Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Automotive Search Marketing Budget

10: Buy outside of your dealership’s geographic area:

Every car dealer wants their customers, their competitors customers, and will go to great lengths to buy zones or marketing areas well outside of any reasonable area. Often, it’s a naive marketer that buys a 100 mile radius on new car leads. What’s the REAL CHANCE you will sell a NEW Chevy when a customer will have to drive past 53 other Chevrolet dealers on the way down? Used cars is another story. We have some great success stories of selling cars outside of the state, region, even country.

9: Buy keywords for models you do not sell:

Of course people are cross shopping vehicles. Yes you may put a Cayenne buyer into an FX45 but first and foremost, get the proper keywords before you even think about buying any other automotive keywords. Then, if and when you do buy competing models, closely watch the clicks, conversion rates to see if these are even turning into automotive leads or are just a wasted effort.

8: Buy generic phrases:

If you are buying phrases like “cars” and “used” then you have purchased a one way ticket to spend budget quickly. You will attract all sorts of crazy requests especially if you buy a “broad match” which may include such wonderful phrases as “cars for demolition derbies” and “used jeans just like Madonna”. Automotive marketers beware but a click is a click to Google and they will charge you if you are not smart enough to prevent it.

7: Don’t match your ad to your destination page:

You ad says “Toyota Camry’s for $199/mo” and your landing page is a homepage that is still 3 clicks away from finding the Camry inventory. As a special bonus to your customer, they can’t find this $199 special because someone forgot to load it into your special offer section of your dealership’s website. Talk about a time waster. Another one-way ticket to find another dealer on Google is coming to a customer near you. Could you envision a situation where a customer walked into your showroom, asked about a Camry, and you walked him around your entire dealership, showed them the service department, F&I, and led them to a few doors which may or may not lead to a price on that car?

6: Make crappy boring generic ads

This is an automotive marketing staple. Boring, generic ads with no compelling reason to click on them. Sure it’s great you are on top of Google but that will not last long if you have a low click through rate, and customer’s are going to click on the ad that excites them. We run many automotive ads simultaneously and constantly make them compete to beat the next ad. This is why we can see a 15% or more click through rate on some ads and other dealers say that pay per click just does not work.

5: Spend too much on “gotta have it” keywords

I was at a dealership the other day, who shall remain nameless, who said “I have to win the word Honda”. I don’t care how much it costs, but anything Honda, I need to be #1 in paid search.”. This dealership would have put together a pay per click campaign that resulted in clicks on Honda motorcycles, Honda outboards, Honda used, Honda jet planes (yes take a look at them) and anything else. Plus he may end up paying $10 per click on competitive words. Insane.

4: Ignore Analytic reports and focus on traffic:

90% bounce rates on pay per click ads mean that 90% of your customers are leaving almost immediately. If you are not looking at analytic reports then you are spending money on the wrong keywords, ads, sites, etc. We just left a dealer who was buying the word “free” in their PPC campaign. Sure, tons of clicks. Duh. Bounce rate near 100%. Duh. I can’t even imagine how much they paid per click. Factor in the exit rates (what pages people are leaving from) and the new visitor ratio, and you can get a good idea of the best sources of traffic. Buy more good, buy less bad.

3: Let Google run your campaign

Sure it is easy and may be good to get you started, but Google suggestions will often just give you irrelevant phrases, or provide you with odd budgets. Buy what you need, leave the rest. Remember, Google wants to spend your automotive budget.

2: Spend too much per click

Sometimes, coming in 2nd is a good thing! When the price between being a first place listing and second place listing is $2.00 per click, it pays to let go of first sometimes. Often, we can buy several times as many clicks for our clients just by avoiding the “bid to win 1st” mentality. Sometimes, the “long tail” philosophy can lead to a boatload of clicks at a low price.

1: Buy your own name

Here is our favorite one of all, bidding on your own name. There is a very popular and well known automotive marketing company who can get dealers a ton of clicks and “phone calls” as well. It’s easy when you buy the dealers name. If you are already #1 with your own name (most dealers are) and there is no competition, the DO NOT buy your own name. They will find you for free. That is buying the cow, AND paying for the milk. It’s insane that a major, well funded business has built a business model around redirecting a dealers own traffic back to the dealer, and getting full credit for it. There are cases where you do want and need to buy your own name but in most cases, it is not necessary.

