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Pacifica Hotels Adds Hotel Hermosa To Its Growing Portfolio Of Boutique, Coastal Properties

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:23
Pacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels on the Pacific Coast, announced today the full acquisition of Hotel ...

B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group Launches New BFSAULHOTELS.COM Website

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:22
StratThe B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group has launched their newly revamped hotel website at www.bfsaulhotels.com . This website contains several ...

Bizou Brasserie at Le Méridien Tampa Reimagines the Guest Experience With Menu and Dining Room Enhancements

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:19
In just five months, one of downtown Tampa’s newest hotels has achieved the top ranking of all North American Starwood Le ...

Aparium Hotel Group Appoints General Manager Of The New Charmant Hotel

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:18
Aparium Hotel Group, a leading hotel company specializing in management and development of independent properties across the U.S., announces the appointment ...

Hyundai, Kia aim to raise fuel economy by 25% by 2020

AutoNews - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:08
Hyundai and its affiliate Kia said today they aim to raise the average fuel economy of their vehicles by 25 percent by 2020 to meet emissions regulations in South Korea, the United States and Europe.
Categories: Latest News

VIDEO: Fast Food Nation

Topix - Thu, 2014-11-06 07:51

It's not just skipping kitchen duties at home on Friday nights anymore. Eating out -- and grabbing takeout -- has moved from an age-old weekend-starting tradition to any weekday.

Categories: Today's Food News

UK car sales boosted by cheap credit, but growth forecast to slow

AutoNews - Thu, 2014-11-06 07:47
UK car sales in October rose 14 percent but will likely slow as consumers brace for a rise in interest rates next year. Total new registrations are heading toward 2.46 million for this year, a return to pre-recession levels.
Categories: Latest News

Europe's auto recovery continues without France

AutoNews - Thu, 2014-11-06 07:24
Western European new-car sales rose 6 percent in October as demand picked up in all major markets except France. Registrations increased despite deepening uncertainties over the region's economic outlook.
Categories: Latest News

5 Underused Google Features in AdWords That Really Work

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2014-11-06 06:30

Google AdWords is a seriously powerful, dynamic online advertising platform, yet few users ever even begin to reach their full potential within the service. Google is constantly updating AdWords, adding new features, killing off ones that don’t work, and changing the way features function, thousands of times a year. It’s no wonder marketers can’t keep up.

Thanks to this ever-changing nature of AdWords, there are some really significant features that hardly get any play at all. However, these underused Google features in AdWords can have a serious impact on your PPC (pay per click) performance.

If you want to really bury the competition, you have to move beyond the AdWords basics and get creative. We went searching for the AdWords features with the lowest adoption – under 10 percent – that have the greatest potential for impact. Cut your learning curve with these five underused AdWords features that could change your AdWords fate by 30 percent or more.

1. Display Ad Builder

Google’s display ads can be vibrant image ads, but few people realize that 67.5 percent of the ads that count as “display” are still actually just plain, old text ads. Take these, for example:

Why is this important?

Because the same tactics you use to optimize your text ads and increase your CTR (click through rate) and, therefore, your Quality Score still apply here. As we know, raising your Quality Scores gives you better exposure and most importantly, lowers the cost you’ll pay for each click.

Text ads typically have a much lower CTR than image ads:

As a result, those lower CTR text ads can end up costing you 381 percent more. Obviously, that’s unacceptable, so what can you do about it?

Diversify Your Display Ad Formats

The average CTR on the Google display network is around .3 percent and we know that every increase/decrease of 0.1 percent CTR results in an approximately 20 percent increase or decrease in CPC:

Use the Display Ad Builder to tap into those eye catching, engaging and even animated image ads with inherently higher CTRs.

Google AdWords offers a wide variety of display ad formats for you and using the Display Ads Builder, you don’t need superstar Photoshop or design skills to take advantage of them. Yet you can still have visually engaging image ads that get a higher CTR and therefore cost less.

One of the options to help you create visually appealing display ads is to pull existing visual content from your own website. The Display Ads Builder will let you either upload an ad you’ve created in another program, or create one in the system using text, graphics and animations, using ideas from your own site, if you choose.

If you can get Google to do 80 percent of the work designing your ads for you, why not?

Once the images from your site are pulled in, you can customize the font, text, color, headlines and the display URL:

These image ads can also be animated with HTML5 right within the Display Ads Builder, in just three to five minutes.

A lot of people don’t realize this, but there are different auctions for the different ad formats, so the top banner ad does not compete with the sidebar ads in display. This is critical: diversify your ad formats and get into those different auctions to boost your impressions with your creative new display ads.

2. Layering Demographic Targeting

Demographics can allow you to target your customer personas, customize your ads and bids, and refine with exclusions and demographic combinations to really improve your targeting:

Google’s demographic targeting tab was just released in early October and this is an area of your account that you’re going to want to get to know. Now, you can view performance by gender, age range and even parental status. The biggest change was the addition of the ability to view different combinations of demographics.

