Starting your AutoMotive Google Ads

Running Google Ads can be a big project when you’re busy running your automotive business. We know this can be time-consuming, which is why we wrote this guide on how to set up your Google Ad account properly. Let’s dig into it!

You will have to have a Google email and password associated with your Google Ads account in order to get going with internet advertising.

A note in this article: Google has been making a transition from the name Google AdWords to Google Ads (in order to include more ad platform styles under one name). For all intents and purposes of this article, we will use both interchangeably.

There are two ways to set up Google Ads. The second option, Smart Campaigns (currently Adwords Express) for local businesses is rolling out many new changes, but as of present, the options are very limited for what you can do to ensure campaign success for your paid ads. You can use this platform if you don’t have a website for your automotive business and are utilizing Google’s landing page in your Google My Business listing. As we have seen so far, however, the spend control is not ideal for ensuring a higher conversion and demographic targeting.

Here’s how you can set up a Google Search Campaign for your automotive business in Adwords!  

Creating An Account

Step 1: Select the account “Type” as an AdWords account.

Step 2: Enter the account name and country. You can title this as your automotive business name. We chose the United States.

Step 3: You must select the time zone of your business location/where you operate. It’s very important that this is correct right from the start because it’s difficult to fix later.

Step 4: Your currency will be dependent on the monetization you will use to pay Google within your account.

Step 5: If you would like to allow other people access to the account, you can choose to invite them at this time and give them certain access rights.

Now we can create the account!

Setting Up A Campaign

When you choose to create a new campaign, it will allow you to choose the different advertising styles available. We will cover a quick & general summary of the types and choose one to use.


These are specifically in the search bars of Google searches. When you search a keyword, these are the ads that will show up at the top of the search page.



This can have different ways to show up, but they regularly show up on the side of different websites that enable Google Ads. An example of this would be,, etc.


These are the images that show up when you search for something as a product. They have the image of the product with pricing. They are usually in a carousel format where you can swipe through them.


This is the area of youtube where you can create a pop up ads or video ads.


Universal App

This is where you can promote your app if you are developing one. This probably won’t apply to you as an automotive business, unless you have an app you want people to use.


Overall, as an automobile business owner, the most profitable campaigns for you to use currently would be Search, Display, and Video. Choosing the correct option will depend on the focus of your marketing strategy.


In this example, we will be setting up a search campaign because this is the most common for helping you gain local search volume.


Creating Your Campaign Goal


When you build your campaign, you need to have a focus that you are trying to measure.

Sales goals are to help drive an immediate conversion such as making a purchase online or instore. This allows you to have price tags. This is great if you have a car product you are selling or are doing a special, such as a $39.99 oil change or an $79.99 engine problem diagnosis deal.

Lead goals are good for helping people visit your website, online store, booking calendar etc. They’re helpful because you are getting clients familiar with your offerings.  

Website Traffic goals are helpful if you need people to know more about the specific reasons you are unique as a business. If you have a great blog section or if you have a high amount of search volume already, this will help you increase awareness of your website and services.


We will choose leads as our goal because as an automotive business, we are trying to drive traffic to our website.

Now we want to measure how we will reach this goal. You will first need to enter your main business website and your phone number to ensure you can track the phone calls that come from your ads.

We will name our campaign the specific target market we are trying to reach. We will name ours “Soccer Moms.” When creating a campaign, you always want to have a specific target market in mind. This allows you to craft your campaign to meet their specific needs and increase your conversion rate. Depending on what you’re trying to sell or promote for your automotive company, you may want to be reaching audiences who need routine mechanic work, special modifications, or collision repair work.


NetworksDo I need this?


This is if you want to make your campaign Search and Display at the same time. You can have these two together to get more exposure. In this example, we are including Google search partners in this. These partners are people like Amazon, Washington Post, etc. The search network allows you to sell on maps and shopping while using other Google products such as Google Play. This will all happen when people do actual searches.


For the goals that you have within the automotive industry as a small business, we want your company’s ads to perform in the following way.

  1. Spend your money slow, not fast.
  2. Show up where they’re most relevant to an immediate action
  3. Only display in search results on Google products in your target networks who are intentionally looking
  4. To be effectively targeted to your ideal audience  


This is why we are choosing to select only network ads. If you choose Add Display Networks, many more places will be able to show your ads based on prediction. It will also spend your money faster. We are going to wait on this because if you are setting up your automotive campaign for the first time, you don’t have a lot of data yet on which to base our decisions. We can use this later when we have a better idea of our target market.


Now we need to do an advanced search and select the locations where we would like our ads to show up (be served). This is important because if you select the wrong location for your automotive business’ target consumer, you could be spending money on clicks that are not helpful to your user or your business.

You can target as many locations as you would like. You can search by country, region, postal code, or just make a large radius of the location. Make sure that you double-check that all the locations are correct before starting; there are many cities and counties with similar names.


