Automotive PPC & Mobile – What You Need To Know

automotive-ppc-headerYou’ve probably seen it, it’s been passed around many times over the past few months, since it was released November of last year, just a little over 2 months ago. I’m talking about the Mobile Path to Purchase that Neilson put together, the very same study where they found that 36% of mobile automotive searchers convert within an hour. That’s both sales and parts & service!

I highly recommend that you take a close look at the report, but in case you don’t have the patience to go through it all allow me to throw out a few other numbers that just may interest you:

  • 44% of automotive searchers are looking for your address
  • 43% are conducting price comparisons, and
  • 36% are looking up your phone number.

Are you ready for it? Here is the big one, nearly 50% of mobile auto users look to make a purchase the same day! Did you hear that, the same day! That’s pretty exciting isn’t it? Doesn’t that make you wonder how you should be marketing your mobile site to drive the right kinds of traffic? Want more? Tablet users are 3X more likely to be influenced by a review than smart phone users.

So, while we can extrapolate all this data and talk about social (the report goes on to talk about brand familiarity), your mobile site, SEO, reputation management and other aspects of digital marketing I’d like to focus on automotive pay-per-click. Why? Because odds are it’s where most of your online ad budget is going, also, it has an air of immediacy to it. That is, you can take the info I’m going to share with you in this post, make a change and increase your sales right away.

Bottom line is this, in order to take full advantage of digital marketing you must market to mobile users separately. Google says that a mobile only pay-per-click (PPC) campaign helps drive a 11.5% increase in click through rate and a 29% increase in mobile clicks. This proves that the mobile segment does not function the same way as desktop and even tablets and is reason enough that you should format your PPC campaigns differently.

A Few Things To Keep In Mind

  • Include a click to call option in your mobile ads.
  • Link up your seller ratings to gain higher levels of buy-in.
  • Including an offer in your mobile ad will increase click through. This could be a lease special, rebates, free oil changes, etc…
  • Location extensions are extremely important and are a must have in your mobile ad. Consider narrowing your targeting and focus on 10 or so miles (to start) from the dealership.
  • Use mobile specific wording such as, “View Inventory From Your Phone.” Or, “We’re Mobile Friendly!”
  • People are more apt to abbreviate words so make sure that you optimize for SF Ford as well as San Francisco Ford.
  • Broad match keywords perform well in mobile campaigns because it’s easier to mistype on a mobile device.
  • Remember intent. While people research from both their mobile phones and their desktops/laptops, nearly 50% of mobile automotive users look to make a purchase the same day. Write your ads accordingly. Rule of thumb, think action keywords instead of just research keywords.
  • Bid for positions 1 and 2 on mobile devices. While screen size is getting bigger on cellular devices the smaller screen size will all but render you all but invisible.
  • Segment desktop from mobile and give mobile it’s budget.
  • Above all, test, test, test!

I know a lot of dealerships outsource their SEM marketing, and rightly so. In that case ask the company handling your online media buys if they are segmenting your mobile campaigns. Ask what they are doing to optimize for mobile devices. It’s okay to be nitpicky with your SEM provider, it’s engagement and we like engagement. The more you know the better off we all, keep that in mind. Better yet, forward this post to your SEM and provider. :)

I’d like to leave you with another tidbit of advice. Learn all you can. You don’t have to be at the level of running your own campaigns but know what each metric means, know what success looks like, but above all, know how digital marketing affects your bottom line.

Post author

David has been in the auto industry for 11 years, starting off as a salesperson, then internet sales and then finally BDC manager before he started consulting full time. Now he is considered the forefront of automotive social media and is both the VP and partner of 3GEngagement.com

There are 5 Comments

  1. Posted by Anthony Rome Reply

    Chris, how MANY links to you suggest go into a newsletter? Also, statistically, the SECOND link is the one most clicked ;)

  2. Posted by Chris Hanson Reply

    Anthony, for our 3GE newsletter that we send to our database, we like to have 3 or 4 articles so that we hopefully have something for most of our subscribers. You gave into the stats and clicked on the second one ;)

    What do you think is best?

  3. Posted by Chris Hanson Reply

    That is interesting. Oh, got it. As far as links go, 15 to 20. I think this last one had 15. Articles 3 to 4…..although sometimes 5 or 6.

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