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Expand Your Holiday Ad Campaigns

New Google Ads Offer Competitive Edge

By: Gino Cipperoni

It’s that time of the year again! The Holiday Season is upon us. And while your friends and family are all thinking about things like wrapping presents, decorating the house, stuffing their faces with Holiday treats, and then making resolutions to stop all of that and get themselves back into shape, you’re only thinking about one thing…how to sell more cars!

A Car Under the Tree

The good news is that the Holiday Season is a boom for car dealers. This time of year, car buying promotions sweep across the automotive industry like an unstoppable Polar Vortex (those of you in the Midwest know what I’m talking about), calling out to consumers looking to take advantage of all of the great deals. Offers like “Year End Savings” and “December to Remember Events” get cleverly mixed into all of hustle and bustle of the season, and incessantly nag at customers to get rid of their beat-up jalopy and upgrade to brand new ride and make all of their friends and family jealous.

All of these offers are great for OEMs and the industry as a whole, but how can any individual dealer make themselves stand out to a customer base that’s so overwhelmed with holiday ads that they end up losing their mind and just going back home and curling up next to the fire with a gallon of egg nog.

Expanded Text Ads

Well, the answer has been sitting in front of you for a few months now…

One of the newest and most effective ways to get your message out to your market are Google’s new Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). ETAs represent the biggest change to the Google AdWords marketing platform since it first launched, and gives dealers an opportunity to add greater messaging into this already highly effective advertising network. Let’s take a look at what expanded text ads are, and how you can use them to stand out amongst all of the other competitors vying for your customers’ attention.

In a nutshell (don’t worry, I can’t think of a clever nutcracker joke), ETAs are a simply a new ad format that allow for more words to be typed into a Google Ad. Whereas the old ads used to only offer one Headline Field (up to 25 Characters), and two Description Fields (up to 35 characters), the new ETA offer the following:

  • Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
  • A single, expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
  • A display URL that uses your final URL’s domain
  • Two optional ”Path” fields, used in the ad’s display URL (up to 15 characters each, tells your customers more about the page on your site they’re going to be taken to)

Here’s a quick look at the difference between the two ad formats:


The difference is clearly visible, and these new ads allow you to stand out more to your customers and take more valuable real estate away from your competitors on any Google or Yahoo/Bing search page. The new ads are designed to maximize your presence and performance on mobile search results with a bigger headline and an extra-long description (focusing on a Mobile First mindset is key because today’s car buyers are doing most of their shopping from a mobile device).

Getting Real Creative in Ads

Basically, what Google has done here has given us an opportunity to get really creative and expand upon our messaging to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. If every dealer in your market is saying “we have year-end savings going on now,” you need to be able to say something different to help separate yourself from the same old messaging that has plagued the industry for years. With nearly 50 percent more room to write ad text, you or your marketing vendor can really come up with some creative messaging that speaks to customers in your market and drives them into your showroom.

Getting started with expanded text ads is simple. They have been rolled out across the entire Google Ad network and are now available to anyone who manages a Google AdWords campaign. It’s important to make sure that your current vendor is taking advantage of ETAs right now, so just simply call them up and ask “are we running Expanded Text Ads?” If they are, great! They’re on the ball and will be able to start coming up with a lot of new ideas to help you take more clicks from your competitors. If not, then you should make sure that your vendor switches to ETAs immediately because you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

The Holiday Season is a great time to end your year strong and sell more cars than ever before, and expanded text ads will help you do that. And while this time of year comes and goes in the blink of an eye, ETAs are here to stay, so get started today!

Gino Cipperoni
Gino Cipperoni
Director of Digital Marketing Sales for Dealer eProcess He has been in the digital marketing business for over 10 years, and has worked exclusively in automotive for the past 5. He has helped a wide variety of customers, from large dealer groups to smaller independents, identify and take advantage of opportunities within their own markets; helping them drive sales and grow their businesses. Gino is a regular speaker at industry events, and a frequent contributor to many industry blogs and publications.

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