Phoning It In From Facebook’s News Feed: Local Awareness Ads Are Now Available

Facebook’s News Feed is about to get more efficient and helpful.

Facebook Local Awareness Ads -

Last week Facebook announced the ability to add “Call Now” call to action buttons to sponsored ads. The local awareness ads feature is rolling out slowly, most likely to profiles and pages who are actively using targeted ads.

These local awareness ads are designed to reach more people who may be near your business. Instead of a Shop Now call to action button, which takes the user to a specific page in your website, the new Call Now button makes it easy for people to call your business – from their News Feed.

This is an excellent opportunity for dealers to target specific areas and people. Perfect for test drive appointments, service coupons, reservations for an event or anything else worthy of driving a phone call.

How Do I Create a Local Awareness Ad to Promote My Dealership?

Email Open by Device in Q1-Jun2015

According to a recent study by Yesmail [download], mobile click-to-open rates are on a rise. With an 8.5% quarter-over-quarter increase to 13.7%, mobile’s click-to-open was only about 5 points less than desktop click-to-open.

The possible reasons for the jump in performance? Maybe due to the increase in the use of responsive emails!

Chart by MarketingCharts

Negative SEO – It’s Real And You’re Likely A Target

One of the biggest headaches for digital marketing agencies is staying up to date with what is happening with Google’s search algorithms.

Google Dr. Evil

Lately I have seen a VERY disturbing trend, that it is easier to lower other people’s ranking than it is to increase your own. Due to recent updates by Google it has opened up a whole new world of black hat SEO that is called Negative SEO.

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO is the practice of intentionally trying to manipulate a site’s rankings in the search engines (in a negative way).

When you talk about negative SEO, most people will talk about very low quality link building, but there are many other techniques that unscrupulous people are using to harm your website’s rankings. I will go into a bit more detail on these other methods later in this article, although I don’t want to provide so much information as to make it easy for black hat (people that practice negative SEO techniques) to take advantage of them if they are not already aware of them.

Google has been very quiet on the topic. They opened the flood gates for this new negative SEO strategy with the Penguin and Panda updates. So, what have they said on the topic?

Third Party Automotive Leads Are Like Tainted Wine

I want to recognize that DealerRefresh contributors, and members of the dealer community, have discussed the need for third-party lead reform in the automotive industry in the past.

Today,  I am joining with Jeff Kershner, and automotive professionals who have voiced their concerns, to raise national awareness and energize the discussion of third-party lead quality.

Can auto dealers work together for change? It is my hope that once dealers understand the flaws in the current system, they will demand change. It’s time to turn the light on to third party leads sales.

How My Bad Email Advice Almost Ruined a Friendship

A friend of mine called to pick my brain on email marketing. His company has about 70,000 subscribers and their open rates were getting WORSE with each new campaign.

Inbox behaviors have impact

In his testing, he saw that a lot of their emails were getting delivered to the spam folder. He was looking for changes they could make to improve their deliverability.

I explained that consistently getting into the inbox was based on their email reputation. Their email reputation is based on their subscriber engagement. In a nutshell, when a company sends out an email, the email providers (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) consider the following behaviors, which negatively affect your reputation:

Wanna Chat? What about Now? Now? Now? How about Now?

Is your website turning into the Times Square of today’s website homepage?

too many dealer chat invites

A constant barrage of invites to chat blinking away, distracting your attention. Is it noise? Is it just smart conversion tactics? Chat is getting a bit gratuitous.

While speaking at a NADA 20 Group last week, I was live reviewing dealership website experiences, along with mystery shopping results, as I get called on to do. One thing became abundantly clear…

Your website wants to chat with me, and it won’t take no for an answer.

Like a needy significant other, they are constantly trying to steal your focus away from your core objective. Research.

Even some of our own dealer clients are guilty of this. And yes, I know it is more the chat providers themselves implementing these in-your-face tactics, but I digress. I see some websites that have an offer to chat…

Are Wearables Providing a Competitive Advantage to Early Adopters?

According to, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity of wearable technology and more specifically the opportunity to track and improve workplace productivity.


As more and more innovative tech products emerge into the market place and have the potential to change the competitive landscape, businesses are left trying to decide when to adopt and when to ignore. In early 2015 a study by published that close to 8 out of 10 US businesses believe that wearables will remodel the future success of their businesses.

How’s Your Site Post-Mobilegeddon?

The purpose of this article is to provide information to automotive dealers about Google’s new indexing changes and the technology and opinions related to them. The article has links to all my research for you to expand in the topic.


It is safe to assume that by now we have all heard that Google rolled out a “mobile-friendly update(1) on April, 21 2014. It is important to understand these changes as they are the beginning of the way our websites will be accessed by our customers. We are moving from desktops to mobile devices and the way Google works for mobile changed.

The update will begin to change how Google ranks and indexes website content for mobile searches. This is an update to force website owners to improve their websites so they are mobile compatible. You can no longer ignore mobile traffic. Period.