not looking for a “we increased sales by XX%.” I’m looking for a demonstration that you actually have some technical skills, and you weren’t just attached to a team that did the work for you.

Why would I care? Well, everyone at Search Engines MD needs to have technical skills. Everyone on our team has to utilize JavaScript, Boolean programmatic language, and html in some capacity, which is why we put people through tests to see their capacity to learn and understand these components before we consider hiring them.

Now, who freaking cares about what we want, right?

Get Hired By Actually Showing Your Skills

Resumes are how you get hired, right? Well, that very much be the case for most people. We put more stock in capacity to learn and first hand experience than what a resume says, but that isn’t the same for all businesses.

What is the same for all businesses, though, is combining a demonstration of your skill set in combination with your resume. How do you do that? By building your own website! The platform 100% does not matter. You can use WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify, or anything else. Unless you are applying for a web design position, you can absolutely utilize a template website design. Very few people are going to be familiar with all of the templates, and your personalization will push it out of the sandbox and into the unique.

But a website alone isn’t enough.

What you will want to do is fill out enough applications and resumes sent out to generate over 100 users to your website. The more users you get to your website the better, of course, but what you are looking to do is prime your audiences. 100 people is the absolutely smallest audience you can get to consistently work with Facebook and Google Display retargeting. You will want to extend these cookies out for several months to make sure you cover the spread you need to fill that audience.

For RLSA, retargeting list search ads, you will need 1000 members. This isn’t realistic for your timeline of getting hired, so don’t worry about it.

The next step is to generate the display campaigns that you are going to run to get the people looking at applications to take a second look at your resume. We utilize additional events to segment the audiences when we run ads, but you don’t have to get that extreme here. The goal is to get someone to engage with that ad, and land on a page demonstrating all of your experience and skills in a more engaging setting. Video is the Queen of this strategy, and you will want to heavily utilize it in retargeting and this landing page.

Why video? Because there is no other way to build authenticity and personality into your sales pitch. Show that you are dynamic, fun, or witty. Show that you would be a valuable asset to the future team because of your out of the box thinking.

Yes, this will still be out of the box with the following our blog gets.

Here is how you setup this audience:

1. Build Your Website
– Buy a domain, preferably your name, and build a basic website with three pages: home, contact, and why hire me. Make it easy to click to call you on the mobile site or find your number on desktop.
2. Create a Facebook ad account and Facebook pixel
– You don’t need to start running any ads right away, you just need to get the pixel and account set up.
3. Create a Google ads account and retargeting cookie
– Same thing goes here, you are just setting up the Google Ads account for when you start running ads
4. Add your retargeting pixels / cookies to your website
– This will depend on your website how they get installed, but if you google “website platform add Facebook pixel” you will find the information you need very quickly.
5. Build the rules for your retargeting audiences in Facebook and Google
– There are plenty of guides out there on how to do this, so just do some searching. I would build screenshots, but that would cause this guide to go out of date within 45 days. Set your audiences for 90 days so you can be sure to follow people around long enough to build up the audience.
6. Update your resume and email to include your personal website
– Add the website to your signature on email, add it in the body of your email, and make it prominent on your resume. You need people to visit this website to get them added to your audience.
7. Create a video and images to test and vary ads
– You won’t know the best combination for this strategy right away, so be sure to create multiple variations to test
8. Create conversion events on your website to track true success
– With Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace this will be easiest because some of the tracking components are being built in now. WordPress will require some skill to track those conversions, so best only used if that is unique to your job.
9. Create your ads and optimize for the right metrics
– Your campaigns won’t run until you have enough views, 100 users, so you won’t see immediate results from this, but you will want them to be ready to start following people as soon as possible.
10. Add Google Analytics to website
– Being able to track and measure this traffic is important in case it doesn’t start to send out impressions. You will be able to see your audiences with Google Analytics, and determine if something is off.
11. Mass resume output
– Send your resume out to the masses, and make sure you get to your retargeting user thresholds. Once you have the thresholds met you can be more selective with your resumes, but you will want to make sure you have things primed for when you send out the most important resumes.
12. Be ready to explain yourself
– The goal of this strategy is to show that you are innovative, and ready to take on the unusual with businesses. Digital is changing constantly, and being able to adapt is important. Showing that you can do something unique with a little research is important.

