Advertising has become a virtual experience and many businesses choose to increase their visibility to potential customers with targeted online ads, which enable businesses to zero in on a specific audience and even a particular geographic range. Car dealerships can create carousel ads that let customers view specific inventory or ads that link to a page to capture information.
While many social media platforms and online sites offer advertising opportunities, car dealerships might focus on one particular online advertising opportunity. Here’s why Google Ads for dealerships is a powerful tool for marketing and why dealerships might consider advertising opportunities offered by the internet’s most popular search engine.
Why Advertise Online?
Car dealerships that have been in business for generations might have fallen into an advertising comfort zone. In the past, print, radio and television were the three main channels to reach customers. The internet created a new advertising opportunity for businesses, and the rise of social media networking platforms and search engines that control how users find information on the internet both offer a unique opportunity to businesses that want to increase their reach and online visibility.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform and the site has nearly three billion monthly active users. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, provides advertising opportunities for companies and these ads can be included on Facebook and/or Instagram. Businesses can target their ads to a specific demographic and zero in on a particular geographic range, too.
While Facebook might be the most popular social media platform, Google rules the Internet as the most popular search engine. Statista reports that as of July 2022, Google dominates with more than 83 percent of the desktop market share for search engines. Google is so ubiquitous to the online search query that the company’s name morphed into a verb synonymous with online searches (Google it!).
Google also offers advertising opportunities for businesses. Google Ads lets companies increase their visibility on the search engine. However, businesses shouldn’t conflate advertising opportunities on Google with search rankings.
How Google Ads Work
While advertising on Google could help businesses broaden their reach and visibility, these ads will be labeled as such by Google. However, when individuals conduct specific searches, they could receive the ad for the business.
Car dealerships interested in advertising via Google can easily create ads. Google makes advertising a simple process; with Google Ads, dealerships can create banner ads for high impact online or opt for a standard ad.
However, not all dealerships have a large advertising budget. Those interested in advertising on Google can set and specify their budget to ensure their ad campaign doesn’t exceed their spending cap. In addition, dealerships can choose local or even global reach for their ads.
Dealerships should understand that when using Google Ads, they also will pay for results. According to the Google Ads site, “You’ll pay for results, like when people click your ad to call your business, visit your website, or get directions to your store.”
The Power of Google
Google Ads offers a key marketing opportunity to businesses that perhaps other online advertisers don’t or can’t offer. When a dealership (or any business) advertises on Google, their ad will be shown if it’s relevant to an individual’s search query.
Again, the ad will not be conflated or commingled with search results, but it will appear to Google users who are searching for related information. This can help drive traffic to the dealership’s website or even to their brick and mortar location.
Since Google has such a market dominance related to web searches, dealerships could focus ad dollars on Google Ads to help broaden their reach in their area and, hopefully, boost their visibility and visits to their showroom or lot, too.
Are Photos Useful for Google Ads?
When advertising via Facebook, dealerships can create ads that include photos of their new models or other inventory. Google Ads work a bit differently.
Businesses and dealerships won’t include photos with their Google Ad. The advertising on Google relies on search queries. Since search query links don’t display photos, the ads also don’t show images.
Again, though, dealership ads will be shown to users if they are relevant to their search. The ads will be labeled as an ad, but users searching for a specific car might find that the dealership’s ad link is an opportunity for them to explore models and inventory in their area.
Online Advertising Opportunities Offer Unique Reach
Facebook and Google both offer advertising opportunities for businesses, and each business offers different opportunities and reach. For this reason, car dealerships might spread out their ad dollars to include ads on both sites.
Facebook ads let car dealerships highlight specific models in the inventory. Dealerships could create a simple ad or even an immersive carousel ad that enables users to scroll through photos of vehicles. Facebook ads can link to a website or even a page that allows individuals to enter their information for the dealership to contact them about available vehicles.
Google Ads can help dealerships elevate their visibility and reach on the search engine. If the business is relevant to an individual’s search, they will see the ad for the dealership. While the ad won’t commingle into search results, the ad will be shown near the top of the page.
To better understand how Google Ads work, dealerships can conduct their own searches. What ads appear? How visible are those ads? Dealerships can see how other businesses market their products and services to the public and how these ads help elevate their visibility on the search engine.
Don’t Stop SEO
Google Ads do not take the place of SEO in regards to the dealership’s website and online content. Dealerships still should focus on optimizing their content and ensuring that their ranking on Google doesn’t plummet.
While dealerships can focus on organically integrating industry-related keywords into their blog or web page content, they also can optimize their visibility via other methodologies. For example, businesses have a Google Business Profile that they can claim online. These profiles can include links to reviews, photos and the business website, too.
Dealerships should make sure the information on their profile matches the information on their website. Consistency can be crucial to ensuring visibility and online optimization. In addition, dealerships can encourage customers to leave a review on their profile. Dealerships also should actively respond to reviews; unresponsive businesses could appear to be lacking in customer service.
Car dealerships might be interested in expanding their online advertising to Google and other platforms. Before dealerships commit to new ad opportunities, they can explore their options via Google Ad’s information page to find how to create their ad and how they can customize their advertising via Google to reach their targeted demographic.
Dealerships might decide to advertise on multiple online platforms to broaden their visibility. While Google Ads could help dealerships gain more visibility via the search platform, Facebook might allow dealerships to create immersive advertisements to showcase available inventory and build excitement about any upcoming new models.
Dealerships can research all their online advertising opportunities to create the best approach to reaching customers and, hopefully, gaining more traffic in their showroom and on their lot.