Are you looking for ways to extend your dealership’s reach? Do you want to leverage the power of Google to reach more customers, generate more leads, and increase your sales? If so, this Google Dealer Solutions Guide is for you. As the premier digital marketing agency for the automotive industry, Dealer Authority wants to help you understand the tools that are available to you and your dealership through Google.
Our Google Dealer Solutions Guide showcases a set of tools and services that help car dealers optimize their online presence, advertise their inventory, measure their performance, optimize website performance, and provide a seamless customer experience across different channels and platforms.
According to Google/Kantar research, 92% of car buyers research online before they buy. A solid online presence is crucial for attracting and converting potential customers. Moreover, the rise of online retailing and digital transformation in the automotive industry means car dealers must adapt to changing consumer expectations and preferences.
Read on to learn more about how the variety of Google dealer solutions there are to help you improve and grow your business:
Google Business Profile (GBP)
A Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free and easy way for car dealers to showcase their business information, reviews, photos, and inventory on Google Search and Maps. It helps car dealers stand out on Google and attract more customers shopping or researching vehicles online.
One of the features that car dealers can benefit from is “cars for sale,” which allows car dealers to display their vehicle listings directly on their GBP. This feature helps car dealers reach more buyers searching for cars near them. They can also provide shoppers relevant information such as price, mileage, condition, and other features. Customers can contact the dealer directly from the GBP or visit the dealer’s website for more details.
Here are some top tips to optimize your GBP for maximum exposure and conversions:
- Claim your profile and verify your business to ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date.
- Add hours, photos, posts, offers, and other details highlighting what makes your dealership unique.
- Respond to reviews and messages from customers to build trust and loyalty.
- Use insights to understand how customers find your business and their actions on your profile.
- Enable product inventory, ordering, bookings, quotes, and other features that make it easy for customers to do business with you.
By following these tips or best practices, you can make the most of your GBP and grow your car dealership online.
Google Ads are online advertisements that can help car dealers reach potential customers across different channels and platforms, such as Google Search, YouTube, and the web. Google Ads can help car dealers increase their brand awareness, website traffic, leads, sales, and loyalty by showing relevant ads to people looking for products or services like theirs.
Car dealers can use different types of Google Ads, depending on their goals and budget. Here are the highlights of these different types of ads.
Traditional search ads appear on top of Google search results based on keywords that match the user’s search. These ads can help car dealers capture high-intent customers actively searching for vehicles or dealerships near them.
To get the most out of Traditional Search ads, use relevant keywords that match your target audience’s search intent. Write a compelling ad copy highlighting your unique selling proposition and include a call-to-action that encourages users to click on your ad.
Performance Max ads use machine learning to optimize bids, audiences, creatives, and placements across multiple networks, such as Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, and Discover. These ads can help car dealers reach more customers with less effort and achieve their marketing goals faster and more efficiently.
To use Performance Max ads well, run them for six weeks with many text and image assets; this allows the machine learning algorithm to learn and optimize your ads. Ensure you also check insights and use exclusions to track your ads’ performance and make updates.
Custom Intent Display
Custom Intent Display ads target users interested in specific products or services based on their online behavior. These ads can help car dealers reach potential buyers who have visited their website or similar websites before or searched for related keywords on Google.
Optimizing your Custom Intent Display ads means creating an audience list based on keywords, URLs, or apps that reflect your ideal customer profile. Choose an ad format that suits your creative vision and includes clear branding elements, catchy headlines, and strong calls to action.
Pre-Roll ads are videos that play before or during YouTube videos related to your products or services. These ads can help car dealers showcase their brand personality and vehicle features to a large and engaged audience on YouTube.
If you are using Pre-Roll ads, you want to enable autoplay on your editor and use a floating video player that stays on the screen when users scroll down. You want your ads to be engaging, clear, and concise; capture the viewer’s attention in the first few sentences and include a powerful call-to-action.
Dynamic Search Ads
Dynamic search ads automatically generate headlines and landing pages based on your website content and user searches. These ads can help car dealers save time and resources by creating relevant ads for every website page without using keywords.
Take advantage of Dynamic Search Ads by choosing a domain name, language, and targeting option for your campaign. You’ll then provide a description line for each ad group that describes your offer. Finally, review the auto-generated headlines and landing pages for accuracy and relevance.
