Our client, a manufacturer of industrial parts, had been running his own PPC campaign for years and was having a hard time managing the account. He had become somewhat obsessed with trying to outbid competitors and spent a lot of time adjusting his bids and guessing which keywords he should invest in more heavily.
He also worried about what he calls “Unwanted Clickers” — people he perceived as clicking on his ads randomly without really understanding what he was selling, then leaving the website (“bouncing”) without making a purchase, submitting an inquiry form or making a phone call to inquire about his products. To make things even more interesting, he didn’t have a good understanding of how to set up Conversion Tracking so in effect almost every move on his website was being reported as a Conversion.
As a result, things got a little out of hand and he found himself losing time (and possibly additional revenue) for his business as all his time was spent managing the paid search advertising campaigns. It came to a point where he felt as if nothing was happening and too much time was spent on just handling PPC that he finally sought the help of Panoptic through one of our partner agencies.
Upon doing an audit of the AdWords account we were quickly able to see that he was bidding on a very small number of keywords and that he had never gone through the process of keyword research and mining. Most of the keywords he had selected were phrases he thought his customers were searching for, but he had no factual basis for thinking this – he was going by his own instincts and suppositions. Moreover, he was changing his bids on his keywords so often that he was never able to establish an average position for the ads or get a read on how well they were performing. By re-adjusting bids without knowing which keywords were most effective at sending potential purchasers to the site in effect he was usually over- or under bidding, spending way too much money for keywords which could be acquired for much lower cost per click (CPC).
Solution: Focusing on Conversions to Discourage Unwanted Clicks
Panoptic did extensive research to expand on the few keywords the client had selected, then broke them out into distinct categories. This step was vital as we wanted to ensure that all the keywords were properly matched to our target ads and distinct subsets of potential customers. Once the keyword research was complete and the ad copy written, we moved into the “keyword mining” phase. While conducting keyword research is a very effective way to predict what might happen, at the end of the day it’s just an assumption and not based on real performance data. That’s where keyword mining comes in. Once the campaign was up and running with our researched keywords we were able to identify those exact-match phrases that users actually searched for and were able to identify keywords which can be purchased for very little yet perform really well for this niche business – we call them “golden keywords.”
Because we were working with a very limited daily budget, the keyword mining process for this particular client ran six weeks (spending more at the outset may help identify the best performing keywords more quickly). Once the proper keywords were identified, the Campaigns were structured to bid on those golden keywords at the cheapest point possible while still being really effective. Conversions were also configured to show only those clicks that actually resulted in a purchase or phone inquiry. With these tasks completed Panoptic and the client were able to see which keywords were really converting and focus our bids on the ones that really matter.
After three months, the client was spending 50% less on bids than when we started while maintaining the same level of performance. Conversions are now trackable and more consistent. The account now is pretty stable Panoptic monitors the account continuously to ensure that everything continues to work well. Additionally, by repeating the “research and refine” process, we are able to continuously block off any unwanted clicks and searches and send only the most likely to purchase customers to the site.