#TipTuesday: 5 Ways to Check for Dealer Paid Search Waste

By February 12, 2019No Comments

Do you feel like your online marketing budget keeps going up, but you aren’t selling any more cars?  You aren’t alone!  Car dealers now have a seemingly endless amount of choices when it comes to online places to stuff money into.  That isn’t to say that it is ALL wasted spend, but dealerships need to have a way to measure the outcome to determine if the spend is actually helping them sell more cars or if it is just more spending.

Below you will find 5 areas to do a quick check on to see how your marketing company is doing with your spend.  If your marketing company will not cooperate with this, that is a warning sign that you may have issues and need to dig further.  You will need access to your Google Analytics account to perform some of these checks.  If you don’t have that, insist on it.  This is your data!

1. Is Google Ads Connected to Google Analytics?

This is a must have for any dealer wanting to keep an eye on their paid search dollars.  When Ads and Analytics are connected, you have the ability to track conversions.  This makes it easier to see which campaigns are leading to the activity that you are looking for, such as phone calls, leads, chat, and text.  If campaigns aren’t leading to any of those actions, are they wasted spend?  Wouldn’t you want a provider that goes a step further and tracks spend all the way to a sale, so you can see which campaigns are actually selling you cars?

2. Out of Area Spend

A large amount of dealership marketing accounts have clicks coming from outside of their marketing area.  A small amount of this is ok, since cell phones can be tricky to pin down with the segment device in analytics, you can clearly see which platform was most affected. If you have hundreds of long distance paid clicks showing in your analytics, that’s an area you should ask your marketing company about.  I recently found $3600/month in a dealership account that was coming from 8 hours or more away from the store.  What a waste!  Spend the money locally where your odds of a sale are much better.

3. How Many of Your Clicks are for Your Own Name?

If you have a significant portion of your spend going toward searches for your name, you should be able to reallocate some of this.  Assuming that you have a Google My Business page with Google Posts (No Cost Per Click!), buying your own name starts to get a bit redundant.  Spend the money to get shoppers who wouldn’t have seen you otherwise.  After all, isn’t this the CPC dream that was sold in the first place?

4. Landing Page Performance

In Analytics, it is possible to view the User Flow for paid traffic to see how the landing pages perform. It is not uncommon to see 3 of the top 5 landing pages for your paid search campaigns with an abandon rate of over 80%.  This means that 80%+ of your paid clicks go to the destination page and do nothing (you have tracked conversions, right?), going no further in their journey.  This is the equivalent of an individual walking in the front door of your showroom and right out the side door.  Would you want to pay for that click or reallocate money away from that campaign?

5. Net New Users

Are your marketing efforts bringing new users to your site?  We are back to the paid search dream that was sold.  You want fresh users.  Look for 50% or more, but keep in mind a word of caution here though – too high a percentage (over 80%) can be a danger sign.

Fortunately, all of the items above can be easily reviewed for a quick health check of your marketing efforts.  Stop wasting money!

* Portions of content taken from PCG Training course on Google Analytics: https://www.pcgtraining.com/

Mike Paulson is the Strategic Accounts Director at Dealer eProcess. Mike joined DEP in 2017 to help dealers make the most of their online presence. Before joining DEP, Mike spent 9 years as a consultant, building business development centers from the ground up.

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