• August 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm #64678
    acoliajja
    Participant

                  Is this a good way to generate car count or a waste of money ?  Can some shop owners with experience with ad words comment on their findings ?  Thank you , Jeff Acolia

    September 1, 2015 at 9:58 am #74110
    djroman1108
    Participant

    The issue is one of cost. In order to generate measurable results, you have to spend A LOT of money. Remember that you’re attempting to outbid huge companies such as Firestone, Goodyear, Midas, and Meineke for keywords. 

    So, if you’re able to spend thousands, you’ll get good results. If you can’t consistently spend thousands, you’re wasting your money. 
    The better approach is improving your organic search results. That is done through content marketing targeted towards specific keywords. 
    That way, your shop turns up when someone searches “Brake Repair <Your City>” right under all of the ads. The only issue, of course, is that this takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. 
    September 2, 2015 at 8:00 am #74111
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    Agree with David per advice from our website professional.

    We recently cancelled all AdWords.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    September 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm #74113
    acoliajja
    Participant

     Thanks guys !!!!  Love this site .

    October 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm #74162

    We are a new auto repair shop and have been starting out with adwords to get the word out and have had a pretty good result. In comparison to other advertising avenues like newspaper, mail out coupons, and even Facebook, its given a much better result. We’ve setup call forwarding that notifies us if we are getting a call from our google ad and have gotten some good leads some not so good, but its been paid off by a few big jobs from the moment we started them. 

    Tires have been a waste of money for adwords because of the big retailers mentioned above. Tire repairs is a keyword we’ve been targeting for paid and organic and has brought in more then just tire repairs. You can see our tire estimate form and tire repair landing page here: Tire Repair Landing Page.
    Our main keyword is auto repairs just showing for the local results. Just linking to our main page with a call to action button. Our site with Auto Repair keyword. Overall, I think its been a good investment considering the amount of people who use google to find a new auto shop. 
    October 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm #74169
    rayrippey
    Participant

    Don’t forget Bing. All the new PC’s default to Bing as a search engine and many people are just using it. 

    If the ads are setup correctly, and it sounds like Stephens are, they can make money… but you really have to pay attention to them. Also, make a youtube video with a testimonial for those that like to watch video’s.
    Of course if you can get into the natural listings then that’s even better… you’ll get even more clicks.
    October 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm #74178
    pbrennan
    Member

    In my experience, AdWords can pay off handsomely for an auto repair business. I agree with Stephen in that it’s much less expensive per lead than traditional media outlets like print.

    The key to successful adwords campaigns goes so in-depth, you can write a book about it! (And there are lots on it…)
    A lot of digital agencies I’ve dealt with don’t really give it the time & attention it deserves, and a lot of business owners I know don’t give it the time & attention it deserves, either. It actually works both ways!
    It’s false to assume it’s a waste of money. You can actually beat out the big competitors because you have an advantage over them. They are managing multiple campaigns over many geographic locations most of the time, and many times (not always) don’t spend time optimizing their campaigns locally or extensively testing new ad copy / techniques. 
    On the part of the owner paying for the campaigns, you must: 
    1. Dedicate time to learn about it. The time is over when you could just place ads in yellow pages or send out post cards. You have to be well diversified & educated about all marketing mediums.
    2. Dedicate the time to review campaign results. Track it to the gnat’s eyebrow & hold your management company accountable to producing a cost per lead (phone call) that will work for you.
    3. Make sure YOU are doing your job answering the phone correctly. I can’t tell you how many service businesses I’ve been in where phone booking skills were not even on their radar. They think their phone booking rate is 90%, when in reality it’s 35%-50%. This is the single largest source of found money in a service business, and one that has to be absolutely solid in order to maximize marketing dollars.
    4. Give it time. It takes time to optimize an account’s campaigns – generally 60-90 days, and a dedicated, decent budget. No, you don’t have to break the bank! But force yourself to at least allocate some sort of budget to it, and commit for 3 months. Notice the trend, and if the trend is looking good, increase the budget.
    If you’re not going to do those 4 things above, it surely will be a waste of money. 
    I hope that helps!
    February 2, 2016 at 7:10 pm #74273

    I’ve been managing my own AdWords/Bing/Yahoo advertising for 8 years. The biggest mistake most SEO/SEM gurus make is that they don’t use conversion tracking in Google Analytics to let business owners know if their ad campaigns are even working!!!

    I mean, get real, what’s the point of spending ANY MONEY if you don’t track conversions by using goal pages in GA? What’s the purpose of the ad? What’s the purpose of your website? How much money does a Facebook like make you? What do you want people to do, who click on your advertisement?

    Ultimately, you’d like for the person who clicks on your ad (Zero Moment Of Truth) go to your website and be impressed enough to pick up the phone and give you a call, right? If that’s so, then you need a way to track that. And I’m not talking about just a simple tracking number. A keyword-level tracking number.

