7 Tips Auto Dealers Can Use To Make AdWords Sizzle

Google Adwords tips

PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, specifically Adwords are a great way to drive targeted buyer traffic without having to spend months or even years building up SEO in a natural way. You can use Adwords to cut to the head of the pack in targeting ready-to-buy local shoppers. Use the 7 tips below to make your ads sizzle and increase your bottom line!

1. Focus on Long Tail, Targeted Keywords

Going after generic keywords like “Ford Minneapolis” will get very expensive, very fast. This is generally not a good buying keyword to target as the visitor could simply be looking for a list of dealerships they could go to for service or someone searching a last name in Minneapolis. A better long tail keyword to focus on would be 2015 Ford F-150 Minneapolis. There will be far less competition, lower prices and far more potential for a buyer to come your way.

One additional tip; use the keyword in your ad if possible. If any words in the ad match the keyword typed in, they will be bolded drawing the eye of the shopper. This also shows Google that your ad is more relevant.

2. Use Ad Groups to Segment Targeted Areas

Setup Ad Groups to focus on different types of vehicles or customers in different areas. For example; create Ad Groups for Trucks, SUVs, Crossovers, BMW, Mercedes and areas like Zip Codes or City. The more focus you have, the better your ROI. This helps your reporting and tracking as well.

It helps to set a higher bid on exact match bids as you know the customer is hot on that term. Throw in some negative keywords like “cheap” or a competitor’s name so that your campaign ignores these types of visitors that you might waste money on.

3. Measure and Track!

If you don’t know how your campaign is going how can you know if it’s working or not? Measure and track everything that you can. Selling cars in the offline, real world makes it slightly harder to track ROI. Though some sophisticated DMS products (MotorLot included!) can track the exact path of your customers from where they came from, first visit to lead. Once you have them as a lead you can see if they convert to a buyer. Very cool technology to track your online efforts leading to sales and money in your pocket!

4. Use a PPC Expert

There can be a lot of effort spent on setting up, optimizing and maintaining your PPC efforts. After you learn and try Adwords yourself, and budget permitting, go out and hire a PPC expert to save you time so that you can focus on what you do best..selling cars! There are PPC experts that focus exclusively on auto dealers, but in general you may save some bucks going with a local PPC expert or going in-house. Their services shouldn’t cost more than $1,000/month.

5. CTA, Use a Call-to-Action

Do you want customers to go to your VDP (Vehicle Details Page) or to call direct? You need to create emotion in the customer to take the next step in clicking or dialing for more information. It’s important to have good language and clear actionable verbiage. Test wording like “Click Now”, “Call Now”, “Click to Find Out More” and “Learn More”. Both clicking and calling can be tracked which is great. Track your PPC to landing page conversion through Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Use Google’s call tracking code and individual call tracking numbers that ring to your main line.

6.  Convert on Your Landing Page

Customers convert to buyers on your VDP. Google assigns a higher ranking to your Adwords when the landing page is targeted to the keyword. The more they match up the better. Don’t send a customer clicking on “Ford F-150 Charlotte” to an inventory page with content targeting Chevrolet. And PLEASE don’t send every visitor from Adwords directly to your homepage. That is a big waste of money as the customer is taken a step back away from what they want.

7. Retargeting or Remarketing Takes Your Efforts Next Level

Ever see those ads that follow you around the web? Those are retargeting ads and help convert the traditional 98% of visitors that don’t have an immediate intent to buy. Simply, retargeting reminds customers exactly who you are. CarGurus has done a good job of this by retargeting you with specific vehicles that you have looked at. It keeps the vehicle purchase fresh in your mind. Use a retargeting company like Adroll or Perfect Audience.


Retargeting explained



Start with a reasonable budget of $1000 to get your feet wet and gain experience targeting buyers. A successful Adwords campaign can be a lot of work, so hiring a PPC expert may be a good idea for your goals. If you want to save some money you can also hire someone in-house or outsource to a provider. Good luck with your PPC campaigns! Do you have any tips or advice with Adwords buying?

September 19, 2014 - Written by

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