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Steering your automotive search campaigns to success

February 2016

Coming into 2016, gas prices are low and consumer confidence is up. Both signs point to a strong year for U.S. auto sales, which are expected to reach $280 billion., This is a huge opportunity for your automotive pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns because more than 90% of car shoppers do some form of online research before purchasing a new vehicle. Let’s look at three trends in search affecting makes, models and marketplaces.

Searches go upscale

Searches on the Bing Network for non-luxury makes lead branded query volume. However, luxury makes represent more than third of branded query volume, while representing about 15% of new car sales. What’s more is that cost per click (CPC) for luxury branded queries is lower than for non-luxury branded queries. Take advantage of these aspirational searches for luxury autos by bidding on luxury brand terms for the cars your customers wish to own.

SUVs are MVPs

Today’s low gas prices are fueling sales of SUVs, which accounted for 33% of retail sales in 2015. They’re also driving searches for SUVs, which represented 45% of non-luxury model searches on the Bing Network. That’s more than double the number of searches for sedans (20%), the next most-searched for model type. OEMs and dealers should expect searches for SUVs, trucks and minivans to remain high while gas prices stay low. If gas prices start to rise, expect an increase in searches for more fuel-efficient cars – like compacts, sedans, wagons and hybrids.

Online marketplaces can’t be ignored

Our analysis found that half of automotive related searches on the Bing Network are for online marketplaces, including queries like “cars com” and “craiglist cars.” Car dealers shouldn’t miss out on this action. Attract local customers by focusing on keywords for your own dealership and for local pages of popular online marketplaces. You can also use Location Targeting to narrow down your audience, and Location Extensions and Call Extensions to capture nearby searchers.

Want to learn more about driving your automotive paid campaigns towards higher clicks? Then view our insights presentation above or download it below. For other tips and trends, check out our featured industry and seasonal insights on the Bing Ads blog.