Episode 8 – How to Use Google Ads to Drive More Sales to Your Boat Dealership
Google ads can give your business the visibility it needs to generate more leads and drive more traffic to your website. We go into details about the different types of ads and what you need to set up your ads campaigns.
In this episode, Harry Casimir, CEO of Atilus and Boat Marketing Pros will be joined by Sydney Fahrenbruch, Digital Marketing Manager at Atilus and Boat Marketing Pros to explain the different types of Google ads and their purpose. Read the transcript below. Translated by https://otter.ai
Hey guys, it’s me again, Harry Casimir with Boat Marketing Podcast. And today we have Sydney with us from Atilus and Boat Marketing Pros. She is the digital marketing manager here. And we’re going to go over how to utilize Google advertising to drive sales to your dealership.
So, without further due, let’s get right into it. Sydney. I know this is something you’ve been working on for a long time and the digital space. So, tell us what are the things that you’re going to talk about with us today.
Today, I’m basically going to give a little bit of an overview of how you can use Google ads and how you can use the PPC (pay-per-click) ads through Google to drive boat sales and to drive more traffic to your website and get more leads. This is one of the most popular forms of advertising when it comes to digital marketing and it really is because you can see results really fast when you are using this if you set things up the right way.
So, when you talk about ads, obviously, Google is not in the traditional ad space. And when I say traditional ad space, we’re looking at billboards, we’re looking at big banners. All over the place. We’re talking about digital ads. So, what are some of the digital ads, as boat dealers or rental clubs, that one should look at to drive traffic or drive leads to the dealership? What are those types of ads?
Yes. Advertising online through Google is definitely different from traditional advertising. When you think of billboards or things in print, or things like that, it’s all online. It all goes through Google’s advertising network.
So there are quite a few different forms of advertising you can do. For today, I’m just going to talk about three that I would consider them the three biggest ones, or the three main ones that I think apply or can be used in the boating industry. There is also video advertising, which goes through YouTube, which is through the Google network. I’m not going to talk about that today. But that’s another really good one that can be used in the boating industry. And maybe we can do a later episode about that.
But for today, I’m just going to talk about paid search. Basically, paid search is when someone searches a keyword or a search term into their browser, getting your ad to appear in those search engine results page that they see. Then there is display and retargeting which kind of go together. But they are different in terms of the users that you’re going to serve ads to. Those refer to ads that you see as you browse through on other websites. So, like the little banner ads on a website, or sidebar ad, visual ad, that you would click on to click through the website. So those are the three main types paid search, display and retargeting.
All right, so I guess we’re going to just dive right into paid search ads. Can you tell us some of the components that are included in search ads?
When I talk about all these ads for paid search and for both businesses and retargeting, a great thing about it, which is why we refer to all these ads as pay-per-clicks ads, is that you set up your campaign, but you only pay when someone clicks onto your ad and goes on to your website. So you’re really only paying for when someone takes the action, you’re not just paying for that visibility. That kind of gives us a good metric to measure our success. So you see how many people are clicking through to the website and then how many of those actually convert which we would measure conversion as either someone filling out a form on the website or calling or taking some kind of specific action that we want them to. So those will apply to any kind of pay per click ads, but particularly search ads because they’re very direct.
When I talk about this, also, I just want to clarify that I’m giving an overview of what these ads are, how they work, and how they’re set up. I would recommend if you are the business owner or the general manager if you don’t have an expertise in this that it is best to work with an agency that specializes in this just because if you don’t set things up properly, you may end up spending money on things where you’re not getting the right kind of traffic. If you don’t use the right keywords and the right targeting and all that you’re not going to reach the right customers. I just kind of want to clarify that from the beginning.
So basically, when it comes to search ads, we do see that they are typically the most effective type of pay-per-click ads when it comes to generating leads. The reason for this is because they’re very direct, you bid on specific keywords. The keyword would be what someone typed into their browser when they’re searching on Google. So that could be “boats for sale near me”, “boat dealer near me”, it could be great “boats for sale”, “Boston Whaler boats for sale” any keyword and you can get super specific with it. You select your list of keywords that you want to include in your campaign. And then you set up a text ad so it will appear in the search engine results page along with the other results and it will have a little box that says “Add” next to it. So they do know it’s an ad but it will appear there and then users who search that can click through to your website and see your inventory and all that.
