Many co-opped pay-per-click providers claim that automation is the way to go. They are of the opinion that the only way to rank in your dealership’s local area is by bidding on their canned keywords that are exactly the same for all dealerships, in all locations. What they aren’t telling you is that by adhering to this confining pay-per-click bidding structure, you are restricting how the local customer can find and shop your specific inventory. The traffic that you do receive is not high-quality and is full of customers who are not ready to buy. By requiring dealers to bid on search terms like: “+how +much +is +Mazda +CX5”, you, the dealer, are investing in the click-through rate of the OEM, like Mazda, but have done very little to promote the inventory of your dealership or any promotions that you may want to advertise.
Co-Op is Missing the Mark
Some of you may be wondering why the “+” is present in these search terms. The plus sign is Google’s way of signifying exact search terms that need to be typed in by the end-user in order for the ad to populate in search results. Let’s think about this for a moment – if someone is searching for the exact phrase “How much is a Mazda CX5?”, the search results will be landing them directly to OEM pages. Nowhere in these search terms is the location of where they are hoping to purchase a Mazda CX5 and yet it is still a required search term of Mazda.
Co-op PPC is also missing the mark by not making the keywords that are being bid on structured by the way that customers are actually searching for inventory. Let’s look at another Mazda example. Mazda co-op is currently requiring the following longtail keyword to be bid on, “+mazda +store +near +me”. According to our Lead PPC Strategist, Shannon Eshel, this exact phrase is never searched. The same thing with “+mazda +payment” – not one hit on this keyword has taken place.
Even though the results are in the data – no one is searching this way for Mazda inventory – yet co-opped pay-per-click providers are still bidding on these terms with Mazda dealer’s co-opped dollars.
Let’s Continue on with the Mazda Example
ABC Mazda, in Tampa, Florida comes to Dealer Authority and wants to start with a fresh PPC strategy. They have been working with a co-op provider which increased their new users to their website, but also, in turn, increased their site’s bounce rate, and didn’t result in an increase of conversions such as click-to-call, text, or form fills.
Our first step is to restructure ABC dealer’s bidding strategy. Instead of “+how +much +is +Mazda +CX5”, we shift to “Mazda CX5 for sale Tampa FL”, ABC dealer also decided to kick up their strategy a notch by adding our SEO solution to their monthly services. By doing this, Dealer Authority is able to build a custom landing page, with helpful copy that gives the customer information about the vehicle, a video giving the customer a behind the scenes look at the awesome features the CX5 has, and a call-to-action that entices the customer to make an appointment for a test drive. All of this is tied to the first click that the customer took when they searched “Mazda CX5 for sale Tampa FL” and ABC dealer’s Google Ad was the first ad to populate.
Custom PPC Strategy Makes a Lasting Impact on Sales
For those of you that are reading this and are starting to feel like ABC dealer – wondering how well your co-op keywords are actually working – just ask for the results. Your provider should be able to provide you with a list of the keywords that have been bid on your behalf over the past 30 days. If they aren’t willing to share this information that is your signal to consider another option. Digital Marketing, like pay-per-click and SEO, is meant to work together and reinforce each other. There isn’t one-size-fits-all when it comes to a dealer’s pay-per-click or digital marketing strategy for that matter.
By having a team of seasoned Google Ads strategists on your dealership’s side, you are never forced to settle for plug-n-play search terms. Through an analysis of your dealership’s location, our team is able to tell you what your customers are actually searching for and how we should build out your Google Ads account in order to result in maximum click-through rates and sales.