Since Google Ads (formerly called Adwords) launched, the average position metric has been a key performance indicator for many marketers. If you produce or receive Google Ads reports, then you’ve probably seen this metric.
But, come September 30, Google Ads is sunsetting the metric. Since it’s one of the oldest and most popular metrics among users, we thought we’d brief you on the update. Here’s everything you need to know about the change:
At the head of the search results, a very small number of keywords— the top 100 or 500—have monthly search volumes in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Those are searches like “Honda Civic” or “Ford truck.” They’re very high volume, they’re easy to identify, and they’re fairly short: 1 or 2 words, generally.
In contrast, long tail keywords are searched much less frequently: single digits per month, in many cases. And, instead of a few hundred terms, you’re looking at millions of different keywords, mostly longer, more complex searches. So why should you care about them at all?
The long tail isn’t just about volume: it’s about value. What you find in the long tail are buyers who know what they want and are closer to taking action. This concept dominates search, both organic and paid, with long tail keywords making up over 70% of search traffic.
The number of keyword combinations you should be using in your paid search strategy can add up quickly. For example, there are over 50,000 potential keywords you can bid on if your dealership wants to market and inventory of 20 make/model combinations from 10 model years in 10 different colors with 5 different trim levels across 5 local metro areas.
At this scale, you can’t choose keywords one by one. Luckily, today’s algorithmic paid search tools solve these problems through a combination of smart decision-making and extensive data.
The auto industry has seen substantial growth of digital ad spend in the last few years, and the growth isn’t predicted to slow down. The auto industry as a whole grew online ad spend by 77% since 2016 and is projected to reach almost $22B by 2022. And of the industry’s digital spend, 43% is in paid search—a total of $5.8B.*
The combination of spend per dealer and the large number of dealerships means that only the retail industry spends more on search ads than automotive. The reason for this spend is simple: digital ads drive more sales and cost less. According to DealerSocket, the average profit margin for sold vehicles that were advertised on digital channels exceeds that of sales driven by conventional media by over $800.
It’s clear that paid search is becoming more important than ever, so let’s take a quick look at five key components of a successful paid search campaign.
When shoppers decide they’re in the market for a product or service—or they’re generally curious about something—they head to a search engine like Google for information. In fact, billions of Google searches happen every day. Think about how many of those are car searches—or, chances for your dealership to attract potential customers to your site.
While you can rely on search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help you increase the ranking of your site without spending money, changing algorithms and ranking criteria make it hard to maintain your position in search results. So how else can you promote your dealership and drive new visitors to your site? Through the use of search engine marketing, or paid search as it’s commonly called.
In this Dealer Marketing Magazine article, CarGurus VP of Product Management Andrew Grochal outlines several of the key areas that can cause trouble for dealers trying to run their own campaigns. Check it out:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has become an increasingly effective way for dealers to connect with in-market shoppers. In fact, over 80% of dealers are now investing in SEM, according to a CarGurus study. However, if you manage an SEM ad campaign you know that simply upping your budget isn’t enough. You also need to take the time to measure and analyze your campaign’s performance so you can optimize and refine your marketing accordingly.
An efficient search engine marketing campaign can help you get your business in front of lots of potential customers who are already searching for your products. With so much at stake, it’s crucial that you optimize your SEM for success.
Whether you’re just getting started with SEM or you’ve been running campaigns for awhile, knowing what not to do can be just as valuable as knowing what works. We’ve identified five common mistakes to avoid.