I've got a quick question for you. What could your business do if it generated an extra HALF-A-MILLION in revenue this year? What about in just the next 3 months?
Think about that moment for just a second, what would you do with that?
Expand your team? Get that new piece of equipment you've been waiting to get?
A lot of business owners could use this kind of influx to boost their business. Learn the journey our client went through (or just simply skim through the data) to learn the approach and strategy we used by reading on.
Using Google Ads For AP Lazer (A Laser Machine Company)
On October 23rd, 2000, Google created a massive shift in digital marketing when it launched its 'Self-Service Advertising Program.' A decade later, the search engine giant made more than $40 million in revenue off this advertising program.
Today, the program runs by another name: Google Ads - an integral part of any successful businesses' online marketing strategy.
Pro Tip: Google's pay-per-click service allows businesses and marketers to create and display ads in the search results. Using the right keywords to target the right audience gives companies an advantage since they are reaching people who have an interest in their products and services.
This is the exact scenario our client had in mind. AP Lazer wanted to reach potential customers the minute those people went online and did a search.
We guaranteed them fast exposure by taking charge of their Google Ads Strategy.
One Of Our Clients: AP Lazer Google Ads Case Study
AP Lazer, the laser machine company which produces several laser engraving products across the United States focusing on new businesses, schools, funeral homes, memorials, woodworking, and metal cutting, had an existing Google Ads strategy spending $10,000 or more a month.
The Cost Per Acquisition of $70 - $100 per person that converted to a customer, and $1.00 - $3.00 per click, selling products that ranged from $25,000 - $80,000 apiece, they needed expert help.
The TL;DR Summary (Continue To The Next Paragraph If You Want To Read The Journey)
Below is a quick comparison showing from Jan 1st to March 31st, 2018 (a 3-month comparison), to April 12th to June 31st, 2018 (After we took over). But before you look at the numbers, we encourage you to take a look at the review, they left us on Google.
Monthly Numbers Before Alkries LLC
Ad Spend of $7.5K - 10K a month.
Monthly Numbers After Strategy and Implementation
Ad Spend of $8.8K a month.
Ads: A Critical Tool For Businesses
Google Ads is responsible for the drastic changes seen in the marketing world known as one of the most effective methods of paid advertising, this advertising system is used by thousands of organizations with a similar goal: to tap into the massive numbers of people searching for products, services, and information online.
This online marketing tool has the power to send large numbers of people to a website that offers the solution to their wants and needs.
Using a 'pay-per-click' (PPC) system, advertisers bid for keywords that bring conversions and are relevant to the business. When a potential customer performs a search using those particular keywords, Google will display the advertiser's ads in the paid SERPs.
On average, 41 percent of the clicks will go to the top three ads.
Google Ads is also cost-effective. Advertisers will only pay for each click on their ad. The effectiveness of an ads campaign can be subjective and depends on the business' goals, needs, and specific industry.
Factors That Determine The Success of Google Ads Includes The Following:
- 1Competitiveness of the keywords an advertiser is bidding for.
- 2Likelihood of a keyword to bring in more conversions.
- 3Quality of the website and landing pages the ads are directing to.
- 4Bidding strategies and the advertisers' budget.
Google Ads offers an easy way for companies to get listed at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords. According to Google, search ads can increase brand awareness by 80 percent. Businesses can use Google's Display Network, a traditional PPC approach, to target users with a specific interest.
They can advertise services and products across different websites as either a banner or text ad. Since they can use images in banner ads, it's easier for them to get the brand's personality across more clearly.
The search network is another means of raising brand awareness. Even when users do not click on the ads, the visibility of the business' brand name will convince them to choose your products in the future.
Pro Tip: Clever techniques, such as placing ads on searches for the competition's brand names, can lead to more website clicks.
Clicks to Cash: The Pros of Using Google Ads (Infographic)
Before Alkries LLC, The Campaign Numbers (Google Ads Case Study)
AP lazer had been running Google Ads on their own for about two years. We reviewed the most recent months of them managing their campaign and pulled up 3 months' worth of data.
In the bullet points below, we look from Jan 1st to March 31st, 2018, right before we took over the campaign in April of 2018.
On their own they were averaging the following numbers monthly:
- 7.3k clicks.
- 99 conversions per month.
- $75.79 per conversion.
- Spending roughly $7.5k - 10K on Google Ads alone.
- 2.79 million Ad impressions
- Avg. position for their ads was 1.7 (meaning their ad wasn't always in the top spot in placement.)
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Ads?