What to Do If Your Ads Don’t Work

If you fail to build up the right number of people in the audience you will have problems. Make sure you are properly prepared to send out enough resumes to get people to view your website frequently enough to build up those numbers. Have your friends, past jobs, and anyone else review your website to help build up the audience.

If your ads still won’t run, then Facebook and Google hate you. Not really, but you will have to diagnose that problem right away. Don’t accept the failure without challenging everything.

Modifying Your Car Dealership Website For Covid-19 Fri, 03 Apr 2020 22:03:34 +0000 How and when your message is communicated is essential for the impact of any messaging your company is producing. For dealerships in the Covid era, that means putting your cleanliness messaging in front of people when they are making that initial decision to pursue getting a vehicle, as well as that final moment before they decide to contact a dealership about a vehicle or financing.

These two moments are before someone starts to look for a vehicle, and once they are already on the website ready to contact you about a vehicle. Anything in between is helpful, but doesn’t hold the same impact of bookcasing the whole shopping experience with that communication.

Where To Start Updating Your Website

Now, you would assume that this means to just update the home page, and the interstitial / pop up that most people are using, but that isn’t the case. An interstitial should be used to interrupt an experience to drive a specific action. Simply closing your popup isn’t a desired result for an interstitial. Contacting a dealership is the desired result of an interstitial. Adding the popup alone isn’t going to get the desired result you want from your customers, and isn’t an actual update to reflect the current utilization of your website.

Now there are two main experiences for a dealership: paid and organic. Organic includes branded and organic search, which will mostly land on the home page. These people are influenced by other forms of marketing – tv, radio, email, past sales, referrals, and organic rankings – but will have their first web experience on your website starting with the home page. That makes your home page design and messaging essential to start the experience off with why your dealership is a safe haven in these extreme times.

We don’t recommend an interstitial on the home page for these customers. In fact, we believe that this detracts from the experience and messaging by encouraging banner blindness in that experience. Instead, we recommend changing the design / layout of the home page to clearly communicate if you are open, open by appointment, or currently working remotely for safety. Put heavy emphasis on your mobile layout, as this is likely to experience that message or main call to action being pushed below the fold. The second reason that we don’t recommend an interstitial is that this will slow down your website both in terms of loading time and the time to first interaction because the interstitial is disrupting the flow.

The language you use on this page is going to set the branding of your cleaning initiative for the rest of your marketing and the rest of the website. Think of a message such as “Our Sanitation Promise” or “Our 1 Hour Safe Buying Experience.” The latter would be a full messaging suite that we will get you in and out of the dealership in less than 1 hour if you follow these simple steps.

Clearly Communicate Your Message

Clearly communicating that message in a way that is consistent with the rest of your call to actions on the website is essential to make sure that the messaging isn’t ignored like a traditional banner ad. For example, can you remember the last display ad you saw on Amazon? Were you aware that there were banner ads on Amazon? People are trained to ignore images in out of place areas, which is why you will want to update your main conversion actions to match the reality at your dealership.

For simplicity we would recommend that on your desktop site you keep it simple with “how to buy from home,” “chat now,” and “have us call you.” “How to buy from home” opens up an interstitial with a form and a message at the top talking about the steps to buy a vehicle remotely, and having the only face to face interaction be when you sign the paperwork. Keep it concise and easy to read on mobile.

For desktop we would recommend three buttons again, but changing the last one to “call us.” There is no need to fill out a form to call the dealership because they can click and start that process right there.

If you are feeling especially rogue, you could put a bullet list of “why you should contact us” right below your call to actions with messaging like:

  • Request video call to show vehicle
  • Have the vehicle re-cleaned before coming in
  • Request more images
  • Get our best price
  • Get vehicle history report

That messaging will vary by what you are able to offer remotely and easily, as well as what your market has demonstrated the need for.