    With a pool of dynamic numbers, you know what keywords convert into phone calls and which ones don’t.  We are a transmission shop and we discovered the keyword “transmission” (both singular & plural) is a great ClickBurner, but they don’t convert into many phone calls.  The few phone calls we do get are very low quality calls.   All calls are both automatically scored by machine and recorded for manual scoring, if you wish.
    We quickly learned our #1 hot keyword is “transmission repair”.  Although it doesn’t receive near the clicks that “transmission” does, 80% of the clicks result in a phone call.  But once the phone rings, all shops are equal.  It’s what we do on the phone that determines if the can convert the caller into an appointment (First Moment Of Truth).  We learned counting clicks was all wrong and more importantly, the wrong metric altogether.
    This is because the so-called “experts” have dozens of industries, dozens of businesses, and thousands of keywords to contend with.  They can’t possibly do as good of a job as a business owner who can babysit the account everyday.  It is my belief that one of the most profitable activities a shop owner can be involved in is managing his own PPC campaigns on a daily basis.  If not, you’re letting foxes run the chicken coop.
    Count Calls, Not Clicks
    May 26, 2016 at 9:42 am #74388
    adamkushner
    Member

    I experienced running a shop and managing my Google Adwords – when the word BMW could be bought for pennies. I watched the rise of Companies that manage Google Adwords and even hired one once. I quickly fired them and have been managing my families Adwords account (and dozens of other auto shops accounts) since. 

    Agreed, you can write many books on the subject.
    Agreed, you can spend thousands a month on Google Adwords (a third party lead provider) or you can invest in your own website and content marketing to rank organically. 
    Google Adwords is a system. Once you determine what keywords, ads and landing pages drive conversions you have a system that you can throttle to create results.
    BUT – as Larry and Patrick mention, there must be a sales process that provides feedback to the system on the quality of the leads and the revenue they create. Without the complete ecosystem, which includes the person managing the adwords campaign, call tracking, lead conversion mechanisms(call to actions, downloadable content, coupons, VIP Clubs)reporting on the results and implementing the feedback, Google Adwords can cost a lot, with no connection to results.

     
    June 8, 2016 at 3:52 am #74417

    I experienced running a shop and managing my Google Adwords – when the word BMW could be bought for pennies. I watched the rise of Companies that manage Google Adwords and even hired one once. I quickly fired them and have been managing my families Adwords account (and dozens of other auto shops accounts) since. 

    Agreed, you can write many books on the subject.
    Agreed, you can spend thousands a month on Google Adwords (a third party lead provider) or you can invest in your own website and content marketing to rank organically. 
    Google Adwords is a system. Once you determine what keywords, ads and landing pages drive conversions you have a system that you can throttle to create results.
    BUT – as Larry and Patrick mention, there must be a sales process that provides feedback to the system on the quality of the leads and the revenue they create. Without the complete ecosystem, which includes the person managing the adwords campaign, call tracking, lead conversion mechanisms(call to actions, downloadable content, coupons, VIP Clubs)reporting on the results and implementing the feedback, Google Adwords can cost a lot, with no connection to results.

     

    How can you live without adwords. It is the best way to find content to write about. Is a great tool .Cost per customer does run high about $65 each.But if your avg ticket is $550 its all good . 

    the 75% of the clicks are the make of car and the word repair and the word service. So if you don’t want to spend as much just do nich words exact match  . lIke “BMW OIL LEAK” cost per click 2 bucks but bmw repair in my market could cost $17 a click. 

    I have Adam manage mine. but i check it out a lot.   businessactualization.com/

    Firestone and all the bug guys except the dealers suck their  seo is the worst (might be because of trademark  issues) 
    August 27, 2016 at 12:11 am #74494
    mpb
    Member

    AdWords can work great even on low budgets.

    The biggest issue I see when going into service based companies accounts is that often times the default setting are never changed for the campaign setup.  You should only be showing your ads to the people inside your service based area and not to “people in or searching for”.

    This along with bid adjustments for Mobile and Tablet traffic can help a lot. 

    With service based industries you want to ensure you are sending people to the most relevant page on your website for the keyword that triggered the ad.  If you where doing “Brake Repair” for example your adcopy should be about brake repair and you should be sending people directly to your brake repair webpage.

    You should also be using Call tracking via a Google forwarding number as well as call only campaigns.  With service based companies you are going to find that most people want to call and speak to someone before they drive to the shop.  The only conversion goal you really need to focus on is getting that phone call.

    Because of this you may want to bid adjust down on PC and Tablet traffic and bid adjust up on mobile traffic as well ensure you have a responsive website that shows your phone number very clearly on mobile devices. 

    AdWords is not magic.  I see it work fantastic for some businesses and just absolutely suck for others.  In adition to focusing on calls you need to have your staff trained on handling phone calls and landing the sale.  For most my auto mechanics they close between 20% – 40% of all calls.