Our client is not the first, nor will they be the last, company to attempt a DIY on their Google Ads efforts. A number of other businesses choose this route, thinking that it will save them more time and resources.
On the contrary, doing paid advertising in-house without the proper resources and expertise may even cost them more without garnering the results that they want, as shown by our clients' average numbers per month.
As professional paid advertising marketers, we've seen clients who initially attempted DIY (or sometimes another marketing firm, sadly) and ended up committing the following mistakes.
Bidding Too Low
Not all businesses who use the DIY approach are aware that they can stay within their budget when it comes to cost per click. Google allows this for bidders who are willing to pay a premium.
Some business owners are initially hesitant with bidding too high, thinking that they might have to pay a lot for just a few clicks. Over time, however, it becomes a worthwhile investment. Paying for more clicks will improve the ad account, which will reflect in its Quality Score.
Pro Tip: This increases the chances of the client gaining more conversions.
Not Optimizing Their Ads
Unfortunately, a number of do-it-yourself paid advertisers are very lax with their campaigns. Similar to commercial airline pilots, that depend on the autopilot button after takeoff. But depending on pre-set directions mean that nuances and small windows of opportunity that open up as the campaigns go along are missed.
A campaign should run long enough to generate relevant data before a specialist can optimize it. Once the data is there, optimization must happen immediately to generate leads and conversions.
It is the advertiser's responsibility to stand guard and make sure the keywords and ad-copies are good to go before the target market can click on them.
Doing Everything In One Ad Group
Ideally, each ad group should have one task with a singular focus. A common mistake that occurs with DIY paid advertising is trying to make one ad group do many things. The business' marketer tries to expand their reach and get more conversions by including keyword phrases that are too dissimilar.
A focused ad group tailors a better message. It contains key terms that are relevant to both the business and their audiences.
Forgetting to Set Up Conversion Tracking
Without a conversion tracking setup, justifying ad spend and optimizing campaigns will be difficult. It will be hard to measure critical statistics and set conversion actions. Yet too often, we've seen a couple of DIY paid advertisers run their campaigns without a decent conversion tracking in place.
Not Keeping Up With New Features
One of the most challenging parts of Ads management is keeping up with the innovations in the system. It is a full-time job that requires 100 percent of your time and attention. Since business owners have their hands full running the business, tracking the frequent updates and monitoring inquiries will prove impossible.
As a result, they can miss out on significant marketing opportunities like call-only ads.
Not Creating a Landing Page
A few do-it-yourself marketers set up and run Ads campaigns without creating a designed landing page.
Potential customers do not appreciate being baited only for their expectations to be thwarted. If they search for Product A and click on an ad with the keyword they're using, they expect to see a web page dedicated to Product A.
Don't Be Afraid To Change Your Strategy: We understand that customers have their reasons for venturing down the DIY route in the first place or using other marketing firms. Stubbornly sticking to such an approach (when it has no results), however, defeats the purpose of trying to achieve their digital marketing goals.
Their Goals & Wants
AP Lazer wanted to increase clicks, lower the cost per click, lower the cost per person, up the conversions, get better placement in their ads, and generate more leads and revenue. These were developed into key performance indicators for the success of their campaign. Every campaign starts with setting goals and key indicators that make the campaign measurable. For them, their campaign was less than satisfactory on their own.
The Need For Professional Help
While Google Ads is simple to initiate, handling it on top of everything else you need to do guarantees that you won't see the results you want to see. Fortunately, our client realized that they needed our assistance to make the most out of their current strategy.
Pay-per-click advertising has the potential to deliver targeted traffic. The practice, however, requires technical know-how to ensure results. Our Google Ads specialists were capable of reviewing every facet of the client's account and realizing its potential - something the latter struggled with due to budget, time, and other concerns.
By Hiring Our Professional Services, The Client Benefited From The Following:
Keyword Research Assistance
Selecting the wrong keywords leads to campaigns with poor returns and a budget that's quickly exhausted. Our team steered the client clear from this concern by using all the tools available.
Apart from the free keyword tools (e.g., Google's Keyword Tool), we also used paid ones to give them a competitive advantage. We also used multiple data points to gain a better view of the client's sales landscape.
The foundation of any good Ads campaign is expert tracking - not just of sales performances, but the sources of the sales, as well. A proper analysis provides businesses with information on keywords and placements that will bring in the most conversions.
Our goal tracking helped the client measure their conversions when, for example, someone completes a lead form, makes a purchase, or calls the sales team.
Pro Tip: We also tagged their campaigns to determine which ones are the most effective using Google Tag Manager.
