Adwords Account Optimisation

Enjoy profitable search marketing via Adwords optimisation!

Increase sales generated via your website landing pages from expert Adwords account optimisation which not only increases brand reach via low-cost advertising, but also pays for itself with profitable campaigns that generate larger volumes of new customers and profits from your (and your competitor's) existing clients.


Google Adwords Optimisation Case Study - Appleby Associates

Adwords Account OptimisationAdwords Optimisation Consultancy

Appleby Associates are known as the UK's leading career consultants for their executive and boardroom level clients. Providing top-class career guidance and training services, the company is responsible for helping mentor countless industry leaders in a range of sectors.

The Problem:

With an easy to navigate website that contained a whole wealth of information and resources relating to the company's training courses, C.V. services and career management plans, Appleby's online presence was doing well to guide their target market from Google organic and paid search channels to their product pages. However with a set of Adwords campaigns that had been created then managed by a whole array of different search marketing professionals that were pulling in different directions, the company ended up with an account that spent more and more budget but generated less and less qualified leads each month.

With countless areas of wasted spend due to bad targeting, badly written ads and illogical bidding strategy, the company was not only wasting thousands of pounds each quarter in paid search marketing spend, but also using precious staff hours on replying to enquiries (from paid search leads) that would never become customers.

The Solution:

After providing a free Google Adwords account audit using a range of professional paid search tools, I exported a selection of report that best illustrated the most costly errors. I then proposed a 3 day Adwords optimisation to Appleby's marketing manager Craig, a plan that would firstly drastically reduce their monthly spend and secondly build on the profitable campaigns. This would vastly reduce the cost of the average lead conversion and also increase the quality of those leads via much tighter targeting.

Day 1 - Account rebuild & keyword targeting

The first main job was to identify which keywords being bid on were wasting the most spend and which were bringing the most leads. Then to use this information to entirely restructure the ad groups and campaigns to give us better control of our daily budget limits. Next was to use the historic keyword click and conversion data to identify negative keywords such as "tips", "videos", "jobs" and a range of location based words that were attracting paid clicks from visitors out of the company's catchment area. I also restricted unwanted clicks by adjusting bids in a number of locations throughout the UK.

After reorganising sets of keywords into tightly targeted groups and replacing all broad match keywords with modified broad match keywords - which is the best way to not only ensure the ads are only showing to qualified leads, but also a good way to identify new phrases we could bid on later - I was able to place much lower costing bids on the search queries we wanted to target. For example, instead of bidding £3 on phrases such as "executive career advice" we instead bid around £2 on "+executive +career +advice", which ensured that all three words were present in the visitor's search query before Google was able to show them our our ads.

The first day of the campaign included the important tasks of ensuring that we generated over a month's worth of clean click data that we could make solid informed decisions on in the future.
  • Campaign and ad group re-structuring for better control
  • Executive and non-executive versions of each ad group
  • Modified broad match and phrase match keyword bidding
  • Overhaul of account-level money saving negative keywords

Day 2 - Text ad copy improvements & bid adjustments

Two weeks later on the second day of campaign optimisation I set out to work on providing those searching Google for our target phrases with better quality text ads. By ensuring we repeated phrases the users were searching for in the first line of the ad copy, we were able to generate much better click through rates and by rewriting ads to use copy writing best practices (such as including benefits points and call to action text) we were better able to help compel more searchers to click through to the site from our ads.

Another way I improved the user-experience for those that searched for, and then clicked on, our ads was to ensure that the landing page url for each ad directed to a specific page that provided solutions to their specific needs, indicated by the phrase they searched for. Previously many of the ads linked to the site's homepage, which is usually a sign that the previous PPC expert had little experience.

Previous to rebuilding over 100 new ads, we had set up proper conversion tracking so that those who had clicked an ad and then filled in a form on the site would be counted as a lead conversion in Google Analytics and Adwords. By allowing a few weeks of click data to accumulate, I was able to identify which keyword phrases were generating more conversions than others. And by bidding higher on those that converted more, we were able to bid higher, to ensure our ads were positioned higher in the search results that our competitors.

Because the keyword phrases we bid on and the ad text we were showing to our search market were tightly aligned to each other and also to the text in the landing page they visited, Google awarded our account with much higher quality score. This metric is the main ingredient needed to allow us to reduce our bids without causing our ads to drop out of the top 4 positions in the paid search results.

