"Rev Up the Car Shopping Experience with Auto Ads"

by Marissa Marazzi on April 11, 2016

On March 30, Google announced it’s release of mobile Model Automotive Ads and Dealer Automotive Ads.


In the announcement Google explains, “The days of going from dealership to dealership are over. People now turn to their smartphones in critical auto shopping moments to research models, find deals, and get real-time advice.” We couldn’t agree more and that’s why we are so excited about this release that focuses on the main 5 micro-moments throughout the purchase journey online.

To build on that, Google also released data about how a single car consumer's buying process typically plays out over a three-month period:

  • 900 digital interactions to find info about leasing or buying a car
  • 71 percent of all interactions happened on mobile devices
  • 139 Google searches conducted
  • 14 auto-related YouTube videos watched
  • 14 car brands explored before deciding on two

Model Automotive Ads

Model Automotive Ads are a new mobile ad format for the OEMs in the automotive industry. They can be engaged by a user searching "Year, Make, Model" or "Make, Model" queries.

According to Google, “one in two auto searches related to make or model are now happening on smartphones.”

This format aims to:

1. Engage Shoppers in a mobile showroom.

2. Drive shopper to local dealerships.

Here’s what it looks like:

Model Automotive Ads

The Model Automotive Ads features include:

1. Ability to scroll and “view images of cars”.

2. Go to Official OEM Site.

3. “Offers” or “Build” selection.

4. Search for dealers.

As you can see these Model Automotive Ads anticipate customer needs by leveraging search queries by using "visually rich" ads which deliver stronger conversions then the typical text-based mobile ads. By swiping through the images of cars shoppers are curious about, it also allows for the brand to include additional information about each model such as MPG and advanced features.

So far these ads are still in beta and have only been released to "franchise and authorized dealerships" (i.e Toyota, Honda etc), but we would also like to highlight it’s impact on specific dealerships.

These ads include three buttons underneath the images: “official site”, “build” or “offers”, and “dealers”.
“Dealers” is the button that can be leveraged to a dealership’s advantage via AdWords. This is because, let’s say someone is looking to purchase a Honda Civic, so they type “Honda Civic” in Google search. This will land them to the Model Automotive Ad which they are able to click the “dealers” button. After clicking “dealers” it’ll will redirect them to a new search focused on dealership and location, called Dealer Automotive Ads.

Dealer Automotive Ads

Dealer Automotive Ads are a Brand and Location query search.

Dealer Automotive Ads

This search aims to provide the user with information on:

Local dealers, Directions, and a Number.

Like mentioned above, it is integrated with Model Automotive Ads.

Will this impact my dealership’s digital strategy?

Like mentioned before, Model Automotive Ads and Dealer Automotive Ads are brand new to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Simply put it is going to impact every dealership’s results due to directly influencing the consumer’s purchasing journey online. These automotive ads will positively impact dealerships if done correctly. Don’t worry, our team of experts compiled a list on our best practices to adapt and what to expect in regards to this newest SERP release.

Best practices on how to adapt and adjust via Google AdWords:

As of right now Google only let's OEM's make Model Automotive Ads (although we do anticipate them releasing this to dealership's, so stay tuned). Therefore, the “dealer” button in Model Automotive Ads which lead to Dealer Automotive Ads- is the key.

Like mentioned above, how a user lands to a Model Automotive Ad is by searching “Year, Make, Model” or “Make, Model”. This means that the customer already has interest in the specific product. By Google having the "dealers" button, it helps direct interested traffic to  local dealers.

Through beta Google has found superior results which include “30% higher click-through rate and increased website visitors from intent-based dealership queries by 40%”.

To be one of the dealers listed when the lead clicks the "dealers" button, here are the specific areas that need to be focused on in Google AdWords:

  • Google My Business- First things first, ensure Google My Business is enabled, which is a product by Google that allows business listings in Google Maps, so people can see your business when doing a local search. This is where location extensions, which displays business name, address, and phone number, can be managed.
  • Ad Extensions- Ensure Ad Extensions are enabled which will increase visibility because Google will interpret the ad as having more value. The specific extensions a car dealership should have added include: Location Extensions, Review Extensions, SiteLink Extensions, Callout Extensions, and Dynamic Structured Snippets.
  • Click to Call Campaign- Since this "dealers" button is redirecting traffic to a brand + location search, add a larger radius to a Click to Call Campaign or make a new one. What we did to specifically target Dealer Automotive Ads was make a new Click to Call Campaign. We put a 40 mile radius and used exact match keywords, like this: [toyota dealers].
  • Specific Trade Mark Authority- Include trade marks with the specific brand in Google AdWords ads are always a good choice.  In order to do this, you must get approval and have authority to use those terms. Otherwise the ad will get disapproved and you won't be showing up in search.
  • Keywords- Being cognizant that Dealer Automotive Ads are specifically +brand and +location keywords, ensure your campaign has those specific keywords. Therefore if you are a Honda dealer, make sure you have "honda dealers" and [honda dealers] within your keywords list.

Google is the biggest digital marketing mediums in the automotive industry, so it is very exciting seeing them add something specifically for automotive. If done right theses ads will enhance not only the consumers online journey but help direct more traffic to local dealerships. There's a lot of moving parts when it comes to a digital strategy so if you have any questions or would like us to build you a customized Google AdWords account, please feel free to reach out to us!


Topics: Automotive Digital Insights