YourMechanic – Google Ads Case Study

YourMechanic is an online marketplace that enables vehicle owners to find mobile mechanics for home or office car repair services.  They are an “Uber for Mechanics” that sends mobile mechanics to meet you and fix your car. They started in 2012, and have scaled to millions of sessions each month, raising over $40m in funding.

YourMechanic drives a significant amount of revenue from pay-per-click ads on Google, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in search engine marketing (SEM).  YourMechanic was looking to scale and expand their paid channels to match their organic growth. They wanted to both increase spending, and lower their CPA (cost per acquisition), so that they could grow their business.

When Zavient came on, we saw that YourMechanic’s SEM didn’t match the full range of their services. While they offered hundreds of auto repair services for all major makes, most of their SEM budget was focused on a handful of services, and a few keywords around mobile auto repair.  To shore this up, they had also enabled a Google service called “Dynamic Search Ads” (DSA). DSA works by having Google crawl your website and then automatically creating ad campaigns for every page, based on the page title and other information.  This can be a quick way of monetizing the long tail, but at a cost. Campaigns can often appear that surprise the site owner with an advertisement for an older or sold-out product. DSA will drive visitors to all parts of your website, including many pages that don’t even have a place for customers to buy, such as old press releases.  The result is that DSA has a tendency to consume a large amount of spend at a poor ROI.

Zavient saw some big opportunities for how YourMechanic could scale to go after the entire auto repair market, concurrent with its ambition to be the nation’s leading mobile repair service. When we came on, we decided that the best path to growing YourMechanic’s ad revenue and ROI would be a systematic approach, focused on their specific domain of auto repair.

We built out campaigns for 500 different car repair services and symptoms, with custom keywords for each one.

We also built out campaigns for every make (Ford, Mercedes, etc.) they served, and also created separate campaigns for their most popular cities.

This focus on the extreme long-tail allowed YourMechanic to advertise for many specific repairs, makes and locations that its national competitors weren’t focused on, or didn’t have time or interest in targeting. It also allowed them to do it in a way that would give them full control and visibility, unlike the DSA campaign.

At the same time, we also worked with them to build out a customized, parametric landing page that would show visitors they were in the right place, so an ad for “Honda Alternator Service” would go to a landing page with that same title. Google saw that YourMechanic’s landing pages had high relevance for their searches, and as a result, YourMechanic was able to move up higher in search results while their costs actually went down.

Finally, we implemented over 20 different custom machine learning scripts to optimize each parameter to get the lowest possible CPA, everything from custom audiences to age to time of day to keyword type.

The effects were dramatic. After we had their campaigns running for a few months, we were able to show impressive year-over-year changes, including a 47% increase in paid revenue, a movement of ROAS (return on ad spend—revenue over ad cost) from 2x to 4.7x+, a click-through rate that had more than doubled, from 2% to 5%, and a $0.50 decline in average cost-per-click (CPC).  In addition to the bottom-line revenue and ROI increases, we were able to give back to them strategic intelligence on which repairs, makes and cities were most profitable for them.

YourMechanic continues to grow at a steady clip, using Zavient’s SEM strategy as a core part of their toolkit.

Summary of what we did:

  • Deep competitor and keyword research
  • Service Campaigns – Instead of the existing, low ROI automated dynamic service ads, Zavient built out over 500new service ad groups, each with custom ad copy for that service, and each going toa custom landing page.
  • Make Campaigns – 176 new make ad groups launched (Ford, Chevy etc), each with custom ad copy going to the corresponding YM make page.
  • Location Targeting– All of the ~8000 locations are in, for each campaign. 64,000location-campaign combos
  • Negatives– for services not offered – Over 2800non-offered services have been blocked, so that YourMechanic wouldn’t pay for any clicks for services they don’t offer, to lower CAC
  • Targeting – Added revised targeting for age, gender, household income, and device
  • Implemented over 20 machine learning software programs to optimize bids

If you’re looking to grow your auto company, let’s chat.