Successful Google Ads strategies require a considerable amount of time. Not all businesses, however, have the time to spare for intensive paid advertising research. Our PPC specialists had a faster method of gaining valuable information, allowing the client to concentrate on other aspects of their business.
Better Ad Copies
Good ad copies can get more conversions and elevate a campaign's click-through rate. On the other hand, lousy ad copies fail to convey the right message and may result in low conversions.
One of the strengths of our paid advertisers is their ability to perform competitive research. We understand the makings of a good copy. We used our knowledge to study the competition and create ads based on competitor research and regular A/B testing.
Our Solution To Their Problem (Infographic)
How and What We Did
We treat every campaign with respect and have key processes developed to walk you as the client through a campaign design from start to finish. While the campaign is custom, the checks along the way start with similar tasks. Below, we break down how we start every campaign here at Alkries LLC®.
Upon client intake, we did an audit of their existing campaigns. We took what was working best and applied it on the revised account restructuring. Anything not yielding conversions were not included. The historical performance of the account was taken into consideration hence allowing us to be more careful in running the client's campaigns for the second time.
Other metrics we checked during the audit included:
- Keywords. During our keyword audit, we reviewed the match types. To complete expansions for better ROIs, we added modified phrase, broad, and exact match terms. We also took a look at a search term report to look for keywords that generate more traffic and conversions.
- Ads. We double-checked the client's ads to look for spelling and grammar concerns and the relevance of the ads to the audience.
- Ad groups. We also looked into how the ad groups are set up. Doing so enabled us to remove ad groups with a very broad reach, which paved the way for better ad copywriting.
We made sure that the campaign's settings are correct ,especially on the target locations, languages, networks, and devices.
- 1Target Locations. By default, new campaigns are set to serve areas in the United States and Canada. This default setting, however, isn't always practical. It depends on how a client's business is set up to serve their market. We broke down our targeting by country, state, city, zip code, and Nielsen DMA region. We also set a targeted radius around any given custom locations.
- 2Languages. We followed the default language of new campaigns, which is English. We did not target additional languages within the campaign.
- 3Networks. The Networks section gives advertisers a choice to display their clients' ads on Google.com and Google's search partner sites. Showing ads on Google's partner websites resulted in an overall increase in clicks and impressions.
- 4Devices. We bid more or less depending on our clients' users' use of websites on a mobile device.
What we promised on the initial media plan has to be implemented on the account, from the campaigns to the ad copies. So, we also checked ad delivery methods, device bid modifiers, ad rotation, ad scheduling, and location and language targeting.
For AP Lazer, there were multiple conversion goals that were tracked. From Chats, Priceless Ebook Downloads, and Online Product Inquiries. Before we began running the campaign, tracking codes were checked, if they are in place for us to measure and if the proposed campaigns for paid traffic will generate qualified leads or not.
Pro Tip: Using conversion tracking, we aimed to help the client make smarter marketing decisions.
We identified keywords and search queries that generated more conversions. Our client also used the gathered data to measure the effectiveness of their offline sales efforts and determine their next move for future campaigns.
This is done to see if the account is over or under goals and adjustments were applied accordingly. Most of the time, the metrics we've focused on were spend and conversions. When we projected to overspend, we have to decrease the keyword bids or decrease the campaign budgets. When we are trailing on conversions, we raised the bids on performing keywords or shifted the budget away from non-performing campaigns to top-performing campaigns.
Keyword Bid Optimization
Our keyword bidding strategy started with the regular monitoring of their campaign's performance. Our team analyzed new data to determine AP Lazer's most effective bids.
Google Ads may seem like the ideal solution for optimized keyword bids, but the automated bidding system forces advertisers to surrender their control of the keyword bids. Additionally, Google focuses more on increasing bids, not on helping bidders make the most out of their budget. An understandable move on Google's part, but ultimately not something that our client could benefit from.
For this account, we've utilized manual bidding so that we have control over the maximum amount that we pay for each click on the ads. We also adjusted the bids on keywords that are generating the most of our daily spend, increase bids on converting keywords but in lower positions and lower the bids on keywords that are spending but no conversions.
We focused boosting on keywords in lower positions to prevent increases with the impression volume. Raising the bid for top positions will only increase costs and not improve performance.
We ran a report for the past seven days to see if ad spend is hitting our daily allocated budget. Most of the budgets were re-allocated to higher converting campaigns.
Pro Tip: Budget checks should be scheduled monthly at a minimum.
