By Ben Stewart, PPC Analyst, SmartSites
Choosing advertising is difficult. In a car dealership, one of the most challenging parts of the numerous decisions for a general manager, owner, or internet director (I was one and we go by many titles!) is knowing where to spend money. The U.S. will reach $13.29 billion in automotive digital ad spend in 2021. Given the ability and need to buy and research online, that number actually grew 21% from 2020. Advertising choices have a long-term impact. Following are a few reasons why Google Ads make a great investment for a car dealership
Buying from the Source
Billions of people use Google every day to find information, shop, and organize their lives. People will readily tell Google what they are looking for by searching for “car dealership near me” or “Used 2017 Jeep Wrangler.” These users may be at the end of a long journey of visiting multiple websites trying to find a service or a car, and that search could be weeks or months in the making.
The key is being in front of the Google searcher at the moment when they have decided what they want to do next and offering them an easy way to find what they are looking for.
Google Ads offer the opportunity to appeal to the people who are the most likely to buy from you or get their vehicle serviced at your dealership. You might already have a good idea of the kind of person who comes into your service lane or show floor and establishes a relationship with a Service Advisor or salesperson. Google collects data that not only gets that person back in your dealership when they need service with remarketing but can use the same data to help you find more people like your current customers with customer match.
Imagine being able to adjust your advertising dollars to spend more on the specific interests, ages, income, and other demographics that are the most likely to be your next customer.
One of the biggest challenges in automotive is not knowing where your customers came from. Knowing is key to spending money and having ads in the right places to sell more cars and service. Your CRM software can begin to tell you where sales and service come from, though they are only as accurate as the data entered.
When set up properly, Google can give you a good idea of the quality of traffic from your ads. The more important question will be asking what you want to measure. How many phone calls? Google can measure that. You can even hear how well your salespeople or business development center perform on calls. Time spent looking at vehicles on your site— It’s measurable. Google Ads can also be set up to give you a good idea of how much influence your ads had on driving the user to your site using one of many “conversion” measurements like Time Decay or Data-Driven results. For some users, Google can also tell you if a person showed up and walked into your dealership.
What do I mean by timeliness? Well, car dealerships tend to work on a month-to-month basis in regards to meeting objectives both for manufacturer money and sales or management paychecks.
Google Ads can help you adjust quickly to changing times and environments. Did the manufacturer launch a new ad campaign for just a few days to begin a month? Are you just short of your new car goal? A Google Ads account and a good partner makes you highly adaptable to make a new ad campaign or change an existing one, most often within a business day or two of deciding what you want to change.
Set Your Amount
Many advertising sources like many of the big third-party listing vendors have set prices per month. These are often based on your inventory levels and geographic location.
Google is a bit different. You can adjust your budgets and amounts whenever you want to. Do you have a large number of RAM trucks in stock? Spend a bit more on RAM trucks and get some more results. Inventory getting low and want to focus on service instead? You can quickly and easily shift your budget to people looking for a local service center, oil change, tire center, or transmission repair.
Control Your Advertising
Buying ads through Google can be a very cost-effective way of driving traffic to your site and store with plenty of customization options capable of delivering the results you want, like getting more eyes on your cars, or selling service.
About the Author
Ben Stewart is a PPC Analyst with SmartSites. He has been working in automotive marketing for eight years.