Before moving out of locations, select the drop-down menu for location options and choose to target people in your targeted locations.

Here’s a tip: if you choose the recommended option, your ads will show up for people who are interested in “things in your location” not people who are IN your location. AKA you could spend your money on people who are not actually interested in coming to your business. If you were a tourism bureau or had a product that could be sent in the mail, you might choose this option, but in this circumstance, it’s not in the best interest of your automotive business and its services.

Select the languages that your customers speak. Note! This option just means that if your users have a default language set on their computer they can see your ads based on the languages they have identified as their default. Your ad creation language is not affected by the languages you select here. If you choose English your ads will only show up for people whose device is set to English.  



We are going to start with a general budget. Let’s say $20 a day for our campaign to run on. With approximately 31 days every month, we will be spending about $620 monthly with Google.

On the standard plan:

Let’s have $20 a day for your vehicle repair campaign and Google will spend your money as evenly as possible over time. Ideally, this evens out your leads so they come in steadily, but you might not get as many leads as you could who are searching for your services.


On the Accelerated Plan:

You have $20 a day for your vehicle repair campaign, and for the last 4 days spent a total of $10. Adwords sees that you have underspent, and if it sees an opportunity for you to gain more conversions, it will spend more than the $20 a day. BUT it will not go over the set budget for your month of $620 and will shut off when you have reached your limit. This is where Google will take every opportunity you have to reach your goal that you set (the most reach, clicks, conversions, impressions etc.) This means you could have a flood of leads and then run out of budget for the rest of the month. It could also mean you will be paying more per lead if there is a high amount of search volume and competition on the same day. Remember, Google Ads are a bidding war. You will pay what the market says the value is at the present time the leads are coming in.  


There are 3 bidding options, Clicks, Conversions, and Conversion Value. At the start of your campaign, you HAVE to choose clicks because you don’t have any demographics to know where you will get your conversions from the most. You have to build a history for Google’s algorithm to work correctly and give you higher chances of converting using the different methods.  


Maximize clicks uses automated bidding to get as many clicks as possible BUT not for the best price. There are different bidding strategies available, but when you set your campaign up for the first time, you want to get as much awareness as possible by using maximize clicks. We do this because we don’t know much it will cost per click in the automotive industry and our location’s population density yet.


Maximum CPC bid limit means that you’re not set on spending a specific, predetermined amount of money per ad click. Instead, you set a bid cap to tell Adwords “You may spend up to $4 for every click, but not more.” This is important if you have a highly competitive market. If you bid to have your ad appear for those pricey search terms, the cost can be pretty steep and might not be worth bidding on for your business goals. Set your max bid to what you are willing to spend per click.


For example, if you know that it takes 3 visits before someone is willing to purchase or book with you, you should divide the total cost of clicks they will make by 3. If you’re willing to pay $10 in advertising for a new customer, divide to $3.33 for your CPC bid limit. According to WordStream, the average cost per click in the automotive industry is $2.46! The cost per action (the total lead life to finally convert) is $33.52 within the Adwords search for Automotive.


The price you are willing to pay will be dependent on the type of lead, campaign, and product you’re working with. Someone who is selling an engine replacement will be willing to pay much more per click than someone who is selling a brake pad replacement.  

Start & End Dates

This is something you can set to start and stop a campaign from running past a certain time frame. You can also pause campaigns based on performance in Google Ads. If this is the only campaign you are running for your automotive company and would like to keep it going continuously while tweaking it, you don’t have to set start and stop dates.


Dynamic Search Ads


These target your ads with different variations and auto-populate relevant keywords and landing pages. This way, you can serve the most relevant ads and information based on the content you have on your website. This is a great tool, but not for this campaign. The reason for this is because we don’t have a section of our website solely targeting our campaign focus, Soccer Moms.



Open this dropdown! This allows you to target people based on their interests or places they have surfed the web.

We will build this around our target focus of Soccer Moms. you can choose the categories that make the most sense. For this example, we will choose :Auto Repair & Maintenance, Fitness, Childcare & Education, Child Car Seats, & Activewear.

Targeting will only serve your ads to subcategories you have selected. Observation doesn’t narrow the reach of your automotive campaign; it just makes a note to try to display to this audience if they are interested or have actions related to the previous categories we selected.   



These allow you to put additional information in your ad in Google Ads. This will auto-display the extra information in your ad about your automotive business. YOU SHOULD USE THESE because they make your ad look nicer and take up more space. If you would like to see what it will look like beforehand, choose the button to preview the ad.

We recommend using call, site link, call out, structured snippet, and promotion & price extensions for an automotive business. Don’t use all of them on the same campaign—just pick a few to make it look nice.


Save Your Work!


The next steps will be to choose the keywords you would like your automotive ad to appear for and create the individual ad creatives! Congratulations! Now you get be creative and do a little keyword research for your business! If you have additional questions on your automotive Adwords campaigns or need help with your digital marketing, we are here to help you. Contact us today to discuss your needs.