Navigating OEM Influence on Google Search Costs for Dealers

The landscape of online advertising, particularly on Google Search, has witnessed a significant shift in the first quarter of 2024, largely influenced by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) as they increase their investment and broaden their own reach. This has presented challenges for individual dealerships, as OEMs increasingly drive up platform CPCs.

At Green Line, we are implementing the following tactics to provide our dealers with the best possible performance without driving up costs or competing directly with OEMs.

Trends and Expectations

  • Diversifying Keyword Sets: One approach to mitigate the impact of rising costs is to explore alternative campaign types with less competition. Consider testing keywords targeting general truck or SUV terms, where competition may be lower compared to highly saturated model terms.
  • Embracing Different Campaign Types, Like Demand Generation: In addition to traditional lead generation tactics, incorporating Demand Generation can help capture potential customers earlier in the buying journey. By focusing on creating and generating awareness of your dealership, you can cultivate a steady stream of qualified leads.
  • Leveraging Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): Harnessing the power of CDPs and first-party data allows dealerships to refine their targeting efforts. By building precise audience segments and leveraging AI learning, dealerships can optimize ad campaigns for maximum effectiveness.
  • Experimenting with Bidding Strategies: Adopting a proactive approach to bidding strategies is crucial in navigating fluctuating CPCs. Implement A/B tests to evaluate the impact of different bidding tactics on cost-per-click and overall campaign performance. This data-driven approach enables dealerships to identify optimal bidding strategies tailored to their specific objectives and budget constraints.
  • Optimizing Keyword Selection: OEMs often dominate bidding on certain keywords, driving up costs for individual dealerships. Consider pausing or removing exact match OEM terms from campaigns to reduce competition and lower CPCs, and refreshing your negative keyword list to avoid overlap.. Instead, focus on targeting keywords that align more closely with your dealership and audience preferences.

While OEMs exert considerable influence on Google Search costs, individual dealerships have the opportunity to adapt and thrive by implementing strategic adjustments to their digital marketing efforts. By diversifying campaign types, embracing demand generation, leveraging CDPs, experimenting with bidding strategies, and optimizing keyword selection, dealerships can navigate the evolving digital landscape with confidence and efficiency.

About Green Line Automotive:

Green Line Automotive is an automotive digital advertising agency created for automotive dealerships. Our mission is to deliver tier-one automotive advertising expertise, technology, and service to the tier-three dealers. We give you an advantage over your competition by giving every dealership the best in technology coupled with a fully customizable approach.
See our automotive digital advertising services such as Automotive Paid Search or Vehicles Listing Ads or contact us at or 833-GLD-CARS.

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