Last time we wrote about the Barracuda Quality Score Enhancer (QSE), the in-house tool
we developed here at Barracuda Digital that helps improving quality score by mass-generating relevant landing pages for each segment of a campaign. Now we would like to share a concrete case study.
One of our clients offers a service that can either be booked online or over the phone, with the majority of conversions coming from phone calls. For that reason we set up call tracking that was integrated with our AdWords campaigns, with each call being tracked as a goal in Google Analytics.
Going crazy with segmentation is fun!
The campaigns were originally segmented by locations, but we only expanded it out to major the UK cities. But because the client’s services are available across the whole of the UK, and because our search query reports showed that a huge percentage of the queries included a location name of some sort, we decided to expand it “a bit” more. We developed our own way to mass create extremely segmented location campaigns in a reasonable amount of time. We started out with a list of 7000 location names and auto-generated one campaign per service type, where each location had its own ad group with the most common keyword variations that included the service and the location name. Very soon we ended up with over 2 million keywords, but we didn’t stop there. We mass-generated two versions of relevant ad copies
for each ad group that included the location, service and a call to action. This meant over 14,000 ad copies per campaign. The output of the process was a simple .csv file that we only needed to upload into AdWords and the whole campaign could be posted in less than an hour.
This made sure we covered the majority of the long tail searches for the market.
It was quite fun to see it in action. We just picked any town from the map, typed in a relevant search query with the name of the town into Google, and our customized ads kept showing up in the top 3 positions. None of the competitors had this detail in their campaigns and this level of customization in their ads.
The initial landing pages for these campaigns, however, were generic. That’s where the Quality Score Enhancer came into the picture.
Building out tens of thousands of landing pages is NOT a waste of time
After an initial 2 month period we started using the tool to replace these generic landing pages with new, customized ones, pages containing all the relevant keywords/location names both in the headlines and paragraphs. We replaced the destination URL’s in our campaigns and waited with anticipation.
It takes about a week for Google to notice the landing page changes and update the quality score. We were confident that it should improve campaign performance, but the results exceeded our wildest expectations.
We had quite good quality scores in the first place because of the well-built campaign and the relevant ad copies. We still saw a QS improvement of 20%
in average after a couple of weeks. What was even more striking however is that conversion rates sky-rocketed right from the first day after the change! The visitors definitely liked our relevancy to their search terms. Whatever they typed in, they arrived to a page talking about the exact same things.
We waited patiently for the data to collect so we can make an analysis based on a significant date range. The below are the results for the four weeks after the change compared to the four weeks before.
The difference is staggering. After Google slowly started to update the quality score, click-through rate improved by 6.81%
thanks to the slightly improved ad positions, while our average cost per click went down 2.6%
The number of searches for this market actually decreased in the month following the change so impressions went down by 26%, but thanks to our improved CTR, clicks only decreased by 21%.
But the most exciting part was the conversions. While searches for the market went down by 26% we actually managed increase the number of leads by 29.55%
, while the cost went down by 23.3%
That meant ROI improved by 85.94%
All these seemingly miraculous improvements are a result of the new, more relevant landing pages that improved the conversion rate for phone leads by 61.09%
Below is a graph of the conversion rate in the aforementioned 8-week date range shown in Google Analytics.
The average conversion rate before was 7.11%, after the change it went up to 11.45%
and continuously increasing.
Average CPC also seems to slowly but continuously fall.
We should also point out that we believe the landing page, though contextually relevant, could still be improved in terms of design. Our next steps will be to run multivariate tests on the landing pages to see if further improvements in conversion rates can be achieved.
We believe that the above experiment demonstrates how seriously advertisers should take landing page quality. It is at least as important a factor in driving conversions than a well-structured and well-managed campaign.
With the Barracuda Quality Score Enhancer
we wanted to make sure that these opportunities to improve campaign performance are not exclusively for businesses with huge resources for updating their websites. Anyone can do it with very little effort. We guarantee that the little time spent on using the tool will produce results that are well worth the effort.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in how this method could benefit your