Since August 2008, Red and White Shop has proudly supplied the NC State fan-base with official Wolfpack gear, while donating a percentage of sales back to the University to support academic scholarships and athletic programs.
The staff requested a free Google AdWords audit and was very interested to learn about effective strategies within their account that could be implemented with immediate results.
At this point, Red and White Shop had been participating in search engine marketing for about a year. They averaged an AdWords Quality Score below five, had spent more than $9,000 in Google AdWords and while they had received around 39,000 ad clicks over that time, they were not tracking conversions. As a result, there was no way of measuring a return on investment.
Their campaigns had been managed by an account manager at Google. While it may seem like a Google employee would know AdWords best, these account managers are typically entry-level and do not possess the level of knowledge that an experienced Certified Google Partner Agency does.
Further, these employees seldom actively manage accounts; rather, they are reactive to the client calling and requesting a specific action be taken on their account.
Red and White Shop came to us in need of a PPC management agency that could diagnose their AdWords campaigns and discover why they were not seeing the types of results that they had initially anticipated. After running a complete audit and analyzing the historical data in the account, we discovered:
Account Structure Was a Disaster
It appeared that the account manager who initially set up the account did not complete enough research related to the market, the company’s products, or the competition. As such, the keywords were too broad and the associated ad copy was not relevant enough to the search queries.
Stagnant Quality Score
As a result of the poor keyword structure and irrelevant ad copy mentioned above, the Quality Scores were very low and not improving over time. As a result, Red and White Shop was sacrificing impressions and ultimately paying more for clicks.
No Conversion Tracking
Google account managers do not set conversion tracking up for clients. Similarly, they will not run tests to ensure that the tracking code is installed correctly. Without this feature, the client would not have been able to confidently determine that their AdWords marketing was a profitable venture.
While there were other issues in the account, these were the primary metrics that informed us of how much work the account needed. These sore points also gave us a solid foundation from which to work from. We knew which areas needed the most work and we knew where to begin optimizing and restructuring the account.
Low-Quality Scores across the account indicated that Red and White Shop was overpaying for ad clicks while sacrificing ad rank. It was crucial to invest in our quality score by taking several courses of action immediately.
Our team decided to organize the campaigns by geographic region, and organize the ad groups by merchandise cluster. This enabled us to write more compelling ad text that directs the user to the most relevant page that will help them find what they are looking for.
Each product cluster has a different price point, so thanks to this granular ad group structure we are able to make keyword bid adjustments while being mindful of ROI.
Proper installation of conversion tracking is essential if you want to collect the data that is necessary for effective optimizations. We worked with Red and White Shop’s web developer to get this code properly installed on all thank you pages, and then performed the necessary tests to ensure that it would accurately record purchases.
Quality Score Focus
Proper account structure resulted in ad groups only featuring related keywords. Within these new ad groups, we wrote relevant ad copy that was more appealing to searchers, resulting in a higher click-through-rate. Finally, our ads directed to landing pages that were most relevant to the search query.
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