Automotive Marketing 101: Best Practices for Your PPC Campaign

Did you know that 71% of people looking for a new vehicle research online, and 86% of those people repeat the same searches multiple times throughout their car-buying journey? A car is a big purchase, and the majority of consumers research car buying options extensively online before even visiting a dealership.

So, when you’re thinking about your automotive marketing strategy, it’s important for your car dealership to be present where people are searching. One way to do this is through a PPC campaign. When it comes to running a PPC campaign for your dealership, there are a few best practices you should follow to ensure your campaign is successful.

Build a Strong Foundation With a Great Website

Before you get started with PPC, you want to make sure your website is ready to receive new visitors and present them with a positive online experience. Just like with your physical dealership, you want your website to be welcoming, clean, and easy to navigate.

It’s also extremely important that your website is mobile-friendly. Over 50% of online searches are now done on mobile devices, and the automotive industry is no exception.

And, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy for website visitors to reach out to you. Include a short and concise contact form on every page so users can get in touch with you whether they have a question about a specific vehicle or they’re ready to make a purchase.

Create Compelling Text Ads

Your text ads are often a searcher’s first impression of your dealership. Make sure that it’s easy for searchers to tell who you are and what you’re offering by including your business name and a short summary about your business. Include relevant keywords and vehicles, and give the searcher a reason to visit your site by providing a call-to-action. In my experience, the best performing ads typically include lease specials or financing offers.

It’s also important to use ad extensions in your text ads. Ad extensions increase the amount of information available to the searcher and expand the size of your ad on the page. Here are a few ad extensions you should consider using:

  • Callout extensions allow you to include additional incentives or information about your dealership.
  • Structured snippets can be used to highlight all vehicles in your lineup.
  • Google has now launched a new extension, price extensions, that can be leveraged to include list lease offers on specific models as well.

The more robust and informative your text ad, the more likely it is to bring consumers to your site.

Be Relevant

With PPC, one of the most important factors that can determine success is relevancy. Search engines often reward relevancy by driving down cost-per-click, which allows you to stretch your budget further.

So, how can your car dealership be relevant in your PPC campaigns? First, make sure that the inventory on your website matches the vehicles that you have on the lot. You can’t sell cars that you don’t have!

Second, include these vehicles in your keywords and filter them into ad groups by model. You want someone who is looking for a sedan to see a text ad that speaks to that car rather than a truck or van.

Third, you’ll want to coordinate each text ad to a specific inventory or landing page. So, the text ad about a sedan would take searchers to an inventory page that only shows sedans.

If your keywords, text ads, and landing page all have the same focus, you’re providing the consumer with exactly what they’re looking for, which increases your chances of them purchasing a new car at your dealership.

These tips will help you build the foundation for a successful automotive PPC campaign. For more information about digital marketing for your automotive business, visit our website.

Jesse Renna

Jesse is a Marketing Analyst at ReachLocal who specializes in the automotive industry. He consults clients across the U.S. and Canada on integrating ReachLocal's digital marketing strategies with their existing efforts to create cohesive and successful marketing campaigns. He also serves as an advisor to internal ReachLocal teams by providing automotive industry insights and best practices. Jesse's extensive experience in the automotive marketing field coupled with ReachLocal's platform and proprietary data science allow him to provide his automotive clients with the best possible service.

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