Top PPC Mistakes Dealers Make - Automotive Advertising | Graham Oleson

Top PPC Mistakes Dealers Make


From dealers to manufactures, paid search ads are used to capture the attention of people online looking for their next vehicle. So whether you have years of experience or just starting out in paid search it never hurts to understand common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Ignoring AdWords in-account notifications

Those little sometimes annoying notifications in AdWords are actually there to help. It might seem like the easy thing to do is ignore these call outs, but you could be missing some really important news about your account.

Some of the notifications you may be missing out on are related to alerts to:

  • Potential problems with your ad delivery or campaign set up
  • Announcements of new AdWords features
  • Updates and opportunities to help improve your campaigns’ performance

So the next time you see a notification, make sure you check it out! You’ll be glad you did.

Notification Bar

Notification Bar

Not considering Bing in your paid search strategy

For advertisers, Bing can be an untapped resource. Currently, Bing accounts for 33% of US search market share, with over 5 Billion monthly searches. According to Bing in 2017, there were 72 million automotive searches of those searches, 40% lead to paid clicks.

Bing users also tend to skew older (45 – 65+) and have higher household incomes. Because Bing accounts for less market share than Google, you’ll likely have less competition. This can lead to lower cost per clicks, and lower traffic overall.

Setting up a Bing campaign is pretty simple as it allows you to import your AdWords campaign structure and bids directly into Bing.

Bing Automotive Data

Figure 1: (

Not setting and tracking your goals

Goals, goals, goals! Goals are our top priority when creating and implementing a new campaign. By creating a set of goals you’d like to accomplish with your paid search efforts, you set yourself up for success. One of the biggest mistakes that can waste a lot of money is setting up paid search with no particular goals in mind.

When creating your paid search goals, it’s best to use SMART goal setting:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Based

To get you off in the right direction, some go to goals for paid search include driving website traffic, calls and website form fills.

Not analyzing performance by network

By default, AdWords will select search partners as a part of your network settings. If you’re not familiar with what Google Search Partners are, it’s an additional collection of search engines and web pages. Google’s search partners, include search engines like, and many others. Depending on your paid search strategy, search partners can be a great resource for added visibility.

Our recommendation is to allow search partners to run if you see a decency in your paid traffic. To access the performance analytics, simply click on Segment > Network (with search partners).












This list of opportunities is only the tip of the paid search iceberg. With the platforms and strategies changing almost daily, it’s easy to see how details can be overlooked or ignored. Interested in having us review or manage your Paid Search campaign? Contact us today to learn how we can help you improve performance by creating compelling advertising that sells cars!