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Paid Search & Optimal SERP Positioning

on February 3, 2016

There are many types of campaigns that make up a pay per click advertising strategy. The 3 basic campaign types that L2TMedia Paid Search Specialists and I run for dealers are Branded, Regional and New Car. As these campaigns have different goals and attributes, they will have ideal SERP positioning. Most people believe having every campaign sit in the first position, with every possible ad extension showing, is the best route and will capture larger leads. In reality, however, we have to contend with budget constraints, OEM positioning and the fact that not all traffic is going to convert to a lead. With this in mind, here’s where each type of campaign should be positioned to obtain the maximum return on investment:

Branded Campaigns consist of terms that are directly related your dealership name. These campaigns have the highest conversions to leads, as searchers are looking directly for you. Branded Campaigns can and should be in the 1st position on any SERP. As traffic goes, branded traffic is fairly inexpensive. CPCs will be low because of the high relevance and quality scores of the keywords. Quality score and relevancy are supported by your website copy and meta data. For these reasons, it is easy to obtain and maintain the top position for these keywords. Competitors will target these terms as well but will have to pay more money to show for them. They do not have the benefits of heightened relevance and quality.

Regional Campaigns are very important to the buying funnel. Unlike Branded Campaigns, getting to position 1 is harder to do and may not be congruent with your goals with Regional Campaigns. If budget allows, these campaigns should be in the top 2 positions at an average position of 1.5 or 1.9. This does not mean that your ad will always be in the top spot but it will populate frequently, allowing for optimal visibility. Falling below-the-fold decreases the likelihood that your ad will be seen and clicked on.

New Car Campaigns are high cost, and don’t always have the highest conversion rate. The searcher’s intent when looking for a new car could be looking just for that model or for a dealership and the search terms reflect these differing intents. As with the previous two campaign types, I would still recommend being in the top positions. The biggest competitor for these spots will be your competitors and the OEM. The OEM has an almost unlimited budget and will always show for every search. It is best to consolidate your budget on your focus models and then be aggressive. Aim for the top two spots, so that you are either above or below the OEM in any given auction.

Conventional search marketing wisdom used to pitch position 2 as the best, noting that searchers were more likely to click on the second ad and not the first. However, the automotive digital landscape has become incredibly competitive, and any ad campaign should reflect this. The Paid Search Specialists at L2TMedia understand these theories and work to ensure that your campaigns obtain the best ROI with traffic and leads.

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Paid Search & Optimal SERP Positioning