How to Run Google Ads for Car Dealerships

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Last Updated on: 28th April 2024, 11:53 am

If you own or run a car dealership owner and want to rev up your sales, Google Ads is your secret weapon! 

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about running Google Ads for car dealerships based on my 15+ years of experience running Google Ads campaigns for my clients

Let’s take a look! 

How Google Ads Connects You with the Right Buyers

If you run Facebook, radio, or any other type of ad, you’re essentially relying on the buyers to remember you when they’re ready to buy a car. But with Google Ads, you’ll appear in front of buyers ready to sign the contract!

For example, if you choose your keywords correctly, your ads can appear when potential customers search for terms like “new cars for sale,” “best family SUVs,” or “used car financing.” 

Similarly, Google Ads offers precise location targeting. If your dealership is based in Birmingham, your ads will be seen by users in Birmingham and nearby areas, so you don’t waste your budget on people across the country. You’ll even get access to Google ad types specifically for local businesses, including Local Services Ads and Local Inventory Ads

If your potential customers need more time to consider different options, use Google Ads to remarket to people who have already visited your website or seen your ads. For example, they may have seen your ad, kept comparing you with others, and lost track of the time.

A retargeting ad can reach out to them with a special offer that makes them choose your car dealership over others. 

Finally, budgeting with Google Ads is great for car dealerships. Not only do you maintain complete control over your budget and ad spend, but you can also monitor conversions and target costs per conversion, which displays your ads to the searchers most likely to purchase. 

The Best Types of Google Ads for Car Dealerships

Search Campaigns for Car Dealerships

As a Google Ads professional, I will always recommend Search campaigns first – especially if you’re a beginner. 

For example, let’s say you’re a high-end car dealer in London. You can bid on keywords like “luxury car showroom London” and have your ad appear right at the top when someone searches for it.

Similarly, you can be very detailed about your target keywords, specifying the make, model, years, and more. For example, if you’re selling a particular brand or model, you can bid on keywords like “2023 BMW X5 for sale.”

Display and Video Google Ads for Car Dealerships

Secondly, Display ads are all about visuals and are perfect for showcasing the lovely cars in your inventory. Display ads can be images (including banners) and videos, so you get plenty of options to get seen on the Google Display Network.

For example, Imagine your dealership has a collection of sports cars. You can create an image or video ad and display it on car enthusiast websites or YouTube, where car enthusiasts spend hours watching reviews and comparisons.

You can also use Display ads for remarketing!

google ads for cars example
Source: Zopdealer

I’d like to mention video ads at this point, as well. They’re great for addressing any potential objections, for example, if your customers need to trust you more before visiting your dealership. 

You could create a video showcasing your dealership, explaining your quality assurance process and the purchasing process, and showcasing testimonials from happy customers.

Vehicle Ads and Google Shopping

If you keep track of your inventory online, you can sync it with Google Merchant Centre and use Google Shopping ads. This will automatically advertise your catalogue according to the specifications you set in your campaigns. 

For example, when users search for “affordable family cars,” they’ll see a gallery of cars from your dealership, complete with images and prices, right at the top of Google’s search results.

(I elaborate on how to set up all of these campaigns in my best-selling Google Ads book on effective campaigns!)

Local Google AdWords for Car Dealerships

Let’s say you run a used car dealership in Manchester. You can set up a Local Ad campaign with a map pin showing your exact location, your opening hours, and a “Get Directions” button. 

This way, when someone searches “used cars near me,” they can easily find their way to your lot.

Ultimately, Google Ads has plenty of advertising options, but if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a simple campaign type. Then, as you learn, optimise, and grow, you can always scale by contacting a PPC expert who can help increase your ROI. 

The Three Key Ingredients to Google Ads Success

Step 1. Set up Your Account and First Campaign

First, create your Google Ads account. Decide which campaign you want to run. Again, I recommend starting simple with a Search or Display campaign. However, if you have updated inventory that’s accessible online, you could also test Shopping ads.

Then, set your location and daily budget, and choose the keywords you want to target (if running a Search campaign). When choosing your budget, look at the average CPCs in your industry. You can even spy on your competitors with SpyFu

Step 2. Categorise Your Ads, Keywords, and Landing Pages

Next, decide which keywords to target and how they factor into your catalogue’s categorisation. For example, if you sell both family SUVs and compact city cars, you’d set up two separate ad groups.

From there, you’d choose specific keywords to target with each ad. Then, create ad copy and landing pages that speak to each type of buyer. 

This way, you’ll be able to create ad copy and landing pages that speak specifically to the buyers of family SUVs. This will increase your Quality Score because they will be hyper-relevant to each type of buyer. 

Think like a car buyer. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and think about the keywords they might use when searching for vehicles. Consider both general keywords, such as “used cars for sale,” and more specific keywords, such as “Honda Civic 2020 price.”

Focus on long-tail keywords, the longer, more specific phrases that often indicate higher purchase intent.

For example, “affordable SUVs with third-row seating” is a long-tail keyword that might be used by someone in the market for a family-friendly SUV. This will put you in front of a more qualified audience and increase your chances of generating conversions.

Step 3. Monitor and Optimise Your Campaigns

Firstly, monitor key performance metrics like click-through (CTR) and conversion rates, and ad spend. 

For example, suppose you’ve noticed that one of your ad groups, “SUV Specials,” has a CTR of 4%, while another, “Used Cars,” is lagging at 1%. This data tells you that “SUV Specials” is performing better, so it makes sense to allocate more of your budget to it.

Similarly, get your conversion tracking in place so you can use advanced bidding strategies as soon as possible.

Look at the Quality Score for each ad and see what you can tweak. Quality Score increases can reduce your cost per click, so it’s not only helpful for conversions, but it helps your budget, too!

Finally, there are plenty of other tweaks you can make to optimise your performance. From adding ad extensions like lead forms, sitelinks and call buttons to scheduling your ads to appear in peak performance times, the options are endless.

Just remember to monitor your metrics and optimise accordingly!

Sell More Cars with Google Ads

Running Google Ads for your car dealership can be a game-changer. With the right strategies, keyword research, compelling ad copy, and effective targeting, you’ll drive more potential buyers to your showroom and increase your sales. 

Start your Google Ads journey on the right note! Get your copy of my best-selling Google Ads book, or contact me for a personalised consultation, and drive your sales to new heights!

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