How to Stop the Catfight of OEM Adwords Competition

How to Stop the Catfight of OEM Adwords Competition

Many car dealerships are now competing for the best keywords on Google. Thanks to new requirements and changes in Search Impression Share, dealers are catfighting for the biggest piece of the pie (AKA the coveted top ad position in search results).

If you have been advertising for a while on Google AdWords, you’ve probably seen an increase in the cost per click (CPC) of many keywords. So, why the cost hike?

Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Ford and Chrysler, are now mandating a portion of each marketing budget to be used online. More specifically, they’re mandating it to be used in paid search through their marketing agencies.

We’re going to give you insight on how to work with — not against — OEM-funded AdWords campaigns to make sure you get the best pick of the litter.

3 Ways to Work with Your OEM Paid Search

First off, we should mention that if you aren’t in the newest AdWords interface, you should try it out. Google has come out with some great updates that will help you improve your opportunities and watch your analytics.

Now, here are three key ways you can optimize your paid search strategy with (not against) your OEM-funded competitors.

1. Time

Time can be the easiest option for aligning paid search strategies.

If you have more money in one paid search bucket, we suggest you give that to a daytime schedule. Your smaller budget (usually what your co-op funds) can be spent during the late evening and into the early hours of the day.

Adwords time schedule

Ensuring you have campaigns running all 24 hours a day will allow you to never be “dark” with your advertising.

It also ensures you can keep both OEM and your own campaigns running if you are unsure what keywords, locations, and devices they are targeting.

2. Location

Targeting multiple cities? If you are stretched for your ad budgets but want to target another city close by, location settings can work in your favor.

Including and Excluding locations

Targeting different locations in the same time windows can offer larger impression numbers — without competing in the same area.

Just make sure you exclude the other areas outside of your location targeting, so there’s no competition.

3. Keywords

Keywords are probably one of the most-used tactics when working with an OEM-funded paid search campaign.

There are several ways you can organize your keywords to be the most effective:

  1. Target certain body style- or model-specific keywords with one campaign (such as “Chevy Equinox” or “Ford F-150″), and not target them in the other campaign.
  2. Target location-based or dealership-specific keywords with one campaign, and not target them in the other campaign.

A few OEMs are kind enough to send you a list of keywords they are including and excluding, so you can delete any keywords they are already targeting.

An effective strategy we’ve found with our clients is to let the OEM target new model keywords, while their store targets used keywords, service keywords, and dealership-specific keywords. 

Let’s Become Furr-iends in Auto Marketing!

It’s important to have great communication between both groups running your auto marketing AdWords campaigns.

This allows open conversation about what is or is not working for certain locations or times, as well as any changes you’ve made that may impact other search campaigns. No more paid search catfights!

Confused by all of the work that goes into paid search for auto dealers? We’re here to help!

With a dedicated search engine marketing team, we can work with any budget and make your auto marketing efforts a little (or a lot) easier.