United Kingdom
  • 87% decrease in cost-per-conversion
  • 16% increase in conversions
  • Improved visibility of performance

About iProspect and AutoTrader

Auto Trader is the UK’s number 1 site to buy and sell used and new cars, bikes, vans, trucks and caravans with over 350,000 cars for sale online. The Auto Trader branded website and magazines form the core part of the group’s business and is the UK’s leading motoring website with monthly unique users of up to 10 million.

Auto Trader run their paid search activity through iProspect who are a leading global digital marketing agency.

Auto Trader’s aspirations within paid search result in many challenges for our agency, implementing Marin has enabled our PPC campaigns to evolve into a dynamic, almost self optimising marketing channel. I welcome any technology that focuses on optimising spend towards quality and thus freeing up the team’s time to discuss strategy and explore further innovations within this area.

Berian Reed
Head of Search at

Search queries were stagnating in car parts sector

With Auto Trader operating in a very competitive online sector, there was a requirement to evolve the paid search strategy to position the brand at the forefront of a maturing automotive search industry. With search queries for new and used cars stagnating and search spend across the sector growing, Auto Trader was experiencing an increasingly competitive search auction with the need for that extra edge to stay ahead of its competitors.

Auto Trader operates a very complex paid search program, with keywords constantly being added as new car models are released. The company also has varying business goals across 13 different website categories including the buying and selling of used and new cars, bikes, vans, caravans and trucks. This complexity made basic management of the program time-consuming with little time for strategising.

With Marin, visiblity of performance was improved, even at a granular level

iProspect and Auto Trader decided to onboard their paid search campaigns to Marin Software. Using Marin, iProspect was able to align each product campaign to the respective stakeholder’s specific goals. Within days, an improvement was visible with the system continuously and efficiently allocating visibility to makes, models and generic keywords that proved cost effective for the brand. As expected, this led to a decrease in acquisition costs spurred on by decreasing cost per click, coupled with an improved conversion rate.

Marin Software’s powerful and flexible bidding solution also allowed iProspect to optimise bids based on unique cost per conversion and the budget constraints for each website category. iProspect setup various folders within the Marin Software platform for each of the 13 different product categories across cars, bikes, vans, caravans and trucks. These folders allowed iProspect to control bidding outcomes and provided complete visibility into product level performance.

Saved time while increasing clicks

After iProspect’s account revamp and Marin Software’s automated bidding were applied to the Auto Trader paid search campaigns, the company saw significant improvements to both conversions and cost per conversion.

Overall across their paid search campaign, Auto Trader saw a 16% increase in conversions whilst realising a massive 87% decrease in their cost per conversion. iProspect’s strategic revamp of the Auto Trader account and Marin Software’s automated bidding combined to generate an uplift in revenue without changing the budget.