Google answers Strathcom Media’s questions for car dealers in Canada

Google answers Strathcom Media’s questions for car dealers in Canada

Duncan: “Hey guys, Duncan Cochrane over at Strathcom Media. Today and every day we want
to help you do better and kick ass online and a real special entry today.
We have James Freeland from Google here in the Strathcom offices in Edmonton, and uh,
James was kind enough to give us some of his time. What we’re going to do today is go
through some of the most frequently asked questions that we get about online advertising
with Google, so thanks for your time today James. Really excited to do this, and
I guess we’ll just dive right into these questions. First question that we get all the time is;
as a dealership, why should I pay for my own name when I rank 1st for it organically? So
why should I be buying my own dealerships name?”
James: “There are a couple of different things to consider, uh, the first thing is if you’re
ranking first organically, you’re still ranking below the advertisements that are going to
show up. So if, uh, one of your competitors is kind of running advertisements on your
brand, um, then they’re going to show up above your organic ranking. So um, tending to play
defense on your brand is something that’s really important to think about. The other
kind of piece to that is that um, if they were to continue advertising on your brand
name while you’re also advertising on it, they would
have to pay exhortative amount of money just to compete because they are going to be so
irrelevant to the query. Say you’re a Nissan dealership, right?
The guy down the street who owns a Toyota shop is running on Nissan, um, he’s going
to be so irrelevant to that query that it’s going to be impossible for him to compete
with you just because he’s not going to have the money to
do it. So I think that’s a really important thing to consider. I think that the other
thing is that there is actually a pretty significant uplift when you run advertisements and you
show up organically at the same time. So for a user, if they run something, if they run
a search on a Google and they see, you know, your Nissan
dealership is the number 1 organic ranking and right above it they see and advertisement
for the same thing, there’s kind of a subliminal message there, and there’s a really good kind
of uh, connotation between those things, and
we see uplifting clicks overall. So it’s not like your stealing clicks from
one thing or another, because there’s only one click on every single query, but you’re
actually giving uplift because you’re going to be taking
a lot of those clicks that might be going to other parts of the page and you’re putting
them right into your website.” Duncan: “Uh, second question that we have
for you is; why do I need Ad words if none of my competitors are doing any form of online
advertising?” James: “yeah, that’s uh, that’s a question
I have heard a lot, and I think it’s a really valid one. I think it’s born out of a very
old school idea of advertising, which is if I’m
the only game in town, why should I advertise, right?
If I’m the only Honda dealership in town, you know, why should I advertise? If someone
wants a Honda, they can only come to me. So I think it’s kind of uh, you know, it’s not
an incorrect way of thinking, I just think it’s
a little outdated. Um, I think the one thing you have to remember; once again, there’s
a couple things to keep in mind. The first is that
people generally search for a brand of car, Honda, Nissan etc. There’s a lot of people,
including myself that have a couple different brands in mind when they’re searching, right?
So what’s important to me are the features of the car, not necessarily the brand. So
i care about; can I fit my kid in it? She’s 2 1/2, got to be able to fit her into it.
Can I fit her stuff into it? And then, is it also economical,
right? I don’t really care about speed; I don’t really care about size. I care more
about gas mileage, safety, those kinds of things.
So…and I’m not really brand loyal. If those needs are met, I don’t really care if it’s
a Toyota, a Honda, a Nissan, Ford, as long as I get those things.
And I think that those buyers are out there, and they’re doing PPC. So, while you might
be the only Honda guy in town, there might be someone searching for a compact car that
has good safety features, and they might be putting
those queries into Google; and while they’re not searching for Honda, you have a car that
meets those needs and your missing out because the
Nissan dealership down the road is running on those terms.
So I think that’s one of the main things to keep in mind is that people don’t just search
for brands, they search for all kinds of stuff. I think the other thing to keep in mind is
that you need not necessarily just worry about
your guys down the street, so I think it’s important to keep an eye on them; but what
I think you need to do long term is just start thinking about the
online competitors. So you’re not just, nowadays you’re not just competing against the Nissan
dealer down the street if you’re a Honda dealership, you’re also competing against Kijiji, and
you’re competing against Auto trader, you’re competing
against, you know, countless other sites that are online only and they’re across Canada.