Display ads are banner ads that appear on websites or apps related to your products or services. These ads can help car dealers increase their brand awareness and reach new customers browsing online.
Customers appreciate high-quality images that represent their brand identity and product features. You should also choose colors, fonts, and layouts that match your website design. Include a clear value proposition and a strong call-to-action button that invites users to take the next step.
Google Vehicle Ads (GVAs) showcase your vehicle listings with images, prices, ratings, and locations on Google Search and Maps. These ads can help car dealers drive more qualified leads to their inventory pages by showing detailed information about their vehicles.
Upload your vehicle inventory feed to Google Merchant Center with accurate information such as make, model, color, mileage, and more.
Knowing which ad to use depends on your overall goals and budget. If you’re not sure, work with an automotive digital marketing agency like Dealer Authority to determine the best way to utilize Google Ads for your dealership.
Google Analytics is a platform that collects data from your website to create reports that provide insights into your business. Google Analytics can help car dealers measure and analyze their website performance, traffic sources, user behavior, conversions, and more. Google Analytics can help car dealers understand how customers interact across their sites, uncover new insights, optimize marketing performance, and quickly analyze data. It does all of this with an easy-to-use interface and shareable reports.
There are two versions of Google Analytics: Universal Analytics (UA) which will soon be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the new default version of Google Analytics.
- Uses predefined reports based on specific elements (location, device, or source) and metrics (sessions, pageviews, or bounce rate).
- Uses views to organize data for different websites or apps within an account.
Google Analytics 4
- Uses flexible reports based on events (page_view, scroll, or purchase) that can be customized with various parameters (value, currency, or item_name).
- Uses data streams to collect data from different platforms (web or app).
Here are some of the features that you can use with GA4:
- Enhanced measurement: automatically tracks specific user interactions on your website or app without additional configuration. These include page views, scrolls, outbound clicks, site searches, video engagement, and more.
- Analysis hub: allows you to create a custom analysis using different types of reports such as funnel analysis, path analysis, trended funnel analysis, etc. You can also use templates based on standard business questions such as customer lifetime value, acquisition cost, etc.
- Data streams allow you to collect data from different platforms within a single property. You can also configure settings to fit your needs best.
Setting up GA4 on your website is a great way to take more control of your tracking data on your website and evaluate its performance. You can use this information to optimize your site, make bigger-picture decisions, and know how your marketing dollars work.
Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tag management system that allows you to manage and deploy various tags like tracking codes, pixels, and scripts on your website without editing your site’s code. GTM can help car dealers save time and resources, increase efficiency, integrate with Google, and utilize error-checking and security features. You no longer have to be a web coder to get the most out of Google dealer solutions.
Here are some of the best practices to get the most out of GTM:
- Create containers: A container is a collection of tags, triggers, and variables you apply to your website. You should create a separate container for each website and app you want to track.
- Create variables: A variable is a placeholder for a value that can change depending on the context. You can use built-in variables (page URL, referrer, or device type) or user-defined variables (constants, data layer variables, or lookup tables) to store and retrieve information for your tags and triggers.
- Use tag templates: A tag template is a predefined configuration for a specific tag type. You can use tag templates from the Community Template Gallery or create custom templates to simplify code publishing and reduce errors.
Site Speed Performance
Site speed performance refers to how fast your web pages load and display on the user’s browser. Site speed performance is crucial for user experience, SEO, and conversions. A sluggish website can hurt the user experience by making them frustrated or bored. A slow website can also affect your SEO ranking by lowering your page quality score and increasing your bounce rate. Poor website performance can also reduce conversions by decreasing customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty.
One of the tools you can use to analyze your web pages’ speed performance is PageSpeed Insights. PageSpeed Insights measures how well a page follows standard performance best practices and provides suggestions for improving them. PageSpeed Insights uses two metrics to evaluate the speed of a page:
- First Contentful Paint (FCP) measures how long it takes for the first element of a page to render
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how long it takes for the largest element of a page to render.
PageSpeed Insights also provides a score from 0 to 100 based on these metrics, with higher scores indicating better performance.
Here are some of the best practices to improve your website via site speed performance:
Reduce Image Sizes
Images are often the most significant elements on a web page and can take up a lot of bandwidth and loading time. You can reduce image sizes by using various picture compression tools, choosing appropriate formats, and using responsive images that adapt to different screen sizes.
