How One Car Dealership Increased CTR by 478% & Decreased Spend by 13%

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Car buyers spend up to 15 hours online researching, comparing, and learning, according to Google. And 70% of consumers researching cars turn to search engines first, according to a Kenshoo study.

 

With these stats in mind, Michael Strasburger, Marketing Director at a Colorado-based Honda and Hyundai dealership called Planet Automotive, knew that he had to improve his paid search results. Planet Automotive may be a medium-sized company, but Michael drives multiple responsibilities on a three-man marketing team. I’m talking everything from content generation, SEO, social media, promotional sponsorships, rep. management, and even media buys.

“I’m located in a metro area with dozens of car dealerships and seven same-make dealers,” Michael explained. Yikes! Wearing multiple hats in one of the most competitive industries in search is not an easy feat, which is why Michael turned to WordStream.

 

That’s Michael!

Luckily, with WordStream’s help, Michael was able to dramatically grow his CTR, reduce costs, and start tracking conversions. “In 2015 we increased CTR from 0.46% to 2.66%. My spend has decreased by 13%, and bounce rate has decreased by 8%,” says Michael. How does he do it? Here’s three tips to take away from Michael’s PPC successes.

#1: Complete Account Restructure

Michael learned that structuring your account well can make or break your AdWords performance. He worked with his WordStream Customer Success Specialist Navah Hopkins to give his account a complete overall. “She helped me grasp mechanically what needs to occur so Google sees value in my ads (in the eyes of the consumer),” says Michael.

Michael quickly realized that clumping together all his car models into one overstuffed campaign wasn’t working. “Thousands of keywords performing on their own individual level was creating dead weight.”

Now Michael’s account is built out to have a campaign for each car model with ad groups separating cars by their attributes (think new vs. old). “I can now commit a smaller budget size to each model and actually gauge its health.”

 

#2: Kicks off the Week with WordStream’s 20 Minute Work Week

As most advertisers know, having the perfect account structure does not secure results. Your AdWords needs continuous TLC in order to thrive and grow your business. Luckily, WordStream’s 20 Minute Work Week allows Michael to provide the care and optimization his account needs on a weekly basis.

This tool identifies areas for Michael to optimize to ensure he doesn’t waste money on non-converting searches, ads, and landing pages. “It has allowed me to have a clear line of sight and provides action items for my AdWords campaigns,” he says. “It also helps me cut through some clutter and see what’s slowing my money down.”

#3: Prioritizes High Quality Scores

Last, but not least, the growth in Michael’s account has a lot to do with honing in on one very important metric, Quality Score. For those of you unfamiliar, Quality Score is essentially the score of how much Google likes you. It’s calculated by factors such as CTR, user experience, and relevancy (of your keywords, ads, and landing pages). Also, the higher your Quality Score, the less you pay for higher positions on the SERPs (search engine results page). Sounds like a win, win, right? But, how do you optimize for higher Quality Scores?

   

“I remove keywords and ads with low quality scores,” says Michael. It’s that simple!

Michael has learned that Google prioritizes the searcher’s experience over all else, which is why Quality Score plays a big part into account performance for advertisers. “While I dump money into Google’s pockets, I am not their customer – the searcher is,” he says. “With Quality Score, Google rewards me if my ads are appealing and accurate, and penalizes me if mediocre.”

These three simple steps helped Michael get back in gear to PPC success.

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