CommentaryAug 13th, 2013

Five Google Adwords Reports Auto Dealers Must Know


Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) is one of the most measurable forms of advertising available to automotive dealers today. With PPC in a few short hours your dealership’s website can be showing up on the first page of Google for your most profitable keywords.

Where a lot of automotive dealers go wrong is treating PPC advertising as a “set it and forget” advertising tactic. Worse yet, many automotive dealers hire PPC vendors who are not 100 percent transparent.

The problem is, how are you supposed to know if your PPC vendor is constantly “optimizing?” Luckily Google Adwords has a ton of great reports to help you understand how your PPC campaigns are performing.

Without any further ado, below are five Google Adwords reports every automotive dealer should understand:

Lost Impression Share Report

This report details the percentage of times your ad was not listed on relevant searches, those involving subjects related to the products being advertised, due to poor adrank. Adrank is a number determined by how high on a page the ad appears during relevant searches. Usually this is the result of poorly chosen keywords or phrases. A high number of lost impressions means that the money spent to create and launch those ads is not being used effectively.

Change History Report

This report shows the user a chronological listing of all the changes made to account for the last two years. This is an invaluable tool to compare different ads and their keywords. It makes it very easy to see which techniques worked effectively and which did not.

Quality Score Report

This report is an estimation of the relevance of an ad. In other words, it determines how well the keywords, the ad itself and your landing page match what the customer is actually looking for. For instance, if a business selling cars uses cotton candy as a keyword, they are likely to have a very low quality score — people searching for cotton candy are not likely to end up clicking on an ad for cars. The more relevant an ad the higher its page ranking will be, which means more views and ultimately, more clicks.

Search Query Overview

This is a list of the keywords that the viewers that clicked on your ad used to find your ad. It shows which of those keywords were most effective at getting interested viewers to your ad. This tool is very helpful when generating new keywords or phrases. It also can be used to see negative keywords, those that are not relevant or attract the wrong viewers.

Opportunities Report

This report uses all the information presented in the other reports to create suggestions specifically designed to meet the needs of a user's account. It offers information and suggestions about keywords, bidding, relevant site links, budgeting and call extensions.

Getting your hands on any of the above reports will go a long way to determining the success of y our PPC campaigns and the value you’re getting from your PPC vendor.

Bill Parlaman is the vice president of digital marketing for Stream Companies, the leading full service integrated automotive advertising agency. Want even more information on SEO? Watch the Truth about SEO Webinar at:

Authored by

Michael Bowen

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