Google Ads For Auto Dealers

Updated: Apr 12, 2023 | Nick Ainge Roy | 3 mins. read

Google Ads are one of the most effective forms of paid media available to businesses and have become a standard inclusion in modern digital marketing. Google Ads put your business directly in front of qualified, high-intent customers and deliver an impressive ROI when implemented correctly.

According to Google, 95% of vehicle buyers begin their research online, and with 16% of all new vehicle purchases occurring online between 2021 and 2022, it has never been more important for a dealer to run ads. In this article, we will explore what dealer ads are, why you need them, and why you should hire an automotive dealer ads specialist to run them for you.

What Are Dealer Ads?

There are several different ad campaigns that you can implement as an auto dealer. The first is a standard Google Ads campaign that places you at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for generic searches such as ‘car dealership near me’ or ‘caravan dealer melbourne’. These ads are excellent for catching customers early in the discovery phase of the sales funnel and are useful for getting them to visit you in person.

The second type of dealer ad is Google Vehicle Ads. Vehicle Ads allow you to display your inventory of vehicles directly on the front page of Google with images and essential information, such as the make, model, mileage and price. When a user clicks on the ad, they will be taken to the dealership website, and land on the vehicle description page (VDP) Vehicle Ads are fantastic for getting ahead of your competitors and intercepting qualified leads further down the sales funnel and can be used to drive online and offline conversion.

Why Do Automotive Dealers
Need Ads?

Automotive dealers need ads because more aspects of the vehicle buying process, from initial research to final sales, are moving online. As we mentioned earlier, 95% of vehicle buyers begin their research online, and in a market that is as crowded and competitive as auto sales, you need to make sure their eyes are on you from the moment they make their first search.

Although direct online sales are growing in Australia and other parts of the world (particularly the US), sales are not the only reason to run ads. Google’s consumer insights reports that more than 95% of vehicle purchases happen at the dealership, and Ads are one of the best ways to get customers familiar with your name.

But the benefits extend beyond sales as well. For many dealers, the parts & service department comprises a significant portion of their revenue – as such, developing brand awareness through Ads can deliver massive returns. Similarly, Google reports that more than 40% of vehicle owners require reactive, rather than routine, maintenance.

The image below shows the results of a Google search for ‘car repair sydney’. Note that the third ad has ’24/7 Mobile Service’ and ’24/7 Roadside Assistance’ listed among their service offerings. If my car has just broken down and I need urgent assistance, am I more likely to click the first two results that appear or scroll down through a dozen different websites?

How Do Auto Dealer Ads Work?

Auto dealer ads work much the same as any other type of ad by targeting keywords, search terms and locations. You can structure your ads to target broad or specific search terms (e.g. ‘car for sale’ versus ‘toyota rav4 for sale’ and even customise the target audience based on their age, interests, income and more, to give yourself the greatest chance of success.

This second point is very valuable to auto dealers, as you likely already have well-developed customer personas or, at the very least, a strong idea of who walks into your dealership or service lane. With customised targeting, you can remarket to these people later on or find other customers like them through customer matching.

Google Vehicle Ads work slightly differently from other ad types and require uploading the vehicle data feed (e.g. make, model, price, etc.) to the Google Merchant Center, for which you require a Merchant Center account, as well as a Google Business Profile.

What Are The Benefits Of Hiring An Automotive Dealer Ads Specialist?

Of course, this is a lot of work that takes up your time – time that could be better spent growing your business. Instead of spending hours setting up Ads accounts and trying to understand the ins and outs of Google’s various offerings, you could hire an automotive ads specialist.

By working with an automotive specialist, you gain access to knowledge and experience that a general ads manager can’t hope to match. Auto industry specialists like us understand both the goals of dealers and the challenges of the industry, enabling us to design campaigns that respond to the needs of both.

Moreover, a specialist will have had success with dozens of dealers across all levels of the industry, while a general ad manager might have only worked with a few if they’ve worked with any at all. All of this means that you will benefit from a far higher quality of service when you work with a specialist and ultimately give yourself the best chance of success.

Don't Waste Time - Embrace Success With An Auto Ads Specialist

You don’t need us to tell you that modern business takes place online, and if you aren’t making the most of every tool that is available to you, you’ll be left behind. Google Ads is one of the most powerful and effective marketing methods around, and we have still barely scratched the surface of the full Google display network.

But to make the most of Google ads and ensure that you’re generating quality, qualified leads, you need an Ads partner that knows what they’re doing. As auto industry specialists, we have worked with dozens of dealers, distributors and OEMs to generate thousands of leads and sales at every level of the auto industry.

If you’re an auto dealer looking to grow your business by using Ads that work, get in touch with one of our team today to arrange a no-obligation consultation and learn what we can do to help you reach the next level.

You are in good company. We have helped industry leaders including:

& generate thousands of qualified leads every month for our clients.

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