Automotive Marketing – The Value of Good Prospecting

The world economy has been very uncooperative for businessmen, especially automotive dealers who are struggling with the crunch as nearly everyone else in business is. People are simply harder to convince they need to get a car or a new one to replace what they might have had for years.

Indeed, buying any sort of vehicle these days is no longer a simple matter. The economic downtrend generally noted in most countries has made people more conscious about their expenses. More than anything, it has taught them to weigh their priorities and cultivate the discipline to stay committed to these priorities. Still, at the end of the day, automotive marketing people still have to continue with their job even if it means finding every possible avenue that leads to increased productivity.

Of course, everyone who plans to sell needs people to sell to. Prospecting is, thus, a very important step to for those who want to actually post sales and not just plan them. Whatever type of vehicle one is trying to sell, it is important to come up with an actual list of leads who just may turn into customers. When you market any type of product there is, time is always of the essence. And when you start wasting it with the wrong leads, goals may not be achieved. And what is there to do if not achieve sales goals when in business?

The value of leads is very important and even crucial to the success of any automotive marketer. The leads cannot just be any other list- it has to come with all the information that could provide a lead within a lead – that is, tidbits of information regarding the prospect’s automotive history, from his last date of vehicle purchase to the model or models he has bought. A list of prospects must also include hints about the person’s credit score or standing so as to give the marketer a good basis for judging whether or not the prospect may turn out to be not just a customer but a responsible one.

Good prospecting does many things for a marketer, but above all, it allows one to plan ahead. And when the market gets as tough as it is right now, being able to plan ahead is going to be every automotive marketer’s edge over the others who opt to be more spontaneous in their approach.

Automotive Repair Marketing – The Key to a Successful Shop

If you are a business owner and you would like to increase your revenue, it is important for you to understand automotive repair marketing and how this is a key to a successful shop. The automotive industry is said to be one of the most lucrative and stable industries in the business world. Because people from all over the world use autos in their daily life, auto repair businesses are steady and secure.

Automotive repair marketing is as easy as changing the oil in your car. Every few months, you are to check your progress, do some maintenance, and give some added boost and fresh ideas to your automotive repair marketing campaign. The public loves fresh ideas.

Automotive repair marketing is all about taking action. Therefore, you as the business owner should make sure you use the right automotive repair marketing tools. Here are some of the most effective marketing tools for your auto repair business.

1. Direct mail marketing method
One of the most preferred automotive repair marketing tools remains to be the direct mail method. Most auto repair businesses make use of this method by mailing postcards to homeowners in zip codes surrounding their shops. This is an easy way to promote your services to potential clients. However, you will need to mail sufficient quantities to generate a worthwhile response.

2. Start a blog or a website
The internet is probably one of the greatest automotive repair marketing tools you can use. Create a blog and spend 10 minutes each day writing interesting anecdotes, maintenance information, tips, advice, or even car reviews. The more you write, the sooner you will be crawled by search engines, and the sooner you will reach a bigger audience which will essentially result in more business.

3. Social media marketing
One of the best automotive repair marketing tools revolves around social media. Websites with Facebook and Twitter integration are becoming increasingly popular and more repair shop owners are making use of this tool in order to promote their shops and acquire new clients. If you use social media for your automotive repair marketing, you should know that you are instantly exposed to millions of people. So, guess what happens when Jason needs a new transmission and he sees your business profile on Facebook? Voila! You have a new customer. Even though this may sound a little impossible, but social media could be well worth thousands of dollars to your repair shop.

4. The good old word of mouth
This method of automotive marketing is known to be one of the oldest methods of marketing in the business world. However, this is also proven to be one of the most reliable forms of marketing. For example, you started your automotive repair marketing campaign with the direct mail marketing method. Now, because of this, you have just acquired two new clients. If you do a good job, guess what happens? These clients will tell their friends about it, and their friends will tell their friends, eventually forming the perfect marketing campaign you can ask for.

5. Press releases
Most business owners tend to give press releases a complete miss, thinking that there is no possible way that a press release could be of any advantage to their automotive repair marketing campaign. Wrong! In fact, press releases are very effective and can be done either online or off-line. With the off-line method, simply write, or have someone put together a press release on a timely topic and send it to your local newspaper. With the online method, do the same and publish it to a press release service. Press releases are usually ranked higher than normal web pages and blog posts. This can never be a bad thing.

There are several other automotive repair marketing tools available to you. If you are serious about taking your auto repair shop to the next level and getting more vehicles into your shop, then make sure you give these aforementioned methods of automotive repair marketing a try today.