Google Search Network for Car Dealerships

Google adwords or “pay per click” is broken down into a few categories. One popular avenue is for ads to display on the “search network” where they index on the SERP (search engine results page).  Ads on the search network can target very specific keywords to take advantage of micro moments on the Internet. Used for both branding and sales, the search network is a great place to narrow down your target audience and pinpoint customers who are ready to buy.

The search network targets generic search results but can also be used on other sites such as google maps or shopping.  Quality scores mixed with appropriate bidding dictate positioning on the search network.Certain keywords have more volume than others and higher bidding prices. The art of PPC is in finding the right keywords to target that maximize ROI for your business.

For smaller, independent dealers, it is best to micromanage adword campaigns to generate the most ROI. This process begins with choosing the right campaign manager. Most business owners have been cold called almost daily about “Being Listed on the Front Page of Google!” What a deal right? Wrong. Most of these businesses are looking to set you up as an account, bill you a few hundred (or thousand) per month, and use whatever budget you give them to loosely manage your money. Most of these companies do not understand your business. The management fees aren’t what really cause your business harm. The issue is how they allocate your budget.

Pay per click is an art that works differently for every business. Say someone searches “car dealership Miami.” The bid for this click may be $30 to rank on the first page of Google. Unfortunately, tons of car dealerships will show up.  Yes, you only pay per click onto your ad but how close to purchasing a vehicle is this individual? More specifically, how close to purchasing a vehicle is someone who searches “car dealership repairs” Miami? You may actually show up in the search queue for a search that is related to repairs when you don’t even have a service department. When you have a poorly managed campaign, campaign managers will often overlook these erroneous clicks that should be prevented through negative keywords, phrase match keywords, and exact match keywords.

How about someone who searches “Used Nissan Sentra For Sale Miami”?  Seems oddly specific right? Interestingly enough, the person who searches this keyword is much closer to the sale than someone who is looking for a car dealership. This “micro moment” is worth taking advantage of because the customer already knows what they want and you can put the solution in front of them. Exact match keywords like this will have less traffic per month but will cost less per click and have fewer erroneous clicks.  When you put an ad together that lands the customer on a page with the exact car they are looking for that is complimented by a nice website and a good support team, you have a very high chance of turning this click into a sale.

Car dealerships Miami may get 10,000 searches per month while “Used Nissan Sentra For Sale Miami” may only get 1,000 searches per month. As a result, you will likely see far fewer clicks to your website by targeting the more specific searches. How do you compensate for this lack of traffic? Pair up your entire inventory with an exact match search. Doing so will allow you to target 50 different exact match keywords with a total volume of 50,000 searches per month. By targeting all the different makes and models of vehicles and focusing on local searches, you can actually have traffic from customers that are ready to buy and your customer acquisition costs will be much lower. In addition, lower search volume will eat less of your daily budget.

“Used Nissan Sentra for sale” is a phrase match keywords that may have extremely high volume and eat up a lot of your budget. Why? It doesn’t have local connotation. If you have incredible SEO and are able to target high traffic searches like this without paying per click, more power to you. For most independent and even franchise dealers, these searches are simply out of reach. It is better to narrow down the searches with local connotation, which will eat up less of your budget and get your inventory in front of customers who are in closer proximity to your dealership.

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