GEM Motoring Assist

/ Conversion Rate Optimisation
/ Digital Advertising/PPC
/ Search Engine Optimisation
Lead Metric Success
Revenue increase of 145% in 6 months, a 64% year on year improvement, and a ten-year revenue high for the company.
Client Need
GEM Motoring Assist have offered Breakdown Cover for the last 30 years having established as a motoring organisation since 1932. They are very well respected having won the Auto Express Award 8 times in the last 11 years. However, they don’t have the clout of their big competitors, The RAC, The AA & Greenflag, and the market has become saturated with competition from Supermarkets and Insurance companies resulting in a very competitive market.
No Pork Pies have worked with GEM for several years on their SEO & PPC but the competition levels had started to make the old approach rather stale and the Paid Search model too expensive, a new approach was needed…
GEM's website needed to improve the number of users signing up for breakdown cover, which had been fairly static for some time. The website had to focus on quickly convincing users that GEM can be trusted to supply an exceptional service compared to the big three and the SEO & PPC traffic hitting the site had to be relevant, moving from ‘advice gatherers’ to ‘potential breakdown customers’.
The core objectives were split into 3 marketing areas:
- Improve visitor conversion rate across all channels
- Increase the number of breakdown cover focused visitors
- Increase visibility of core ‘breakdown cover’ related terms
- Improve revenue from SEO
- Achieve a CPA target of £25
- Increase brand awareness & brand searches
- Increase PPC Revenue
- Improve ROAS - the current rate is £2.70:1
Having worked with GEM for several years we knew there wasn’t going to be any ‘quick-wins’ with SEO so we viewed the SEO strategy as a long-term approach. A number of areas required review, testing and implementation and it would take a few months to work through the process.
We attacked SEO through looking at 3 core areas:
- Technical SEO
- Content
- User Experience
Content & User Experience is a big area of focus for Google and was identified as one of GEM’s main issue. They have a Motoring Advice blog on their site which generated large volumes of traffic but also had a very high bounce rate, never generated any conversions and focused on generic motoring advice (with very little content around breakdown cover). We decided to use our experience of SEO and do the opposite of what many would recommend, we moved the entire blog off the main domain onto a subdomain. The reasoning being we wanted to dilute the topical association of the blog with the main site, resulting in the main site being seen as more topically relevant to Breakdown Cover without the ‘noise’ from the blog around general motoring. We also saw the blog’s high bounce rate as a potential negative point that damaged the whole domain and needed to be addressed. There was a high risk it would result in less traffic to the site but the objectives focused on improving relevant traffic so a traffic volume drop wasn’t a concern as long as conversions increase in the process.
We also focused on the technical side of SEO, both on the blog and the main site. We cleaned up the code on the blog and removed many of the plugins (as the blog sits within a Wordpress Platform). This reduced the load time from an average of around 8 seconds to about 3.5 seconds.
We also resolved any technical issues, such as broken links, images, missing optimisation, adding Schema and initially used Javascript redirects as adding redirects to the server wasn’t an option at the time so we had to take a different approach and our SEO background believed this would be an accepted SEO approach by Google (we were right). We ran multiple site audits and continually worked through any issues that came back until any technical problems on the blog or main site were resolved.
We also decided to run a test by removing the disavow submission from Google. We had a hunch that a lot of the poor links would now automatically be suppressed by Google and moving the blog would remove many of the irrelevant links, so removal of the disavow ‘could’ have a positive impact.
Finally, we reviewed the content and user experience on the main site. GEM had recently won the Which? Award & Auto Express Award for Best Breakdown Cover. We reviewed the content on various pages to promote this and improve the general site copy and minimise bounce.
Our approach didn’t end with SEO, we also looked to improve results through PPC. Initially this involved testing different landing pages and copy to see if we can improve the conversion rates with AB testing on landing pages. However, we found that generic search terms, such as ‘Breakdown Cover’ had a really low conversion rate and high cost per click making it impossible to achieve the £25 Cost per sale target. Even when we ignored the targets to test for volumes and conversions we found the number of conversions through generic keywords were very low. We needed a different approach to PPC…
Having won the Awards in May we could see a positive impact on conversion rates on the site but after a few months of tests this still wasn’t proving fruitful for PPC generic search terms. In June we decided to change the PPC approach and target an awareness campaign, using Display as a way to reach new audiences and make them aware of the GEM brand and that GEM was an award winner.
We setup new creative display banners and targeted a mixture of contextual, in-market and retargeted audiences, the campaign went live in July.
Our objectives were to create more brand awareness and more brand searches, as we know brand search has a positive impact on SEO rankings, so this was part of our joined up SEO/PPC thinking.
Anything that wasn’t effective we removed to create a lean marketing campaign with maximum conversions for minimal spend.
We rolled out the blog change in mid-April and the display campaign went live in July. The results of the SEO and PPC approach, along with the improved User Experience and recent award wins massively outperformed anyone’s expectations.
The Result
Results in a 6 month period:
• The conversion rate for all channels improved by 133%
• Core SEO traffic up 78%
• SEO traffic to the breakdown cover page increased 154%
• SEO revenue increased 197%
• The breakdown cover page SEO revenue increase by 373%
• SEO revenue is up 38% Year on Year
• Following the blog removal there was an immediate impact of a 97% increase in SEO revenue between April and May
• The Homepage SEO revenue increased by 204%
• The Breakdown Cover page SEO revenue increased by 373%
• PPC revenue increased 161% between June & August*
• Year on Year PPC revenue up 566%.
• ROAS from £2.70 to £5.20 per £1 spent in 6 months
• The CPA from £27.26 to £17.38 in 6 months (target = £25)
• Average Cost Per Click down 60%
* Display went live in July
The increase in Display visibility improved SEO visibility (attributed to an increase in brand search) with Google Organic impressions increasing 11% between June and August.
The integrated campaign generated a revenue increase of 145% in 6 months, a 64% year on year improvement, and a ten-year revenue high for the company.
Client Story
GEM Motoring Assist provide award winning breakdown cover to their members. They operate a 24-hour Rescue Control Centre to arrange assistance from a nationwide network of approved recovery operators. GEM give their members good service, sound advice and keep them safe on the road and have been providing road safety services and advice since 1932.
The changes No Pork Pies have helped us make on our website have proven to be extremely successful across our business objectives, for Search and for marketing in general.

Their on-going activity within SEO, PPC and conversion optimisation have helped us achieve an incredible year on year improvement and positioned our revenue at a ten-year high. I’m sure, with No Pork Pies, this trend will continue
Paula Williams

Paula Williams

Chief Executive

GEM Motoring Assist

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