When it comes to running a successful PPC campaign, optimization is one of the most important and time consuming tasks. If done properly, it can increase search visibility and opportunities to drive automotive leads at a lower cost. For the SEM team at Aronson Advertising, it is important to drive online leads (phone calls and form submissions) as much as offline leads (store visits). Every month, we focus our time and efforts on bid adjustments, building custom keyword lists, and unique ad creation, so that we can maximize search visibility, improve click quality, and most importantly, drive relevant leads to our automotive clients. Below are five tips that play a key role in our monthly optimizations.
Tip #1: Focus on High Performing Keywords
High performing keywords are exactly that, high performing keywords. In terms of optimization, these are the keywords that are driving the most leads. These keywords drive business to our clients as well as have higher return on investment.
However, they are not the only ones we focus on. KPIs such as clicks and CTR are important to our clients as well. That is why the keywords that bring highest quality traffic and increase the CTR are as important as the keywords that bring the most leads.
Below is a screenshot of the keywords statistics for Subaru dealerships in the Midwest:
Tip #2: Keyword Bid Adjustments
The opposite of high performing keywords are underperforming keywords. The options that we have are: pausing them or adjusting their bids.
Usually, underperforming keywords are:
- Collecting too many impressions and barely have any clicks
- Collecting lots of clicks, but are not converting
- Too broad and are collecting irrelevant search terms
Ideally, we want to have only high performing keywords.
However, this can’t be accomplished all the time. Several reasons for this are the seasonality trends of the business, location, competitors, as well as inventory. That is why lowering the bids on keywords that are underperforming, but are still needed in our campaign is important. On the other hand, increasing the bids on keywords that are showing good performance is something that may bring even more business.
If they drag the performance down, pausing keywords should be the last step of PPC optimization. A good rule of thumb is to make sure they have been running long enough to acquire enough data to let us make this decision.
Tip #3: Strong Negative Keyword Lists
Building a strong negative keywords list might not be easy, but it is definitely rewarding! While it might take some time and thought to go over the search terms report and research on Google, it could increase the accounts’ performance as well as decrease ad spend.
Checking the search terms every time optimization is performed and excluding all of the irrelevant terms that ads have shown for is really important for the long term growth of our PPC accounts.
You can find more details on what negative keywords are and why they are important in our recently published blog post.
Tip #4: Make Full Use of Ad Extensions
Ad extensions, as defined by Google, “expand your ad with additional information — giving people more reasons to choose your business. They typically increase an ad’s click-through rate by several percentage points.”
In our campaigns, we implement and strongly recommend the following ad extensions:
- Sitelink extensions
- Callout extensions
- Call extensions
- Structured snippet extensions
- Message extension
- Locations extension
- Price extension
Below is a screenshot of the ad extensions that we use for Subaru dealerships in the Midwest:
The advantage of using many types of ad extensions is that not only we capture as much SERP real estate as possible, but we also increase the clicks and CTR. Therefore, we increase the chances of potential phone calls, form submissions and store visits.
Tip #5: Device Bids Adjustments
As an automotive advertising agency, we pay extreme attention to the devices our clients’ customers are using. Device bid adjustments are a great opportunity to bid smarter on desired devices or to exclude completely the ones that we don’t want our ads to show on.
When it comes to adjusting the device bids, the strategies can be different. A good practice is when we are focusing on driving more leads to increase the device bids on mobile phones or to decrease the bids on the tablets and computers.
Bonus Tip: Test Different Ad Copies
Testing different ad copy on a regular basis is a great strategy to optimize an account’s performance and drive more phone calls and leads. The time around holidays is a great opportunity to increase phone call volume. We can connect more easily with our clients’ customers and the message that we want to give them is always better accepted when there is more context.
In the screenshot below, you can see how the same ad copy in different ad groups with small changes in the headlines got one of our Kia clients 27 phone calls in a period of one month.
When writing an ad copy, we split test ads with different calls to action, headlines, descriptions, offers, and incentives. For a more in depth explanation, we recently posted an article on how to write engaging ad copies.
If you are looking for an advertising agency to take over the maintenance and optimization of your paid search campaigns, to drive more leads and foot to the door, we are here for you! Contact us today at (847) 297-1700 and see how our digital marketing services can increase clicks, conversions, and returns!