Automotive Manufacturers is one of the most competitive categories in Paid Search. According to AdGooroo research, there were 177 automotive manufacturer sites sponsoring keywords on U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet in January and February this year. Of those, the top 20 sites (representing approximately 11%) drove 81% or 11.7 million of the 14.4 million paid search clicks in the category during the period.
Share of Voice for Desktop/Tablet (based on Paid Search impressions) was highly fragmented, but there were some clear winners, including Ford.com, Chevrolet.com and Honda.com. However, when combining its two sites, Toyota.com and BuyToyota.com, Toyota actually controlled the greatest Share of Voice during the period.
Because of changing consumer behavior, Mobile Search has taken on greater importance for auto manufactures, as car shoppers now use their mobile device to compare models, prices and dealers while on the showroom floor. The screenshot below illustrates the high stakes of Mobile, as Chevrolet bids on the keyword “dodge challenger” in order to entice shoppers searching for Dodge Challenger information to check out the Chevy Camaro instead.
Looking at a subset containing 35,000 top Automotive Manufacturer keywords in Mobile Search, we see much the same story for Share of Voice as in Desktop Search—a highly fragmented field with some standout performers. While many of the players are the same, the order has changed some. Chevrolet.com and Toyota.com are also on top in Mobile, but Dodge.com and NissanUSA.com are now controlling a larger Share of Voice than they enjoyed in Desktop/Tablet.
Looking at search impressions in the Automotive Manufacturer category another way, the following chart compares changes in rank between Desktop/Tablet and Mobile Search. Ford.com was #1 in Desktop/Tablet, but dropped to #7 in Mobile. Jeep.com and Lexus.com each dropped 6 positions from Desktop to Mobile as well. However, BMWusa.com had the most dramatic change, dropping 20 positions from #18 in Desktop/Tablet Search to #38 in Mobile Search. At the same time, Dodge.com jumped from #9 in Desktop/Table to #2 in Mobile, while AudiUSA.com moved into the #6 position in Mobile from #13 in Desktop/Tablet.