When you see a great paid search ad, it’s easy to imagine your sales are instantly going to pick up. What you might not consider is that the ad is only the first stop on the road to the sale.
The job of a PPC ad is to target the right people and entice them to click. After that, it has accomplished its mission. The next step involves the landing page. The job of this page is to create a sense of comfort in the consumer and reinforce the offer from the ad. This page is essential because it provides the chance to convert a shopper into a lead. Several factors contribute to the effectiveness of the landing page, such as merchandising, inventory, price point, and vehicle images. The call-to-action is what drives the customer onto the next phase of the sales journey and converts the lead. This usually consists of submitting a contact form. After the lead has been created, several other steps still remain in the process of actually selling the car but the dealership is moving in the direction of a good opportunity to do business with the customer.
It’s a misconception to view the ad as the most important piece of the sales funnel. When numbers are down, it’s easy to look at the ad or the campaign and assume it needs adjusting. However, the best way to address the problem is by examining each step along the way. If the PPC ad is receiving a high number of clicks, then it’s not the ad’s fault; it has done its job. Instead, we’ll look at where the conversion process starts to trail off, whether that be on the landing page, the contact form, or at the dealership. Looking at PPC from a holistic view lets us get to the root of why some advertising campaigns perform well, and others require improvement.
We estimate that there are anywhere from 10 to 15 steps that take place in between a customer’s initial interest and the purchase of a vehicle. Many of these factors are within our control, though some are left up to chance, such as weather that affects foot traffic, personal situations, and unexpected crises. Generally, the sales process can be controlled, and customers move easily through the funnel when there is a strong partnership between the dealership and advertising agency.
By providing services like custom PPC ads, landing page creation, website optimization, and mystery shops, Strong is able to ensure a steady flow of quality traffic that makes it easy for dealerships to convert prospects into customers.
Have you ever heard the expression “quid pro quo”? It’s a Latin phrase that essentially means “a favor for a favor.” The notion of reciprocity is engrained in our culture, and it should receive equal weight in your marketing strategy. When dealerships have a problem generating lead form submissions, the first thing we look at is what the dealer is offering in return for contact information. You are asking customers to give up personal details, so you have to provide something of value in exchange. Examples of good trade-offs include unlocking prices, making VIP appointments, or providing a downloadable guide.
John Paul Strong: As owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising, John Paul Strong brings more than two decades of advertising experience to the table. He is the author of Next Day Traffic and leader of 100+ employees servicing more than 230 clients across the country. In 2018, John Paul was listed in the Birmingham Business Journal's Top CEO Awards and 2013's Top 40 Under 40.