The latest Google update has implemented an important change that is affecting the way consumers interact with your advertisements. The ads displayed on the right side of Google search results are an important component of any car dealer’s online marketing strategy, but the latest update has eliminated this display for desktop searches. Here are some of the steps you can take to work around these changes and improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Invest More in Paid Media
Product Listing Ads and Knowledge Panel ads remain unchanged in the latest Google update. This means that ads at the top and bottom of the search results page will appear as usual. While this is a significant blow to many advertisers, the Google update still leaves plenty of room for strategic paid advertisers to flourish. According to an official statement from Google, the new layout and right-side ad placement elimination are geared towards improving the search user’s experience and making advertisements more effective.
In a sense, the Google update can be used as an advantage for search-savvy dealers. Fewer ad placements mean that existing placements will cost more, but brands willing to pay the extra cost will have optimized placement in search results. Highly commercial queries may receive an additional ad placement above organic search results, which gives advertisers even more to work with. Examples of a highly commercial query for the automotive industry include “Ford dealers in Austin,” and “car dealerships in Texas.”
Concentrate on Dealer vs. OEM keywords
One of the most important changes to make in response to the recent Google update is related to the use of Dealer and OEM keywords. While focusing on OEM keywords was once an effective strategy for dealers, Google’s focus is increasingly local. By targeting dealer keywords, you can build your authority as a local business and draw more local customers. Google’s algorithms assess advertisements on their relevance to the way consumers search. Competing for OEM keyword placement is expensive and not the most efficient use of your marketing budget. Dealer keywords target a smaller audience, but that audience is also primed to make a purchase.
When it comes to creating strong dealer brand keywords, include a mix of keywords with the actual city your dealership is located in as well as the surrounding areas many of your customers come from. Customers search for things like, “Plymouth Toyota dealer,” and “Truck dealer near Plymouth,” so it is important to understand search targets from the customer perspective.
Use Social Ads for Awareness
Social media advertising is typically less expensive than search advertising, so strategic dealers should boost their social media campaigns to compensate for search losses. Increasing your brand’s presence on social media goes a long way towards building your reputation in the local community as well. Giveaways, promotions and helpful articles are all key examples of content that will drive traffic to your website when shared effectively on social media.
Using these simple strategies will help your brand make the most of the Google update. From investing more in quality ads to fine-tuning your keyword techniques, there are a variety of ways you can drive more visitors to your website.