Google Ads
Feb 3, 2020

Common Bottlenecks for Small-Town Car Dealership Google Ads Campaigns

Running a small-town dealership is tough, and running successful Google ads for your small-town dealership is equally difficult. Your dealership’s brand, F&I capabilities, budget, and location all have a much larger effect on your campaigns’ performance than they would if your dealership was in a larger city.  

Common Small-Town PPC Bottlenecks

-      Your dealership isn’t off of a major highway,which makes it difficult to pull customers from neighboring cities

-      You have a poor local brand-image

-      Your monthly media budget is small in comparison to your big-city counterparts

-      You can’t serve very many subprime customers


Your dealership isn’t off a main highway

If your dealership isn’t off a major highway, it can seem impossible to attract customers from neighboring cities. However, this is a perfect example of a perceived weakness actually being a strength. We’ve found that many customers in large cities are apprehensive of big-city dealers because they’re known for having a “Sell at all costs” mentality. Use your inconvenient location to your advantage! Use phrases like “Avoid the big-city runaround,” or“We don’t have the largest inventory, but we make up for it with customer service.”

Being self-deprecating and announcing your weaknesses may seem crazy, but it actually sets you apart from other dealerships and catches the eye of searchers on Google.


You have a poor brand image

In small towns, it takes years to develop a great reputation-- and only one bad car deal to ruin it. If you’re suffering from a low click-through-rate (CTR) or poor ad engagement, one possible cause could be your brand image. Regardless of whether your public opinion is deserved, there are many things you can do to increase your ad performance at minimal cost.

Implementing a review-collection program like’s automotive solution will enable you to display your dealership’s rating right below your website in search results. This can increase your CTR by as much as 47%, in our experience. You’ll have to reference Google’s how-to article to get details on how to perform the technical integration, but your website provider should be able to help. Alternatively, if you don’t want to do the heavy lifting, you can schedule a demo with one of our Google Ads specialists.


Your monthly media budget is small

Running ads with a limited budget is a truly difficult task.You’re constantly having to tweak your campaigns’ budgets, pause keywords, and turnoff campaigns. We’ve compiled a few tips for cutting costs and increasing conversions at the same time.

Use audience targeting

Are your search campaigns spending too much and not converting? Try implementing an in-market audience targeting strategy. If you target your search campaigns to only show to people who are already in-market for vehicles, you can reduce your wasted spend because the people that are clicking on your ads are already quite-a-ways down the funnel.


Reduce the number of your campaigns and use a high daily budget

This may seem counterintuitive, but one reason that your campaigns may be underperforming is because your daily budgets are too low. We recommend turning off campaigns that aren’t your bread-winners and rerouting that spend toyour high-performing ones. If your daily budgets are still too low, consider spending-through your budget early in the month. This allows you to allocate a higher daily budget to your campaigns, while still remaining under-budget for the month.


You can’t serve subprime customers

If you’re getting a lot of subprime leads, consider implementing demographic bid adjustments. By increasing your bid for high earners at auctiontime, you’re going to start receiving more qualified leads. Additionally, if you want fewer subprime leads, consider modifying your ad copy to speak less about financing, payments, and interest rates.


In conclusion

Implementing these small-town dealership strategies will help you increase your return. If you’re overwhelmed, don’t worry! We have a Google Ads team of highly-trained small-town marketers. Schedule a demo today!

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