During a conversation with the main partner of a 40-employee car dealership, we discussed three main problems stopping their business from growing:
- Constantly competing with local dealers or large online enterprises.
- Relying heavily on referrals or word of mouth for new leads.
- Never knowing when their next customer will come and where from.
To solve these problems, the dealership needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable customers. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:
- Find potential customers who are in-market to buy a car today.
- Generates a predictable flow of new customers.
- Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below).
Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable customers through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.
How much profit can PPC make your car dealership?
It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy.
But every dealership is different. Your car dealer will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a suitable strategy for your car dealers.
Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that, with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new customers.
But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!
How PPC Works
When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential customer searches a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential customer clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the automotive industry, CPCs typically range from $0.50 and $5.
|Cost Per Click (CPC)|
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.
Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a customer. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the automotive industry, CVR typically range from 2% and 10%.
|Conversion Rate (CVR)|
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.
We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single customer. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the automotive industry, CACs typically range from $0.05 and $2.50.
|Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)|
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client.
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate
CAC = CPC / CVR
Interactive PPC Profit Calculator
Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each customer acquired through PPC.
We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the automotive industry. All you need to do is enter the revenue a single customer generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business.
It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform.
Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue
Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC
Overview of our PPC strategy
There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy.
- Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
- Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential customers will visit.
- Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit.
Paid Search + Paid Social
We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms.
Landing Page Design
We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert.
We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.
Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single customer you acquire.
That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in you paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new customer or an unprofitable $10,000.
To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.
Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?
There are two ways to advertise your car showroom online:
- Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
- Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)
What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your dealership appears for.
We know which keywords potential customers use when they’re looking for a new vehicle. So, we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. But because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!
On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in car sales, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a customer. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your services. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper.
We’ve mostly seen car sellers generate more profit on Paid Social, but there is definitely the ability to make a profit through Paid Search too.
Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:
- What exact automotive product or service are you selling?
- Who are your target customers?
- Where do your customers spend their time online?
- How much money do you make per customer?
We’re going to discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.
Running PPC paid search ads
The most common paid search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google.
For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘Car Dealer’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.
By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.
Pros of PPC:
- You can get in front of your potential customers quickly.
- You can win valuable customers.
- You can test which keywords bring in qualified leads.
Cons of PPC:
- It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
- Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).
Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood:
- How PPC works
- If PPC will generate profitable customers
- What paid search is
- The pros and cons of a PPC strategy
However, we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further.
Which PPC keywords should you target to get new customers?
Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 10 new clients or drowning in $1000s of debt.
Here’s what wrong keywords look like:
Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.
Let’s take the example of the keyword, ‘car financing’. There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.
Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent.
For example, ‘what is car financing?’ The person Googling that keyword is not ready to purchase a vehicle. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic.
But what do the right keywords look like?
Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase services and receive a quote. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.
Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the services you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.
We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your car dealers.
|Type of keyword||Examples of keyword||Pros||Cons|
|Branded||Cinch used cars|
BMW approved-used cars
|Cost-effective strategy to win new clients when your competitors may not be the best servicer.||The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.|
|Product and/ or Service||Used cars for sale|
New cars for sale
Car financing options
Part exchange my car
|High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.||Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and services need bespoke landing pages.|
|Location||Car dealership Birmingham|
Car showroom near me
Commercial vans for sale in London
|High intent and very cost-effective. |
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
|You’ll be competing with local providers. |
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
|Pain point||What are the car financing options?|
How to buy a used car?
I need to sell my car
|It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. |
You’ll be able to close this client without competition.
|Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. |
Will need a well-designed landing page.
Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples
Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a client.
Here are some examples of automotive-related ads and what we think of them.
Ad 1: Hey Car appearing for ‘Used Car London’
Keyword: ‘Used Car London’
Good areas: Headline is great as it uses the key phrase and highlights a USP of the age of the cars. The addition of the ‘Warranty On Every Car’ solidifies them as trustworthy and provides incentive.
Bad areas: The ad could have included a few more features in the description and included a clear CTA to encourage qualified leads.
Ad 2: Bristol Street Motors appearing for ‘Commercial Van for Sale’
Keyword: ‘Commercial Van for Sale’
Good areas: Headline is relevant to the search query. There is a clear CTA in the description and a great localised CTA in the extension links.
Bad areas: The description could have highlighted some features and benefits of their service. It could also benefit them to use the term ‘Commercial.’
Ad 3: Car Wow appearing for ‘I Need to Sell My Car’
Keyword: ‘I Need to Sell My Car’
Good areas: The headline is excellent as it speaks directly to the pain point and keyword. The description includes great features such as ‘Free valuation’ and ‘Home Collection’. It also includes great social proof. The CTAs in the extension links are also direct and compelling.
Bad areas: Inconsistent capitalisation in the description.
Ad 4: Cazoo appearing for ‘Part Exchange Car Deals’
Keyword: ‘Part Exchange Car Deals’
Good areas: Enticing title for people wanting to move their car quickly. Industry-relevant CTA. The extension links are also excellent for decision-making thanks to the valuable ‘Calculator’ and ‘Aftercare’ support.
Bad areas: ‘Best’ is subjective, but it could have been supported with social evidence such as 5-star reviews.
How to create a high-converting landing page for car dealers PPC?
A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into customers. That’s a huge waste of cash!
We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.
The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:
- Great headline. For example, ‘Best Car Dealers in Manchester.’
- Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 2000+ cars sold.
- Call to action. For example, ‘Book an Appointment At Your Local Dealership.’
Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution.
High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you sell approved-used cars, you would have features and benefits as follows:
- 12 month warranty on every vehicle
- Checked by a manufacturer-trained technician
- Pay less for a modern vehicle with the latest tech
- Peace of mind knowing your new car is safe and meets industry standards
- You don’t have to worry about overpaying for a new car
Call to Action Block
Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to book an appointment or even purchase a vehicle.
We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!
We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them.
Engage an agency to run your PPC ads
There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your car dealership. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably.
A bit about us
We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business.
We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family.
Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.
Our PPC capabilities:
- We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
- Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
- Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
- We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
- We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.
- Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
- Then, you should read through some case studies here.
- And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.
Companies in the automotive industry might use PPC or SEO to market their product or service. PPC is an excellent way to get in front of potential customers when they are ready to convert. It is quicker than SEO, but it’s essential to use the right strategies to ensure affordability.
Car dealerships might benefit from targeting localised keywords. It is a good way to target local potential customers and encourage them to book an appointment.
Successful PPC campaigns target high-intent keywords with a purpose to purchase or get a quote. You must also ensure your landing page is relevant and set up to successfully convert the person who has clicked on your ad.