Case Study: How Signature Auto Grew its Leads by 63%!

Do you think it’s difficult to be competitive and “stand out from the herd” when you are selling cars in Brooklyn, NY? Yes, correct, very challenging. So this is a case study on one such company that was able to increase its leads, traffic, and sales as a result of a focused online marketing strategy leveraging Local SEO and SEM (PPC) strategies.

For more than 10 years, Signature Auto Group has been providing auto leases to customers across New York. Signature has offices in both Brooklyn and Staten Island and is one of New York’s largest auto leasing dealers. In 2014, the company made a decision to invest in online marketing, starting with a new website. Signature contracted OpenMoves to create an online strategy for the new website which included SEO, local link building, PPC management, conversion rate optimization, and more.

The Challenge

New York City is one of the world’s most competitive markets for auto dealers. There are hundreds of dealers competing for first-page results on Google. To drive significant SEO traffic, Signature would need to develop a significantly stronger website and SEO strategy than its competitors

The website itself also prompted complex technical SEO challenges. Signature carries thousands of different auto makes and models, they all vary in availability, pricing, and features, which need to be managed by the Signature staff.

There are thousands of potential keywords a customer may use when searching for a new car. They may choose a generic keyword like “New York Auto Lease,” but may also search for a specific make or model, or may pose higher-funnel questions to Google such as “How does auto leasing work.” The website needed to accommodate the technical needs of inventory management, while also meeting SEO needs for scalable keyword targeting across the entire automotive keyword landscape.

The Solution

OpenMoves began with a complete audit and analysis of the new website before launch. We then provided monthly SEO suggestions, reporting, and review, to create incremental and ongoing performance improvements. Following the website launch, we started a Google AdWords remarketing and SEM campaign to further expand Signature’s reach online. Specific SEM strategies included,

  • Stable and Static Inventory System. Rather than treating the auto inventory as temporary and dynamic, we worked with the Signature Auto development team to create static inventory URLs that could be indexed by Google. This was the basis of an SEO system that can target make and model keywords across thousands of keywords.
  • Programmatic SEO Templates. With thousands of pages and keywords to target, we could not approach this SEO project manually. Again in working with Signature’s programming team, we created SEO templates that applied automatic keyword targeting to title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and more.
  • Aggressive Local Link Building. To build a strong off-site SEO presence for Signature, we deployed local SEO platforms including Yext, BrightLocal, and MozLocal, in combination with manual local profile management and directory submissions. Combined with Signature’s existing social media marketing efforts and other link building strategies, this allowed Signature to develop significant competitive SEO advantage.
  • Remarketing to stay “Top of Mind”. Choosing a new car is a major decision, and often consumers take weeks to make final decisions. To help guide users through the sales cycle, we launched a remarketing campaign to target people who had visited the website, but not yet converted. This allowed the Signature brand to stay top-of-mind with prospects and at a very nominal cost.
  • Paid Search. As the program matured, we found that Signature held many important #1 rankings on Google. However, even the top organic ranking only captured a fraction of total clicks for that search – especially now that Google shows 4 AdWords ads in the top position. To capture greater market share, we launched an AdWords search program targeting Signature’s most important keywords.

sig auto

The Results

  • Over the last 18 months, total traffic grew 44% compared to the previous period
  • Over the last 18 months, organic traffic grew 37% compared to the previous period
  • Over the last 90 days, leads grew 63% compared to the previous year
  • Over the last 90 days, conversion rate grew 38% compared to the previous year
  • Over the last 6 months, AdWords generated leads at a cost well below target CPA
  • Over 300 targeted keywords rank in Google’s top 10, up from under 40 in 2014

Conclusions

Signature Auto combined a strong brand with a great technical team and an effective SEO strategy to produce impressive results. This was a long-term SEO campaign, where efforts were coordinated between multiple stakeholders and planned with a long term view in mind.

Summarizing the project, Signature Auto president Allen Khaselev commented, “It’s been a pleasure working with OpenMoves over the last 2 years to achieve such strong online marketing results. Signature Auto is proud to be a leader in sales and customer service in New York auto leasing, and the SEO strategies created by OpenMoves have helped us achieve leadership in the digital landscape as well.”

If your business is hungry for more online leads and sales, contact us to find out how we can help.

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