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Chris Hill

Chris Hill E-Commerce Director

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Top Blogs November 2016

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Misconceptions of PPC Campaigns

It's troubling how poorly dealership PPC campaigns are managed now a days. It's to the point that GM's and Owners feel that they are spending absorbent amounts of money to merely purchase hits to their site This results in the principles losing value/interest in the program and or phasing it out to cut costs. I can't even begin to tell you how incorrect this is. 

PPC campaigns that are actively managed and engaged can produce higher gross, higher traffic and overall more business in your store. Let me explain what I mean...

PPC campaigns are based around keywords and demographics. These demographics are are easilydetermined by searching trends in your area. Once you've gotten the locations you want to focus on and the keywords you feel are relevant to your dealership you assign dollar amounts to them. That's the easy part! Now after 20 to 30 days take a look at your results and find out what keyword campaigns are being clicked the most. Those keywords are what you should start focusing your organic(free) SEO on. This way you capture the traffic that already finds you relevant under those keywords and you can adjust your campaigns accordingly. In turn, you better allocate your PPC funds and find traffic that you weren't already capturing through organic SEO. 

 

Got questions or comments? Please leave them here or drop me an email at Chill@billjacobsjoliet.com 

Chris Hill
Questions from a reader: I read your article about PPC campaigns and was intrigued. I agree the value of PPC is in finding successful keywords that can be optimized for SEO purposes. So I'm assuming you are advocating a self-managed PPC program? Here's why ... Every PPC company I've dealt with always wants to include the 3 big words (dealer name, dealer brand, and dealer city). I consistently tell dealers if a customer/prospect is inputting any combination of those three, who are they looking for? Once they get the obvious answer, I ask them why are you paying for that? But once we remove the 3 biggies, the success of PPC campaigns drops dramatically. With that, a couple of questions ... 1. Are you promoting a self-managed program and recommend not to use a 3rd party PPC vendor? 2. Will a 3rd party vendor work with a dealer without using any combination of the big 3 keywords? 3. How much would you recommend spending per month on PPC if self-managed? 4. 3rd Party classified sits (AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc.) are all out saying customers use Google like a directory to find dealers and don't use it to shop for cars. Do you agree? My response: Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to write me. I can relate with what you’re dealing with when it comes to the “big three”. The reason these are so successful is that they come up at the top of the page or in a setting that draws the eye. If a dealership doesn’t already come up first when searching name, city and the brand they are carrying, they have bigger issues. Mainly, organic SEO of their home page. Google’s job is to give the user the most relevant answer to their terms. So that being said, if you aren’t in the top 2-3 for those big 3 then PPC is the least of your worries. What you are telling the dealers you work with is 100% correct. Remember the results are what the GM’s and admins at the dealership are looking at. If you were a marketing firm representing a company, you would want to show unreal success as well wouldn’t you? These marketing firms are lucky 90% of the dealerships out there don’t have people on staff that know any better and call them on it. 1. Are you promoting a self-managed program and recommend not to use a 3rd party PPC vendor? This is a loaded question. I highly suggest that dealerships start seeing the value of a good PPC program and what it can do for them if properly managed. If a dealer is willing to spend the type of money it takes to have an Internet Manager who is well versed in SEO, SEM and PPC campaigns, than I highly support the idea of doing it in house. Otherwise, this is a program that should be dealt with by professionals. It’s simply amazing how many firms aren’t proficient at this. That makes the search a bit harder. 2. Will a 3rd party vendor work with a dealer without using any combination of the big 3 keywords? A third party vendor works for you in every sense of the word. If they aren’t adhering to your wishes they should obviously be reminded or replaced with someone that will listen. PPC campaigns need to be managed and engaged. This is to ensure that the results you get from your PPC campaigns are actively tracked and reported to your organic SEO people. They will make the changes to your landing pages, meta tags and more to ensure you will start getting the traffic that your PPC results show. 3. How much would you recommend spending per month on PPC if self-managed? I don’t want to set that type of tone for the general consensus out there. I’m in the Chicago market so my PPC campaigns range from $2000/month for a less competitive Mazda market to $8000/month for a ultra-competitive Chevrolet market place. This is highly due to the fact that keywords here are more expensive per click than in your average market. That being said, I’d feel like I’m giving bad advice to dealers when it comes to budget, not knowing their personal market. This is a dynamic and always changing routine due to Google trending and demographic. 4. 3rd Party classified sits (AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc.) are all out saying customers use Google like a directory to find dealers and don't use it to shop for cars. Do you agree? I agree with the fact they do use Google to find local dealers to shop. I disagree with the idea they don’t use it to shop vehicles. Autotrader and Cars.com are extremely useful tools and will remain that way for a long time to come but not a resource to bundle all your eggs into. I tend to have a grandmother or a sibling whom is disconnected from the auto industry show me how they shop. These are our customers, not the car people out in the world. Trust me, if they know how to buy a vehicle, they will ensure they search all competitors and price them out with all local and regional dealers. Brian, let me know if I can be of any further assistance. I’d love to help any way I can. Take care and please follow me on Twitter for other blogs and articles I produce. https://twitter.com/CRMSensei
Chris Hill
I assumed it would space it self out a bit better than that. I apologize for the wall of text ladies and gentlemen.
Daniel Boismier
We tend to follow the rule that if no one is bidding on your name and you are properly placed in SEO/Places then there is no need to spend the money. But between the OEM and third party siphon sites, that is not usually the case.
Eric Miltsch
(Chris - the comments render out spaced after the comment is saved; great stuff!)
Chris Hill
Daniel, your organic SEO should carry you to the top of that list regardless. If people search your name, city and brand they will inherently be clicking on your website as well. I mean these people are out to find you when typing those words in. This alone makes you the most relevant search for those keywords.

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