You have to do some keyword research. Google does have a free tool that you can use called the keyword planner, where you can forecast certain keywords and see what people are searching. And then you can develop campaigns based around that there are a couple of different types of campaigns you can do, a good one is your brand name, it’s really good to make sure that you’re appearing for your brand name, just general boat dealer type keywords. Like I said, the brands you carry the boat types you carry, you could even target competitors. You know, if you carry Grady-White boats or Boston Whaler, just use that same example that I just used, you know, those are two pretty comparable brands, you could be bidding on Boston Whaler keywords but driving people to your website to look at Grady White boats to get more strategic with it. So that’s a quick overview of the things that you can do.
The sky is really the limit when it comes to this. There’s a lot that you can do. You can also set up your campaigns. There’s a lot of different parameters that you can use within Google. You can set up your campaigns based on geographic targeting. So you can limit the area that you want your ads to appear in most likely to be in your location, you can even set ads on a schedule. So say the call to action in your ads is to call your store, you could set them on a schedule only the hours that you’re open, you can even do bid adjustments. You can say I might pay a little bit more per click for people in this area, or people on this type of device. There’s a whole bunch of settings that Google allows you to do based on your target market. And you can control all your budgets. And you can pause it anytime. So it’s very, very flexible and scalable. And you can continue to optimize campaigns by looking at the terms that people search.
Once you have your ads running, you can see the exact things that people type into Google that trigger your ad and further optimize the campaign from there. So it’s a very, very effective form of advertising that is very targeted and very direct.
That’s fantastic. And I agree. One of the things with pay-per-click (PPC) is that you can get this set up and running right away. So you don’t really have to wait, whereas SEO is a great avenue to advertise and get good ranking. But that takes time no matter how sophisticated, how much money you have, SEO takes time, it doesn’t matter what you do, it just takes time, whereas pay-per-click does take time as well. But the amount of time you can get a campaign running is very short.
Keep in mind, as well, is that you must know a bit of what you are doing for you not to spend a lot of money because just like Sydney just said, if you don’t know what you’re doing, for example, you do not want someone in Chicago to find your ads for boat dealers when you are in Miami because again, someone in Chicago, yeah, it’s okay for them to find your ads except that it just might be a waste of money because they’re more qualifying dealers than yours unless you sell very, very specific boats that they can find there. But make sure you are very specific on your keywords. So if you use a variable broad keyword for example, in the marine industry, you could say used, well used, but can be almost like anything, you can say Grady White 2018 or use a specific keyword that’s associated with that boat. It helps customers find you for that specific keyword.
Because there’s a lot of people that are bidding for those broad keywords. That doesn’t mean you cannot bid for them. But keep in mind what is going to happen. But another key thing here is that as a dealer, you are not on this alone. There are other dealers and it’s best to focus on your geographic area. So I usually tell dealers, let’s focus on the 20-mile radius, here 10 to 20-mile radius, we focus, we hone in and we become the expert on this location so that way people will find you because you know, you don’t want to spread to where you spend a lot of money on advertising to or the places where It doesn’t make sense because there are a ton of other dealers in that location that you advertising for.
Customers prefer to go to a dealer that’s closer to them. That doesn’t mean that someone won’t drive a couple hundred miles to come to you. But the chance is very light. So, therefore, you focus on what you can control, which is your local market. I know we just wrapped up with search ads. And I just wanted to elaborate on some of the key points, here Sydney, I know you wanted to also touch on either the retargeting or display ads. I don’t know which one you want to touch first, but can you tell us a little bit? What’s the big difference between search ads versus a retargeting ad or display ad?
Search ads, like I said, they’re going to appear in your search engine results page, you know, to the end user, they’re going to appear based on a specific keyword that they search right there. So I’m in Google, I’m looking for boats for sale near me. I type that in, I see what comes up on the page and this search ad pops up whereas display and retargeting are a little less direct. You’re going to get a little more of that, you know, direct reach aspects because you are going to be interacting with people who have already visited your website before. But these are banner ads. So you guys know if you’re ever browsing on a website and you see an ad appear on the side or a little button appear on the side that its advertising for some other business and you can click off and go to their website, that’s what these kind of ads are.
They don’t necessarily always have the best conversion rate compared to search ads, you will get clicks on them and you’ll get traffic but you’re not necessarily going to have people who are ready to buy a boat right away because they don’t have the same purchase intent as someone who’s searching things into Google that’s a little bit different.
