Adwords Case Study
So, we like to keep you up to date with some of the work we’re doing at Northstar Marketing. This week, it comes from the team managing our client Google Adwords accounts.
Adwords can be a fantastically profitable marketing technique, but it’s important to understand the numbers. For example, a conversion is a lead so we know cost per lead. However, can you track cost per opportunity and cost per sale? Are the leads actually generating any profitable business enquiries? If not, something needs to change. Which is exactly what happened in our Adwords case study we’re about to show you.
In April this year we were invited by a company to take a look at their recent Adwords campaign. They had a relatively small budget of £1,000 to spend and received 18 enquiries – so a cost per enquiry of £57.52.
The conversion rate on their initial campaign from advert click to lead was 17.48%, while the cost per click was slightly over £10. For the budget of £1,000, the campaign generated 103 clicks to the website and 2,714 people viewed the adverts.
We asked the obvious question, “how many sales did you get and what was your profit?” The answer was the profit was only about £800. Not a bad result, but only 4 leads became opportunities and there were 3 sales.
We began by investigating why so many leads were out with the sales criteria. 4 opportunities from 18 is a 22% opportunity rate. Lead to sale was 17%.
These aren’t bad numbers by any stretch and the campaign was making money, but we felt there were certainly improvements which could be made.
We changed a number of elements within the existing Adwords account in order to maximise the advertising budget and yield better quality of leads.
Whilst it’s early days, you can see from the campaign report below that the cost per conversion has dropped significantly. It’s now £18.86 per enquiry and there have been 7 enquiries at a cost of £132. The conversion rate is higher by 4% and the cost per click is down to £4.13 on average.
So, the campaign produced cheaper enquiries by almost £40 per lead and 7 leads for the company in the first week. Of the 7 enquiries, 5 were opportunities that look likely to become sales (it’s too soon to tell).
Our Adwords team looked at the initial strategy and found that the plan was to advertise on a large number of keywords and be positioned first or second on Google. This can be an excellent plan in some instances, but there were flaws in the design.
The landing pages were not specifically created for each campaign. The adverts were not tailored to each group and because of the high position on Google the cost per click was excessive.
As a result, a small percentage of the keywords received most of the attention and they were in broad searches which were generating clicks not necessarily in line with the company’s products. This meant a large majority of the leads generated were wasted.
We got down to business and went back to stage one – which keywords did we envisage being the most likely to generate a profitable sale? Once these were identified we created niche categories for each and wrote compelling adverts for each ad group. These adverts then linked to their own specifically designed page on the website which was focussed towards the intended recipient.
Adwords budgets can vary, but for this campaign we realised that at £10 per click we would only get 100 visitors to the website. Consequently we knew changes were required. The new campaign was scheduled to go live at peak times when the target audience would most likely be in a buying behaviour. It’s a strategy we’ve used multiple times before with smaller marketing budgets and it often works. It does require a high level of understanding about customer habits and even now there’s refining to do.
Lastly, we lowered the cost per click of each keyword. We knew we were about to improve the quality score and didn’t feel it necessary to pay the premium to sit on position one or two. We reduced the maximum cost per click and the adverts were now located below competitors on page one, positions 3-5. Again, with any form of marketing this test doesn’t always pay off and we may have been wrong, but thinking about return on investment it was the safest option to maximise the budget.
The quality score of the campaign helped significantly. The vast majority of the keywords were now an 8/10 or above. This helped reduce the cost per click, while the maintaining a relatively high position for the advert.
The quality score was above average because we improved the landing page experience by creating unique content targeted towards each advert and keyword group. The advert relevance was above average and very closely linked to the keywords. The expected click through rate was often also above average too. These all helped the campaign receive a higher quality score and reduce the cost per click.
Before spending a penny on Google Adwords it’s helpful to understand how the process works and build your campaign in stages.
Use the tools at your disposal, including the keyword planner within Google Adwords itself. Build landing pages that will encourage your audience to take the appropriate call to action and design adverts that will resonate with your audience. Knowing your customer is 90% of the battle.
Even on a campaign which has lowered the cost per enquiry substantially and produced enhanced profitability, we will continue to tweak the messages on the adverts and times we advertise at.