Your Dealership’s Ultimate Guide To Everything Its PPC Package Might Be Missing

Aug 11, 2016 | SEO and PPC

Today, “if” your dealership should be doing PPC is hardly a discussion. But when examining your current PPC solution, there are a few things worth taking a closer look at, like what’s actually included in your PPC package, versus what should be?

What should be included in your PPC package?

For starters, all of Google’s basic services, including:

…and these additional features:

We’ve broken down each of the services that should be included in your PPC package below. If your vendor refuses to include them, for FREE, it’s time to ask some questions.

Google’s Services, Explained

YouTube Advertising

Video Advertising is a key element of your digital strategy. Users are 27x more likely to click on a video ad than a display ad, and research from Nielsen & Facebook indicates that 3 seconds of video can account for 47% of a campaign’s overall brand awareness.

Ever since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, your PPC vendor should easily be able to add your dealership’s video footage into Google’s dynamic video network—no questions asked.

Gmail Ads

Gmail Ads show your dealership’s offer as a native ad (in this case, an ad that looks like an email) under the “Promotions” tab in a user’s inbox.

The coolest part? With Gmail ads, you can use contextual keyword targeting to show your ad when users receive emails containing your selected keywords.

Through Gmail Ads, Google is able to scan your emails (both sender and content) to show your ad to the right prospect.”

For example, your Ford dealership’s keyword strategy could include competitor terms like “Chevy” and “Quote,” and your ad would show if a Chevy dealership sent an email including any of those words to a user in your area.

Gmail Ads can be managed directly through AdWords as of September 2015, so it should be an existing part of your AdWords and PPC strategy.

Gmail ads should be treated like display campaigns: they sit higher up the funnel than any search marketing you’re doing because they’re acting as a push/proactive mechanism, not a reactive one.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / AdWords

To be certain that your dealership is appearing at the top of Google when specific keywords are searched, you need a strong Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and AdWords strategy.

When building your keyword list in AdWords, your PPC provider should work with you to take your strategy from “marketing” to “thinking like a customer,” and Negative Keywords are a must!

Above is good example of SEM for auto dealers. Your dealership’s vendor should ensure Sitelinks and Ad Extensions are helping your customer make their next move. Ensure both your New and Used inventories are present, as well as Service, your phone number, and hours.
TIP: Ask your PPC provider if they can run SEM ads in Spanish. 38% of Hispanics ages 18-29 are bilingual, and Spanish ads resonate more with these consumers. Note: You should only have outside vendors aid in Spanish campaigns if you have someone on your team who can help them write the copy!


Unlike text-based ads, display advertising relies heavily on images (think photos of your inventory) to communicate your dealership’s message across the Google Display Network.

Image: Sites on the Google Display Network on which your ad can display.

Display ads are shown to consumers based on 3 characteristics: website content (what’s on the pages being viewed), search intent (what keywords are being typed into Google) and behavior (what websites are frequently being viewed).

Your PPC provider can also target using specific zip codes (focusing on your Primary Market Area) to reach local, In-Market Car Shoppers.

While your PPC vendor most likely provides display ads, make sure they are showing the ads to the right shoppers at the right time and using all the tools AdWords has to offer.

Display ads target shoppers who have not yet visited your dealership’s website, pushing top-funnel prospects into the funnel. Be creative and relevant; you may only have one chance to impress these prospective customers!


A sub-category of display, retargeting ads work behind-the-scenes to make sure your dealership stays relevant to any shopper who once visited your site and didn’t convert.

After a shopper views a specific vehicle on your site, ads with that vehicle’s make and model can continue to follow them around, no matter which sites they choose to visit, and ultimately push them back to your site.

Some vendors even dynamically retarget using the exact vehicle the user viewed, like “2016 Red Ford Mustang Convertible.” But is the money paid to your designer for the extra creative + the time your PPC vendor spends on that extra targeting really worth the few customers who saw that exact vehicle?

TIP: Instead of paying for VDP dynamic retargeting, have your PPC vendor build make and model inventory ads that direct to the SRP (not the VDP) and branding ads that direct to your homepage. You’ll save time and cash!

What Else Should I Make Sure My PPC Provider Is Including?

Reporting and Full Access

Every provider should offer you thorough reports and analyses of your campaign results to better understand your ROI. Be sure that you’re able to get real answers and guidance to understand your results.

Also, get access to both your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts, and make sure they’re linked. Doing so is the only way to truly hold your vendor accountable.

Call Tracking and Recording

Some providers offer call tracking and recording. Listening to calls driven from AdWords helps train and coach your employees on what talk tracks work in setting the appointment, and you can even see the exact ad group your calls originated from.

Ask your PPC provider if they also use Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) with their call tracking service. DNI dynamically assigns a unique phone number to each source of traffic (Google AdWords, Facebook, etc.) and allows you to easily track your ROI.

Custom, Hands-On Strategy

If you feel like you’re getting a cookie-cutter solution, you probably are. While some basic practices are proven and should be implemented across the board, having your ad look and feel just like your local competition isn’t going to help you sell your cars.

Make sure your vendor is truly aligning your AdWords strategy to your dealership’s monthly objectives. Check that they’re including negative keywords to prevent unwanted clicks, as well as protecting your PMA/AOR so that your customers aren’t falling to your competition.

Account Management and Full Transparency

All PPC vendors charge a management fee. But what does your management fee cover? At the minimum, you should have monthly reporting and strategy calls with your Account reps, and weekly reporting delivered directly into your inbox.

Check that you have direct access to your account manager or rep via phone and email, and that they can make changes to your account in real-time or “near-time” (within 24 hours).

Also, it’s important to know if your fee is percentage-based or flat rate, and that you know exactly what you’re paying to Google VS. what you’re paying to the vendor.

Stay In-The-Know

When all these pieces work together and are being managed through a single and seamless strategy, your dealership will be that much more unbeatable online.

Being dialed into your PPC strategy can give you a significant advantage over your competition. (Trust us—there’s a good chance they don’t know who or what is currently behind theirs!).

What other things are you getting out of your PPC package that you’re thrilled about, or might be missing?

Free Google AdWords Evaluation For Auto Dealers

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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