There is something in life which is purely inevitable, failing of a person at some point or the other during PPC Failure.
In fact, nearly all marketing experts will face this many time at the time of PPC marketing.
But these failures can make you learn a lot of things about PPC marketing.
As it is wisely said failures are the pillar of success and so whenever we talk about failure, we should be always aware of the fact that it would lead us to success at some point.
Below is a case study in which the definition of success means getting profitable opportunities which are available through Google Ads.
The client of this case study is of the niche of health and beauty industry which requires large PPC budgets as it features numerous national brands. We were aware of this fact before starting any kind of engagements.
We had also the knowledge about the fact that there would be keywords, products, and categories that won’t be any profit whatsoever.
We were also able to find out that if we could locate a few profitable areas than we would be able to get a profitable way to their marketing channel.
We in this case study where focusing on the new client acquisition and we excluded the existing customers. We took the help of uploading a customer match list into Google Ads for accomplishing this.
Keyword targeting was done in order to test shopping ads as well as text ads. The click charges test budget was $1500. The test was scheduled to run in the fourth quarter of 2018 in order to take advantage of the buying season.
The advertising was started during the first half of October after getting the product feed active in Google Merchant Center which required the completion of keyword research, building out the account structure and writing of the ad copy.
Our prime keywords and products had a large search volume which meant we had enough traffic to exhaust our budgets. The main thing about picking the best possible keywords which will make the conversation rates high.
After spending $1000 on clicks and generating about the same in sales we stopped the experiment. The 1:1 return on investment was not nearly likable for the company even after taking into account the lifetime value of customers.
Looking into What went wrong
There were many difficulties in the journey but none were as fatal as to end our journey altogether, but they were able to damper the ongoing procedure.
Here are some issues which we faced:
Google Policy on Customer Match Lists Changed
The new policy of Google meant that an account should have $50,000+ in lifetime spend in order to use the customer match so we were unable to effectively exclude the existing customers as we had planned.
Our Product Feed Expired
During the experiment, we lost a few days of shopping ads traffic and the vendor in charge of the product feed didn’t set the feed to automatically
Credit Card Getting Denied
This is the frequent case with new advertisers and we are not sure whether it happens due to Google or the card issuing companies but this led to the declining of the card hence leading to the stoppage of the account.
Lower Conversion Rates than Expectation
Before we ran the test, the website had a site-wide conversion rate over 4 percent. We had the prediction that PPC traffic would not achieve this level but opposite to our expectations, we received 2 percent conversion rate.
The biggest factor which we were able to see as the problem was conversion rate and the calculation didn’t click.
$1.25 CPC/ 2% conversion rate = $62.50 cost per conversion.
It was not financially sustainable as it had an average order value of about $61. The budget also didn’t help in allowing for enough traffic and testing to improve conversion rates.
We were positioned at the top of the page but that meant if reduced our bids our visibility was under scanner. When you have a limited budget then you have to get things right from the start and hope for some luck to work as well.
How to turn PPC failure into success?
As mentioned at the start of the post, in this case, study success was defined as finding profitable opportunities in Google Ads. According to the definition, this case study was a complete failure.
I am about the conception that experiments and tests are failures if we don’t learn from them. There are few things which we learned after the completion of this case study:
- Establish a baseline
We through this case study came to know that CPCs for shopping ads and all our top categories would need at least $1.25-$1.40 to get exposure. There would not be great exposure but we will be on top of the page.
Our best campaign had a 3.25 percent conversion rate but throughout the account, it was 2 percent. So even if there would be the best scenario for us with the bottom of the range CPC and top of the range conversion rate, we had our cost/conversion of about $38.50.
But this was still not good enough to please our clients.
- Be Prepared with the products which sell and the keywords which lead to sales
At this budget level, truly there weren’t many conversions but we were able to know which products sold through Shopping ads and which keywords which lead us to sales in-text ads.
We also learned the keywords which were not able to bring us sales which were equally helpful.
- Actual Search Query Data
For the future sale, the company will now have the real data which are from the real queries typed by real people and customers.
There are estimations and approximations attached along with the keyword research tools. And this data helps us better in for future tests.
- Tested Ad Copy
We provided in our ad copy two primary messages.
One message was meant to convey third-party validation of the products quality and it was used Award-winning prominently in ad copy.
One message was meant to convey the discounts and it featured the percent off discount which could attract new customers for signing up for the newsletter for earning it.
The message which was used for Award-winning came out to be the winner and this information can be now used throughout various channels.
And we also came across the fact that the discount messaging didn’t work indicating that the percentage off was not high enough.
Failure is hard for ones and all and it is more painful when an experiment fails at the first itself.
However, failure could teach a lot of things and throw us valuable insights which would definitely our future efforts and also in making efforts in other channels and areas of the business.