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I've decided to write more frequently about Automotive SEO, after a brief period of silence.
Recent research on Organic Search rankings and collaboration with industry leaders brought to light a very interesting observation.
I want to thank Dave Page from Dealer eProcess for showing me some of his findings on how their company is lowering Adwords costs using their website platform and customized content. They get it!!
Great content can be created for your website for free!
I'll back that statement up with some facts, so let me set the stage.
Today, most dealers are using Google Adwords to drive traffic to their website. It is hard to say what the "average" monthly spend is for dealers using Adwords, but I estimate that it is around $3,000 a month. For most metro markets, $3,000 is not enough to maximize visibility in search, display, and video across all device types.
A robust Google Adwords investment for metropolitan dealerships can easily be in the $5,000 - $10,000 range if a dealer is utilizating SEM, display retargeting, video retargeting, video pre-roll, promoted video, behavioral targeting, and mobile advertising.
If I could save dealers 10%-20% off their Adwords spend, shouldn't they be interested? That could mean an extra $1,000 a month to repurpose to sell more cars!
Some Adwords investments are billed on a pay per click basis (PPC), others on a Cost Per Impression (CPM). The PPC cost is a function of competition for the keyword as well as what Google calls a "quality score" of the ad campaign.
The quality score (QS) is a function of the keyword purchased, the text in the ad, Click Thru Rate (CTR), and the landing page that the consumer is taken to when the ad is clicked. A high quality score is 10 and a low quality score would be 1.
For example, a Honda dealer purchasing the keyword "2013 Honda Accord", is already at an advantage over a Ford Dealer because Google knows their domain is a franchised Honda dealership.
If the ad text contains the words "2013 Honda Accord", the quality score increases. If the dealership sends the click to an optimized page for the "2013 Honda Accord", the quality score goes up again. As the quality score increases for each keyword, the relative cost to the dealership is lowered.
If quality scores can significantly impact click costs, shouldn't there be more focus on the quality of Adwords campaigns and not just on the cost-per-click? It is EASY to inspect the quality score of each Adwords ad group.
Most franchise dealership websites today have a vehicle showcase page for each new car model that the franchise dealer sells. For example, Honda dealers may have a page dedicated for the 2013 Honda Accord, 2013 Honda Civic, etc. It doesn't mean that the Google Adwords company is sending clicks to that page, but some basic product pages area available for Adwords testing.
However, Google Adwords campaigns are just not for new model advertising. Conquest campaigns, service campaigns, used car campaigns, and special finance campaigns all need a landing page that produces a high quality score.
The truth of the matter is that many Adwords management companies do not have the staff and processes in place to create the dozens of high quality content pages that are needed to completely optimize each Adwords campaign. This is very true in regards to conquest campaigns; dealers need highly optimized content to conquest a competing brand without busting the bank!
You will be surprised to see how many ad clicks are sent to the home page or a low scoring page because no one has asked for a custom landing page to be created.
What I have found is that dealers who invest in quality content, can effectively have those content costs funded by savings in Adwords campaigns. That's right. The savings realized EVERY month by high quality content, well designed landing pages, and/or microsites can pay for itself!
This was not the case in the past because:
The time has come to make the argument that high quality content pays for itself!
With these changes in the marketplace, I could not be happier. As a boutique content provider and SEO strategist for dealers, the content writers at PCG Digital Marketing can create the customized landing pages to make popular Adwords management platforms sing.
Whether a dealer is using Dealer.com TCD, Haystak Digital Marketing, Cobalt PowerBrand, or another Adwords management platform, CPC costs can be lowered by collaborative content development.
A starting investment of $500 a month in customized content, can trigger an equal reduction in MONTHLY Adwords costs, as Google resets Ad Group quality scores.
Best of all, the customized landing pages create better consumer engagement. That's right. The content is effectively free and your local in-market shoppers will CONVERT better because you took their click to a landing page that had well written content. Stop sending clicks to crappy landing pages or the dealership HOME page.
So, if you want to lower Adwords costs to create a better consumer experience on your website that CONVERTS more visitors to leads, the time has come to invest in content that is leveraged by your Adwords campaigns.
You can get started with a minimum investment to prove this strategy by calling Glenn Pasch, at PCG Digital Marketing. You can reach Glenn at 732.450.8200. Discuss how you can prioritize the content development for all your digital goals, and get a content road map developed for the next six months.
You will be surprise how well things work when SEO content and SEM management are united! Stop wasting money with Google because of low quality score. Take those savings and create a highly engaging website! That will differentiate your website from your competition.
Brian Pasch, CEO