But when you do look at the cost, so like we said, this is you know, cost per click; the price of how much you’re going to pay for the click is going to vary just depending on competition and things like that. But when you look at search ads, the cost per click is on average for boating type keywords, I’m going to say around two to $3, the more specific your keyword is the more likely it’s going to be a little bit higher. A lot more general keywords typically tend to be a little bit lower. But let’s say you’re paying around $2 per click. So obviously, it’s a lot cheaper compared to traditional advertising. Depending on how much traffic you’re getting per day that can add up and you do have control of your budget so you can kind of decide where you want to cap it. But when it comes to display and retargeting on average, it’s going to be under 50 cents a click maybe around 10 to 30 cents, so it’s a lot cheaper. So you can drive a lot more traffic through that even though it is less direct in terms of the customer that you’re reaching.
If you do have I guess a limited budget you can put it towards that retargeting and display because it is cheaper but I don’t necessarily recommend them over search as I think the best thing to do, is to do a little bit of everything. I think if you want to immediately start driving traffic, you should stick with the search ads because that is really going to be more direct and drive more traffic or conversions. But display is going to help a lot more with brand awareness because the search ads, they’re just text ads, they’re going to see your website name. And they’re going to see a little bit of text, but they’re not going to see anything visual display ads, you know, they have your logo in there, they have images of boats, so that kind of sticks in people’s mind more if they see it.
So that’s a lot of times what we say, you might not see immediate results with display ads, but it is going to help with brand awareness. So if that is your priority, maybe go with that. And if you maybe have a more limited budget, and you kind of want to just test the waters maybe go with display because it is typically cheaper but in terms of immediately driving traffic, I would say go with the search ad
So we cover search ads, we cover retargeting, and we cover display. Is there anything else that you would like to cover? I know we talked specifically about Google today, this is Google pay-per-click.
We can get a little bit more specific with some of the targeting options. When it does come to display, so, like I said they are banner ads that appear to people as they browse. But maybe if you’re new to this, you don’t really understand how the right person is going to see your ad. So when it comes to retargeting, we kind of touched on this, but I don’t feel like I really went into detail on it.
So the way retargeting works is that Google Analytics tracks users that visit your website. And if they don’t convert, meaning that they don’t call or they don’t fill out a form, Google’s through its algorithms and their code, they can follow that user and serve them ads. So if someone was on your website browsing, they didn’t take any action, they’ll be the one to see these display ads through retargeting. So I think this is something that everyone kind of knows what it is, because we all see it happen to us. We’re like, Oh, I was just looking online at this. And then I got an ad for it. So this is how that works. That’s kind of how the targeting is set up through there.
With just the general display ads, Google allows a bunch of demographic information which they also have based on the data that they collect on people as they browse. So you can set your parameters on things like age, gender, geographic area, and then you can get really specific into people’s interests and behaviors. They have what is called affinity audiences, which are things like outdoor lovers, boating enthusiasts, things like that. So you can kind of build out an audience of your demographic. And then they also create in-market audiences, which is basically if they see that person is shopping for a certain item based on their browsing habits like if they were looking at a lot of boats online, they create an audience based on that.
There’s a ton of targeting parameters that you can use. Like we said, display and retargeting are a little bit less direct, than search ads, but you can still get them pretty direct in terms of the demographics that you build-out. So you are still making sure that you’re getting your ads in front of the right users, just want to clarify that for everyone.
Oh, that’s fantastic. And one of the things that I want to also touch on real quick is making sure that not only generating all those leads and creating all this campaign, but you do also have to ensure when someone gets to your website, because they were searching for a service or a product that you offer, make sure you have a way to capture those. I have seen over and over where people create a campaign, and then when someone clicks on an ad and usually I have seen it over and over, Sydney, and we talk about this all the time, why would someone do that, but you see the ads, and you click on it, and then you come to the homepage of the website. And there isn’t really any place for that person to go from here.
If you’re going to spend money on ads, make sure you have what we call a landing page or a specific page that you want that user to get to, and also any specific action that you want them to take. So for example, you live in Miami and you are a boat dealer that sell really Grady White boats, if someone searched for “Used Grady White Freedom 375 in Miami”, you want that person to come to go to that page of that boat because they were just looking for you and you have that specific board. Now if you don’t get to that page, but send them to a category that’s close enough there, but regardless, you want to bring that user to a page that relevant to their search results to what they will click on.
