How Does Google Ads Work?

Image by Freepik

Share This Post

Today, we’re peeling back the onion to reveal how Google Ads really work and what your tire and auto shop can do to leverage every last benefit – landing you more local customers and surging your monthly car counts in a big way. Whether you are a novice or have been engaging with Google ads for a while, we believe you will find this write up to be of value.


Google Ads Basics

Let’s start with the basics. Do Google Ads work? YES.

In fact, they work so well at targeting specific audiences that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a business that isn’t using them to generate leads and drive conversions.


By the numbers

Google Ads has a 90% global reach across websites, mobile devices, and YouTube, according to The Tech Report. Roughly 45% of small businesses have a paid search strategy, with 55% of those leveraging display ads. In 2023, Google Ads generated more than $237 billion in revenue, which Statista shows is almost $3 billion more than what it generated in 2022.

But what is Google Ads, and how does it work as an advertiser?


Google Ads is an online ad platform powered by Google that allows businesses like yours to display targeted ads on Google’s search engine results pages (aka SERPs) websites within the Google Display Network, YouTube videos, and across millions of other partner websites.


Through Google Ads, as Semrush describes, advertising businesses (that’s your business) bid on keywords relevant to their products or services (example: auto repair services). Your ads are then displayed to users who are searching actively for those auto repair services. The platform operates using a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when users click on your tire shops’ ads to get to your website and/or click your ad to make a call to your business.


Photo by Pixabay: -- google device


Ok, great, but how does the pricing work?

The concept is simple. You draft an ad, place a bid, and wait for clicks. Of course, there’s more to it than that, including how its pay-per-action pricing model works.

With PPC (pay-per-click,) you pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your ad. That price can change depending on a few factors, including:

  • Target keyword competition
  • Search volume
  • Expected reach
  • Timing of your ad


And then, there’s the Quality Score

One of the more elusive yet important concepts within Google Ads involves your Quality Score. It’s how Google decides whose ad is the “best” to feature for a keyword and how much it should cost to generate that click. The score itself is on a scale of one (1) to ten (10).


Auto repair PPC example


How Google Ads Can Work for Your Auto Repair Shop

So, as an auto repair shop, consider a few things to get started with Google Ads. Know your audience – likely a local demographic of potential customers.

You want to think about how these users search.

For example, a searcher of tires may search by generic key phrases such as “new tires” or “buy tires.”

They may also search for tires by their vehicle make/model “tires for my Nissan Altima,” they may search by size such as “225/60/16,” they may search by tire brand such as “Michelin Tires” or they may search by a combination of some/all of these items.


For example: “Best 225/60/16 Michelin tires for my Nissan Altima.”

For service, they could be searching by keywords for any of the specific services below:

  • Auto repair
  • Car repair
  • Automotive repair
  • Mechanic services
  • Brake repair
  • Engine diagnostics
  • Transmission repair
  • Oil change services
  • Tire rotation
  • Car maintenance
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Check engine light
  • Auto body repair
  • Dent repair
  • Car detailing
  • Emergency repair services
  • Car electrical repair
  • Exhaust system repair
  • Wheel alignment
  • AC repair


Make your keywords impactful by choosing local geographic keywords, too, since most people looking for an oil change in your neck of the woods are going to specify so when they Google search.

For example: oil change in Arlington, VA.


Next up, create an ad that’s contextually high value with a precise, yet simple offer that cannot be ignored. Now’s not the time to offer discounts that don’t move the needle. Instead, create a BIG offer that grabs attention and inspires a click forward to your auto shop website.


<a href="">Image by photoroyalty</a> on Freepik


Understanding the Different Types of Google Ads

It’s important to understand the various types of Google Ads out there. The search engine giant’s ad platform continues to evolve, including with its push of new AI products, according to Business Insider. And it’s only making it harder for business owners to make heads or tails of how best to leverage it all in attracting new customers.

But here’s a breakdown of different Google Ads to consider for your next PPC campaign:


Responsive search ads (RSAs)


  • Responsive search ads: Responsive search ads (RSAs) are a type of Google Ads ad format that allows advertisers to create ads with multiple headlines and descriptions. With RSAs, advertisers provide a variety of headlines and descriptions, and Google’s machine-learning algorithms dynamically test different combinations to determine the most effective ad variations for each search query and user context.


• Performance max ads:


  • Performance max ads: This type of Google Ads campaign is designed to maximize performance across various Google networks, including Search, Display, YouTube, Discover, and Gmail. Introduced by Google as part of its effort to simplify campaign management and improve advertising efficiency, Performance max campaigns use innovative machine learning algorithms to optimize bidding, targeting, and creative delivery across multiple channels and placements.


Discovery ads


  • Discovery ads: Discovery ads are another type of ad format available in Google Ads that allows tire and auto shops to reach users as they browse through the Discover feed on their mobile devices. Discover is a personalized content feed provided by Google, which showcases articles, news stories, videos, and other content based on users’ interests and search history.


Shopping ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs,)


  • Shopping ads: Shopping ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs,) are a type of Google Ads campaign to promote products directly within Google search results and across Google’s network of partner sites.


screenshot tire ads


  • App ads: App ads, also known as mobile app install ads, are designed to promote mobile apps across Google’s advertising network.


Google aps


  • Smart campaigns: Smart campaigns are a simplified type of Google Ads campaign designed for small businesses.


Google Ads for auto repair


Ready to Launch a Winning Google Ads Campaign?

Keep this article handy whenever you need basic reminders about how Google Ads work. And when you’re ready to make Google Ads work for your tire and auto repair business, connect with our Marketing Coaches and Google Ads experts at Conceptual Minds! We specialize in proven marketing and advertising results for the auto repair industry and can launch a winning Google Ads campaign for your auto repair shop! Let’s chat!

Learn About Conceptual Minds

As veterans of the automotive industry, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and would like some guidance, contact us today.

Need help setting up Google Ads for your auto repair shop?

More To Explore

Using AI for Personalized, High Impact Marketing Campaigns

July 9, 2024

Most small auto repair shops face a unique challenge: standing out in a crowded market dominated by big players. If you’re a small shop or chain […]

Image by Елена from Pixabay -- girl in a car

14 Genius Auto Repair Shop Promotional Ideas for August

July 5, 2024

When it comes to brilliantly crafting marketing campaigns and promotions to attract more auto repair shop customers, finding unique and effective ideas can be a challenge. […]