Dominating the competition through smarter optimization strategy.


The automotive industry in Canada is very competitive with many brands vying for the same potential customers, who are undecided about which vehicle to lease or buy.
The Challenge.

In Canada, General Motors’ website hosts four major manufacturer brands (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC) on the same web domain. While convenient for one-stop shopping and user experience, this posed a strategic challenge for search engine optimization, and search engine marketing campaigns leveraging Google Ads.

Since only a single brand could position itself in paid search results, due to the limitations of leveraging one shared domain, it deprived the other brands of valuable visibility.

Our Approach.

To overcome this obstacle, Sawhorse, in partnership with iProspect, created new Dynamic Vehicle Comparison Landing Pages, a new Resource Section, and new Lifestyle Blogs for each of the four General Motors brands, all with unique domain names. This strategy enabled GM to occupy multiple locations in paid and organic search results, while also allowing potential buyers to compare GM vehicles with those of the competition, and easily access unique brand and vehicle-specific content.

This search engine domination strategy significantly increased the visibility of General Motors brands in search engines, making GM more visible to all prospective buyers by occupying maximum space on the channels used by this segment, with the ultimate goal of increasing vehicle sales. In addition, this strategy demonstrated GM’s willingness to be compared to its competition, placing higher importance on simplifying the lives of its consumers by providing neutral content on its vehicles versus those of the competition.

The Results.

General Motors was able to offer an optimized presence at every single step of the purchase funnel by increasing the number of domains customers could access. New landing pages focussing on retention (existing buyers), conquest (competitor’s buyers), and segment (undecided buyers) keywords increased the potency of paid search campaigns, driving costs down and creating a barrier for competition. Overall, this represented a $250K investment by GM, and yielded an impressive $2.5MM return.

Specifically, GM recorded a spectacular increase of 22% in share of voice. Traffic to the website rose 21%, and conversions increased by 15% overall. This campaign was awarded for its impressive use of media strategies (Infopresse Media Awards, 2015) in the Best Use of Search category.

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