Google Ads For Car Dealerships: The Beginner’s Guide


Google Ads can be a powerful tool for car dealerships looking to drive more website traffic and sales. With the ability to target local audiences and track leads, Google Ads help dealerships connect with high-intent customers at the right time – while they’re actively searching for vehicles. 

This might sound relatively straight forward, but at Dealers United, we’ve found that setting up and managing a Google Ads account requires strategy and optimization to maximize ROI.

Click here to learn how we can help your dealership maximize your ROI with Google Ads.

That’s why we wrote this guide, to help walk car dealerships through best practices for success with Google Ads.

Keyword Research Focused Around Car Dealerships

The foundation of any Google Ads account is keyword research that revolves around your car dealership. You need to identify the terms and phrases customers are using to search for vehicles in your locality. Focus on specific vehicle makes/models, general terms like “used cars”, and modifiers like “certified pre-owned.” Also look for buyer-intent keywords like “Honda dealership near me.” You can leverage Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to build your list.

Leverage Geo-Targeting

One of the biggest advantages of Google Ads for local businesses is the ability to target customers in a specific geographic radius. This is referred to as ‘geo-targeting.’ Make sure to set up location targeting to only show your ads to searchers in your area. 

You can define your target location down to a 20 mile radius. This prevents wasting money on out-of-area traffic.

Copy for Car Dealership Google Ads

Your ad copy needs to motivate high-intent customers to click and visit your site. Include your dealership name, top brands you carry, competitive advantages like “lowest prices”, and calls-to-action like “Deals Available Now”.

Subject lines should highlight savings or inventory. Ad extensions can add contact info, location, links to Vehicle listings, and lead forms for extra visibility.

Landing Pages Are Important For Google Ads

Send traffic from your ads to relevant landing pages on your website. Create tailored pages for each ad group that match the searcher’s intent. For example, ads about used Toyota deals should send traffic to a landing page promoting your used Toyota inventory. This improves conversion rates. Make sure pages load quickly on mobile.

We all understand that landing pages play an important factor when it comes to conversion rates. However, most people underestimate the need of a landing page for their ad campaigns. 

At Dealers United, our team of digital marketing experts excels in optimizing landing pages to sell as many cars as humanly possible. 

Call Tracking

To measure the effectiveness of Google Ads at driving phone calls, use call tracking numbers. Set up a unique forwarding number for each ad group. When customers call this number, you’ll know exactly which ad generated the lead. Most call tracking services integrate directly with Google Ads for simplified setup.

Remarketing & Audiences With Google Ads

Remarketing and custom audiences help you reconnect with shoppers across devices and capture more sales. Create remarketing lists of visitors who browsed your vehicle inventory but didn’t convert. Show them ads across Google’s Display Network. You can also build custom audiences of existing leads or customers to keep your business top-of-mind.

Measuring Results From Google Ads For Car Dealerships

Continuously monitor analytics and make adjustments to optimize your account. Getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to running Google Ads for car dealerships is heavily reliant on measuring your results. Here are some tips to help:

  • Look at metrics like click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per conversion, and return on ad spend
  • Adjust budgets, bids, keywords, and ad copy accordingly
  • A/B test different ad variations. Add negative keywords to avoid irrelevant searches.

A well-optimized Google Ads account will be a consistent driver of high-quality leads.

Don’t want to have to worry about monitoring your analytics? Click here to learn more about how we can help your dealership with Search Engine Marketing on Google. 

With the right strategy tailored to your dealership, Google Ads can significantly bolster your marketing efforts and sales. Follow these best practices to connect with customers throughout their car buying journey. Measure results and continuously refine your account for maximum ROI. With Google Ads, dealerships can drive more traffic and sell more vehicles.

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Written By Lauren Blackwell
Lauren Blackwell is a skilled content marketer who has spent the past 3 years working in automotive advertising technology and now brings her unique experiences to Dealers United. From running ad campaigns, to curating auto-specific resources, Lauren is empowered to create valuable content to help automotive dealers thrive on social media.

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