Autobytel turns car shoppers into car buyers by connecting them with dealers nationwide. To make its business work, Autobytel needs to reach consumers who are thinking seriously about buying-and reach them at scale. To solve this problem, the company turned to AdWords in-market audiences on the Google Display Network. It helped them target people who were ready to buy immediately and increased incremental traffic at a 58% lower cost-per-click than its other campaigns.


  • Reach targeted audiences at scale
  • Reduce impressions wasted on non-buyers
  • Find more leads at lower costs


  • Ran AdWords in-market audiences on the Google Display Network
  • Used keywords to fine-tune the target audience
  • Crafted ads designed for the ready-to-buy user


  • Achieved a 58% lower cost per click than its other campaigns
  • Saw a 17% lower cost per conversion
  • Drove more incremental traffic with fewer duplicate leads
May 2014

Autobytel turns car shoppers into car buyers by connecting them with dealers nationwide. As a trusted third-party “€œmatchmaker,”€ Autobytel provides consumers with free price quotes from a variety of dealers and then connects the dealers to these ready-to-buy shoppers.

The challenge
To make its business work, Autobytel needs to reach consumers who are thinking seriously about buying—€”and reach them at scale. “€œThe problem with broad-reaching campaigns is that we can waste impressions on car enthusiasts, news stories about cars, racing results, activities that have little to do with buying cars,”€ says Wes Rock, Autobytel’€™s search engine marketing manager.

To solve this problem, Autobytel turned to AdWords in-market audiences.

The approach
In-market audiences let advertisers reach people who are ready to buy right now, as identified by Google’€™s sophisticated ad and analytics algorithms. Users in that critical ready-to-buy window are shown relevant display ads as they look at prices, shop for deals or view websites related to the product they’€™re shopping for.

That approach was a good match for Autobytel’€™s needs. “€œWe’€™re a performancedriven company,”€ says Wes Rock. “€œWe’€™re totally focused on leads and lead quality.”€

As soon as it began running in-market campaigns, Autobytel layered on relevant keywords to enhance targeting. For example it targeted “€œAudi”€ in-market audiences and layered broad match keywords such as “€œA4”€ and “€œAudi A4.”€ “€œThe closer you get to prices, car reviews, dealers—€”whether it’€™s search or display, those keywords are strong indicators that someone is interested in purchasing a car,”€ says Rock.

With in-market audiences, we’€™re able to differentiate between those who are browsing car-related sites because they’€™re enthusiasts and those who are checking out specific makes and models, price comparisons and consumer reviews.

Autobytel matched that level of detail with customized calls to action and landing pages. “€œThat reduced a lot of the clicks by people who were casually browsing, and brought us people who were actually looking to purchase a car,”€ says Rock.

In-market audiences enhanced the quality of our leads tremendously. It allowed us to reach people deep down in the funnel looking at car prices and car deals. We saw that not only in conversions, but with the accuracy of information they entered on our website.

The results
In-market campaigns gave Autobytel what it needed: a way to combine the robust scale of display advertising with pinpoint targeting of users who are ready to buy.

“€œEvery good advertiser knows that one of the most important aspects of marketing is to connect with your target audience. Our objective is to connect with our target audience at the right time, at the right place and with the right experience to reach consumers ready to purchase a vehicle. Google in-market audiences has offered us that opportunity,”€ says Ralph Smith, vice president of consumer acquisition.

The proof of that targeting: a 58% lower cost per click for Autobytel’€™s in-market campaigns than for its other campaigns, and a 17% lower cost per conversion. Overall, 20% of Autobytel’€™s display conversions now come from in-market campaigns. Those in-market campaigns also bring in more incremental traffic, with the lowest duplicate lead rates of any of Autobytel’€™s online campaigns.