Make The Barrier to Communicate As Low As You Can

The goal is to make gathering information as easy as possible, and get them into your new sales process that is done remotely for the first several steps.

You will also want to have representation of your initial sanitation promise. Whatever you are doing to help keep your customers safe is important, and should be included in messaging within your vehicle detail and search pages on the website. Edit your initial email responses to leads and messages to include the language to make that branding unified, and build confidence on all levels. By frequently communicating your values you will be able to position yourself as the “clean” dealership, and start the transition.

TLDR: Short version:

Change the call to actions on your website to reflect the remote aspects of your dealership, and build your cleanliness messaging into your email responses, home page, search results pages, and vehicle detail pages. Not with banners, but by including that messaging directly into the most important parts of that page.

Why Buys Are Poorly Utilized Conversion Optimization Wed, 25 Mar 2020 16:24:37 +0000 The intent of a “Why Buy” message is to demonstrate why your business is special for anyone who visits the website. The premise is that you can stand out from the crowd with a unique message that can build value in a company before communication has started. In Theory, the need for a unique marketing offer is absolutely true, and a big reason for books like “Blue Ocean Strategy.”

There are two reasons why the majority of the ones utilized in the auto industry are useless.

  1. Use of common messaging that doesn’t stand out
  2. Hiding the messaging

The majority of “Why Buy” messages are on the home page and a separate “Why Buy” page that isn’t integrated into the natural progress of a person through the website. The home page use is typically one slide of many, and will have an interaction rate of less than 1%. Even 1% would be an incredible achievement when it is put in sliders because “Sliders Suck.”

The second option, and one that is commonly recommended, is the “Why Buy” landing page. We have optimized our fair share of these pages, which may get a little bit of traffic with a big marketing campaign. However, they are almost always not navigated to. Either someone lands on the page from a marketing medium, or they find it as a sitelink from a different search. The “Why Buy” message is never something commonly searched, so the ability for it to generate intentional organic traffic is extremely low.

If you have a true “Why Buy” or “Unique Selling Proposition,” then you need to make your website optimized to explain and demonstrate that value consistently.

Use Example #1

For example, if you offer a “Lifetime Warranty,” that messaging should be the whole design of the top of your home page with a message like “Shop Vehicles with Our Lifetime Warranty” that leads to the vehicles that qualify for the warranty. Then reinforce that message by including the messaging on that destination page, as well as an icon or logo on every vehicle in that filter. By demonstrating the value, communicating the meaning and frequent reinforcement you can build value in that offering in a way that is natural to navigate and explore. You aren’t hiding your “Why Buy” on a completely different page; you are making every interaction include some exposure to it.

Don’t stop here, though. You will want to continue that message into your Facebook and Google retargeting campaigns. With dynamic retargeting ads on Facebook, which we offer, you are keeping the vehicles they have viewed in their purview, but additional campaigns that build value in your “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP), can generate conversions beyond what is measured by any digital marketing.

Use Example #2

Depending on the marketing strategies you utilize, however, not everyone will start the journey on the homepage of the website. In fact, about half will really start their adventure there, depending on paid advertising campaign budgets. That results in over half of your potential customers not being addressed with the homepage messaging, and exploring a completely different website usage.

This is why the design of the Search Result Pages (SRPs) and Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) are essential.

Starting with the SRP, you will want to offer your USP as a filter in your sidebar faceted navigation. Not all vehicles will qualify for your special offering, but you can make it easy to find the vehicles that qualify for your current offering right in the sidebar filters. The simplest way is to identify these vehicles in the DMS, and pass that information to your website provider. This leads to zero errors. You also have the option to filter it with your website company based on predictable characteristics – miles, year, etc. Building your USP right into the filters of your website, and placing that Call To Action (CTA) at the top of the filters, puts your messaging into the most natural position on the page.

The second step is the vehicle listings on the page.