But also, don’t just stop there. Give them what we call a call to action, a CTA. What you want them to do? Do you want them to calculate their loan payment? Do you want them to apply for a loan to buy that boat? Do you want them to contact one of your salespeople? Or your expert right on the spot? Do you want them to really contact you for more information? And do you want them to get internet price? Those are some of the key things that you want to do so that the user who just happened to come to your site because they searched for that keyword, you tell them exactly what you want them to do.
There is nothing worse than bringing someone to a place and then when they get there, they have no idea why they get here, what they’re gonna do here. You as a business owner, general manager, marketing director, whatever your position might be, those are the things that you might want to look at in your ads. What are the things that we do with our ads and what do we want the user to do when they get there? I hope that makes sense and Sydney if you want to add to that, feel free to do.
That’s a great point. It’s really important because we have had instances where people do say that, you know, I set up this campaign, I’m putting my budget, I have these keywords, but I’m not seeing conversions. And you have to look at the website because that’s where people are going. And the goal, of course, is to drive sales and to drive more leads and to grow your business and grow your bottom line and all that. But you have to think that the immediate goal and the immediate action of these ads is going to be to drive traffic to your website. So you have to make sure that user experience is set up really well there because they need to know what to do; they need to a find what they’re looking for quickly based on the keywords that they’re searching and then know what action to take if they want more information.
So whether that’s making sure you have a form or the phone number or anything like that, you know, making sure your website is set up really well is the first step and then this would be the next step to start driving traffic. Then make sure that in terms of the pages that you’re driving traffic to that it’s gonna make sense where you’re leading the user. So that’s something really important to keep in mind. And that is why, like I said, this is one of those things that I do recommend working with an expert on, you know, whether you have someone on your team or you work with an agency, you need to make sure whoever’s doing this, kind of knows what they’re doing, even though it is very flexible, and it is very cost-effective, you could be throwing money away if you don’t set things up the right way.
That’s right. To wrap this up. We went over how to utilize Google advertising to drive sales to your dealership, basically, do your initial research, find the keywords, the key information that people are looking for and working with an agency, they would get to know your dealers really well. So once that happened, make sure you create the appropriate campaign and campaign ads so that you can target the right customer at the right time. But also determine some of the best ways to, especially if you were to just do Google for example, which we stick on today, is you have the options for search ads, you have the option for retargeting and display ads. And as Sydney mentioned, search ad is a no brainer. You always want to start with that
It is very, very important to sprinkle some additional money into retargeting and display ads. With that not only having those ads in place, but you also want to ensure that when customers click on that link, link to your website, make sure your call to action is very specific so that they know exactly what you expect them to do.
The other thing that we did not go into detail on this is making sure you track this. Again, Google Ads track most of this information, but there are additional things that you can do to your Google Analytics and any product in analytics you’re using to ensure that you are tracking so you can see the result and making sure that the money you are spending is well worth it. Because, again, what you track you can measure and what you measure, you can easily determine whether it’s working or not. If you’re not measuring, you wouldn’t know, unless you spending so much money you just like to realize you have to stop. With that, I don’t know Sydney if you have things to add to this, but I thought this was very well round.
Yeah, I think we covered everything. Like I said, this is just Google. And this is just kind of the main three ways that you can advertise. There is YouTube advertising through Google, there are shopping ads through Google, there are all types of things you can do. And then there’s also Bing, which I think we’re going to do an episode about Bing because it can be surprisingly effective for the boating industry. And there are all different types of avenues that you can use when advertising online. But we have found this to be very, very effective with growing your business in the boating industry and increasing sales. And it’s very easy to track all your data.
So if you have a billboard up somewhere, you might not know exactly how many new sales that you’re getting based on the advertising but with this, you have all the data available to you.
I agree. Well, thank you so much again for branching in, for listening to our podcast today. Really appreciate you taking the time to join us for this episode of the podcast. Again, we are Boat Marketing Pros, a sister company of Atilus. If you have any questions or any comments and if you would like us to cover any subject in this podcast, feel free to email us at [email protected] or if you want to get all of our podcasts and subscribe to our syndication go to boatmarketingpros.com/podcast, talk to you soon again.
Thank you so much for coming in.