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Help! - Pay-Per-Click SEM Marketing Best Practices

CARBIZ

Getting Refreshed
May 17, 2010
34
19
8
First Name
Evan
Need advice on Pay-Per-Click SEM Marketing
Looking for opinions on the following:
1) Based on a metro area, how much $'s is a good amount to spend on PPC?

2) Which company out there should we employ to do such advertising? Should we go with strictly a PPC company (i.e. Reach Local) or use our website/crm provider (i.e. Vinsolutions)

3) Should we pay them to buy our dealership name (i.e. Carbiz) as an advertising strategy?

4) Because these companies spend up to your "budget" on the clicks, how can I insure that I am getting a good deal?

5) Is there anyone out there that is doing very well with PPC that has any advice?

Thanks for the anticipated replies?

-Evan
 

john.quinn

Sr. Refresher
Dec 2, 2009
996
622
93
First Name
John
Need advice on Pay-Per-Click SEM Marketing
Looking for opinions on the following:
1) Based on a metro area, how much $'s is a good amount to spend on PPC?

2) Which company out there should we employ to do such advertising? Should we go with strictly a PPC company (i.e. Reach Local) or use our website/crm provider (i.e. Vinsolutions)

3) Should we pay them to buy our dealership name (i.e. Carbiz) as an advertising strategy?

4) Because these companies spend up to your "budget" on the clicks, how can I insure that I am getting a good deal?

5) Is there anyone out there that is doing very well with PPC that has any advice?

Thanks for the anticipated replies?

-Evan
We're no metro, but our extensive experiments with PPC were disastrous. IMHO, not too many faster ways to waste money or blow through a budget than with PPC -- except maybe paying somebody to manage PPC for you. Efforts with SEO were much more productive and long-reaching. Good luck!
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,824
1,466
113
First Name
Alex
We're no metro, but our extensive experiments with PPC were disastrous. IMHO, not too many faster ways to waste money or blow through a budget than with PPC -- except maybe paying somebody to manage PPC for you. Efforts with SEO were much more productive and long-reaching. Good luck!
Sounds like your tracking wasn't great John (probably the solution you were working with). It could also be that you are the big player on the block in your market....or are you the ONLY player? From what I hear you practically have a monopoly on car dealerships. In that case, there aren't many advertising mediums that are going to have much of an effect for you.

Was PPC a medium your parent company made you use?
 

john.quinn

Sr. Refresher
Dec 2, 2009
996
622
93
First Name
John
Sounds like your tracking wasn't great John (probably the solution you were working with). It could also be that you are the big player on the block in your market....or are you the ONLY player? From what I hear you practically have a monopoly on car dealerships. In that case, there aren't many advertising mediums that are going to have much of an effect for you.

Was PPC a medium your parent company made you use?
Dude -- we were experimenting with PPC two ownership groups ago -- small budgets, large, self-managed, outsourced -- all the same results -- rediculously high abandonment. Tracking was perfect: proved that it was wasteful for us :lol:

As to being the big dog in the market -- there is some legitimacy to that. Largest portion of our business is repeat and referral, although our friends do tend to exaggerate a bit. But I honestly can't tell you how many Tier II and Tier III attempts to pull a decent ROI through PPC failed -- "failure" by comparison to SEO dollars and even lead aggregation dollars. PPC is a very fast way to blow through a budget.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
Dude -- we were experimenting with PPC two ownership groups ago -- small budgets, large, self-managed, outsourced -- all the same results -- rediculously high abandonment. Tracking was perfect: proved that it was wasteful for us :lol:

As to being the big dog in the market -- there is some legitimacy to that. Largest portion of our business is repeat and referral, although our friends do tend to exaggerate a bit. But I honestly can't tell you how many Tier II and Tier III attempts to pull a decent ROI through PPC failed -- "failure" by comparison to SEO dollars and even lead aggregation dollars. PPC is a very fast way to blow through a budget.
Ahhh... finally!

The day has come where I break opinion with my dear Brother in Jorts... JQ. Let's me 1st start with my statement of PPC and it's ROI.

PPC (done right) can't fail.

