Trusted Dealers is the UK’s first website created by franchised dealers for franchised dealers. As part of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) it provides a safe online portal for customers to find high quality stock that’s reliable and trustworthy. It’s also a brand portal to advertise stock from member dealer groups. The primary goal of the site is to drive phone call and email leads to dealerships. TD is a national brand boasting ties with the NFDA, and backed by big named automotive brands such as JCT 600, Bristol Street, Lookers, Arnold Clarke and Perry’s.

“Rick and his team at Circus have been part of our continued success for over 4 years now, thanks to their diligence, hard work and insight – and have taken great pains to understand the needs of our business. They have helped deliver on our goals through effective management of our PPC budget with constant improvement and deployments of innovative techniques and technology.” – Neil Addley, Managing Director, Trusted Dealers Ltd


We were hired right at the formation of the brand and concept, and had a number of challenges to overcome. Trusted Dealers were entering a highly competitive market with huge volumes of long tail keywords. Customers were using an array of devices to search for a car, and the purchase was one of considerable size and taking place off site. Trusted Dealers were looking for a cost effective solution that would drive users to the site to find their ideal car, and then lead the user to call the respective dealer to arrange a viewing. Because of the extended buying cycle, and off site purchase, it was difficult to track users from PPC through to phone calls, however, we were up for the challenge.

We took the account from conception and have delivered year on year growth in leads (phone call or email) with consistent year on year reduction in CPL, and this success continues.

Already this year we are seeing another YOY growth of 17% in call volume and a 15% decrease in CPL.

We initially took the standard approach of trying to narrow the account down to push what “seemed” to be working and reduce aggression in the areas that did not. This reduced the overall number of calls and pushed the Cost Per Call (CPL) up. So we applied a new approach, one that had not really been tried before. We reduced all the bids to below expectation and increased the keyword reach throughout the networks and included general volume/long tail. This resulted in increased click traffic with a reduction in overall CPC and ultimately an increase in the number of phone calls the clients received, more than halving their CPL. We then took this forward by applying bespoke bids at a model level which depended on constantly changing stock volumes and conversion rates.

Having done a lot of work with the client over the years, we’ve tested every facet of PPC, finding that the following works:

  • Break the campaign down by make and model (hundreds of thousands of keywords)
  • Break the campaign down by location – BMW Leeds, BMW Manchester etc.
  • Separate accounts for Remarketing, Display, Mobile, Bing
  • Remarketing by model
  • Display by model
  • Location modifiers by manufacturer (not model – this drives walk-ins not phone calls)
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
  • Site links & call outs

The result was a strategy where we had as many keywords live as possible on the lowest bids possible – not the usual PPC strategy! It was all about getting ads in front of as many users as possible, targeting the right model and using the right ad in the right location

One of the first accounts in the UK to use RLSA
Consistent year on year growth of lead volume:
  • 2012 to 2013: 50% increase
  • 2013 to 2014: 30% increase
  • 2014 to 2015: 17% increase
Consistent year on year reduction in CPL:
  • 2012 to 2013: 50% decrease
  • 2013 to 2014: 20% decrease
  • 2014 to 2015: 15% decrease

As our longest serving client, we’ve worked extremely closely with Trusted Dealers over the years and have a very strong relationship, we’re even sometimes referred to as part of the team. We’ve delivered talks for their conferences and even helped member dealerships with their own individual PPC strategy.

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