The Virtual Taxi Case Study


44% Increase In Taxi Bookings

At The Search Equation, we work with all types of businesses in many sectors, from one-person operations to large e-commerce retail companies that sell nationwide. In the UK, with the arrival of Uber, Bolt and rideshare apps, local taxi firms have taken a battering, and we were delighted to help Mark, the owner of The Virtual Taxi company in Swindon get his business back on the right road. With the help of Google Ads, Mark has met his business goals and exceeded his expectations.

The Background

When Mark contacted The Search Equation, he was well known as a reliable taxi driver among the residents of Swindon and was frequently booked for local rides. He had recovered sufficiently after the pandemic which hit his business hard, but his goal was to attract new customers. Mark was especially keen to receive bookings for longer distance rides.

Swindon is located just 48 miles from Bristol airport and a convenient town for international tourists as it is close to Stonehenge, Avebury stone circle, Salisbury Cathedral, and the beautiful Cotswolds. Swindon also has well known landmarks museums, and plenty of shops and restaurants to attract foreign visitors.  Mark felt his luxury taxis, equipped with Wi-Fi, device chargers, Netflix, streaming TV, and even the latest PlayStation 5 console would be perfect for those travelling from Bristol, Gatwick and Heathrow airports to or from Swindon, but first people had to be aware his superior taxi service existed.

Before starting any ad campaigns, we redid Mark’s website, optimising it for mobile searches, and making it as straightforward as possible for people to contact Mark when they be in a busy street, on the go.


Keywords – Local SEO Vs. PPC

As well as setting up ad campaigns for Mark, we simultaneously worked on his local SEO. Google Ads is perfect for those who want almost instant traffic, but SEO should never be neglected as apart from the work, it brings in free, organic traffic. It is also worth noting that searchers tend to trust organic search results over sponsored listings, so at The Search Equation, we always recommend focusing on both strategies.

Although we had performed keyword research to optimise the website for the targeted market, the chosen keywords are not necessarily the exact keywords we will use in Google Ads or other PPC campaigns. Depending on the client’s budget, some are simply too competitive and would not produce a sufficient ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

Average Search Position

Of course, we would be delighted if we could rank our clients at number one for every targeted search term, but realistically that is not going to happen. These days, search results are increasingly dynamic, with Google presenting results based on the user’s location and past search behaviour, so while one user might see a site in the number one position, another might see the same site at number three, although they entered the same search phrase.

So, while we always aim for number one, seeing our clients in the top five results for their most lucrative keywords is usually a satisfactory result. The top five results receive most clicks from users. Studies have shown that the first page of Google captures 95% of all search traffic. Being in the top five significantly increases your site’s visibility to potential visitors.


PPC Conversion Rate

Calculating the percentage of users who take a desired action after clicking on an ad is a crucial performance indicator (KPI) for any Google Ads campaign. The objective of the campaign determines the type of action users take. For instance, in Mark’s case, the main objectives were to have clients call to book a ride there and then or fill out his booking form for a longer distance trip.

To calculate the conversion rate, you divide the number of conversions by the total number of clicks on an ad and multiply by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if you get 5 conversions out of 200 clicks, your conversion rate would be 2.5%.

Understanding and optimising the conversion rate is vital to measure the return on investment (ROI) of advertising spending and determine how effectively a campaign is meeting the objectives. A high conversion rate indicates that ads are reaching the right audience and are persuasive enough to convince users to complete the desired action.

By focusing on improving the conversion rate, we can achieve better results while spending less on campaigns. Optimising ads, landing pages, and targeting strategies to increase conversions results in cost-effective campaigns without raising ad spend.

The Results

Mark’s website now shows on the first page of Google for almost all his target phrases. His business is frequently number one for local searches. His PPC campaigns are producing a healthy ROI as due to his high CTR, his ad spend continues to decrease without effecting his placements or conversions.

With his growing clientele Mark has received many 5-star reviews from new clients and voted the best taxi service in Swindon on Three Best Rated. However, the best news is Mark has hired two new drivers to help him during the busy Swindon rush hour, quite in feat in such a competitive business sector.  We hope to be part of his ongoing success!