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Target Car Buyers Seeking Green Vehicles with Google AdWords™ Campaigns

You can effectively reach car buyers that are online and researching green vehicles using keyword targeted CPC campaigns in your Google AdWords™ account... With fuel costs on the rise and concern for the environment growing, consumers are changing their online vehicle research habits. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a recent eMarketer survey said they would spend up to 20 percent more for green vehicles.

What Search Engines are these consumers using?
In March 2008, Google held the greatest share of searches (nearly 54 percent) for green terms, such as hybrid vehicles, hybrid cars, environmentally friendly vehicles, green fuel, and green fuel alternatives.

Optimize your AdWords™ sponsored link advertisement text
To attract these potential customers, make sure your ad text speaks to their concerns. Thirty-eight percent of consumers said the most attractive marketing focuses on specific user benefits of going green, such as saving money on gas, reducing air pollution in their community, making new friends with tree hugger types, looking like you actually are doing something to help the environment, etc. So, if you have information on your website about how your products are environmentally-friendly or how to save money being green, be sure to reflect this in your search engine keyword targeted, context network and placement targeted ads.

SEM Ninja Tip: Reach users while they’re reading their favorite auto websites by showing your ads on Google's content network and by creating placement targeted campaigns that display your text, image, click-to-play video and Flash based (SWF) ads using a large network of high-quality news pages, industry-specific websites, and blogs.

Consolidated Auto Solutions first started using Google AdWords™ as a cost-saving experiment. It was 2003 and Mike Taylor was busy running two auto dealerships out of Texas and Tennessee. “I’d been working in the auto industry for 25 years and was your typical car guy,” says Mike, founder and CEO.

While looking for a way to generate sales leads at a lower cost with their new website, Mike discovered AdWords™ and found instant success with the program. “Our leads increased overnight from 20 to 250 a day.” This eventually led to Mike founding Consolidated Auto Solutions, a national auto-financing lead distributor.

As Mike became more familiar with AdWords™, he began running ads on Google's content network. His goal was to increase leads while maintaining a reasonable cost per conversion.

“Once we got into advertising on the content network, our leads shot up from 250 to 400 a day. We found that it gave us a high clickthrough rate (CTR) at a low cost. Thirty percent of our advertising costs go to the content network, but 60 percent of our leads come from it.” - Mike Taylor; Consolidated Auto Solutions

To gain more control over the websites where their ads appear, Mike started using the site exclusion feature. “We can refine which sites we want our ads to show on and exclude sites that historically haven’t produced quality leads for us.”

SEM Ninja Tip: Prevent your ads from showing on certain websites by using the site exclusion feature within Google AdWords™.

Today, Mike has since sold his two auto dealerships and concentrates on keeping Consolidated Auto Solutions running like a well-oiled machine. “We’d like to explore other aspects of AdWords that will help us continue to increase the amount of leads we generate every day.”

SEM Ninja Tip: To see where your ads have shown on Google's content network, run a Placement Performance report from your AdWords account. The report gives site-by-site performance metrics so you can learn which individual websites convert the best for you.

The people that specialize in the automotive industry at Google have found that online research is especially important to auto consumers and typically spikes in the summer months:

- From June 2007 to July 2007, traffic from Google to automotive dealership websites increased by nearly 50 percent.
- In 2007, 80 percent of consumers looking to purchase a vehicle, selected a dealer after going online.
- Consumers utilizing a search engine to locate a dealer are more likely to submit a price quote request and make a
purchase from a dealer found online than those who visit a dealer's site directly without using a search engine.

How do I optimize my ad text?

As a basic rule, use clear, well-written, and specific ad text that highlights the differentiating characteristics of your product/service. Below are some more specific tips to help you create compelling ad text.

Include prices and promotions.

The more information about your product that a user can gain from your ad text, the better. For example, if a user sees the price of a product and still clicks the ad, you know they're interested in a potential purchase at that price. If they don't like the price, they won't click your ad, and you save yourself the cost of that click.

Include a call-to-action
Such as 'buy', 'order', and 'purchase'. While 'find' and 'search' may be accurate, these words imply that the user is still in awareness/interest mode, and won't qualify the user as a buyer as much as the first three.

Review your keyword list to choose your ad title.
Find keywords with the highest number of clicks or impressions. For example, if the keyword phrase 'online advertising' is clearly generating the most clicks and impressions in your account, use this term in the title of your ad. This is an effective way of increasing clickthrough rate because users can see immediately that your ad is relevant to their query. Also, any keywords you include in any part of your ad text are automatically highlighted in bold type on Google, when a user enters the keywords as part of their query. This helps draw the user's attention to the ad.

Using your company name or website domain in the first line of ad text doesn't typically attract more clicks unless you're advertising an established company with a compelling brand that can distinguish your ad from others.

Choose the right destination URL for your ad and keywords
Your sponsored link should take the visitor directly to the page that has the information or product promised in your advertisement. If users do not find what is promised as soon as they arrive, they are more likely to leave your site. Be sure that advertised promotions and particular products mentioned are visible on your landing page.

About The Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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