Geo-targeting vs competitive dealers

The Difference Between Geo-Targeting and Competitive Dealers

Auto dealerships are often named after the city they’re occupied in, and why not?  This is a very effective way to create some hometown appeal, and the name certainly sticks when the auto shopper is trying to remember where to visit.  That method also applies digitally: While bidding on a competitor by name could be an expensive exercise based on the irrelevance of another dealership’s name to our website, it can actually be less so when that name happens to be a geographic location.  When you combine the fact that website SEO contains references to key cities, there’s a lot of relevance that makes this a worthy strategy.

Many times, the list of surrounding cities we target for our dealers’ advertising also happen to have dealerships named after those cities.  A Kia dealer in Midville, GA, named Midville KIA, for example, can use that name association to help a shopper remember them when they’re seeking a dealer.  If our dealer’s store is nearby, but we’re named ABC (not a city), our branding has to work harder to maintain top-of-mind awareness.  How do we compete?

When it comes to competing in search, our Geo-Targeting campaign contains a list of city ad groups which enable us to bid on variations of ‘make+city’.  Using the above example, this means a shopper can see our ad when they search “kia near midville” or “kia midville”.  Our dealer doesn’t have to be physically located in these cities for us to bid this way, and unless there’s an agreement in place for us to not appear in a particular city, this is a strategy we use. 

Lastly, we’re careful to use ad copy that doesn’t mimic a competing dealer’s; we can’t show an ad that says we’re Midville KIA since we’re ABC.  While we can bid on “midville kia”, our ads will treat the city as a geographic location: “Great KIA Deals Minutes From Midville”.

This is an effective strategy to go head-to-head with our competitive dealers.  Remember that our Geo-Targeting campaign is the competitor’s Branding, the most profitable and highest-converting grouping in all of search!