When you turn on Demographic Combinations, you can layer on any number of demographics to see metrics like impressions, CPC, CTR and more:

Give this a try to get maximum benefit from demographic layering:

  • Tag all of the anonymous visitors to your website.
  • Filter based on visits to high value pages (high commercial intent).
  • Overlay various combinations of user demographics to find your best commercial intent and persona match buyers.
3. Automation

Now, automation is a really great thing in the vast majority of cases. It saves us time, helps prioritize actions and more. However, if you’re not careful, automation in Google AdWords can sometimes blow things up.

Generally, only advanced users should attempt to use Automate in Google AdWords. It can cause huge problems if applied incorrectly, but like so many things, that’s a risk for a powerful feature.

You can automate a lot of different things, including turning a campaign off when you hit a set amount of spend, or pausing and enabling campaigns on specific days and for specific hours. Try this. Automate your bids based on bounce rate and other factors. Automate the changing of your max CPC (cost per click) bids based on bounce rate or other metrics:

This is where automation can go wrong, though. Marketers may set it and forget it. Automation is meant to save you time by applying actions across your account, but you need to monitor and measure performance closely to ensure your automated actions have the impact you desired.

4. AdWords Reporting

Speaking of seriously underused features, perhaps none is so neglected as the massive variety of reporting options available in AdWords.

Combing through the massive amount of data available to determine what’s working and where you should focus next is near impossible without the right reports. Check these AdWords reports out:

The Top vs. Other Report

This is found in the campaign, ad groups, keywords and ads tabs in the “Segment” dropdown:

It shows your performance at either the “top” positions (typically from 1 to 3) or other positions. You might think the top position is best, but this report shows which positions actually work best for you. Where the top position is prohibitively expensive, you might actually be limiting the number of conversions you can get. Shooting for a lower position at a lower cost might seem counterintuitive, but the data could show that’s the higher return option.

The Top Movers Report

This is found in the “Dimensions” tab, under the “View” dropdown. It shows you changes in performance and where those changes occurred, from an entire account level perspective:

With this report, you can compare the current time period (7, 14, 21 or 28 days) to the previous and see performance across four categories: Costs, Clicks, Conversions and Converted Clicks.

Once you select a category, you can see a campaign, ad group, network and device-level view of where performance increases/decreases came from. You’ll also see details on changes in impressions, CTR, position and CPC.

Segment by Distance Report

One more report you definitely want to check out is the Segment by Distance report in the Dimensions tab:

Where do my customers come from?

This report helps you capture that at a glance. In the above example, you can see that the closer a person is when they search, the more likely they are to become a customer and the lower the cost of conversion. You can use this data to inform your bid strategy, spending slightly more money for those higher value, higher conversion clicks that originate from within a specific radius of your business.

5. New Ad Extensions

Using AdWords ad extensions is a very good thing. We know this for a fact. Yet few marketers are using them to their full advantage. They’re a great opportunity to draw attention and add functionality to your ads and they can also help increase your CTR.

There’s a huge opportunity here for marketers who stay on top of the latest ad extension releases and beat everyone else to the punch with new features.

Sitelinks don’t have a huge impact, but for such a small amount of effort, you do get about an 8 percent uplift in your CTR.

The benefit might be worth it in itself, but we’ve also found that using sitelinks increases the Quality Scores for your keywords and ads. We’ve seen about an 8 percent lift again in Quality Scores when you’re using ad extensions, which brings down the cost you’ll pay for each click.

In fact, ad extensions are so important that last year, Google changed how Ad Rank is calculated, adding Format Impact as a part of the calculation. Format Impact is simply a type of bonus you get for using site extensions, helping your ads to appear in more prominent positions for a lower cost than if you weren’t using them.

Google sees the massive benefits for users and marketers in ad extensions, so just in the last few months, they’ve started automatically adding sitelinks to ads in the top three positions.

So, ad extensions offer higher CTRs which improve Quality Score and lower your costs. They also offer higher positions. All of this is for using ad extensions that help your ads get more attention and help users do more things with your ad too. So why isn’t everyone using them?

Your guess is as good as mine, but if you’re one of the first movers in your market using the latest ad extensions, you’re setting yourself apart from the competition.

Give these underused AdWords features an honest shot – the payoff could be huge.

Data Sources

Where not noted above, data is based on a sample size of 240 accounts (WordStream clients) representing US-based SMBs in all verticals. The report incorporates data from the Google Search Network between January 2012 and July 2014.

Google Photo via Shutterstock

The post 5 Underused Google Features in AdWords That Really Work appeared first on Small Business Trends.

Lada sales rise in Russia as scrappage program helps to counter Western sanctions

AutoNews - Thu, 2014-11-06 05:57
AvtoVAZ said Russian sales of its Lada brand increased in October, the first rise in 19 months, as a scrappage program to counter Western sanctions over Ukraine helps to boost demand.
Categories: Latest News

South Carolina Auto Dealership Featured in Car Biz Today Magazine

PR Web - Thu, 2014-11-06 04:23

The newest edition of Car Biz Today magazine is now available online, and features Lexus of Greenville in South Carolina. Also featured this month is NCM Associates and ReverseRisk's partnership,...

