Redesigned rolls out hyper-targeted ad opps

Automotive site gets new look and functionality that allows advertisers to reach niche-targeted audiences. has officially rolled out its new look, content and functionality this week and with it has come more traffic and new opportunities for advertisers to hyper-target audiences.

The redesigned site is now the sole automotive site for all of Metroland’s 110 community newspapers and community website properties. Previously, those properties were serviced by Promotion of the new site is being done through all Metroland and Torstar media.

In addition to the site’s redesign, with search featured prominently above the fold, the site’s content has been enhanced and its reach expanded, Cameron Milne, director of digital automotive with Metroland Media Group, tells MiC. Advertisers can now target their ads to reach audiences based on region and by what make, model or price the user is searching, he says.

Since it beta-launched in July, has seen its total unique monthly visitors increased by 18% over the year previous (to 490,000 million in August 2009, according to Omniture) and its page views increase from an average of one or two per visit, per person in August 2008 to an average of seven or eight in August 2009. The number of average unique monthly views of the site, according to ComScore, is 210,000.

The core of the site’s relaunch is a new approach to its vehicle inventory, says Milne. Whereas the site previously used to rely on manufacturer-supplied info and third-party collection of vehicle data, that has all been brought in-house. teams go out to dealerships and collect info on the car using Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scanners and the car’s listing is based on the data collected. There are now 21,000 vehicles on the site. The site is unique in the marketplace because of its combination of editorial and vehicle database, says Milne, which allows users to search for vehicles and reference reviews and stories about the car on the same site.