Driving school PPC: A guide to drive more sales
Driving school PPC ads should be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Effective ads that target the right keywords can dramatically drive sales. I know because it happened to my driving schools. Once we focused our marketing plan on pay-per-click ads on Google, our sales increased. Quite dramatically.
If you utilize the right driving school PPC ads, your own driving school can make the same shift. Your website is open 24/7/365. Plus, it is self-serving. That means you don’t have to employ as many office employees to take sales. Customers make the purchase themselves online.
Evaluate your website
Is your website outdated? Is it responsive and can accept online orders? Before you consider a driving school PPC plan, your website must be able to accept e-commerce transactions. Plus, it has to be speedy, clean and easy-to-navigate.
If it’s not, consider having a company like Drive Scout redesign your driving school website. It specializes in driving schools, so you’ll be in excellent hands from start to finish.
Driving school PPC: Market to your customer
Successful driving school PPC ads and targeted keywords go together like peanut butter and jelly. Your business can’t rank high in a Google search without making a true effort to find the most targeted and effective keywords.
They will deliver your “lowest hanging fruit,” which is marketing lingo for your closest customer. You can’t just throw out your net and hope your fish swim in it.
You have to find a pond where your customers swim. Your chance of conversions and higher sales only increases when you fish in the right pond. Driving school PPC ads can help you find the right pond through the use of keywords.
Driving school PPC: The magic of Google
Google’s magic happens when you type in something in the search bar and something 100% relevant, local and meaningful shows up. Your own website should include relevant keywords like “driving school,” “drivers ed,” “driving lessons,” etc. on the appropriate pages.
Over time, you should see organic traffic, but it could take a really long time. To drive more customers to your website more quickly, driving school PPC ads are great options!
Driving school PPC: The basics
No, PPC doesn’t stand for please pay constantly! It refers to pay-per-click. According to Google, when you purchase a PPC ad, your driving school will “be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer.”
You will only pay when the customer clicks to visit your website or calls in. There are many Pay-Per-Click platforms you can use, but the most popular is Google Adwords.
Benefits of driving school PPC ads
According to Digital Marketing Pro, there are many benefits of PPC marketing, but below are the most valuable for driving school owners.
- Fast results
- Measurable results
- Reach the right audience
- Take advantage of business opportunities
- Brand recognition
PPC ads can be launched quickly and the results can be very impressive. I’ve run a variety of PPC ads with an average budget of $1,000 per month. They generate $12-$17 in sales for every $1 we spent on Google PPC. Impressive results? You bet!
Driving school PPC: Google search ads
There are many different types of PPC ads, but the two most popular on Google are search and display. Driving schools are local, so the search ad option will produce the best results. When potential customers search for “driving schools” or “driving schools near me,” your paid search ad should display on the first page.
Driving school PPC: Google display ads
Google display ads allow you to create highly targeted campaigns based on what you know about your driving school customers, such as interests or demographics.
Also, run a re-marketing display campaign. If people visit your website, but don’t make a purchase, your ad shows up on Google sites and other ones like The Weather Channel and more. Display ads “stalk” potential customers on the Internet. When they’re ready to make a purchase, your driving school is at the top of their mental shopping list.
How to manage driving school PPC ads
Managing your Google driving school PPC ads can be a bit cumbersome. Plus, the learning curve can be quite steep. Because you’ll spend hard-earned money, you also want to ensure that you get a high return on investment (ROI). This takes time and patience, plus trial and error.
You or your marketing manager can take online courses to become a certified Google PPC expert. I highly recommend the Fundamentals and Search courses. You must pass two courses to become certified, and then pass a refresher course every year to renew your certification.
If your day is already scheduled to the extreme or you have no interest in the training, there is another option.
Hire a company to manage driving school PPC ads
If you don’t have time or interest to become a certified PPC expert, a company that specializes in PPC advertising could be a viable option. However, not all PPC agencies are created equal. You have to do your due diligence to find one that’s the best fit for your driving school.
Entrepreneur.com posted this about why all PPC agencies are not the same.
We view PPC agencies in a similar way to golfers. There are a lot of people who can pick up a club and make contact with a golf ball. There are very few scratch golfers who can shoot near even par. You need to determine if the PPC company you are looking to hire is more similar to a PGA golfer or a weekend warrior.
Questions to ask before you hire a PPC company
Before you hire an agency to manage your driving school PPC ads, check out these suggested questions from Entrepreneur to find the best agency for your driving school.
What makes my driving school different than my competitors?
A good PPC agency will do their homework and know what makes your driving school unique and different from the rest.
Are your PPC analysts Adwords certified?
Adwords certification should be a baseline requirement for anybody optimizing your campaigns. While being certified certainly does not guarantee that they will do a good job, you should be apprehensive about hiring anybody who is not certified.
Will you provide keyword AND search term reports?
According to Google, this is the difference between a search term and a keyword: “A search term is the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on Google.com or one of their Search Network sites. A keyword is the word or set of words that AdWords advertisers create for a given ad group to target your ads to customers.”
To truly gauge the results of your driving school PPC ads, the agency must analyze both keywords and search terms.
Will you add negative keywords when needed?
One key to a highly targeted campaign is choosing what not to target. If you don’t offer DUI courses, your agency needs to add it to your negative keyword list. It’s imperative it continuously monitors campaigns and adds negative keywords as often and whenever the need arises.
Without negative keywords, you’re spending too much to attract your narrowly defined audience.
Will the agency take time to fully analyze your driving school?
As a driving school owner, you need to make sure that the PPC company is willing to spend time getting to know your school inside and out.
Does it have a complete understanding of the driving school industry? Does it know your geo-specific area, your top performing and most profitable services? If not, move on to the next contender.
How will it track conversions?
I’m amazed that driving schools run PPC ads, but don’t track actual sales (conversions). A good PPC agency will implement conversion tracking so you always know the ROI of your PPC ad spend.
Will your driving school “own” your Adwords account?
In case your business-to-agency relationship goes south, you want to make sure that you own your Adwords account (not the agency). Pay attention to agencies that “own” your account because it could be very difficult to terminate the relationship.
Will you run ad tests?
A good agency will run an A/B split test to find which ad performs the best.
How much do you charge?
PPC agencies charge clients differently. Some take a pre-determined percentage of total ad spend. Others will manage your PPC ads for a flat rate.
Typical agency fees (based on ad spend) range from 10-20 percent, so keep that in mind before you make your choice.
Driving school PPC in review
Google Adwords should be the primary tool for your driving school PPC ads. A little homework and knowledge will go a long distance to guarantee success. Just follow these steps and watch your online sales explode.
- Evaluate your website
- Market to your audience
- Use the right keywords
- Know the basics of driving school PPC ads
- Primarily use Google search ads
- Re-market your web visitors with Display ads
- Take online Google Adwords courses and get certified. Or…
- Find the best agency for your driving school PPC needs