Minify CSS/JS Files
CSS and JS files are used to style and add functionality to your web pages, but they can also contain unnecessary characters such as whitespace, comments, or unused code that increase their file size. You can minify CSS and JS files by removing these characters or using minification tools.
Compression is a technique that reduces the size of files by encoding them more efficiently. Caching is a technique that stores copies of frequently accessed files on the server or browser so they don’t have to be downloaded again. CDN is a network of servers that deliver content from the closest location to the user. You can enable compression/caching/CDN by using plugins, updating settings, or utilizing services that offer these features.
Don’t frustrate and turn away potential customers with a slow and unresponsive website.
Keyword Planning Tool
Keyword Planner is a tool that helps you research keywords for your SEO strategy by providing data such as search volume, competition level, cost-per-click, and more. Keyword Planner can help you discover new keywords related to your products, services, or website and see estimates of how often they are searched and how much they cost to target. Keyword Planner can also help you create and optimize your search campaigns based on your keyword research.
Here are some of the top ways to use Keyword Planner effectively:
Find relevant keywords with high intent but low competition: You can use the keyword ideas report to find keywords that match your business goals and target audience. You can filter the keywords by criteria such as average monthly searches, competition, top-of-page bids, etc. You can also sort the keywords by relevance, which shows how closely they match your product or service. You should aim for keywords with high search volume but low competition, which means they are popular among users but not too saturated by advertisers.
Filter, Suggestions, & Features
You can use the filters/suggestions/grouping features to refine your keyword list and find more specific or related keywords. For example, you can use the include/exclude filters to add or remove certain words or phrases from your keyword list. You can use the suggestions feature to get more ideas based on your existing keywords. You can use the grouping feature to organize your keywords into themes or categories based on common terms.
Forecasts and Historical Metrics
You can use the forecasts and historical metrics reports to see how your keywords might perform regarding clicks, impressions, costs, and more. The forecasts report shows you an estimate of future performance based on your budget and bid settings. The historical metrics report shows you actual performance data from previous months based on Google’s network data.
Using Google’s Keyword Planning Tool can help you better analyze and use keywords on your site to increase SEO and organic traffic.
Search Console is a tool that helps you monitor, fix, and optimize your website’s presence on Google Search by providing data such as crawl errors, index status, search traffic, click-through rate, and more. Search Console can help you understand how Google crawls, indexes, and ranks your web pages and how users find and interact with your site. Search Console can also help you identify and resolve issues that affect your site’s performance and visibility on Google Search.
Here are some of the tips or best practices on how to use Search Console effectively:
You must verify that you own or manage the website you want to monitor with Search Console. You can use various methods such as HTML file upload, an HTML tag, and your domain name provider to prove your ownership.
A sitemap is a file that lists the URLs of your website and provides additional information, like the last modification date. You can submit your sitemap to Search Console to help Google discover and index your web pages faster and more accurately.
If you have new or updated web pages that you want Google to crawl and index quickly, you can use the URL Inspection tool to request indexing. This tool also lets you see how Google sees and renders your web pages and if there are any issues or errors.
These are some of the core reports that Search Console provides to help you analyze and improve your site’s performance on Google Search.
- The coverage report shows you which URLs are indexed or excluded by Google and why.
- The performance report shows you how often your site appears in Google Search results, how many clicks and impressions it gets, what queries it ranks for, and on what devices it appears.
- The enhancements report shows if your site has unique features such as breadcrumbs, site links search box, FAQ, etc., and if any errors or warnings affect them.
Grow Your Car Sales with Google Dealer Solutions & Dealer Authority
Google offers various services and tools to help car dealers reach more customers, optimize their online presence, and increase sales. These tools can help you create engaging ads, track how customers use your website, and plan content to increase your organic reach.
Google constantly innovates and updates its services to meet the automotive industry’s changing needs. Dealers must stay on top of trends and implement the best practices to ensure they make the most out of Google’s services. Dealers can also collaborate with digital marketing agencies like Dealer Authority that keep their fingers on the pulse of digital marketing trends within the automotive industry.
Don’t leave your dealership’s success to chance; take advantage of the variety of Google dealer solutions with the help of Dealer Authority and grow your business.