Pause Underperforming Keywords
This is very crucial to the account. We have to pause keywords that have spent without converting or have a low CTR because it could hard account performance and affect the Quality Score. Before we paused a keyword, we considered the following factors:
- Landing page effectiveness
- Different date ranges
- Ad text efficacy
Pro Tip: We analyze all pertinent data first before we paused underperforming keywords.
Negative Keyword Additions
Negative keywords are vital to any keyword strategy. It is also a regular part of our Google Ads account maintenance.
We used negative keywords to refine AP Lazer's traffic. With the Keyword Planner and the search terms report, we searched for terms that do not fit the client's business model among queries where they have received traffic. We also look at the intent behind the search.
We scheduled an SQR (search query report) checking every week to find irrelevant search terms on the account. These terms were added as negative keywords on a campaign level.
Eliminating irrelevant keywords will help increase the CTR by preventing unqualified traffic from seeing or clicking on the ad. It also helped to lower our overall conversion costs and has been our most prominent factor in increasing our Quality Score.
Lastly, we looked for recurring themes in the search queries that generated weak ROIs or delivered irrelevant traffic to the client's site. Instead of reading through all search queries that triggered their ads, we focused on the negatives that occurred frequently.
We added new keywords to the client's current search campaigns and keyword lists to help them rank for more traffic and pull in more keywords. We unique and well-performing keywords for better product development and client communication.
Using the SQRs, we've also added potential keywords to the account ,especially those that are converting. SQR helped us to see what users were actually searching for when the ad was triggered.
SQRs (search query report) can give us insight into how the customers search for the products we are offering. It can also give us or generate ideas for new keywords that we might have missed.
Then, because we are very thorough, we checked the client's competition to discover keywords that are relevant to their website. We inspect pages with hidden keyword opportunities, such as solutions sections, resource sections, footer links, HTML maps, and glossaries.
Ad Copy Review
We paused underperforming ads and created new ads for A/B testing. There should be at least three extended text ads per ad group at all times to determine the winning ad, there should be enough impressions data to evaluate performance truly. Ad extensions were used for additional information - giving people more reasons to choose AP Lazer's laser machines for business.
It can typically increase an ad's click-through-rate by several percentage points. Extension formats include Sitelinks (links to specific parts of your website), Callouts, Call & Structured Snippet extensions.
Impression Share Report
We used Impression Share reports to improve the client's Google Ads campaigns. The report provided the number of impressions the campaign received divided by the estimated number of impressions it could've won. The estimation is based on different factors, such as audience, geolocation, bids, and quality score.
We regularly check our Search Impression share because it can help us understand whether the ads might reach more people if we increase the bid or budget. We determined the size of the client's market by taking this number with the total number of impressions.
Pro Tip: When the Impression Share is low, we increase the bids/budget, tighten up the keyword match types, and pause less targeted keywords. This reduced the risk of the client's ads not appearing on the first page. It also greatly improved their chances of capturing clicks and impressions, as well as generating more traffic to their site.
We've also introduced a Remarketing campaign to connect with people who previously interacted with the website. It helped us to strategically position the ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner website, thus helping to increase brand awareness or remind those audiences to make an inquiry on the Laser Machines.
We set our targeting to track all their visitors and to give the client a wider market audience. We created multiple lists that concentrated on certain products, categories, or specific product pages.
The goal was to bring about higher conversion rates by offering specific products or services to a particular group of customers.
By remarketing, we also provided the client with another opportunity to significantly increase their brand exposure with images that appealed better to their customers. Audiences were exposed to the client's brand multiple times to improve familiarity and recall, which encouraged them to remember the business when they were ready to make a purchase.
Regular Testing For Best Results
Ads campaigns allowed us to test all aspects of our paid advertising efforts, from the ad image or text to the landing page and the time or day users can see it. We used the available tools to test our ads and make immediate changes if necessary ,continuously. We removed underperforming ads and switched them with more efficient ones.
We carried over this type of testing into other aspects of our client's campaign. When certain landing pages no longer worked, we improved it with better content.
Their Success (Infographic)
The Numbers Say It All A Google Ads Case Study
We managed to achieve our client's goals with an Ads strategy that covers all bases. The strategy might seem simple, but that's because it is. Our approach to Google Ads is all about looking for the pain points, determining the right keywords, and putting up compelling ad copies where interested buyers can see it.
Needless to say, our client was satisfied with the results. When the client is happy, so are we.
The question is, are you happy with your results?
This is just an example of how Alkries LLC can deliver value to our partners.
Thanks a lot Matthew for sharing this Google Ads case study.
You are welcome!