They work across the entire nation. So they’re going to show up in Kelowna, they’re
going to show up in Edmonton, they’re going to show up in these places because no one
else is showing up there. Why wouldn’t they show up
there, right? So you got to compete against them as well.
They’re going to be stealing a lot of your queries away, and often time, they’re going
to be stealing your queries away and then selling them
back to you as leads, right? So why wouldn’t you just cut out the middleman. The only way
they can sell cars is through you, so why don’t you just take out the middleman, advertise
for yourself, and get those leads directly.
You don’t have to pay Kijiji, you’re going to pay a lot less per lead, and you’re going
to be able to close that lead quicker.” Duncan: “A 3rd question that we have for you,
and this might be a bit different, but how does display or remarketing with Google differ
from banner ads with say, the local paper like the
Toronto Star, or the Edmonton Journal, or banners on kijiji, banners on the local radio
station website. How would display and remarketing with Google differ from that?”
James: “I think that there’s just a fundamental difference in how those things are bought
and sold. So, a lot of those banners, whether it be on a newspaper, or on a site like Kijiji,
those are bought and sold, um, for the inventory
just to show. You buy them just to show up. So you go onto the, the advertising guy from
the Edmonton Journal comes to you and says, “Hey, I’ll
give you the front page for $8500, or $3500, whatever it is, and you just pay just to show
up there. The performance of that could be awful. It could be good, probably isn’t, but
it could. It’s probably going to be awful, and you’re
not paying for that performance, you are only paying to be there.
But with Google, and with other online advertising solutions, you’re actually paying for performance.
You’re only paying when someone clicks on that banner and goes to your site.
You’re not paying to be there. Just showing your ad costs nothing, it’s free.
If no one ever clicked on your ad, then you would pay nothing. Hopefully they click on
your ad, right? But if no one ever clicks on it, you don’t pay anything. So I think
that’s the main way is just a fundamental difference in how it’s
bought and sold. What that means to the dealership is that you only pay for performance. So you
only pay for something that’s actually sending you
traffic, sending you leads, and is actually worthwhile. Whereas with newspapers and radio
and things like that, you don’t know. Often times it’s not going to work very well. So
um, and I think the other thing to keep in mind is with online
advertising with the display remarketing with Google, you can drill down on a very specific
person, right? So if you’re an Edmonton dealership and you’re advertising in the Edmonton Journal,
on the newspaper, that journal’s going to be read by teenagers, it’s going to be read
by people who already have a car and don’t really
want to buy another one. It’s going to be read by people who are just completely irrelevant,
completely not in the car buying process, and don’t want to be in the car buying process.
It’s going to be kind of wasted on that, right? That advertising is going to be wasted on
that, whereas with display remarketing with Google, you can drill down onto those people
who are just wanting to buy a car. We have ways to target
people who just want to buy a car, and as soon as they bought that car, they drop off
that list. So you don’t have to worry about people who
have already bought a car, or are not interested in buying a car because we’re not interested
in it, we don’t want you to show an ad to them.
So we’ll only show an ad to those people who are really interested in buying a car.”
Duncan: “Why is my click through rate lower on display advertising than say, paid search
advertising?” James: “I think that it’s natural, right?
It’s not just you, it’s everyone, um, and there’s a real reason for that. It’s because,
once again, there’s kind of a fundamental difference
between search and display advertising. With search, you’re talking about people who are
raising their hand. They’re saying, “Hey, I wanna buy a car.” They’re in…they’re on
Google, they’re saying Mercedes, or they’re saying Nissan,
or saying luxury car, or economical sedan. They are putting those queries in Google because
they’re basically saying, “Hey, I want a car.” Or they’re…it’s the basic equivalent of
them coming to your dealership, knocking on your door, and saying “Hey, let’s talk.” Right?
Um, whereas display advertising is, they’re not raising that hand. It’s more passive advertising,
right? Because they’re browsing content online, and they may be on YouTube looking
at an auto video. They might be, uh, you know, browsing an automotive blog. They might be
on a parts site, or a forum, or a blog, or something like that, that’s related to auto.
They are not necessarily in that moment, they’re
not in that buying mindset, right? They are not actively searching to buy a car.
