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Why We Avoided Automotive PPC... Until Now

When we started our company in 2013, we had learned from companies big and small that there's one universal lesson in business if you want to achieve greatness: stay focused. In the car business, we've seen so many different vendors expand to the point that they lost their identity. Even the tiny agencies seem to have six or seven products available. How can you be great at anything if you're spread so thin?

We focused on content marketing and let that be the focus of our search engine optimization and social media services. The backbone of any strong SEO/social program is content and it's something that we feel we do better than anyone in the industry. If we could keep our company focused on being the very best at those two things by focusing on the singular discipline of content on and off of a dealer's website, we knew we could maintain dominance for our clients.

Things have shifted in the last couple of months, at least in our mentality. We are definitely striving to continue to be the best at our core services, but we started exploring the possibility that strong content can also help with other arenas such as pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and other agency-style services that can center around content. The operative word in that last sentence is "can" because we are very well aware that nobody in the automotive industry is taking advantage of this fact. Content can be the focus point of many different advertising and marketing practices. Our goal became finding those components that we could apply our content expertise towards without taking away from our core.

We chose PPC as the first venue that we want to explore because it ties in so closely with our SEO services. A page built from a conversion perspective with proper SEO content at the core has the ability to also maintain a strong quality score from a pay-per-click perspective. It seems like the perfect marriage.

One might ask how we are well aware that nobody's doing it already. We've looked. Over the last three months, we've done an exhaustive study of the PPC companies that serve the automotive industry in an effort to find the right partner. The results were both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. It was discouraging because we realized that nobody was doing it the way that we envisioned. They are all following the standard playbook of bidding and keyword selection rather than building incredible landing pages that can make the PPC perform better. It was encouraging because we realized that if we can find the right partner that can take advantage of the pages we build within their PPC system, we can achieve the primary goal of our company from the start: delivering the best-in-class with everything we offer.

Over the coming weeks, we will be narrowing down our selections to find the right PPC delivery system. Building the right pages is the hard part and we have that covered. Now, we need to PPC provider that can take what we give them and drive the highest quality and volume of local car shoppers to them. We've seen presentations from over a dozen services so far and others are scheduled. If you're a vendor that offers PPC or a dealer that has a service worth recommending, please reach out to me.

The gap between good and bad PPC in the automotive industry is narrow, but with the right strategy we are certain that dealers can be differentiated in ways that they never knew were possible through paid search.

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