Putting Pay-Per-Click Advertising to Work for Your Dealership

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With 80% of car buyers using search engines to research before they purchase a car, it makes sense for auto dealerships to put a big focus on online marketing. Internet savvy dealerships are using informative and easy to navigate websites, as well as highly targeted email campaigns to generate business, yet there is one effective Internet marketing tool that is often ignored, or not used to it's full potential: Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC).

What is Pay-Per-Click?

PPC enables your auto dealership to place your website in the "sponsored" listings of Internet search results. You only pay for this type of advertising when someone clicks on the ad and is sent to your website. You bid for a keyword or keyword phrase related to your dealership, and then create a short advertisement that is displayed when someone searches for that keyword. The amount your dealership pays when someone clicks on the listing is determined by the click-through rate of your ad, the quality of the content on your landing page, and what others are willing to pay for the same keyword.


How Can PPC Work for Me?

Though it is relatively easy and quick to set up a pay-per-click campaign for your dealership, these campaigns are most effective when managed by a professional. Simply having an account does not mean that your dealership will see success. There are several key points to a successful campaign:


First, you must determine your PPC budget. It doesn't make sense to spend more money to bring traffic to your website than you are actually making as a direct result of this traffic. You must keep track of the return on investment (ROI) of every marketing campaign you do, including PPC. Only by keeping records like this can you determine if you are losing money, breaking even or seeing a profit.


Keyword research is critical to the success of your campaign. Having your ad shown for relevant keywords is extremely important to catch in-market buyers. It doesn't make sense, financially or otherwise, to appear in search results for keywords that are not related to your dealership. Why pay for those who click on your advertisement but were searching for something completely unrelated?


Make sure that the ads you use are accurate and representative of what kind of content your website contains. Beware of misleading visitors with faulty information because once they click to visit your site, they will know the truth, and never become a customer. Having relevant, quality content on your landing page will also help reduce your cost per click, since Google reduces the cost for those with a high Quality Score.


Finally, a successful campaign must be monitored and analyzed. The position of your advertisement can, and probably will, change everyday. The competition for the top spots is fierce, and bidding wars are common. If the cost of the phrase gets too high, it is usually best to withdraw and pursue a different keyword. You don't want to 'lose' a bidding war by paying too much for each visitor! It is also important to track and analyze how effective individual keywords are on a monthly basis. Viewing click-through rates and studying visitor habits can lend valuable insight into their motivations and habits, and help to further refine your campaign.


Using PPC effectively may seem overwhelming, but DealerOn can manage this entire process for you. This includes choosing the appropriate keywords, bidding the right amount, ensuring that your dealership is tracking the correct information, and making sure that the content on your landing page is earning a higher Google Quality Score. You can track every lead, web visitor, and even phone-up that your dealership receives as a result of your PPC campaign, something you can't do on your own.


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