Case study: How Vauxhall drove engagement with consumers through natural search and social media

This case study outlines the strategy implemented by car manufacturer, Vauxhall, in partnership with digital marketing specialist I Spy, in an effort to engage with consumers through natural search and social media.

ObjectivesWith I Spy as its natural search partner, Vauxhall wanted to increase the amount of traffic and conversions generated from organic search. It also recognised the need to amplify brand messaging and engage with larger audiences across different touchpoints, particularly social media. With these objectives Vauxhall and I Spy laid out a multi-dimensional strategy focusing on internal and external optimisation. StrategyIn terms of internal development the aim was to increase the amount of Vauxhall organic search positions, and so they established Key Natural Search (SEO) recommendations, supplying onsite recommendations and optimising pages to reflect trophy key terms. They also obtained keyword dominance for new Vauxhall car models, with a view to retaining dominance of brand visibility within Google. To grow non brand visibility with organic search they built an automotive non brand search engine presence and developed content hubs focusing on non-brand terms. In relation to external optimisation, Vauxhall created short term goals, which were driven with I Spy’s collaboration with other agencies in order to introduce Vauxhall into the social space. High on the agenda was the obtaining of high quality links from authority websites which involved identifying and obtaining links from relevant directories and the interlinking of the Vauxhall.co.uk website with all related pages in Wikipedia. The development of content for blogs to be submitted onto social news sites and the syndication of all press releases was also part of the collaborative strategy, with a view to increasing the engagement with customers. Video was immediately recognised as a medium to achieve the brand amplification objective and so a YouTube channel was created. I Spy developed the Vauxhall YouTube channel and continue to upload and amend it in order to amplify campaigns that occur during the year, ensuring every video is fully optimised and therefore increasing views and building ‘real estate’ within organic search results. ResultsFrom the internal optimisation strategy, Vauxhall saw its overall ranking increase significantly across a large number of keywords. For example, Vauxhall.co.uk now ranks at the top of Google for the term ‘Astra’ from previously being outside the top 100. In addition, Vauxhall.co.uk now ranks page one for 90 per cent of branded keywords and they also saw a 33 per cent increase in non-brand terms ranking on page one in just nine months. Furthermore, the percentage share of traffic generated from organic search increased from two per cent to 12 per cent in seven months. The social media campaign was equally successful. Through I Spy’s consultation with other agencies and their campaign management Vauxhall has established a presence and following on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Vauxhall Corsa Facebook page has achieved over 44,000 ‘likes’ and though I Spy’s continued work on the YouTube channel, Vauxhall’s video collateral has received over two million views. Across the board the Vauxhall community was extremely responsive and the car manufacturer saw an increased engagement of 200 per cent. Karen Standen, digital and CRM marketing manager at Vauxhall, commented on the relationship between Vauxhall and I Spy, stating: “The dedicated high standard of work from the I Spy team has ensured our social engagement has developed with some extremely successful campaign activities. We have also been tracking a continual improvement on our natural search rankings thanks to the implementation of detailed plans and clear, helpful reporting.”

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