Do you currently utilize Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to drive more business to your dealership? SEM is a highly efficient form of digital marketing because it features targeted ads at the very top of relevant search results. While organic marketing methods such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) enhance compatibility with search engine algorithms in order to raise your website to the top slots of search results, SEM uses paid ads to capture that coveted online real estate. 

With SEM, you maintain total control of your campaign by selecting the audience you want to target (eg, previous website visitors or online users who have viewed similar inventory on other sites), which platforms you want to feature your ads on (search engines, social media or online videos) and which specific action you want your online leads to take (submit a lead form, call your store, request a quote, etc.). SEM works best when combined with other digital marketing tools一such as SEO, which builds your website’s organic visibility and increases your credibility in the eyes of online shoppers一but even used alone, SEM is designed to generate results for your business quickly.

The most common tactic for SEM is pay-per-click (PPC) ads, in which your ads appear prominently in search engine results or in social media users’ feeds, and you pay an advertising fee only when a prospect interacts with the ad. The more interaction (ie, clicks) that an ad receives, the better it will perform and continue to pull in more online traffic. Considering that the top search result receives 30% of website traffic, we want your ads to perform well! Using SEM to increase awareness of your dealership will encourage more online shoppers to visit your website now一and once they experience your stellar customer service, they are far more likely to return! 

As we stated earlier, SEM makes it easy to target specific demographics and encourage them to follow through on the desired end result. But did you know that you can also direct online browsers to specific web pages and inventory listings? Instead of sending website traffic to your home page, where they can navigate your website at leisure, SEM ensures that the right customers see crucial information that is sure to catch their fancy. By linking your paid ads to a specific sales promotion, service page or piece of online inventory, you are promoting this information at the top of search engine results, where it can drive higher engagement with motivated buyers. While you may choose to increase your ad spend during popular selling seasons to capture more business, we also advise that you don’t pause your ads during low seasons. SEM yields its best results when ads run year-round, without interruption

Thanks to SEM’s precise targeting capabilities, you can rest assured that your marketing dollars are investing in the areas of your dealership that will return the most profit, keeping you at the helm of your business, where you can continue to expand your horizons! For more information about SEM advertising, or to connect with our industry-experienced website specialists, contact ARI today.