How Searching for Your Keywords Helps Monitor Your SEM

Many dealers rely on vendors to manage their paid search. If you’re one of them, it’s important to understand how the ads perform, including they fare against your competition. Beyond clicks or average costs, how do you know your ads are working?

You’ll encounter agencies that deliver data filtered through proprietary or third-party platforms — not true Google Analytics data.

That’s why you’ll want to verify that your paid search agency is doing its job by searching for your own keywords.

Google Your Keywords. Look Over the Ads in SERPs.

Open a tab.

Search for one of your keywords and a modifier like “near me” or [city, state] or the make and model (e.g., Ford Focus near me; 2018 Ford Focus Apex NC).

If your ads aren’t delivered as a top result in SERPs, don’t panic. Your agency may have put more budget or emphasis on other keywords. If you feel that’s a mistake, contact your agency to let them know, but understand that they may have data that proves the keyword is not worth buying — so be open to a dialogue.

The agency may have other practical reasons for different keywords not ranking:

  • The total budget has been used.
  • The daily budget stops each night by 7 p.m.
  • The Ad Rank may be too low.
  • The Quality Score may be too low.

Always keep in mind that not appearing for a search isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You do need to be ready for an open, honest talk with your agency by asking the right questions.

However, there are exceptions: Your high-priority keywords.

Know What Your High-Priority Keywords Are for Paid Search

Your agency should determine and communicate what your high-priority keywords are, including why they were chosen. These keywords should represent your most important business objectives so that you’ll aim for a consistently high impression share.

If you’re a Ford dealer, it wouldn’t be good if you ranked third for F-150 searches.

Your agency should work diligently to ensure you rank well for high-priority, high-intent keywords with strong search volume. If your impression share for these is unsatisfactory, you should ask your agency what it’s process is to improve it.

Remember this: Higher positions = More extensions = More SERPs real estate you take up.

Other Benefits of Googling Your Keywords

You can see your competitors’ priorities:

  • Lease offers
  • Refunds
  • Interest rate deals
  • New or used
  • Sales event offers

If they have an impressive lease offer, you may want to see how you can match it. If they have competitive rates, you may want to emphasize your own if they are as good or better.

Reunion Bonus Tip 1: Use Bright Local, no matter where you are, to enter search queries and see your ads.

Reunion Bonus Tip 2: Use those queries on Bing, which owns 25% of the desktop market share. If your competitors are there and you’re not, they’re nabbing 25% of your searches.

What are your thoughts about these strategies?

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