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Get More Auto Leads with Paid Advertising

by Lindsey - Posted 5 months ago


Optimizing your auto dealership website for organic traffic is important. Organic traffic means visitors to your website that you don’t have to pay to be there. 

Investing the time and money into your dealership website software up front will pay off in the long run. Your traffic will continue to grow without additional investment. That is why we’ve spent so much time building our website software with a focus on organic SEO. We know how important this is to our clients, and ranking on the first page of Google for local search results is a top priority for us.

But what if you want an even greater edge over the competition? Perhaps you’re looking for more leads for your salespeople, or want to target a specific demographic or sub audience.

Paid digital advertising is a great way to boost your leads for a temporary period or reach a new audience.

Google Ads is a top paid advertising choice for many businesses. But there are alternatives, including Facebook Ads and other social networks, other search engines such as Bing, and niche websites to reach specific audiences (such as advertising pickup trucks on a power tools website).

Today, I’m going to talk about some best practices to keep in mind wherever you’re choosing to advertise. 

3 Steps to getting more leads for your dealership using PPC

Step 1: Target the right audience

The more specific you can be with your audience, the better conversion rates you will have. It might seem like a good idea to cast a wide net by choosing an audience for your ads that is broad. However, what you are more likely to end up with is a campaign that runs through your budget quickly, with lower conversion rates, resulting in few leads.

A small, highly targeted audience will increase your conversion rates and get you more for your money.

Choose the right keywords

If you’re running a PPC campaign, choosing good keywords is the “key” to finding your target audience. 

Local keywords.

Local key terms are obviously a priority for auto dealerships, since your audience will want to come in to test drive or see your inventory after they’ve researched you online. Even if you’re using our VirtualDealer solution which allows car buyers to go through the entire process online, most used car dealerships don’t want to deliver a vehicle across the country.

Long-tailed keywords.

Another good strategy to remember is to select long-tail keywords, or specific key words. For example, a key term might be “trucks”, while a better long tail key term might be “diesel extended cab pickup trucks Houston tx”.

Like I mentioned above, casting a wide net may seem like a good idea to reach a large audience, but bigger isn’t always better. More people might be looking for pickup trucks, but if someone knows they want a diesel extended cab pickup truck near Houston, Texas, they are probably more likely to buy, and you will be able to show them exactly what they are looking for.

Finding a small audience that is highly motivated to buy and is looking for exactly what you are selling is going to result in better leads and ultimately more sales.

This strategy will also help your budget stretch further, since you won’t be paying for impressions or clicks from people that really aren’t your target audience.
Long tail keywords will often have lower competition and so your bid price for those terms will also be lower.

Step 2: Create an Appealing Ad

What makes a great Ad?

Obviously, you need to consider where your ad is going to appear. Will it be a display ad with visual elements? Will it be a purely text ad with a link? 

Use Emotion

Emotion is the biggest motivator in generating sales. 

Recent studies have shown that FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, has become an increasingly strong motivator for people to buy. If you’re using display ads, consider showing your vehicle being used in a fun or profitable way so potential buyers don’t want to miss out.

For text ads, consider including a short testimonial with the same message – “My new electric vehicle makes me the envy of my neighbors!” “All my coworkers asked where I got my diesel extended cab work truck”, etc.

Ads that include reviews or testimonials often have higher conversion rates, since they build trust and can also make an emotional connection with your potential customer.
Even asking a question to incite an emotional response – “Isn’t it your turn for a new car?” – can help to increase clicks.

Consider your audience, and create an ad that will appeal to them on an emotional level.

Consider Remarketing

When people start the search for a vehicle, the Internet can provide so many options. How do you avoid your dealership being forgotten or lost in the shuffle? 

Remarketing is a powerful way to remind car buyer of the vehicle they want, and keep your dealership top-of-mind. 

Remarketing identifies a potential customer that is interested in your inventory, and continues to show them your ads as they hang out online. Remarketing has higher conversion rates than other forms of paid advertising, often because familiarity breeds trust, and the consumer has been primed to convert.

Step 3:  Send traffic to a conversion-optimized landing page


A conversion optimized landing page is a web page designed specifically to encourage visitors to take action. For your auto dealership, it is designed to get the visitor to contact your dealership about a vehicle. This could be a specific landing page for a sale event or vehicle, or you could use your vehicle listing page as a landing page.

How can you increase the conversion rate of your landing page?

CTA is the focal point

The Call to Action is the form or button on your landing page that visitors use to get in touch with your dealership to request more info about a vehicle, or ask you other questions.

The CTA should be the first thing visitors notice when they land on the page. By making it stand out using contrasting colors and putting in a central place on the page, your visitors are more likely to take action.

Call to action vehicle listing page


Make it easy to take action

In today’s fast-paced world, people want instant gratification. They often don’t want to wait for an answer to their question. Consider including an instant messaging or chat option to let your customers immediately get a response from your sales staff.

The important thing to keep in mind, that while this might keep your consumers happy, if you are unable to have staff monitor the chat and respond instantly, it may cause more harm that good. In addition to messaging options, there are also chat bots that can answer basic questions.

Remove distractions

Your website should include many pages, a blog, and other information to help potential buyers learn about your dealership, contact you, and easily browse your vehicle inventory. More pages, including individual vehicle listing pages, help with search optimization (SEO).

Your landing page should look very different. There should be no navigation, no blog, nothing to distract them from taking the action you want them to take.

You can send them to a vehicle listing page, or even have a specific landing page designed for each campaign to really get the most for your money.

As you can see from our IPayAuto landing page, it is short, simple, and only includes the most basic of information. The entire page is designed around the call to action, and relating the benefits for BHPH auto dealers in choosing to use IPayAuto for their dealerships.

iPayAuto Landing Page Example


Focus on emotion

Like the ad, you need your landing page to make an emotional connection with your potential car buyers. They need to know they are in the right place, feel like they can trust your brand, and be motivated to take action because of fear of missing out (on a sale or the great experience other people are having after buying a vehicle). 

Use the same concept from your ad in your landing page. Landing pages that are “foreshadowed” by the language in the ad are more likely to convert. For example, if you used text in your ad like “Isn’t it your turn for a new car?” you might want to have the header of your landing page be “Finally, the car you deserve.”

Consumers like the continuity of an ad and landing page, immediately letting them know they’re in the right place.

Test, Test, Test

The most important part of optimizing for conversions? Reviewing your reports, making minor changes, and testing what works and what doesn’t.

Not getting the conversion rate you want? Try changing the button text or color to grab more attention. Too few click-thorughs on your ad? Change the text – you might not be making that emotional connection with your audience. (And don’t forget to mirror that change on your landing page to give your potential car buyers the continuity they need to feel comfortable.)

Don’t be afraid to try something different. Just because no one is doing it, it doesn’t mean it can’t succeed for your auto dealership. 


We do more than just sell search-optimized websites! Ask us how we can help drive more traffic to your website, and convert more visitors into sales!