The Basics of a Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign for Auto Body Shops

We at Web-Est are always trying to help auto body shops learn more about marketing on the Internet. The Internet is such an important part of the way we do business, both in how we look for purchases, but also in terms of our operations. Its one of the reasons we decided to put our auto estimating program on the Internet. We're beginning to see auto body shops move in that direction. The Internet is also a powerful place to market an auto repair shop. There are a number of different tools an auto shop can use to market online: search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, video marketing, and other methods. One method that is highly effective with a quick turn-around, is Search Engine Marketing (also known as "pay per click advertising"). We've briefly talked about this before on our blogs in the past, but we'd like to dig deeper into this so collision repair shops can get up and running. This is the first article in a series of six articles to help auto body shops get a campaign activated.

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is simple: a business puts has advertisement automatically appear on a search engine that's triggered by specified keywords that the business is relevant to. The business then pays the search engine a bid price if the advertisement is clicked on, which will then bring the web user to the website of the advertiser. So if a prospective consumer clicks on your ad and lands onto your internet site, then you must pay for that click, even if the user clicks away without reading or purchasing from the site. The most significant PPC advertising platform online at the moment, is Google AdWords. With Google Adwords in particular, your advertisement will run when people type in certain key words or phrases into the Google search engine. It is then up to the user to click on your advertisement. This means that hundreds of people could see your advertisement, but if nobody clicks on it, then you do not have to pay. Other Pay Per Click advertising allows your advertisement to run under certain criteria. For example, on eBay you can have your advertisement run on the "automotive" section when someone searches for auto parts. Bing is another search engine that has a PPC campaign.  Click here to learn more about PPC advertising on Google AdWords.

Setting up an account in order to start running PPC advertisement on Bing or Google is remarkably easy. They make it so that you sign up by following their simple instructions, and then when you get to the marketing campaign section you find that it is a exceptionally easy and intuitive interface. Google for example, gives you the simplest and automated options first, and then if you want to get a little more advanced, you can click to expand the menus. So you can create a quick PPC advertisement using the basic settings, or you can expand the menus and set costs per bids, locations and times the advertisement should run etc.

Paying for clicks is straightforward. If you want your advertisement to run every time somebody types in a keyword such as "auto body shop," then you can agree to pay $1.00 every time somebody clicks on your advertisement. You can then set a budget, such as $50 per day. That way your advertisement will run hundreds, maybe thousands of times that day, but if it is clicked on fifty times then your budget for the day is reached and your advertisement will not run for the rest of the day. If you set a daily budget, then it helps stop you from losing money if your advertisement gets lots of clicks but no sales. You can also set the advertisement to run in a specific geographic location so it doesn't run outside of your target area.

Bidding works by competing with other advertisers. To take the previous "auto body shop" keyword example, if you are paying $1.00 per click for that keyword and three other advertisers are doing the same, but they are bidding at $1.25, $1.50 and $2.00 per click, then their advertisement will appear above yours because they have bid higher. If there are lots of other advertisers with bigger bids, then it may be a long time before your advertisements are seen. Google however, tells you the average amount that other people are spending on each keyword, so you can judge how much to bid if you want to be seen.

When asked what network you want to market on, it seems wise to go with just the Search network. The display network will not work very well for your ROI, because it will drive up unnecessary clicks. When a Pay Per Click advertisement is activated via people typing in keywords, the biggest problem you have is finding the right keywords. Of course, the most important keyword an auto body shop will use will be "auto body shop" and all other related terms. Click here and visit this article to brainstorm about other keywords to look at. You'll need make sure the advertisement points back to your website. The next article will focus on writing good advertisements. Stay tuned!

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