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May 7 2019

A couple of months ago we published a blog round up article on SEO tips and tricks for dealerships and thought it would be helpful to follow up with another roundup for paid advertising. Your dealership is likely already doing some paid advertising, whether through search engine marketing (SEM), display advertising, classified listings, or even social media sponsored content.

It’s important that your dealership diversifies its digital marketing strategy. Paid advertising is a great way to get instant results while you invest time into your SEO strategy and other marketing initiatives where results are more gradual.

Paid advertising can be a double-edged sword, however. It’s easy to throw away money when it’s not managed on a regular basis with constant tweaks and adjustments. Regardless of whether your dealership is managing your paid advertising in-house or hiring an outside agency, it’s important to understand the best practices of paid advertising to ensure your advertising dollars are helping move cars.

In no particular order, here are some helpful articles from experts in the industry to get your dealership started with paid advertising (if you haven’t already), explore new paid advertising avenues, or maybe just help expose weaknesses that need to be addressed in your current paid strategy.

1. Automotive PPC: 3 Questions to Ask Before Getting Started


Are you new to pay per click (PPC) advertising? This article is a great resource for getting your dealership started. It tackles the most important questions that need to be answered before investing a dime in PPC advertising. Who is going to manage your Google Ads account, what does your audience look like, what ads will resonate with them, and which keywords should you be bidding on?

Once your PPC campaigns are underway, make sure you, or your vendor, are checking in on a monthly basis and refining your keyword strategy and ad copy. It will take a little while before your ad campaigns are where you want them to be, but it will be well worth the effort involved.

Read blog here

2. 5 Questions to Ask Your Agency about Google Ads

By: 9 Clouds

Have you decided to outsource your paid advertising needs to an agency? Maybe you are already relying on an agency for the management of your existing account. It’s important that you are fully aware of where your dollars are going and how your campaigns/ad groups are performing.

9 Clouds published an excellent blog about the questions you should be asking your agency. Though it’s more geared towards dealerships in search of a new agency, it’s also valuable for dealerships who have been working with an agency and may not really have their finger on the pulse. If the agency’s answers aren’t clear for any of the questions in this article, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere!

Read blog here

3. Hitting the Target for Paid Search

By: Generations Digital

Not sure why it’s costing your dealership a fortune for paid traffic that isn’t converting? There are a few reasons why your paid traffic might not be converting, but one of the biggest reasons addressed in this article is a lack of targeting. In other words, your dealership or advertising agency is probably casting too wide of a net and paying for clicks from consumers outside of your target market.

In this article, George Nenni, owner of Generations Digital, discusses how he’s been able to successfully identify the top zip codes in a dealership’s market for acquiring new car sales from paid search by leveraging a tool called Cross-Sell Interactive. Better targeting is essential to a profitable paid strategy.

Read blog here

4. 5 Ways to Check for Dealer Paid Search Waste

By: Dealer eProcess

Wasting paid advertising dollars is an issue that your dealership can avoid by digging into some common errors mentioned in this article. If you’ve hired an agency to manage your paid advertising account(s), you should request detailed reports to confirm they are not making these mistakes.  

Dealer eProcess brings up some issues that may seem obvious but happen quite frequently. Some of the biggest ways your dealership can cut down on paid search waste is by making sure you are targeting the right location(s), sending your ads to landing pages that are converting, and minimizing budget on your branded ads.

Read blog here

5. SEM vs. SEO: Two Sides of the Digital Marketing Coin

By: Mudd Advertising

SEM and SEO are two acronyms you’ve probably heard of at one point or another. They both have to do with search engines. However, SEO (search engine optimization) is all about optimizing your website and building authority to rank higher in search engines, while SEM (search engine marketing) is geared towards advertising and paid search to get your business at the top of search engines.

Mudd Advertising has done a great job explaining these two digital marketing terms and what they mean for your dealership.

Read blog here

6. Your Dealership’s Ultimate Guide to Everything Its PPC Package Might Be Missing

By: Dealers United

If your dealership has outsourced its paid advertising needs to a 3rd party vendor, are you aware of all the paid advertising services they are currently leveraging for your dealership? Dealers United has put together a comprehensive article with all the PPC services that should be included in your PPC package as well as additional features you should expect from your agency.

It’s a good idea to utilize all the paid advertising services Google has to offer to make sure you are getting in front of your target audience wherever/whenever possible and remarketing to those ideal customers who didn’t convert on the first touch to your website. Check with your vendor and see which of these services they are using, which ones have been most successful, and which services you may want to explore.

Read blog here  

7. Why Your PPC Ads May Not Be Producing Results

By: Dealer Teamwork

In order to be successful with your paid advertising initiatives, it’s essential that both your ad copy and landing page copy match the user’s search query intent. Eric Miltsch from Dealer Teamwork says it well in this blog article: “Be specific, transparent and consistent from the time the ad is served to the time someone leaves your website. Fill your ads with relevant transactional data and drop shoppers on a model-specific landing page with valuable, relevant content.”

From a user’s perspective, nothing is more frustrating than typing in a specific “long-tail” search query, such as the example Miltsch provides “Nissan Rogue Zero-down Lease,” and being served an ad that is broad and doesn’t answer your search, or getting dropped off on a landing page with content that doesn’t match the ad. Make sure your dealership is creating detailed ads that are pointing the appropriate landing pages.

Read blog here

8. Top 3 Reasons to Invest in Display Advertising

By: PureCars

Sometimes it’s hard to see the value in display advertising when the average click-through and conversion rates are much lower than search advertising. However, there are a number of reasons why your dealership should be utilizing display advertising, including some of the reasons mentioned in this PureCars article.

Display advertising is a great way to get in front of your ideal customers and build brand awareness. A couple of studies referenced in this article show that display advertising actually positively influences search advertising activity as a result of getting your brand name in front of these users beforehand. If your dealership is not using display advertising, you should reconsider!

Read blog here

9. Remarketing Audiences & Engaged Visitor Traffic – A Match Made in Targeting Heaven

By: PCG Companies

You’ve most likely been remarketed to, maybe even on a daily basis (depending on how much online window shopping you do). Sometimes it seems like your phone is recording your conversations when you see an ad for something you were just discussing with a friend. No need to be creepy with your remarketing ads, but make sure they are relevant!

This PCG article talks about how to properly set up targeting for your remarketing campaigns to make sure your ads are showing to the right users and the offers are in line with what they’ve viewed on your website in the past. One of the most common mistakes with remarketing is showing specific ads to all website traffic. Your targeting should be segmented based on certain pages viewed or actions users have taken on your website.

Read blog here 

10. 6 Car Dealer PPC Strategies You’ve Never Heard Of

By: Jazel Automotive Solutions

Looking for creative ways to make your ad copy stand out in a competitive market and improve your dealership’s ROI from paid advertising? Jazel Automotive has made some great suggestions for really commanding your audience’s attention, such as answering their search queries with their end goal in mind rather than using generic ad copy, or catering to the local community with geographic targeting and a phone number with the local area code (instead of an 800 number).

Most importantly, test these different ideas and see what resonates most with your audiences and ultimately drives more vehicle sales.

Read blog here


Paid advertising when done right can really affect your dealership’s bottom line. To the contrary, when not properly managed, lots of money can go to waste quickly and may discourage your dealership from investing in it down the road.

Whether your dealership is managing your paid advertising in house or working with a 3rd party, it’s worth gaining more knowledge on the subject, to assure you are maximizing ROI, and these articles are a great place to start!


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