AdWords for Your Dealership

Want to drive more traffic to your website and capture high quality leads? If so, you may want to consider using Google AdWords, a pay per click advertising platform, where you only pay when someone clicks your ad, which in most cases is a link to your company’s website or a very well designed landing page. Google AdWords works like an auction would; you, the business owner, would chose very specific search words that you believe customers would use when searching for companies or more specifically, a dealership like yours. You then assign a monetary value to each of those words and when the search is entered, the highest bidder’s website would appear ranked higher than the competition. The advantage of Google AdWords is that, unlike some traditional forms of advertising, you have a lot more control over budget, target audience and ROI. Check out the quick start guide below for more info.

Account setup

If you already have an account with Google, you can access Google AdWords using the same credentials. Alternatively, you can opt to create an account exclusively for AdWords.  Be prepared to have a payment method like a credit card handy to add to your account. Payments can be made either automatically or manually.

Establish your goal(s)

Determine what it is you want to accomplish with AdWords. For example, do you want to generate leads? Picking your goal early will help you later on when it comes time to creating your ad and configuring your account.

Pick you audience

Think about who you want to target. A good exercise is to develop “personas”. For example, females aged 38 – 48, have kids and most likely to research a vehicle on their phone. Creating personas or segments will allow your ad to be far more targeted and effective.

Keyword selection

The idea is to pick keywords that will attract a certain type of customer. The more specific your keywords are, the more likely you are to attract a very specific type of customer. For example, if you focus on the keywords “truck” as well as the “town/city” that your dealership is in, you will attract local traffic looking for a truck.  Google provides some tips on selecting keywords here.


Once you are happy with your keyword selection, the next step is to bid on your selected keywords. If you are on a tighter budget you may want to start with a lower bid or focus on niche keywords. Don’t let a small budget deter you.  Start slow and increase your budget when you start to get comfortable.

Create your ad

When creating your ad, think back to your goal(s) and the personas that you created. Create the messaging as if you are speaking directly to this group. Focus on your headline and a strong call to action. Also take advantage of using emotion to capture attention and spur action.

Create a landing page

You want to make sure that when someone clicks your ad, they are being taken to a page that gives them clear and detailed information. Use high quality images a ton similar to your ad. You also want to make sure your landing page is optimized for your goal. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you want to make sure that you have a form where people can request a price or more info. Learn more about optimizing forms here.

A/B Testing

Always challenge your results by creating alternate ads. Something as simple as changing your headline or call to action can have a dramatic impact on your results. Keep the stronger of the two ads and then challenge that ad with a new version the next month.


The great thing about Google AdWords is that is scalable. If you want to get really fancy and spend a lot of money, you can do that!  But, on the flip side, if you are hesitant about jumping into digital advertising, you can get started with a budget as small as one dollar a day. Now put on your advertising hat and get started!

How to Optimize the Forms on Your Website

You likely spend a lot of time, effort and money driving people to your dealership’s website in the effort to convert them from browsers to customers. Engagement however, often starts with them filling out a form which for many potential customers, is annoying and cumbersome.  Our advice – make sure that the forms on your website are optimized for lead generation.

Make them attractive

Try changing the colour of your forms. Use blue, green and orange to inspire trust or to motivate. Also focus on positioning your forms where they will be seen. Don’t hide them in the corner but place them where they are easily seen.

Form fields

More is less. How often have you opened a form only to close it because there were just too many fields to fill out?  Your customers will react no differently.  Try to collect only the information that you absolutely need. For example, if you want to sign people up for a newsletter, you really only need their email.  For longer forms like credit apps, you will need to use more fields, but still, only ask for what you really need to process the app.

Conditional logic

Using this neat feature in your forms will allow customers to skip out on questions that are not relevant to them. For example, if someone answers “no” to a given question on the form, other non-relevant fields will automatically disappear.  This feature is great for surveys as well.

Abandoned forms

The reality is some forms get abandoned. Always make sure to review these partially submitted forms to gain insight into what stage the form is typically being abandoned. You might discover that one of your fields is creating a roadblock to completion so it’s best to review and revise.

AB Testing

Try making at least two versions of the same form and then compare the submissions that each one generates. One will generally reap better results, so keep that one from that pair and repeat this process again when you want to improve further.  A B testing is common practice when you want to see which of two possible options will procure better results.

Forms can be a pain, but they don’t have to be. Follow these simple guidelines and you will be well on your way to turning your forms into serious lead generating machines!

For more on this topic, check out “Six Building Blocks of a High-Converting Lead Generation Form” by Ashley Walsh – MarketingProfs