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I was reminded of the changes happening with Ford Co-op and Ford Search Impression Share when we celebrated Rachel‘s birthday in the office. I also found out how much of an amazing baker Betsy is. (She made chocolate cake for the entire team. It was delicious.)
The changes being implemented by Ford place an emphasis on how your Co-op-approved Google AdWords campaigns perform against your competitors. Dealers are now required to maintain a Search Impression Share of 35% or higher.
So what does this mean for your automotive marketing strategy — and how do you make sure you get your fair Share?
What Is Search Impression Share?
Similar to Forrest Gump’s sentiment that “life is like a box of chocolates,” Search Impression Share is (in a more literal sense) like a birthday cake.
According to Google, Search Impression Share is “the impressions you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.”
This means that if there is a large cake that Betsy made, it is all technically available to me. Since I took only two pieces, my Cake Impression Share was probably around 15%. If I claimed half the cake as my own, my Cake Impression Share would be 50%.
It follows that Search Impression Share, like cake, is something you want a lot of. Especially if Betsy makes it.
Why Ford Search Impression Share Matters
I like to think I’m okay with change. Especially change that means well — like Ford Co-op right now. This focus on paid search coming from Ford further emphasizes the fact that digital automotive marketing is here to stay.
The fact that Ford is recognizing the amount of time customers spend researching purchases online before stepping into the dealership? That’s huge.
Below is a graphic illustrating recent Co-op changes. It serves as an even better illustration of how seriously Ford plans on taking paid search efforts like Google AdWords.
What Steps to Take
It’s time to really make sure you focus on smart Google AdWords efforts. 50% of your money needs to be going to paid search, so don’t waste it!
If you’re looking for help or have questions, reach out to us at 9 Clouds. We are readily available to help any dealership by doing a free digital audit.
Below is a snapshot of an AdWords dashboard — whoa, 88.79%? This client is killing it with their Ford Search Impression Share. Of the 100% available, they have a large majority of their keywords dominating the market!
Make sure to add this column to your operating dashboard to give you a quick glance at how you’re doing against your closest competitors.
What’s on the Horizon
Sometimes I feel like people get caught up on the next big thing. It’s what we call around the office “shiny object syndrome.” This can be dangerous for both marketers and dealerships, because smart marketing decisions are never based on feelings.
At 9 Clouds, we try to be as proactive, not reactive, as we can. When we caught wind of this change, we made sure to assess where our current Ford Co-op clients were, and we updated our marketing plans accordingly.
In fact, this change in focus from Ford helped us catch the fact that, in some cases, our Google AdWords campaigns were actually fighting against other third-party efforts our client had employed. Neither group knew we were bidding on the same words, so we were taking Search Impression Share from each other — not good.
Apparently, when we’re given additional benchmarks to hit, it isn’t always a negative.
Need Help with Your Ford Marketing Plan?
Get together with your digital marketing team, and create a plan of action that you can execute quarterly or at least biyearly. We know this is another Ford Co-op rule to keep track of, but if you add it to your existing plan, this Ford Search Impression Share thing isn’t all that bad!
9 Clouds is a team of marketers constantly cooking up new ideas to generate the best results for your dealership. Reach out to us about birthday cakes, Search Impression Share, or other marketing questions. We love all of it.