Auto Trader SEO & Content strategy

Information architecture, User journeys

Recently I was asked to work on different areas of the business which are key priorities for Auto Trader moving forward. These are, New Car, Content, SEO and Discovery which should all be intrinsically linked from a business and consumer point of view however early on I discovered this was not the case. I identified inefficiencies in the SEO strategy and user journeys across these products and took it upon myself to fix it.

Problem statement

I wrote this problem statement as a clear way to articulate the problem simply to stakeholders in the business.

Our current New car, Discovery search, SEO pages and Content journeys do not work together meaning they operate as siloed experiences. Are answer to this problem historically has been to place onward links to other journeys, bouncing users around from one experience to another.
The impact of this has meant we have multiple pages with similar content competing against each other, inconsistent user experiences and SEO pages that aren’t part of any core user journey, acting as interstitial barriers for users wanting to find core journeys.

Subsequently, after identifying issues with the SEO strategy it came to fruition that we had started to see a decline in traffic to the site. The route cause of this was traced back to the demise in performance of our SEO pages. This was a good data source to backup my assumptions and logic.

Solution

The proposed new simplified site architecture unites all these consumer facing journeys meaning less duplication of content and pages to maintain. Another big change proposed is to move away from separate new and used pages for the same vehicle and combine the two pages to one generation level page which will drive more organic traffic into core journeys and can be used for multiple product journeys. I have also proposed a dedicated deals/offers page at make and model level that would be a key SEO traffic driver. All these changes should increase new audience growth, product awareness and leads for our customers.

Current status: Stakeholders and senior management are on board with the proposed changes and I am now working with the relevant squads and specialists to implement the changes.

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