Day 3 - Ad split-testing, extensions and rebidding

Before day 3 of our campaign Craig had used some of the money we had already saved to rebuilt the entire website using the WordPress content management system. This provided a much better user experience for those who clicked on our ads and ensured that the benefits of using Appleby were obvious. Furthermore, encouraging visitors fill out a much more visible contact form worked well to increase conversion rates, as the form was now one of the first things they saw when visiting our landing pages.

It can't be overstated how important it is for visitors to be guided efficiently to the goal we want them to complete on any web page. So the new layout design further helped us divert away those non-executive level visitors (we didn't want to attract) who wanted to free career review, but also helped generate more qualified leads from our monthly PPC budget.

Having already seen our monthly spend, cost per clicks and bounce rates drop down to levels that the company had never enjoyed before, we still had a full day to further improve our Adwords results. By using historic click data I was able to identify more negative keywords that triggered our ads to unqualified leads, increase daily budget for the best performing campaigns, fine tune our generic and specific bids on our range of keywords and also further improve our ad copy via ad split testing.

By ensuring at least 2 ads were present in each ad group, I was able to use the last few weeks data to see which wording worked best to entice visitors to click through and fill out a form or make a phone call to the company. By pausing the worst performing ad in each group and then copying the best performer and making some amends, I was able to do ongoing refinements in a way that allowed our search market guide us on which phrases to use in our ads.

Further to this we had time to optimise bid adjustments for mobile devices and for visitors in different locations in the UK. We were also able to add a whole range of ad extensions that made our ads twice the size of our competitor's ads. This not only gave us more clickable real estate in the paid search results but also provided users with more information ways to get exactly where they needed, right there in the ads.

Adwords ad optimisaton

This method of increasing our ads from 3 lines of text to 6 lines included adding call-out ad extensions that list some of the main benefits of using Appleby over our competitors, call extensions that ensured that our click to call phone number was visible and also sitelink extensions that helped guide potential visitors to specific pages about the exact service they were interested in.

The Results

By reviewing the summary of work done at the end of the first day's work Appleby could tell that they were in good hands and they had already seen a reduction in cost per conversion before I even got started on improving the ads on day 2.Within the first month the company had seen their monthly Adwords spend cut in half without any reduction in clicks and conversions. Further to this the second and third day saw that saved spend ploughed back into the new campaigns.

Adwords reduced cost and increased conversionsThis helped generate lots more leads each day and the team were excited to see that the number of executive level potential clients getting in touch was increased whilst monthly spend was still decreasing.

This trend of reducing cost per click and conversion continued for the following few months until it levelled out and the cost per conversion had reduced to less than a fifth of what it was before I started. That's more than 5 times more business for each £ spent.
  • Increased quality score allowing us to vastly reduce our bids
  • Better ad positions and ads producing higher click through rates
  • Monthly budget reduced to less than half what it was beforehand
  • Monthly conversions more than doubled from the previous months
  • Increasing leads that would have cost over £1000 more per month
  • Cost per qualified sales lead reduced from £136 to less than £25
Adwords cpc optimisation

Adwords cost per conversion reduction from 3 days work over 2 months

Because the number of leads each month increased to unprecedented levels (at a figure that would have cost Appleby more than £1000 more per month), they decided to use this first month's spend to pay for the rebuilding of their site during the campaign, then to spend another months savings on a small SEO campaign that helped them increase rankings in Google's organic results and then to cover some of the cost of an office move.

Future savings are likely to be invested in further pay per click campaign optimisation and refinement that includes display ads and remarketing as well as investing further to accommodate the larger number of clients now on their books.

The Client Testimonial

"The help that Martin has given us is entirely measurable. In a matter of weeks he had worked with us to get an understanding of our business, our requirements, our target audience and had rebuilt our Adwords campaigns from the ground up.

By month 2 we had cut our marketing spend in half and brought down our cost per conversion by 79% whilst more than doubling the number of enquiries. Martin introduced us to an audience we were missing as well as some techniques on marketing we had not considered.

Now we have made the improvement we will be continuing to work with Martin to maintain his good work."

Marcus Alexander - Managing Director - Appleby Associates

See a load more Pay Per Click advertising case studies, read about my Adwords optimisation packages or get in touch for a free Adwords campaign audit to save monthly advertising spend and increase sales for your firm.

Post discussion

Comments are closed.

Time for Action? Give your products and services the professional marketing they deserve...

...or contact me to ask any question

  • Martin Wilson on Twitter
  • Martin Wilson at Linkedin
  • Martin Wilson on Google+
  • Email Martin Wilson