How to Win in Automotive Paid Search 🏆

Every day our paid search team works hard to compete for our dealers in the battleground of Google SERPs (search engine results pages), but once a year that competition is taken to an international stage for the annual Google Premier Partner Awards. Digital agencies from across the globe show Google the innovations (and results) they’ve made on behalf of their clients for right to be named the GOOGLE MOBILE INNOVATION AWARD WINNER.

Last year, we won.

This year, we’re in the Finals against six other agencies* — with the winner to be named in October!

📣Shout out to Dealer Teamwork for making the Finals and representing the automotive industry with us!


We’re a determined bunch that love some friendly competition, so we’re pretty fired up about being in the Finals, but this blog isn’t just about how we’re building a paid search championship dynasty the likes of which only the 90’s Chicago Bulls can compare — it’s about showing you what Google is valuing, and what’s getting results, so you can replicate this success at your dealership!

Rooted in marketing, we build technology that connects and converts it.

Both years we have received this honor for building mobile optimized campaigns that draw in shoppers from Google and convert them on dealer websites with meaningful, connected experiences. Being highlighted the past two years shows that Google puts tremendous value on the full consumer experience and how it connects to the initial ad campaign — because a click is only a click if it doesn’t lead to a sale.

Building connected digital experiences is what our team is all about. In 2011 we started out (yep, in a basement) as a marketing company providing services to increase quality traffic to our dealer partner websites. Over the next few years we became a marketing + technology company because we knew our campaigns could only be at their most effective (and transparently attributed) if they were connected to state-of-the-art website, messaging, and digital retailing platforms. So we built those.

Connected marketing is the name of the game and we’re here to win it with you!


Optimizing your campaigns to show up and convert on mobile is more important than ever, and our team built a creative way to move shoppers from first impression to conversion in seconds: connecting Cox Chevy’s paid search campaigns to Conversations℠, our messaging platform with A.I.

By using the click-to-text extension in Google Ads, shoppers could instantly begin a SMS text thread with the dealership that, on their end, conveniently routed into the Conversations℠ platform for an instant response from Ana Bot A.I. The campaigns increased Cox Chevrolet’s paid search leads by 32%, and decreased their cost per lead by 24%. Boom.



The success of Conversations℠ converting those campaigns was made possible by our paid search team optimizing for mobile and then expertly monitoring and tweaking strategy on an ongoing basis. Here’s some tips from our team on how to optimize for mobile:

  1. Leverage mobile bid modifiers to secure top positions.
  2. Enable location extensions for “dealer nearby” ad format.
  3. Enable extensions for click-to-text and click-to-call
  4. Use location bid adjustments to reach nearby customers
  5. Write enticing ad copy with clear CTAs 
  6. Build mobile-friendly, fast-loading landing pages.

If you want to learn more about optimizing for mobile, just chat us using Conversations℠ on the bottom of this screen (Chat With Us)!


Our clients need to be selling and servicing cars on their lot every single day, so we’re far from satisfied with good results on one single campaign. We try to push the limits of those results further every day, and that’s why we’re back in contention for the 2018 Google Mobile Innovation Award!

For our entry into this year’s awards, we created a case study for Toyota of North Miami to demonstrate how connecting mobile paid search ads with Online Shopper℠, our real-time digital retailing platform, can significantly increase leads and sales.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A shopper clicks on a Google Ad (that includes digital retailing and home delivery as USPs)
  2. They land on Toyota of North Miami’s inventory, which displays creative banners with more information about the benefits of Online Shopper℠ (exploring real, customizable payment offers from home and saving tons of time)
  3. From there, Online Shopper℠ seamlessly collects the customer’s lead information in real-time with a series of quick and easy questions on the way to customizing their deal

We set up cross-domain Analytics conversion tracking for these Online Shopper℠ leads and imported them into AdWords to track form submissions from search campaigns. The results are staggering: over a period of 99 days, we saw a 17% increase in total PPC lead submissions and a 18% increase in lead submission conversion rate, with only a 7% fluctuation in spend.

Overall, across all marketing channels, average monthly sales for Toyota of North Miami were up 80% during the case study period. Eighty Freaking Percent!

This again shows how we connect consumers with your dealership and provide them with a meaningful experience to drive more leads, more deals, and more sales.


The team working on the next big thing 🙂

Both of these mobile paid search strategies were a direct response to a stat that Google published in their Dealer Guide Book stating that 74% of car buyers do not submit leads online before purchasing.

Our paid search team, ever obsessed with mobile optimization, set out to prove that wrong by creating an unprecedented consumer experience to show the direct impact that both Online Shopper℠ and Conversations℠ can have on customers brought in by Google Ads.

Fingers crossed that Google finds these results worthy of winning the 2018 Mobile Innovation Award. Nothing would make us more proud to repeat as champions, because it’s a reflection of the magic that can happen when there’s a real partnership with innovative dealers. Fist bumps all around to the teams at Cox Chevy and Toyota of North Miami!

If you’re interested in a partnership like that, just chat us below or schedule a demo to see all the technologies and marketing services we can connect for your dealership and consumers.

Jason Stum
As the Director of Content Marketing at CARS, Jason draws from his hands-on dealership experience in Sales, Business Development, and Digital Marketing to lead a team in crafting actionable and insightful content for car dealers.

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