Breaking Down the Difference: CarClicks vs. Traditional Pay Per Click Marketing

You may be wondering if you have a CarClicks account, do you really need a pay per click presence, or vice versa? Or, do you even need either of these advertising mediums?
We recommend having both, and not because CarClicks is our product! The benefits will outweigh the costs, and you will sell more cars. It’s that simple. We’ll break down the two strategies so it’s easier to understand the differences, as it can get kind of confusing when you start hearing acronyms like PPC, CPC, SRP, and VDP. We’re confident you’ll see why each of these services will be worth it in the end.
How CarClicks Works
CarClicks is another version of a pay per click campaign where your ads are not listed on Google, but instead on various auto shopping websites for in-market customers. For example, you may have a used 2014 Ford Focus on your lot that you are looking to sell. Because CarClicks updates their database every day, they saw you have that Focus in your inventory, so they will automatically list the car on dozens of automotive websites where customers can shop for 2014 Ford Focus’ in their area.
There are several benefits to this mode of advertising. First, you are not charged anything until a customer clicks on your car, so you know that whoever clicks is interested in that specific car on your lot. Second, when a customer clicks on your car, they will then be redirected to your website – specifically the vehicle display page, rather than staying on that third party site. The customer can then check out the car itself and browse any other cars on your site, fill out a contact form, etc.
Unlike Google’s pay per click campaigns, CarClicks ads are actual vehicle detail page listings, not just keywords that would link to either your website home page or search results page. The customer is taken directly to that exact vehicle, avoiding confusion and increasing the likelihood of them scheduling a test drive.
How Pay Per Click Marketing Works
Unlike CarClicks being linked directly to your VDPs, pay per click (PPC) ads are typically linked to corresponding search results pages or homepage of your website, depending on the ad. These ads are also not displayed on popular vehicle shopping sites, but are displayed right on the Google search page when you search a specific term, such as “2016 Chrysler 200” or “New 2016 Truck”.
pay per click
The PPC process uses a bidding system to determine which ad will show up for which keyword on Google, ranking in position – with 1 being the very first spot and also the most expensive per click. Recently, Google has gone away with side bar ads and is only filling ad spots for 1 through 7, so demand for ad space is at all all-time high.
Although Google PPC ads are similar in the sense that they are billed at a cost per click (CPC), they aren’t very similar in many other ways. These ads will show up based on the relevance, location, time of the day that a user searches for the keyword, budget, etc. An ad is not likely to show up in every search unless there are unlimited finds, of course. The more competitive a keyword, the more money it will cost an advertiser.  There is no fixed CPC here, and it’s a balancing act with trying to juggle funds and maintaining a good position in a Google search so that users will see the ad and click on it.
So, What’s the Verdict?
Pay per click search marketing can be time consuming, tricky, and tedious, so companies often outsource this service to experts like AIM. If your ads are not placed properly, relevant, or targeted in the correct way, you could be wasting thousands of dollars!
Customers are shopping online now more than ever before, so being absent from search marketing is a big no-no. We’re willing to bet that your competitors are paying for pay per click ads that are relevant to you, so don’t let them take your customers from you! Give us a call us today and let’s get started on your PPC strategy.
Additionally, if you are looking to drive customers straight to your vehicle display pages (and who isn’t?), schedule your 15-minute demo now! More views on your VDPs means more cars sold. Don’t lose out on a deal you could easily win.