Why Paid Search Ads are Critical for Your Dealership

There are 63,000 searches per second on Google, 3.8 million per minute, 228 million per hour, and 5.5 billion per day. If your dealership is not using paid search ads, you are losing out on possible leads who could convert to new customers.

Google research shows that 2x as many consumers begin the car buying process online rather than at a dealership. Paid search ads are critical for your dealership to continue to grow.

Find out why these ads are so critical, the reasons why you should start using them today, and the primary core digital channels for advertising your dealership.

Defining Paid Search Ads

You’ve likely heard of paid search ads, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or search engine marketing (SEM). Your dealership can benefit from using these ads to connect with more leads and boost sales.

When your customers search for keywords like “Toyota dealer near me”, billions of organic results meeting those search words—as determined by the search engine algorithm—will show up on the search engine results page (SERP).

However, only the top ten results displaying on the first page are important, because people generally don’t click beyond page one.

Unless your dealership website is ranking on page one for that keyword search due to an effective SEO strategy, it reduces the likelihood of online consumers connecting to your dealership. You can change that by using paid search ads.

The PPC ads appear on the SERP with a similar format to the ten organic listings. These ads are visually distinctive with the word “Ad” listed by the website link under the heading of the listing.

When relevant ad keywords appear in a search, your PPC ad will display at the top of the SERP. That is prime online real estate and can significantly expand the number of people finding out about your dealership.

Primary Core Digital Channels

Your dealership can use various core digital channels for advertising, such as the following:

  • Paid Search – Advertising on PPC Ad Networks like Google and Bing
  • Display – Placing skyscraper and banner ads on websites
  • Video – Advertising in videos on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo
  • Social – Reaching your target audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Gmail – Placing interactive ads in the social and promotions tab of inboxes

Paid search is a key digital channel since it delivers the maximum level of intent from the target audience. When consumers click through one of your paid search ads and reach your dealership website, they are typically prepared to make a purchase.

They have moved further down the digital sales funnel. That is a key reason why paid search ads are critical for your dealership.

If you have a higher budget for an omnichannel marketing approach, that’s great. However, if you don’t, then it is better to focus your money and time on paid search ads for maximum ROI and boosted sales for your dealership.

9 Reasons to Utilize Paid Search Ads

Today’s savvy consumers that you need to reach complete online searches for information about vehicles, and auto and dealer reviews—and hopefully will decide to purchase from your dealership.

However, if you’re not using paid search ads, your dealership won’t have any chance of making its first touchpoint with this target market—your competition will be reaching these potential customers.

Consider the following top reasons why paid search ads are critical for your dealership, and start implementing this digital marketing strategy today:

1. Page One Exposure

Paid search ads are the quickest way to get your dealership displayed on page one of the SERP on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. 

2. Simple Campaign Set Up

The process of setting up a paid search ad campaign on Google is straightforward, and can typically be completed within 30 minutes. Google Ads provides a user-friendly Checklist with ten steps on how to get started.

You’ll find important information, such as the definition of basic terms like keywords, bid, quality score, ad rank, cost-per-click (CPC), and conversion. You can work with a digital marketing provider to help you set up your campaign or to create a more advanced strategy.

3. New and Consistent Traffic

Once you complete the campaign setup and activation, your ad should display on page one of SERPs shortly. If your website had little exposure before the campaign, this should now bring in new and consistent traffic to your landing pages and website.

4. Reaching Your Target Audience

You have a better chance of reaching your target audience with paid search ads than by relying on search engine optimization alone. Sure, some people shy away from clicking on PPC ads and only click through organic results on the SERP.

However, you have more flexibility with ads than with SEO. For example, to increase your SERP ranking through SEO alone, you need to optimize your website and blog content for changes to be reflected in search engine results.

With paid search ads, you can easily track the performance of your advertising efforts and identify what is working and what isn’t. You can remedy any shortcomings by adding or changing text, phrasing, headings, and keywords to increase the click-through rate (CTR). For optimal results, it is best to run the ad campaign for 2 weeks and then review the data to measure your results. Your digital marketing provider will likely use data from paid search ads as a key factor in identifying the most relevant keywords that will deliver optimized conversions.

5. Google’s Cutting-edge Algorithm

As of April 2019, Google has maintained 88.47% of the search engine market share. Google employs a cutting-edge algorithm that is extremely effective in identifying relevancy to improve a user’s online keyword search.

When you set up a paid search ad campaign with Google, it is crucial for the relevancy of your content—in the ad and landing page—to measure up to the standards of the algorithm.

Relevancy affects your ad quality score, which can decrease your bid costs and increase your ad rank in SERPs.

A higher score means the user experience is better, and it increases the chances of driving highly-targeted, qualified leads to your website or landing pages.

6. Better Marketing Analytics

Your dealership might still spend marketing dollars on traditional advertising like TV, radio, and newspaper print ads. These methods could be driving traffic to your site and bringing people to your dealership, but the metrics are harder to track.

When you use paid search ads, you enable your dealership to analyze data to track the performance of each ad effectively. You can review how well keywords, headlines, and phrasing are working and adjust ad content accordingly.

7. Specify Target Audience Location

With Google Ads, you can target specific geographic locations where you want your paid search ads to appear online. Choose from a variety of factors like the following:

  • Countries
  • Specific areas within a country
  • A radius around a specific location
  • Groups like business locations, tiered demographics, or places of interest

With geo-targeting, you can enhance your advertising efforts to reach your intended audience and bring in the right leads who will likely convert to customers. You can restrict areas where you don’t think your ad will perform as well.

Google Ads Help provides a comprehensive guide on how to use geo-targeting in your next paid search ad campaign.

8. Refine ROI with Ad Scheduling

Using paid search ads with Google provides your dealership with the opportunity to refine the return on your investment by scheduling ads. You can specify which days or times you want your ad to run.

If you have identified the best times or days—when your dealership has gotten a high response rate from customers—this feature can help you optimize that knowledge for better results.

9. Enhance Your Dealership Brand Image

You want to use an omnichannel marketing approach to enhance your dealership’s brand image. Another way to improve the brand is by using paid search ads. With consistent branding among all of your PPC ad campaigns, you can stay current in the minds of leads and your customers.

You want all of the nondigital and digital touchpoints that leads and customers have with your dealership to reflect a positive image of your brand consistently.

By crafting the right ads with relevant keywords, you can create a great user experience. That will translate into a better ad quality score and an enhanced image of your dealership brand.

Optimize Your Strategy for Using Paid Search Ads

Let J&L Marketing help your dealership dominate your digital marketing strategy today! We can help you learn more about paid search ads and how to implement the best PPC ad strategy to reach the right target audience—and bring more people to your dealership.

J&L Marketing has been in the automotive space for nearly 30 years. We help dealers across tier 1, 2, and 3 levels for digital and direct marketing solutions. We are proud Google, Bing, and Facebook Partners and have recently become digital vendors for both Shell and Mopar.

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