Industry Benchmarks

There are many ways to measure success when it comes to an Adwords campaign. Some are more clear cut than others; are your campaigns reaching the benchmarks set by other competitors in your industry? Do you even know what these benchmarks are? You should.

At Hodges Advertising, we accumulate the most recent benchmark data (released every 45 days) for each relevant industry we work in. It is our mission, a mission we succeed in, to not only reach but exceed these benchmarks so that you aren’t left with just an average campaign.

Contact us today to learn more about your industry’s identified benchmarks, as well how we can help you beat your competitors numbers and increase your ROI.

The Fast and the Furious

When it comes to mobile, speed is king. Per Google “Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.” Talk about having to make a good first impression. Anyone who works with the Adwords platform and keeps an eye on Device data can see the overwhelming growth and importance of mobile. We work hand in hand with our clients to ensure that not only is their mobile website properly maintained, but that their mobile advertising content is properly executed.

Here’s a helpful tool to see how your site stacks up:

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business on mobile and beyond.

If Function

It was a big deal when Google finally let us set bid adjustments segmented by device. Everyone knows, or should know; the future is of search advertising is mobile. So, while device bidding was great, the new rollout from Google Adwords is even better. When using the “If Function” you don’t even have to know what device your customer is searching on; it does the work for you. It also allows you to tailor your text ads directly to your audience’s device.

Example: A text ad for a book store, search on a desktop or tablet reads-

Headline #1: View Our Online Inventory

Headline #2: Shop Our Huge Selection (default text for desktop)


Using the “If Function”, when searched on mobile, it would read –

Headline #1: View Our Online Inventory

Headline #2: Shop From Your Phone


This second example is highly relevant to your customer, as it connects the messaging to the device. This will yield great results in terms of click thru rates, especially as campaigns skew more and more heavily towards mobile. You don’t have to break out a separate campaign to use mobile/tablet/ desktop language if you can use this function correctly.

Getting Sorted


There are so many different things to think about when creating and running an Adwords search campaign that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Should you use branded keywords in a Single Keyword Ad Group (SKAG) campaign? Are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) actually good indicators of performance?

These questions don’t have immediate answers. The best practice here is to get your data sorted and in line with what is driving real bottom line sales for your business. Simple example: you know that mobile click to call is more valuable than a headline click, because you have a strong phone support staff to close sales. Your next step is to sort your data to reveal the most effective keywords and ads that drive clicks to call, rather than headline clicks. Finally, you can adjust your bidding strategy to get your business the most effective conversions available.

Once you are able to use the data at your disposal to identify what is driving your conversions, the picture becomes much clearer. The appropriate approach will reveal itself from daily, weekly and monthly reporting, but only if you know what to look for.

Store Visit Conversions

“How do I know this is working?” This is the most consistent question we get, as an advertising agency. For a television advertising campaign, the answer requires some research and patience. Did the product or store advertised see an increase in sales or foot traffic in the time during and after the campaign?

That doesn’t always translate to search engine marketing or display advertising. In the digital space, some industries are lucky enough to see 1:1 conversion correlation between keywords and an actual sale. For others, like auto for example, a 1:1 click to sale doesn’t exist, because people don’t click “Buy” on a car or truck (we’ll wait and see what stores like Carvana have to say about this over the next few years) So, how DO we know what is working?

Enter Store Visit Conversions. We can now track a customer via their mobile device, to see that not only did they click on an ad, but also they followed through with a physical store visit. This is a very powerful tool that allows campaigns to be optimized to target keywords that drive the most customer visits, when a store visit is necessary for a sale.

Best of all, it comes with no cost, so it’s all added value!

See more about how this works here:

You Can’t Say That!

The Big Game is Sunday and many businesses are eager to cash in on the craze. But beware! Advertisers are NOT allowed to use the term “Super Bowl” unless they are licensed  by the NFL or given expressed permission to do so. A business can reference the cities of the teams playing, but not the team names, as these are also trademark protected. I have seen several Charlotte area business on social media using the term “Super Bowl” to promote their stores and while the NFL probably isn’t going to come shut down your wing operation, it isn’t a smart risk to take and could end up being costly.

Hodges Advertising has over 25 years experience writing compliant advertising for automotive, financial, service and retail providers. Contact us today!

Second Screening

Close to 87% of people watching television this year will be doing so while “second screening”. This means they will have a laptop, tablet or smart mobile device at their fingertips while viewing their preferred programs. What this means to advertisers is now more than ever it’s paramount that your TV media and digital media have a consistent and unified message. The more cohesive your advertising approach is, the more likely you are to consistently reach your customers. We specialize in making sure that your marketing stream flows seamlessly, across all platforms.

Expanded Text Ads

It’s no fun when something doesn’t live up to the hype. Yeah, I’m looking at you New Year’s Eve…. but anyway… Expanded Text Ads…these really work! This new ad format from Google added a great amount of value and flexibility to Adwords campaigns. It provides advertisers with a much more robust platform to let the consumer know who/what/why/where.

Let’s take a look at two ads from an auto campaign to provide some evidence. Both of these ads are from the same ad group, one that uses branded keywords* for a Buick/ GMC dealer. The non- Expanded Text ad had a Click thru Rate (CTR) of 2.56% at a $3.65 Cost Per Click (CPC). The new Expanded Text Ad has a CTR of 8.95% at a $1.55 CPC. If you compare these numbers to the industry average of 2.14% CTR at a $1.43 it becomes even more clear how valuable properly executing this new ad format is.

*Branded keywords are known to be slightly more expensive than non-branded, as they better capture lower funnel customers. Example: someone searching “trucks” is higher up in the purchase funnel than someone searching “GMC Sierra”; it’s the difference in a customer who has a general idea vs. a customer who has a specific product in mind.

Keeping Up With Mobile

Now more than ever, your customers are on the go. They are segmented, fragmented, dispersed or any other common buzzword you can think of. However, there is one thing that customers in every industry have in common; their mobile device is always with them.

On top of ad optimization, the most crucial aspect of mobile advertising is making absolutely sure you have the right extensions (Click to Call, Directions) in place to get your customer connected to your business as seamlessly as possible. A click to your website has value, a click that puts a customer on the phone with your store has more and a click that instantly puts your businesses address into GPS route guidance has the most. Don’t let mobile users pass you by, let us help you bring new customers right to your door.

Search Tips – Identifying Patterns

Let’s pretend for a minute that your Search campaign is a teenager in a 1980’s horror movie. It’s a dark and stormy night and you’ve decided to go with your love interest into an abandoned house on the end of the street. You go upstairs. You hear the front door creak open, but you ignore it. You hear footsteps getting closer and closer, but you ignore it. To anyone familiar with horror films, it’s obvious where this is headed; it’s always the same routine. Everyone watching is shouting to run because they know these patterns always lead to the same end.

There are “dark and stormy nights” for Search campaigns. There are warning signs like creaking doors and groaning floorboards that are good indicators you should change your course. Studying historical data in line with your Change History can help you identify patterns that are caused by outside influences as well as your own management.

If you know how to identify repeating patterns ahead of time, it can save you from making fatal mistakes.