Your PPC Management Fee Is Not The Problem
Often when speaking and dealing with agencies, dealers (rightfully so) are always focused on the fees associated with managing their advertising.
Unfortunately this doesn’t paint the real picture of how much it costs the dealership. There is a hidden cost that nobody discusses or checks.
I suppose it is a difficult one to know ahead of time, but if you’ve been using a particular agency for any amount of time, or doing it yourself, you will have the information in the form of account history.
You will have the information to determine just how much wasteful spending is happening within your account. That is the real fee to your account, your management fee + obvious wasteful spending.
Let me give you a few examples of accounts we have taken over recently and some observations. These aren’t small, and these aren’t unique (I’ve seen this time and time again), these are very simple, obvious things that any vendor should know and should avoid.
1) Bidding On Your Trade Name
There is nothing wrong with bidding on your trade name, but it should be done strategically. You should not be paying a lot of money to do it, very few accounts (if any) will be bidding on it too (if they are, let them, they’re wasting their money). Google will happily take your money if you’re willing to pay for it.
We have taken over an account just this week and noticed ~$2000/month going to clicks on the dealers trade name with an avg. cpc of $1.60. That’s absolutely wasteful, and with better management of that, I’d expect we could get that down to under $100 for almost the same thing.
So what is the cost of this particular vendor to you the dealership? fee + $1900. That’s a lot of money going to fees and waste (particularly the waste).
2) Bad Keyword Selection
No vendor was involved in this one; a dealership employee was responsible for attempting to run their AdWords account. After some analysis, there were a few interesting keywords. Likely at the ‘suggestion’ of Google and their keyword tool along with weak input.
One happened to be a broad match keyword which was the name of the city. That’s it; this keyword would trigger for everything and anything related to the city showing an ad! $14,000 spent on that over the course of their account.
That’s an incredible amount of money to waste and for some dealers would be MORE than an entire years vendor fees, just given to Google for nothing.
3) No Bidding Strategy
High CPC with no bidding strategy. The vendor has done a set it and forget it style of bidding, or used built-in automatic bidding. This typically leads to a higher CPC, thinking that the top is always the best and in PPC land, things couldn’t be further from the truth. The top is not always the best. Spending most of your budget at $5.00 per click when you could get double the traffic at $2.50 by being a little bit further down the list (with equal conversions).
Again, more wasted spend as you’re only getting half the traffic you could be getting.
Some might say those are obvious, and I would agree. I would also agree that it’s not the first, second or third time things like this have happened and will likely continue to happen. Dealer #1 was using a very prominent US automotive web agency too.
Your PPC management could be costing you much more than you think. Wasteful spending can be more costly than paying the management fee, but it goes unnoticed because you need the analysis.
Is your money worth the analysis? We could have saved dealership #1 $24,000 in wasteful spending and dealership #2 $14,000.
Take the time to see if you’re wasting $1000s every month.