So that’s why they are going to be clicking a lot less, because they’re not actively looking
for it, but it’s still really worthwhile because you can plant the seed and you can reach
people who might not be at that moment of thinking about buying a car, but it’s still
on their minds somewhere, right? Because once again, we are only targeting those people,
who are…who need a car.
So you might be able to get in their mind, and that way, when they do a search, they
might think of you, you know, better; and they also might click on your display ad to
see what you got; especially if you have a compelling advertisement. And I think, one
last thing, is I think that click through rates don’t really matter… uh, just because
you only pay for the click. So you don’t pay for the impression, you don’t
pay for anything other than an actual click. So the rate at which people click doesn’t
really matter, because you’re only paying when they do click. So I think that’s really
important to keep in mind. It can be a good, um…it can be
a good uh…signifier of how well you’re doing. You’re performance in terms of how, you know,
how you’re resonating with the audience, but in terms of what you pay, it doesn’t really
matter.” Duncan: “Our 5th question and one we’ll wrap
up with today. You know, traditional media, there’s a lot of spray and pray kind of tactics
in that media and with online advertising, we talk
about, you know, that real kind of laser beam focus, hyper targeting the car buyer, different
stages in the tunnel. So, how can I use Ad Words, and different forms of online advertising
to target a certain buyer persona, or a certain
buyer out there in the market?” James: “I think that…the way I always explain
it is because everyone is on Google… that means anyone is on Google. So because everyone
uses our services, that means we can pick out
individual buckets of people, Right? Not individual people, but we can find people who are interested
in very niche things. It could be…you know, it could be as niche, actually, as a brand
of car. You know there is a lot of, you know, Mercedes enthusiasts, or Lexus enthusiasts.
We actually have a user list of people that we know of that are interested in those things.
Based on their browsing history, based on what they’ve searched on, things like that.
So i think it’s important to realize that because everyone’s on Google, you can really
reach anyone. The ‘How’ of that is really simple. You just have to basically have to
think about where you are and what you sell, and that
will kind of drive how you advertise. So let’s say you’re a Lexus dealership in Edmonton.
So what you would want to do is you want to target only
Edmonton. Maybe some of the…obviously the surrounding area. But you wouldn’t want to
target Vancouver, because there are Mercedes dealerships much closer to them than in Edmonton.
So, you want to target Edmonton and surrounding area, um, and then you’d also want to target
umm… kind of what people are interested in. So I think if you’re a Lexus dealer, you’re
going to want to target someone who might be interested in different
things then let’s say, someone who would normally buy a Honda, right? So like I said earlier,
I like economical cars, I would probably steer more towards a Honda or a ford, or something
like that. But, there are a lot of people out there that prefer the luxury. That might
have the means to afford a luxury vehicle, and that
might be something that they’re passionate about.
You would want to target people who are interested in things like maybe finance, or you might
want to target a demographic that’s a little older that might have the means to afford
these things. There’s a lot of different ways you can think
about it. Or, if you don’t want to get too creative, you can just target people who are
interested in Lexus’, or luxury cars, or a luxury
car interest group, right? So you can target people who are just interested
in those things, and you don’t have to worry about the rest of them. You don’t have to
pay for the rest of them. you only pay for those
certain people that come to your site.” Duncan: “Excellent. No, I think it’s great
with online advertising that we can eliminate kind of the tradition spray and pray tactics.
I’m going to try this and hopefully it works, whereas,
you know with the new form of online advertising through Google, you can really hyper target
these guys and really make the most out of…uh, out of your online dollars, and your
advertising dollars.” James: “Yeah, I think you were say, Coca-Cola,
right? Spray and pray might work because who doesn’t drink soda? But, if you’re selling
a car, a particular kind of car, it’s not going to
appeal to everyone. I think it might appeal to a lot of people, but it doesn’t appeal
to everyone; and I think you need to be realistic about that and then target those people who
are just interested in your car.”
Duncan: “Absolutely great point. I think that we all wish we had the money that Coca-Cola
does, but we don’t. I just want to say a big thanks to James Freeland from Google for making
it out to Edmonton and helping us out at Strathcom.
We run online advertising campaigns for dealers coast to coast, and if you have questions
where you want some help with running your own
online advertising campaign, please feel free to give me a shout. We do work very closely
and directly with our friends at Google and we can, simply put, help you drive more leads
and more traffic to your website.
Thanks guys.” [end]

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