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What to Look for When Choosing a Pay-Per-Click Advertising Company

November 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Derek West - Also by this author


If you’re looking for a professional search marketing company to manage your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) activities, you’re not alone. More and more dealerships are turning to search marketing companies to help develop and oversee their PPC campaigns, and the benefits of doing so are becoming increasingly clear.

Advanced lead tracking software allows search marketing companies to tell dealers exactly how much money they are spending and exactly how many website visits, phone leads, and e-mail leads they are getting as a result. Never before has this much information been available to dealers, and never before have they been able to make such educated decisions regarding where to spend their advertising funds.


Whenever you decide it’s time to turn to a search marketing company for your PPC needs, make sure you’re investing in the right platform. There are a lot of options out there, and, undoubtedly, they’re all promising the best results. In general, however, the best PPC management companies have these seven things in common:  

1) They Can Prove How Your Budget is Being Spent

For whatever reason, some search marketing companies don’t offer up a lot of details when it comes time to show you how your budget is being spent. Steer clear of agencies that want a monthly check but are unwilling to offer detailed reports showing you how, when, and where they’re spending your money.  

2) They Won’t Overspend

Many dealerships pay too much per click due to poorly managed campaigns and amateurish strategies. While a few cents here and there doesn’t seem like much, it definitely adds up over time, amounting to thousands of dollars per year. Properly managed PPC campaigns will reduce how much you are paying for each click and therefore can get you significantly more clicks for your money. Don’t waste your dealership’s advertising budget on an unproven search marketing agency. Make sure the company you choose has a fully staffed and experienced PPC team that can deliver genuine results.

3) They Offer Automotive Industry Integration 

The more familiar a search marketing company is with the automotive industry, the better their platform will work for your dealership. A great PPC management company will provide you with metrics that are specifically tailored to a car dealership. For example, with their lead tracking system they should be able to tell you what you’re paying per phone call and e-mail lead, what your lead conversion rate is, and sometimes they might even provide you with a call recording system so you can see how well your sales calls are being handled. 

4) They Practice Deep-Linking

The subject of deep-linking could be an entire article in itself, but the important thing to know is that PPC ads that are optimized to the URL structure of the dealer’s website and direct visitors to inventory pages instead of to the dealership’s homepage increase Google Quality Scores. Higher Quality Scores lead to lower cost per click rates and in most cases result in superior ad placement and increased leads.  

5) They Offer Supplementary Analytics

There’s no doubt that Google Analytics provides a variety of helpful data for any website. However, the best PPC companies will offer your dealership additional analytics. For example, they might provide you with data about different pages within your website, visitor navigation trends and the use of call-to-action buttons. With these extra analytics, you can make better marketing decisions and set up more specific goals for your website and sales department performance. 

6) They Ensure Manufacturer Compliance

As you very well may know, most automakers require that your PPC campaigns comply with their online ad guidelines. Be sure the search marketing company you hire is aware of these guidelines and can work within them to develop a successful PPC campaign. 

7) They Incorporate Mobile Pay-Per-Click

With the rapid growth of cell phone and tablet use in the past few years, it’s critical that Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns appear on mobile devices as well. Make sure your chosen search marketing company doesn’t overlook mobile, as recent studies have shown that it’s a valuable source of leads, not only for new car sales, but for parts and service as well.

In summary, with a PPC campaign managed by a quality search marketing company, you’ll be able to see for yourself that Pay-Per-Click advertising provides dealerships with a higher return on investment than any other type of advertising. Beware, however, that not all PPC agencies are equal. Keep the above seven characteristics in mind to ensure that the one you select is the best choice for your dealership.


  1. 1. Marc [ August 29, 2014 @ 08:37AM ]

    I think one of the most important things that you need to think about when choosing a SEM partner is how much flexibility/control will you/they have with the platform they are using for bid management. (If they don't have a bid management platform, don't do business with them)
    Some times a platform that is purely built for ROI will not allow you to bid aggressively on specific phrases or make adjustments in real time. This is very critical.
    Also, I think if they run on the display/content network on Google you should run. Its not a good idea from my experience...typically much lower quality traffic and they really just use it to lower your cpc.

  2. 2. John Reese [ February 17, 2015 @ 12:09PM ]

    Wide Open Marketing provides dealerships with Organic Search Inquiries on a Pay Per Click Basis. It's not an affiliate marketing program. There's no large initial SEO expense. No 4-6 month percolation period waiting for results. No need for 3rd party access to the website's back end for constant content refreshment. And at a price that's 25%-50% less than similar terms on Google AdWords. All the best of SEO and PPC in one.

  3. 3. Nathan Phillips [ October 29, 2015 @ 01:52PM ]

    Strong Automotive is a full service Ad Agency that specializes in the Automotive Industry....ESPECIALLY regarding inventory based digital strategies/PPC/SEO/SEM. They're the best at what they do. www.strongautomotive.com

    They have a lot of clients, all dealerships, and offer a boutique custom solution to any need.

    Tell them Nathan Phillips sent you. They even have a private company plane where they can meet with you IN PERSON at your dealership within 24 hours notice. No joke. They're incredible.


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