When someone visits a webpage they take their bearings, and naturally determine how they are going to navigate the page. This typically means identifying the photo, title, and price on the page, and quickly scanning each as they scroll down to be as efficient as possible when shopping. Other websites in the industry slow this process down with the “quality of deal” determination. People will scan if the deal is good or not because they really don’t know if it is a good deal.

What you are looking to do is slow this process down with your USP. The Call To Action (CTA) of your Unique Selling Proposition should be quickly and efficiently identifiable. This makes it a value add to the shopping process. The icon should also have messaging on hover over to identify what the offer actually means. If someone clicks on the icon you can have it open a lightbox interstitial (pop up) that gives additional details and offers a call to action to learn more. When you have something special that may raise questions you want to have a function making asking additional questions easy. Put a “Contact Us” form or button on that lightbox to make it easy to find out more, and get more people in your marketing funnel.

Also, remove the banner at the top of the page talking about the Unique Selling Proposition because distracting your visitors may lead to less conversions.

Use Example #3

Now that your messaging is effectively displayed on your home page and SRP, it is time to include it in your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). Overall, the design of VDPs isn’t great. The intent is to provide all the information all the time, and this usually means that it is part of a giant list, and not in any meaningful capacity.

The goal of this page is to help website visitors quickly identify the answers to their questions, and not cause them to struggle to know what the vehicle has. If you ran user testing on a website you will often see shoppers going through the photos of the vehicle to identify features, and not try to pinpoint them in a giant list. Everyone has a list of must haves on a vehicle, such as color or Apple CarPlay. The easier you make shopping for them the more vehicles they will look at, and the more invested they will be in your company. If you offer the best shopping experience you will get more people to shop the website again.

The design must also take into consideration how low the per VDP conversion rate is. The typical car dealership website will convert between 1-4% of the traffic, and have multiple VDP views per visit. So, the conversion per VDP is below 1% on all car dealership websites. With 99% of the visitors not converting on the first vehicle they look at you must also optimize for the additional viewed VDPs. This is kind of done with “Similar Vehicles,” but they are at the very bottom of the page, and almost never interacted with.

Instead, offering a call to action like “See Similar Small SUVs” or “19 Ford F-150 in Stock” gives visitors a clear next step that doesn’t involve the “Back” button. Make the next step forward as easy as possible. Another example can be found here, “prominent CTA.”

As for the USP, though, this is a natural component of improving the design of the pages. Your VDP should include:

  • Pictures of the vehicle
  • Price, mileage, exterior color, and interior color
  • A prominent short list of vehicle features – heated seats, Apple CarPlay, 3rd row, etc.
  • Social proof or testimonials
  • Unique selling proposition
  • Clear call to action

Social Proof is the demonstration that you aren’t a crappy company. You can do this through testimonials if you have an overall bad reputation score on review sites, or you can utilize your aggregate rating if you have a great reputation. Social Proof shouldn’t be integrated in a way that distracts from the main call to action, but it is best served when placed right by the call to action. The faster someone can scan your VDP, the more likely they are to explore more.

Also, don’t add video because the idea sounds good as it may result in less conversions because a video was added.

Use Example #4

The final use of your Unique Selling Proposition is on the thank you page. Typically the page is just a short text of “Thank You for Doing XYZ,” but it is one of the most important pages in your funnel. The messaging should be nearly identical to the Unique Selling Proposition messaging included in your first email response. You want to continue demonstrating value to your customers, and as they reach the culmination of your website experience it is a great time to comment again on why they should do business with you. By having that messaging on the thank you page as well as the first email response you continue the flow through the whole shopping experience, frequently reminding them of the value.

Your “Why Buy” is important, But Don’t Hide It

Common sense dictates that you need to have your “Why Buy” messaging, but don’t hide it on a random page of your website. Include it in your overall website experience, and get people to engage with it. If they can’t escape your messaging you can get a lift in message recognition, and potentially make the sales process easier. The goal is for your customers to ask more questions about your USP during the shopping process because they have engaged with it enough to know to ask.