For local auto shops, competing against national brands is always a challenge when it comes to marketing. National brands often have large budget campaigns that seem to drown out local marketing efforts, especially online, but that doesn’t need to be the case! One of the most easily accessible ways to take advantage of local advertising is via paid search. While national brands will dominate general keyword searches, such as “auto repair shops,” local shops can take a few steps to hone in on localized keywords with a few key tactics.

The most important step to take advantage of paid search is to determine the areas that your customers are typically located in and the types of auto-related terms that are searched in those areas. Keyword terms and phrases vary by area and honing in on your area can reveal the types of terms potential customers would search when looking for a local tire or auto repair shop, or car dealership. Phrases such as “auto repair shops in [city]” or “used car dealership [zip code]” are generally not covered by national brand campaigns and give you a direct line to customers looking for a shop like yours.

After you’ve discovered which keywords your local customer base tends to use, now you need to create ads and landing pages that include those keywords. Your ads tell your customers where you are located and your landing pages help search engines understand the markets that you serve regularly. Localizing your ads and landing pages also show your customers that you are a local shop or dealership versus part of a national brand.

The final part of your paid search campaign that can separate you from the national brands is your messaging. As a local shop you can offer more cost efficient services and a more personal experience. Putting a localized feel to your messaging can separate you from the national brands that have less personal and more generic messaging in most ads. If you are a “Ma & Pa” business, mention that in your ads, for instance—customers typically enjoy knowing they are helping to support a small business, and also know that they will receive one-on-one attention.

By combining these three tactics, you can make your paid search campaigns both competitive and affordable compared to competing head on with national brand campaigns. With cheaper keywords, localized landing pages and personal ad copy you’ll be able to hone in on your local market and gain just as much traffic from a national campaign at a portion of the cost!

Have questions? Please reach out to us at Conceptual Minds so that we can help you take your local auto business to the next level.