Case Study: AutoVitals (B2C)

Paid Media & SEO Strategies for AutoVitals’ Clientele

RESULTS

Leads and conversion rates increased significantly, while cost per lead declined. This successful and cost-effective growth in leads allowed AutoVitals to begin its expansion of digital marketing services into new markets throughout the US.

1800%

Increase in Leads

78%

Decrease in CPL

250%

Increase in Conv. Rate

46%

Decrease in Avg CPC

BACKGROUND

AutoVitals is the global leader in Automotive Repair Shop Management Software, offering digital vehicle inspections, workflow management, websites and digital marketing for more than 1000 independent auto repair shops in North America.

AutoVitals had just started offering digital marketing services to its customers in 2018 in response to a growing demand for greater online presence. They recognized that mom and pop, independent auto repair shops were struggling to acquire new customers amid tough competition.

After a strong start in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, AutoVitals brought me onboard to help drive its expansion in new markets and service its clients throughout the US.

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CHALLENGE

When it comes to paid search, automotive trademarked terms can’t be used by an advertiser whom doesn’t own the rights to that trademark. AutoVitals was unable to target brand-specific keywords and saw increased competition from dealerships offering the same services. Furthermore, AutoVitals’ clientele frequently faced technical and local SEO issues as a result of quick scaling. This presented challenges in ranking client websites, which are typically most effective when they are ranked on the first page of search results.

My challenge was to identify the most effective paid media and SEO strategies to drive high quality leads for AutoVitals’ clients while keeping the cost per lead in line with profit goals.

SOLUTION

Working with development teams and stakeholders, my team and I implemented a comprehensive digital marketing strategy: driving high lead volume with paid search, growing brand awareness with paid social, and building trust with SEO.

STEP 1: DRIVING LEAD VOLUME WITH PAID SEARCH

We started with an intensive and iterative keyword research process to test the keywords that would convert best for each customer. We found that we could target mid-funnel keywords like “domestic auto specialists” and even high-funnel keywords for more general auto repair searches. We were able to capitalize on these higher volume terms while keeping CPC low by using using advanced bidding strategies and finely tuned messaging to drive higher conversions rates.

GOOGLE ADVANCED BIDDING STRATEGY

Following the initial launch and ramp-up of the paid search campaigns, we began testing Google’s automated bidding strategies to understand which strategy would help each client scale up while keeping CPCs and cost per lead low.

After testing and measuring performance changes, we rolled out the Maximize Conversions bid policy. Maximize Conversions automatically sets bids using Google’s machine learning to help get the most conversions for a campaign. By using historical information about the campaign and evaluating the contextual signals present at auction time, Maximize Conversions bidding automatically finds an optimal bid for an ad each time it’s eligible to appear.

Combined with a high-volume keyword strategy, the Maximize Conversions bid policy was able to quickly allocate budget toward the top performing audiences, demographics and search queries.

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STRATEGIES
 
PAID SEARCH STRATEGY

Capitalized On Mid- And High-Funnel Keywords While Using Advanced Bidding Strategies and Finely Tuned Messaging To Drive Higher Conversion Rates And Keep CPL Low.

PAID SOCIAL STRATEGY

Launched Facebook Advertising Campaigns To Build Clientele’s Brand Awareness Online. Employed Best Practices For Audience Targeting, Ad Formats And Creative Assets.

SEO STRATEGY

Created An Internal Monitoring Tool To Assist In Finding Technical And Local SEO Errors. Addressed Issues To Improve Rankings And Build Trust With Clients’ Customers.

MESSAGING OPTIMIZATION

We were able to achieve high impression share on mid-funnel and high-funnel search terms. But, given that auto repair has a large DIY market, we recognized the importance of using the ad copy to pre-qualify searchers — attracting clicks from the right users, and deterring users looking for how-to’s and auto parts.

Building upon our keyword research and working closely with clients’ marketing teams, we designed several A/B ad copy tests to understand which features and benefits resonated with each client’s target customer.

STEP 2: GROWING BRAND AWARENESS WITH PAID SOCIAL

As the auto repair industry is very competitive, AutoVitals’ clientele needed to educate their target audiences on their unique offerings. To support the growth of these customers’ brand presence and awareness online, my team launched a paid social advertising program.

Drawing on my extensive experience in Facebook Ads for B2B and B2C companies, my team was able to employ best practices for a successful launch right from the start. We implemented ad units such as video ads and carousel ads — formats perfectly designed to tell each client’s story. The team applied cohesive branding across all creative assets consistent with the client’s brand colors, images and style, creating a seamless visual user journey from ad to landing page. We also analyzed each client’s own customer and market data, as well as Facebook audience insights to zero in on the best converting Facebook audiences in the Asian, Domestic and European auto spaces.

STEP 3: BUILDING TRUST WITH SEO

Since Google favors well-optimized websites with complete information in business directories, AutoVitals knew it had to fix the technical and local SEO errors plaguing its clients. While working closely with developers, my team built an internal SEO monitoring tool that reports on a variety of issues for each AutoVitals customer.

We addressed technical issues, such as website crawlability and indexability, page speed, and broken links, as well as local SEO factors, such as citations, schema markups, and ensuring the name, address and phone number (NAP) is consistent throughout each customer’s website. By focusing our efforts on quick wins and tackling more complex errors in parallel, we were able to double our output in solving errors.