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/11/prweb12294671.htm

Miracle Method Makes Impression at ACUHO-I/APPA Conference in Kansas...

PR Web - Thu, 2014-11-06 04:23

College Facility Managers visiting Miracle Method’s ACUHO-I/APPA Conference booth saw first hand how problems with leaking shower pans, dated bathroom tile, and worn laminate can be updated affordably...

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/leaking_showers/residence_halls/prweb12295189.htm

Higher wage floor will strengthen New Orleans' economy: A letter to the editor

Topix - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:46

The article "New Orleans' tourism industry booms but income inequality remains entrenched, " NOLA.com, Oct. 28) hit home for me. I'm proud to live in New Orleans.

Categories: Today's Food News

TargetRecruit Teams with Act-On to Help Clients Achieve Recruiting...

PR Web - Thu, 2014-11-06 01:23

TargetRecruit’s integration with Act-On will help clients gain better visibility into recruiting campaign performance.

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/11/prweb12289887.htm

Philly Pretzel Factory Awards Lucky Winner with Trip to Europe

PR Web - Thu, 2014-11-06 01:23

150-Unit-Plus Booming Pretzel Franchise Honors Winner with In-Store Celebration and Pretzels

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Phillypretzel/pretzelbrand/prweb12292424.htm

Performance Brokerage Services Urges Car Dealers to Capitalize on...

PR Web - Thu, 2014-11-06 01:23

Due to recent events, Performance Brokerage Services advises clients to seriously consider this unique environment in which the goodwill portion of the purchase price for car dealerships have reached...

(PRWeb October 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Performance-Brokerage/Goodwill-Values-Soaring/prweb12292640.htm

Dairy Queen Gets Into the Mobile Payment App Game

Topix - Wed, 2014-11-05 23:41

Following in the app-launching footsteps of Taco Bell and Burger King , Dairy Queen is the latest fast-food chain to unveil a smartphone app that allows diners to pay with their phones . According to a press release , Dairy Queen has rolled out the app only in select Colorado and Nebraska markets, with the mobile payment platform powered through Mozido.

Categories: Today's Food News

Dealertrack raises financial targets after Q3 revenue surges

AutoNews - Wed, 2014-11-05 21:11
Dealertrack Technologies, which supplies a wide variety of auto dealership retail software and services, said its third-quarter business surged and it bumped up its revenue and profitability forecast for the year.
Categories: Latest News

How Business Development Can be Like – Sex

Small Business Trends - Wed, 2014-11-05 20:30


Imagine, just for a moment, that you’re a 21-year-old virgin and you think it’s time to change that. You want a relationship. So, what do you do?

  • Start calling and emailing prospects?
  • Attend loud parties and attempt meaningful conversations?
  • Hire a matchmaker?
  • Broadcast to friends and associates that you’d really love to hook up with someone?

Okay, so you’re not a 21-year-old virgin looking for a relationship. But if you’re a small business owner, marketing director, or business development individual you know that the desire for new business can feel just as strong. And as silly as some of those virgin strategies sound, they are the same strategies that small businesses use when it comes to finding new business.

Is There a More Effective Business Development Strategy?

Of course, effective business development strategies depend to a large extent on the business and industry. For example, most doctors expect to be called on by pharmaceutical sales reps pushing the latest drug. In many cases they develop personal relationships with these reps. However, if you’re in most other types of small business, your sales calls and emails will not be so well-received.

Popular networking events are generally loud and crowded with people less interested in your business than their own. When speaking, you’re often forced to yell. And, often you’ll find a business card in your face before you know it.

Broadcasting your new business need to friends and associates can be effective, but it can also convey the message that your business is…well, not doing so great.

What’s the Best Strategy?

While even the most savvy business owners have probably had to chase business at some point, they know that it’s always better to attract business. Steve Jobs knew this even when he was working out of his garage and ‘The Law of Attraction’ is as old as Buddha. So, how do you attract?

There are, of course, many ways and, again, what’s most effective for you will depend somewhat on your particular business and industry. That said, for the small business owner, social media has certainly become one of the most popular. However, while it may be popular and inexpensive, many small businesses owners claim it’s not getting the results they desire. According to a 2013 Manta Research study over 60% of business owners say they haven’t seen any return on investment from their social media efforts. None.

So, if not social media, then what? Talk to five marketing experts and you may get five different answers. But, if you take a minute to research it (Search: “fastest growing online ad format”) you’ll find what businesses are having success with.

Whatever method you choose, the better you can attract, engage and impress your prospects, the more successful your business development will be.

Romance photo via Shutterstock

The post How Business Development Can be Like – Sex appeared first on Small Business Trends.

TrueCar boosts outlook as Q3 revenue jumps 51%

AutoNews - Wed, 2014-11-05 19:48
TrueCar, the online car-shopping platform, raised its outlook for the fourth quarter and full year as it continues to add dealers and draw more customers to its network.
Categories: Latest News