I'll say it again... PPC done right, won't fail. I'll take it one step farther, the bigger you are (your total inventory count), the more opportunities you'll have.

PPC is 10% of my budget, yet it's 22% of my websites site's traffic and it's 18% of my website phone traffic (sales only).

Most Important Stat: No Website = Tiny Sales.
87 of every 100 buyers were on our site prior to purchase.

Ok, these stats are nearly universal. We all agree, The dealer's website is the gateway to the physical visit.

Which leads me to:
How can PPC fail if you have total and complete control over everything?

Just one example, came in yesterday. I have 3 used Handicapped accessible vehicles.
PPC Solution: Create highly targeted PPC campaign for this audience and point them to a special handicap vehicle landing page (it's under construction).

PPC is simply buying visibility when a buyer raises their hand. It's done with a sniper's eye, NOT NAPALM. ;-)
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
JQ's got me on a roll ;-)


PPC failure is it's complexity... but... that's it's strength!
PPC's failure begins with a poorly modeled adwords setup (i.e. keywords & geography & ad content, etc..).

The recipe for a poor setup begins with lack of technical details (read: under utilize the platform) then add a layer of a miss-placed expectations and finish it with reporting that may overlook the hallmark of what a great visit looks like.


akkk! WTF is all that drivel about???


In PPC, the Setup is everything. Whom ever is running your setup is has to be the "project manager". PPC will fly or die on whom ever this person is. The PPC project manager must fully understand your dealership profile* and your goals and your website vendor limitations and your advertising feedback tool and create a plan that will produce ROI with all of the above in mind.
 
Reactions: 1 person

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
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Joe
*DEALERSHIP PROFILE (FROM THE POST ABOVE).

Dealers are like snowflakes, no 2 are alike. PPC done right must factor in the the dealer profile. Profile includes: Inventory width and depth, # of brands, size of your market, your current marketing, your current marketing spend vs your market, Your location's proximity to it's prime market, your location relative to adjacent markets, product leverage (any product scarcity?), and more. All this leads to the size of your opportunity.

Smaller dealers should use PPC advertising in a small geographic area to sell a specific Used Car, or hard to find new units. They must avoid generic terms like "cars for sale". Anyone that has a Google ad for "cars for sale" will find the traffic will be large and expensive.

The smaller dealer won't have the inventory to "hold" the visitor, and without a large inventory, the shopper won't have a reason to return.

Large dealers have well established names in their market, highly visible locations, lots of traditional media spending (that will reinforce the PPC ad) and most importantly... big dealers have "inventory magic". Shoppers are drawn to large selection like a moth to a flame. Mr big dealer can advertise "cars for sale" and has what it takes to ENGAGE the shopper. The Big Dealer's mission is to dish out a great internet shopping experience and not have them land on any one single unit, but to overwhelm the shoppers senses so that it becomes only logical that the shopper concludes... "I've got to go there".

There is a giant Internet audience that takes a slow road to the sale. It's Mr Big Dealer's marketing mission to build a site with a mission to become "the go to" site in his market.

Mr Big Dealer's Google Ads attack plan is pointed right down the throat of Autotrader.com and Cars.com.

...think about it.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,993
1,515
113
First Name
Joe
JQ. Your stores fit the Mr Big Dealer profile. THE GOAL THAT TRUMPS ALL OTHER METRICS IS ENGAGEMENT.

This applies equally to SEO or PPC.

/what are you nutz PPC rant
 

john.quinn

Sr. Refresher
Dec 2, 2009
996
622
93
First Name
John
JQ. Your stores fit the Mr Big Dealer profile. THE GOAL THAT TRUMPS ALL OTHER METRICS IS ENGAGEMENT.

This applies equally to SEO or PPC.

/what are you nutz PPC rant
Joe -- you convinced me -- you are nutz! haha LOL.
 

CARBIZ

Getting Refreshed
May 17, 2010
34
19
8
First Name
Evan
Thanks JP. I think that gives me a good base to start and from what it sounds like (with our 300+ inventory, user friendly site, etc) we are missing the boat by not throwing at least 10% of our budget $'s to ppc. Thanks again and if you have anything else to add I would be glad to hear/appreciate the advise!
-Evan