You can easily run through your PPC budget before lunch if it is not optimized. There are also several critical facets of what makes a PPC campaign successful. Everything from the actual geolocation your campaign is targeting, key-words, negative key-words, headlines, and descriptions, to name a few. The other thing to consider about what makes a successful campaign is as time goes on, your dealership's goals change. Continuing to run the same old ads - simply adding spend - is not always going to increase your results.
For example, if you need to move the "X" model one month, you should create a Google PPC campaign that reflects this goal. Not to mention, if you have a competitor who is outselling you on that model, then you need to spend more in that geolocation. In addition to retargeting those customers with ads. Where a lot of this strategy planning goes south, however, is either the dealer not reaching out to the vendor. Or the vendor not proactively engaging with the dealer to better understand their needs as they evolve. Either way, it takes continued collaboration to get the most out of your ad spend.
Given the competitive landscape in the digital marketing arena, it makes one wonder: "what if vendors only paid their digital teams based on the success of their campaigns?"
The idea that simply getting clicks to the site with a miserable bounce rate is not going to cut it - they have to have hit specific metrics, such as time spent on site and conversion goals. That is how many click-to-call, VDP views, or form-fills completed. The more engaged the vendor's teams are on managing the actual quality of the ad campaign can and will have a positive impact on your results.
This model could also help reshape vendor reporting, too. While the vendor needs to brand their reporting, it is equally important to be transparent about the content of the report. You will find that most vendors only put the "shiny" numbers on their reporting. Such as Impressions, Clicks, and Click-Rate. And if they do show VDP views, they often do not then disclose how long the customer was on the VDP page. And sure, you can go into Google Analytics and view the campaigns yourself, but how many dealers are actively reviewing their Google Analytics accounts? The other thing vendors often forgo adding total time spent on site, bounce rate, or total conversion goal numbers per each segment: click-to-call, VDP views, form fills, etc. The other key element to consider with your bounce rate is your organic bounce rate (which should be in the low thirties) vs. your "Google PPC" bounce rate. Think about it, if your organic bounce rate is where it should be, but your PPC campaign is in the high to low 80's, and they average the number, you are not getting the full picture. If your Google PPC bounce rate hits the low to mid 80's then the campaign is not performing, whether that is the landing page, key-words, or the relevancy of your campaigns titles/headlines.
This poses the question: What if your vendors' digital teams are paid on the success of the dealerships campaigns? Could this improve the overall quality of the ad? If their teams are paid on the campaign's success, do you think they would spend more time reviewing and optimizing the campaign? The answer is most likely, yes. But make no mistake, the dealer is just as responsible for working with the vendor! The vendor can only do so much research on your geolocation. As the dealer, you have to understand your market and your core areas of opportunity. There are also several reports available - from the OEM - that can help you outline immediate areas of focus on models you are losing market share on, etc. Lastly, as the dealer, you have to outline your expectations. That's not to say that your expectations can be met - whether that's budget issues, or the ability to execute the strategy - but it does open a dialogue that can help achieve better results.
How often do you discuss your PPC efforts with your vendors? When is the last time you had an internal strategy meeting to discuss which models you need to sell more of?