Autotrader has kicked off trials with Google’s Social Extensions, which connect the brand’s Google+ page with its paid search campaigns.
The motoring website is working with Aegis-owned digital marketing agency iProspect to test the search giant’s social extensions on ads for cars. This means when a user searches for a used car the Autotrader ad will show how many people have +1’d the Autotrader brand on Google+.
Autotrader’s head of search Berian Reed said social extensions will help its ads stand out against competition. “We are already seeing better click-through rates on those ads - we’re still trialling them so there are no final figures yet but we are certainly seeing a boost when we see social extensions on our ads,” he said.
Reed said it plans to further explore and leverage Google’s other new products and technologies, along with mobile paid search, having recently streamlined its PPC strategies across its verticals as a result of integrating with Marin Software’s platform.
“Previously we had a very siloed process for our PPC campaigns, with each of our verticals running separate PPC strategies and different reporting processes. Integrating into the Marin platform has helped us pull this all together to create a more holistic PPC strategy, so we can now look to exploring new PPC technologies and experiment with our brand bidding.”
The result is it has more transparency over response levels to its PPC campaigns which will in turn help re-allocate budget to the channels that need more investment. The site, which claims over 10m monthly unique visitors, has seen an 87% saving in cost-per-conversion since running its paid search campaigns through the ad platform. It has also seen overall site conversions increase by 16%.