Case Study: Linking Facebook Ads to a Single Car Page vs. an Inventory Page
9 Clouds tested the success of Facebook carousel ads linking directly to vehicle description pages (VDPs) vs. ads linking to search results pages (SRPs) with multiple clients.
We’ve found Facebook carousel ads are ideal for helping dealerships reach shoppers because it gives users a chance to choose the right vehicle or service for their needs.
The choice to link your auto inventory ads to SRPs or VDPs makes a big difference to user experience. For SRP ads, you might arrange carousel cards based on body type, model, price, or more. But VDPs allow you to put specific vehicles in front of shoppers.
Our creative team estimates they spend at least 10-15 minutes each week checking VDP-linked Facebook ads to replace vehicles that have sold.
To make sure that extra time was worthwhile, we ran agency-wide A/B tests comparing VDP and SRP Facebook ads. Changing nothing besides the links on these automotive inventory ads, we set up 25 test cases in August and reviewed the Google Analytics results.
It’s worth noting each test shared a campaign, so Facebook was selecting between the two ad sets each time on which to display. We accounted for this by judging success on averages in Google Analytics. Ads mostly yielded comparable clicks and sessions.
14 of the 22 SRP ads had higher average session duration. In terms of bounce rate, the results were more even: VDP ads had lower bounce rates in 10 tests, SRP ads had lower in 11, and one test had identical bounce rates for both ads.
Looking at an average number of pages viewed, the ad linking to SRPs performed better in 14 of the 22 cases (with one of the 22 having identical numbers again).
One trend did catch our attention: website visitors viewed more VDP ads if they clicked to VDPs, and more SRPs if they clicked those. While that sounds obvious, we had hypothesized SRP visitors would be more compelled to view several specific vehicles. Instead, they seemed to work through a few different parameters on SRPs to set the search features best for them, while those who clicked VDP ads may have hopped from one vehicle description page to another.
Overall, we found the engagement success of SRP ads informative on how we optimize our strategies. Because VDP ads require almost daily check-ins, our data indicates the goal of the ad should be specific to the vehicles featured. Otherwise, a link to SRPs that leads can refine themselves is a more efficient approach, allowing you to focus that extra time on other digital automotive marketing efforts.
9 Clouds will continue to test variables in Facebook advertising in order to optimize results for our auto clients and refine marketing and sales strategies for each store.
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