Pay Per Click (PPC) for auto dealerships can be expensive, however, the fact remains that sometimes it can also greatly increase web traffic and conversions. As a BHPH dealer- especially one with a smaller independent lot- you don’t have unlimited resources and you want to make the most of every advertising dollar spent. Before hiring a specialist to handle PPC for your BHPH dealership or company, it’s important to understand how to make the most of a limited budget. When is PPC right for your dealership, and where should you focus your PPC dollars? Here are few pointers to help you better understand how PPC works so that you can find the right expert for your needs and make informed decisions concerning your PPC strategy.

What Is PPC?

Many dealerships may already be familiar with pay per click and already have someone who handles it for them. For those who are not as comfortable with the term, however, we’ll offer a brief explanation. PPC or Pay Per Click is a digital marketing strategy that involves paying for each time there is a click  on an online ad found on Google or other similar search engines. For the best results, PPC is usually used in conjunction with an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. In fact, one main aspect of PPC is bidding on keywords or search terms. Ads are then made using these terms and a maximum budget is set. After that, the ad owner will be charged based on the cost of the chosen key phrases each time the ad is clicked. This will continue until the monthly budget limit is reached, and recommence the next month.

Is PPC Right for Your Dealership?

The most popular PPC platform is Google Ads, and that is the one we will focus on in this article. So, our first questions is whether Google Ads PPC is a good fit for your business. The answer is probably yes, to one extent or another. In fact, nearly half of all small businesses in the U.S. already invest in PPC. Using pay per click for dealerships can yield excellent results. While it has a more significant cost up-front, it can begin attracting web traffic faster than SEO alone. This is because PPC can increase your BHPH dealership’s online presence and that visibility can boost both web traffic and brand awareness in a very short period, and let’s face it: the old maxim “time is money” is certainly true for BHPH dealers. However, that isn’t the only benefit of using PPC on Google Ads. It also allows you the opportunity to focus both your ad and your keywords in a specific geographic region, and three-quarters of customers who find local search results on Google and similar sites are more likely to visit brick-and-mortar locations such as dealerships. Finally, as time progresses, PPC allows you to optimize and change ads with ease so that you can continue building greater online recognition. So, the real question is not whether you should use PPC, but when.

When Should You Use PPC?

This is where having an expert on your side becomes absolutely vital. A digital marketing professional will understand when using PPC for auto dealerships is a necessity and when organic SEO will be sufficient. There are a lot of factors that go into this decision, including the competition for certain keywords and trends shown in Google Analytics data. If, for example, you have several search terms related to BHPH dealerships being used in your local market, and some of them have low competition– meaning few other business are using them currently– while other have high competition, a good SEO and PPC expert will bid on some of the moderately high-competition keywords while using organic SEO to capture leads from the lowest competition keywords. This is a sort of balancing act between keeping your PPC budget reasonable while also avoiding paying for unnecessary keywords. Furthermore, PPC and SEO each work better in different situations. For example, an expert would use PPC for auto dealerships advertising a time-sensitive offer, since it attracts web traffic faster, but might use SEO for dealerships focused on long-term goals, since it is more consistent. A market with heavier competition may also require more PPC than one with lighter competition, so the number of other BHPH dealers in your area will also be taken into account. As you might guess, simply determining when to use PPC can be a time consuming process. That’s precisely why it’s best to have a professional handling it, regardless of whether that is someone you hire directly or someone who works at a digital marketing firm. If you’re looking to stay within a tight budget, the latter may be your best course of action.

Can PPC Work on a Small Dealership Budget?

The answer to this question is a definite yes. There is a misconception that PPC automatically has to be expensive, and that it is the province of large businesses alone. This simply isn’t true. Using PPC for auto dealerships on a budget is not only possible, but practical. However, there are some different methods when doing so, and it’s important to ensure that whoever you hire to handle PPC and SEO campaigns understands how best to operate within a tight budget. Here are a few things you need to know when considering which PPC and SEO professional is right for your BHPH dealership.

It’s important to be realistic when determining the size of the Google Ads campaign. When using pay per click for auto dealerships on a budget, quality rather than quantity should be the focus. Big corporations may have the luxury of running a multitude of PPC campaigns at once and waiting to see what works best, but a small BHPH dealer will need to use more discretion. Your PPC budget may be exceeded some days while it is not reached on others, but the average should always meet your budget so that you are getting the most out of your campaign. The right PPC specialist will understand this fact, as well as how starting with a smaller campaign will allow for more focus and success. For that reason, it’s vital that you choose a PPC and SEO professional who can concentrate on a single goal with laser-beam intensity.

Geo-targeting, ad scheduling, and match types are also vital when using PPC for auto dealerships with smaller budgets. All of these will help to further sharpen your focus on specific goals and make every dollar spent count. Geo-targeting will ensure that you are not paying for wasted clicks that come from customers well outside of your market. This is especially vital where PPC for dealerships is concerned because online sales are generally not an option. If your BHPH dealership is located in North Dakota, for example, you don’t want to pay for clicks from consumers in South Carolina that can not be realistically expected to buy from you. That would be a waste of PPC dollars with no hope of profit. Geo-targeting will prevent this, so it’s important to choose a PPC expert who understands how to geo-target ads as well as find keywords with high usage in your local market.

Finally, any expert handling PPC for auto dealerships should understand how to use match types in order to capture as many leads as possible. A match type is a related keyword that a PPC expert can link to a keyword you are paying for. For example, if you are bidding for the search phrase “bad credit car loans in Tennessee,” the right PPC expert will be able to link keywords such as “TN” and “low credit” so that customers who search for the same term with minor changes can still find your ad. When choosing a PPC professional or digital marketing firm, be sure you are choosing someone who understand not only how to link match types, but also how to ensure that the terms chosen are also being searched for in your local area.

By taking the aspects mentioned above into consideration while choosing a PPC specialist and discussing your strategy, you can turn this powerful tool into a practical and cost-effective option for even small BHPH dealerships. Focusing on your goals and setting ads accordingly will allow you to make the most out of every dollar spent. PPC can be affordable and can help your dealership grow both online and in your local market. If concerns about costs and viability have been holding you back from enjoying the benefits of PPC advertising, it’s time to change that mindset. In the hands of the right expert, you will be surprised what even a small PPC campaign can do.

Sources:
Forbes
Search Engine Journal
The Manifest
Wordstream

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