PPC and the Automotive Industry: Increasing Local Exposure for Used Inventory

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a powerful digital marketing tool that has been widely used by businesses across various industries to increase their online visibility, drive traffic to their websites, and ultimately generate more leads and sales. In the automotive industry, PPC can be particularly effective for promoting used cars, helping dealerships and other automotive businesses increase their local exposure and reach potential customers who are actively searching for a pre-owned vehicle.

Why PPC for Used Cars?

When it comes to buying a used car, many consumers begin their search online. According to a recent study by Cox Automotive, 63% of used car buyers start their research online, and 86% of them use third-party automotive websites to browse and compare inventory. As a result, having a strong online presence and being easily discoverable in search engine results pages (SERPs) is crucial for any automotive business that wants to attract more buyers and stay competitive in the market.

This is where PPC comes in. By using targeted and relevant keywords and ad copy, PPC ads can appear at the top of the search results page, above organic search results and other listings. This means that when someone searches for “used cars for sale” or “used car dealerships near me,” a well-crafted PPC ad can show up right at the top, catching the attention of the user and driving them to click through to the business’s website.

But why focus on local exposure for used inventory specifically? The answer is simple: when it comes to buying a used car, most people prefer to see the vehicle in person and take it for a test drive before making a purchase. This means that proximity to the dealership or seller is a key factor for many potential buyers, and the ability to reach local audiences with targeted PPC ads can be a major advantage for businesses looking to sell their used cars.

How to Use PPC for Local Exposure

To make the most of PPC for used cars, there are a few key strategies that automotive businesses should consider:

Target relevant keywords

The first step to a successful PPC campaign is to identify the keywords that potential buyers are using to search for used cars in your area. This may include broad terms like “used cars for sale” and “pre-owned vehicles,” as well as more specific terms like “used Honda Civic” or “used pickup trucks.” By targeting these keywords in your PPC ads, you can increase the likelihood that your ad will show up for relevant searches.

Use location targeting

In addition to targeting relevant keywords, it’s important to use location targeting to ensure that your ads are only shown to users who are located within a certain distance from your business. This can be especially effective for promoting used cars, as it allows you to reach local audiences who are more likely to be interested in your inventory.

Highlight unique selling points

When crafting your PPC ad copy, be sure to highlight the unique selling points of your used cars, such as low mileage, one owner, or recent upgrades. By emphasizing what sets your inventory apart from the competition, you can increase the likelihood that users will click through to your website and ultimately make a purchase.

Optimize landing pages

Finally, it’s important to ensure that your website’s landing pages are optimized for conversions. This means making sure that the page loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, and has a clear and compelling call-to-action that encourages users to contact you or schedule a test drive. By providing a seamless and user-friendly experience for potential buyers, you can increase the likelihood that they will convert into paying customers.


Overall, PPC can be an effective way for automotive businesses to increase their local exposure for used inventory and attract more buyers. By targeting relevant keywords, using location targeting, highlighting unique selling points and optimizing landing pages, businesses can create targeted and compelling ads that drive traffic to their website and ultimately generate more leads and sales.

In addition to these strategies, it’s also important to track and analyze the performance of your PPC campaigns on an ongoing basis. By monitoring metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost-per-click (CPC), you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns over time.

It’s worth noting that while PPC can be a powerful tool for promoting used cars, it’s not the only strategy that automotive businesses should consider. In addition to paid advertising, businesses should also focus on building a strong organic presence through search engine optimization (SEO), as well as leveraging other digital marketing channels such as social media and email marketing.

In conclusion, PPC can be a highly effective way for automotive businesses to increase local exposure for used inventory and attract more buyers. By using targeted keywords, location targeting, and compelling ad copy, businesses can create targeted campaigns that reach potential buyers where they are actively searching. And with ongoing monitoring and optimization, businesses can continue to improve their campaigns over time and stay ahead of the competition in a highly competitive market.

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