Automotive Advertising Strategies – Reasons To Bid On Your Own Brand Name

Automotive Advertising Strategies – Reasons To Bid On Your Own Brand Name
Posted October 25, 2021 by Anthony Levine

More From Our Automotive Advertising Strategies Series – 6 Reasons Why Car Dealers Should Bid on Their Own Brand Name with PPC Advertising

When discussing automotive advertising strategies the debate rages on between whether car dealerships should buy “dealer name” keywords when advertising on search engines. In this article, we explain six reasons why it is crucial.


1) Branding

Brand name keywords help a dealership to “own” the first page of search results. Search results look more professional when an ad appears on-page above relevant organic listings. A dealer with both an ad and organic results appears more “legit” to shoppers.


Car makes and car listing aggregators definitely bid on their own brand term keywords and are able to dominate the search results pages as a result. This ads to the credibility of the business, which is important, as trust from a new website visitor can be difficult to establish quickly enough for it to count.


Additionally, “why buy” messaging is more acceptable in the context of a paid ad. For maximum effectiveness, organic listings should preferably be read as natural and informational, rather than like sales copy. This is not an issue for paid search ads.


2) Competition

While brand name searches will generally result in high organic placement in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages), competition for above-the-fold recognition is still crucial to get that web traffic!


Automotive advertising strategies have other advertisers including competing dealerships, car listing aggregators and car manufacturers can use search engine advertising to disrupt the flow of customers to a dealer’s website. Couple this with competition organically in local listings (i.e., Google Maps results), and that’s a lot of occupied real estate at the top of SERPs!


Competing ads can appear in search results before a customer (typically on a mobile device and with potentially limited screen space) is even able to scroll down to the start of normal organic listings.


Bidding on dealer name keywords allows a dealership to drive up CPC (Cost Per Click) for competing advertisers for those terms. This also increases the odds that the customers that are most likely to convert (more on that below) will see a dealership’s search ad before competitors’.


3) Optimization

Search ads are often optimized towards more conversions, be it phone calls to a dealership from a search ad’s phone extension or a form fill on a dealer site. Utilizing the search engine’s (i.e., Google) knowledge and data on each user to show the ads to customers most likely to convert gives their ads a leg up compared to their organic counterparts.


This is why dealers often see their conversions trend down when eliminating brand name keywords.


Organic search traffic does not “get back” the optimized traffic that was lost from advertising.


4) Control

Organic listings are definitely important; however dealers have little control and no guarantees as to exactly which searches and where geographically their organic listings will show in search results.


Search ads come with the capability to target a specific geography and specific search terms, in addition to a host of other options. This includes creating variations of ad text which is not possible with organic listing meta descriptions. Adding ad extensions helps ads take up more space than organic listings on SERPs when shown. Many customers are mobile, and adding a phone extension gives search ads a click to call option, which is key. Organic search results listings outside of maps generally do not contain a click to call option.


5) Low Cost

Due to high relevance between the keyword and website, quality scores are inherently high for dealership brand name keywords, resulting in what are typically the lowest CPCs in an account. As mentioned above, bidding on these keywords also results in higher CPCs for competing advertisers!


6) High conversion rates

Those searching for a dealership by name are often looking to contact the dealer directly. Brand name searches are typically high-intent. Whether someone saw a dealer’s display ads or social content or just heard their name in conversation, odds are high they will take action if they then search for the dealership by name. As mentioned earlier, conversion-optimized campaigns show search ads to those likely to convert, based on any activity that the search engine can get away with tracking. This may include search history, location, and app usage, as well as dozens if not hundreds of other signals.


Old ways of viewing SERPs in the mid 2010s are still being adhered-to today by some, including the idea that “organic listings negate the necessity of paid listings”. This may still be true for blogs, review sites and other informational content. However, sales-driven branding campaigns are more valuable than ever for getting optimized, high-converting customers at a low cost from search traffic. All while simultaneously protecting and strengthening a dealer’s brand name in search results.

Automotive Bidding Strategies