How Chevrolet stays ahead of the game in mobile search: study
March 31, 2014
A mobile search for Chevy
Chevrolet is one of only a handful of automakers that is splitting up its mobile and desktop search initiatives distinctly to gain a competitive edge, according to a new study from Adgooroo.
With more automakers looking to ramp up mobile investments, search is low-hanging fruit to keep up with consumers who are primarily relying on their smartphones and tablets to make initial car buying decisions. One of the key findings in the study is that brands who are nailing down the basics on desktop search are not necessarily getting mobile search right.
“A surprising finding is that excellence in desktop/tablet targeting does not guarantee similar results in mobile,” said Richard Stokes, CEO/founder of AdGooroo, Chicago.
“Despite the common wisdom that the two can be managed together in a more or less automated fashion, the results strongly suggest that this is not the case,” he said.
Revving up mobile search
Adgooroo looked at how search ranks differ for auto brands on mobile and desktop/tablet.
The findings suggest that automakers should be taking significantly different approaches to mobile search than desktop search with specific keywords.
Chevrolet ranked as the No. 1 brand on mobile, and No. 2 on desktop/tablet.
One of the reasons why Chevrolet ranks highly on mobile is because the brand bids on keywords associated with its competitors, including “Dodge.”
A mobile search for "Chevy"
Ford ranked No. 1 in desktop/tablet, but fell to No. 7 in mobile, highlighting how automakers are increasingly becoming more aggressive in search to capitalize on the growing amount of mobile-specific keywords.
Toyota came in at No. 3 on mobile, and No. 4 on desktop.
Both Jeep and Lexus also saw a drop-off in search ranking between mobile and desktop/tablet. Jeep placed in the No. 16 spot on desktop/tablet, but fell to No. 22 on mobile. Similarly, Lexus was No. 25 on desktop/tablet and No. 32 on mobile.
BMW suffered the biggest loss between desktop/tablet ranking and mobile. The brand ranked No. 18 on desktop/tablet, but dropped to No. 38 on mobile.
At the same time, a couple of auto brands are getting mobile search better than desktop/tablet.
Dodge, for example, was ranked No. 9 in desktop/tablet, but No.2 in mobile. Audi also saw a jump with mobile, ranking at No. 6 compared to its No. 13 placement on desktop/tablet.
Increasing search scale
Adgooroo’s report found that 177 automaker sites leveraged Google desktop and tablet keywords in January and February.
Eighty-one percent — or 11.7 million — of clicks came from the top twenty of these sites in the two-month period.
The study also looked at 35,000 automotive mobile keywords. Both Chevrolet and Toyota rank highest in terms of share of voice across mobile and desktop/tablet.
Additionally, Dodge and Nissan controlled a larger share of voice on mobile than it did on desktop/tablet.
“Although our report findings did not indicate auto manufacturers are more aggressive in mobile than desktop search, some auto manufacturers may be particularly aggressive in mobile search because consumers are often using their mobile devices to compare prices and models while they are actually on the showroom floor, giving car makers a particularly opportune moment to influence car buyers while they are making purchase decisions,” Mr. Stokes said.
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