    You should also know and understand the life time value of your customer.  Loosing money on the front end of ads is perfectly fine if you can recoup and get a profit in a short enough time frame down the line

    I’m not here to sell my services and honestly WAY too busy at the moment to take on any clients but I do offer 100% for free training guides and materials for digital marketing including a free AdWords Search guide on marketingplaybook.co  .  I also hold live free weekly hangouts on youtube Wednesday at 2PM where people can ask their digital marketing questions.  If you have a specific question feel free to post a reply and I should be able to answer.

    August 31, 2016 at 5:19 pm #74501
    WendyDavid
    Member
    I manage Google adwords for several auto repair shops across the US.  I’m Google Adwords certified and an approved Google partner. I specialize in auto repair shop marketing. 
    Google adwords delivers one of the highest ROI for my clients and is my top recommendation for most auto repair shops who are looking for business right now.  

    Here’s what you need to know:
    1.  55% of people use their smart phone as a phone book when they are in need of a product or service right now.
    2.  The smart phone has replaced the traditional print phone book.
    3.  When people look for something on their phone they usually go to Google first.
    4.  When you search for the term “Auto Repair”  in your city on Google, on your phone, in many cases, the first thing you will see is Google ads.  
    5.  It doesn’t matter what your search engine ranking is. Google ads show first in competitive industries.
    6. 55% of people don’t realize those top listings are Google ads, and call the top listings on their screen.
    7.  If you want to show up on the top of the page, adwords will get you there right now.
    8.  For those companies that already have page 1 organic rankings, the conversion rate increases 20% when they also use Google adwords.
    9.  You can have as little or as high of a budget as you want on Google adwords, but most clients start at $250 per month for 10-20 phone calls per month.   
    10.  If you get 10 phone calls from your adwords campaign and you close 3 of the calls at an average RO of $400, you generated $1200 worth of business.  (What’s that 3/1 ROI)
    11.  Yes you can do it yourself, but it’s really a science and you need to understand things like quality scores and Target Outranking Share to name a few.
    12.  Yes, adwords needs managed on a weekly basis. You can’t just set it and forget it.
    13. If your ads are showing up at the bottom of Google, in cities outside of your demographic and under the wrong keywords, your adwords manager is not paying attention. Ads that show up on the bottom don’t convert. 
    14.  If your adwords consultant or SEO or website consultant is not sending you monthly reports, they probably don’t want you to know what’s going on.  Or they don’t know themselves.  You can set up your account to show you  the number of telephone calls received, on what day/time from where.
    15. Content marketing will get your website up there on Google, but it takes months to move your site up. Adwords works instantly.
    Anyway. I love adwords for what it can do for shops. I highly recommend it.
    Wendy Kenney
    September 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm #74516
    Jeffrey Corwin
    Participant

    I’ve tried to use Adwords, but keep getting stopped by their trademark terms. My shop specializes in just Land Rover, and they have every brand specific word trademarked. 
    Adwords support wont tell me if it’s the search term, or something in my business description that is causing my account to fail to meet requirements.
    At one time I was able to get things moving by changing my business description from “independent Land Rover specialists” to  “independent land rover specialists” – Think the change in caps was only a short term fix. Down side is I don’t know if that is the current issue.

    Any input?

    September 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm #74517
    Katie Raia
    Participant

    I’ve tried to use Adwords, but keep getting stopped by their trademark terms. My shop specializes in just Land Rover, and they have every brand specific word trademarked. 
    Adwords support wont tell me if it’s the search term, or something in my business description that is causing my account to fail to meet requirements.
    At one time I was able to get things moving by changing my business description from “independent Land Rover specialists” to  “independent land rover specialists” – Think the change in caps was only a short term fix. Down side is I don’t know if that is the current issue.

    Any input?

    Jeff Corwin,

    In my experience, you don’t need to reiterate what brand you specialize in, in order to have a successful Adwords campaign. We also specialize in Land Rover (along with other British makes) so we deal with the trademark issue often. My advice would be to eliminate all labels of Land Rover within your ad itself while still setting your search terms using “land rover repair,” “range rover repair,” etc. Use you tagline or some reason why you stand out from the rest intsead. We have been quite successful with Adwords using this method. If a person searches Google for Land Rover repair your ad will (hopefully!) show at the top and once they click through to your site it will be apparent that you service land rovers.
    June 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm #74774

    I’ve managed all of my online marketing myself for the last decade.  We are a transmission specialty shop.  Any PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign can seem like a waste of money unless you utilize keyword-level call tracking.

    By knowing what keywords drive high-value phone calls, you not only can bid those keywords up to be listed at the top, but you can quit bidding on what I call “click-burners”.  What I mean by that term are keywords that either generate clicks with no phone calls or low quality phone calls.

    There’s a lot of companies that offer keyword-level call tracking.  Just Google the term.

    We used to have over 1,500 keywords.  Over time, with keyword-level call tracking, we have reduced that number to only 27 high-value keywords that generate high-quality phone leads.

    And yes, I manage my Google, Bing, & Yahoo accounts every day.  Don’t waste your money putting your shop’s name on any other website like Angie’s List, RepairPal, and etc.

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