When the TV ad launched, the proportion of traffic coming through tablet and smartphone increased dramatically – by 53% on tablet and 67% on smartphone. In boosting mobile activity, Motors.co.uk drove a 33% cheaper cost per lead than desktop. Overall across the key AdWords account, mobile search generated a 15% higher click-through rate than desktop with a 38% lower cost per click, a higher average position and a 33% lower cost per lead.

Launched in 2007, Motors.co.uk is an automotive classified portal for both dealers and private individuals. Acquired by Manheim in March 2012 and relaunched in December 2013 with a range of innovative features and new brand identity, the Motors.co.uk mission is to better connect buyers and sellers of vehicles and reduce consumer frustrations with the search process through smart, intuitive products in order to deliver quality, cost-effective response to automotive retailers in the UK.

All systems are go

At the start of 2014 the company launched a new TV campaign. The concept centred around how Motors.co.uk can simplify the used car purchase process for consumers. It introduced a new term – “Carfuffle” – to describe a “frustrating situation pertaining to the hassle encountered in searching for a new car.”

Having already seen the benefits of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Motors.co.uk wanted to ensure that its PPC activity was fully optimised to support the TV campaign. The company firmly believed that there were incremental gains to be won by taking a combined approach to offline and online marketing.

In preparation for the TV launch, Motors.co.uk’s agency Jellyfish developed a plan to ensure the company would get the most out of its online activity. To begin, the agency took steps to ensure that the brand campaigns would achieve blanket coverage, would not be limited by budget and were completely aligned with the offline ad messaging.

This work entailed tailoring existing ad creatives and making additions to the existing keywords. New ad messaging was introduced, using wording like “as seen on TV” and incorporating the “Carfuffle” strapline in the messaging. The team also ensured all ads were as attractive and useful as possible by maximising coverage on relevant AdWords ad extensions, including enhanced sitelinks, review extensions and seller ratings across all campaigns.

Get this show on the road

Both Jellyfish and Motors.co.uk understood the value of mobile traffic to the business. In fact, prior to the launch of the “Carfuffle” advertising activity about 25% of Motors.co.uk’s total traffic came from smartphone devices. The company was an early adopter of enhanced campaigns and historically has seen greater impression share and cheaper cost per click from mobile search users in its PPC campaigns.

Motors.co.uk migrated to a responsive web design (RWD) in August 2013. Dermot Kelleher, Director of Marketing and Business Intelligence, explains that the move was made in reaction to key changes in consumer behaviour patterns. “Based on extensive market research which showed a growing trend towards increased use of mobile devices for browsing, we wanted to improve our users’ experience on Motors.co.uk by creating a website which retains all of its features across any device without compromising on quality, maintaining a sophisticated presentation style and capturing mobile traffic without the need for users to pinch and zoom.” The company also appreciated that RWD can help unlock search engine optimisation and PPC value by improving bounce rate and average time on site, thus increasing quality score and ultimately return on investment from paid advertising.

Jellyfish and Motors.co.uk expected mobile searches to rise during the hours the TV ads were showing in line with people’s ‘dual screening’ habits. The team wanted to ensure that ads were present across devices to provide a seamless experience for searchers, and also recognised the value of having ads appear above the fold in the top two positions on the mobile search results page.

Based on these goals, mobile bids were adjusted by +20% for generic keywords and +10% for brand keywords when the TV campaign launched. Jellyfish ensured that every ad group had a mobile-preferred ad with a mobile-specific call to action. By implementing simple tweaks to ad copy and using calls to action like “Find the perfect car on your mobile,” mobile ads were made all the more engaging for mobile searchers. During the campaign, 100% of traffic from mobile was served the mobile-preferred ad.

A very pleasant journey

When the TV ad launched, the proportion of traffic coming through tablet and smartphone increased dramatically – by 53% on tablet and 67% on smartphone. In boosting mobile activity, Motors.co.uk drove a 33% cheaper cost per lead than desktop. Overall across the key AdWords account, mobile search generated a 15% higher click-through rate than desktop with a 38% lower cost per click, a higher average position and a 33% lower cost per lead. The Motors.co.uk team was delighted that the company maintained a healthy return on investment across devices and gained market share.

Jellyfish is determined to build on the success. “Next steps are to ensure that this low mobile cost per lead can be maintained in isolation of the TV spots,” explains Jellyfish’s Senior PPC Manager Romany Simpson. “There is a tendency for the mobile cost per lead to rise when the offline activity subsides. Our strategy is to see what success we can drive through mobile bidding on Remarketing Lists for Search Ads campaigns. We would anticipate a higher conversion rate through mobile on campaigns that specifically target users that have already been to the site.”