How To Run Google Ads For Car Dealerships For Best Results

How To Run Google Ads For Car Dealerships For Best Results

Disclaimer – This is not a get rich quick or clickbait scenario. This is one example of how well advertising on Google can go for auto / car dealerships. No guarantees are given in this article. However, we have used the following methods with multiple dealership locations in several states with very positive results.

Example Auto Dealership

During a 30 day timeframe, this example auto dealership spent about $8K in Google Ads. Their Google Ads received a total of 296 “recorded” calls for an average of $27 cost per phone call across all four of their locations. The dealership estimates that Google Ads brought in about $64K in profit during that 30 day period!

Screenshot of the Google Ad account totals:

auto dealership google ad results

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Use A Call Tracking Software

There are metrics other than just “phone calls” that we used for conversions, but let’s focus on one more great phone call example before moving on. This auto dealer also uses a call recording software with unique, trackable numbers for each location. Using this software we were able to show over 66% of total phone calls this dealership received were obtained with Google ads!

Screenshot showing 30 days of phone calls and their attributed source:
call stats auto dealership

Best Google Ad Campaign Types For Dealerships

We have seen the most success running the follow Google Ad campaign types:

  • Performance Max ads with Google Ads new Vehicle Listing Ads program (think “shopping ads” for auto dealers. Helps create more “ad real estate” or space showing your product for greater potential exposure and click through).
  • Call Now Search Ads
  • Keyword Search Ads
  • Dynamic Search Ads
  • Retargeting Ads


Out-Bid The Competition

Depending on your budget and how many miles around your dealership you are “geo-targeting”, you should be able to see your ads competing with even the top competitors in the industry. Here is a screenshot showing this example dealership with a higher impression share for their Google ads than CarFax or CarGurus:

competition auto dealership

Best Google Ad Custom Conversion Methods For Dealerships

The example auto dealership has also seen success on Google Ads using several custom conversion methods. Note: phone calls/leads from calls have definitely had the highest conversion rates (Google has 60 second “Calls from ads” and “clicks to call” which can be assigned different values). Here are some other custom conversions to run and monitor:

  • SMS/Text Message Leads
  • Scheduled Test Drive Forms
  • Trade In Value Estimation Forms
  • General Website Contact Forms


There is definitely some “setup” involved for best results, but the Black Bear Ads team can help in that process. Google Ads has performed great in our experience and we highly recommend using and optimizing it if you are an auto dealership!

Our Backstory

We have been doing digital marketing in one form or another for the past seven years. Within the last year we have turned our focus to several industries including local auto dealership services. We have learned how to efficiently drive new leads/calls from Google Search Ads, Google Map Ads, Google Local Business Ads, and more.

If you want to learn more about how we can help your business, schedule a call below. You can also click here to view our contact information or call/text our business line at 801-396-2575.

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