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Can An Online Marketing Agency Manage Our PPC Better? A Case Study

By Erin  |   Online Marketing

Graph depicting Revenue increase.

Many businesses that have chosen to advertise online choose Google AdWords (also referred to as Pay-Per-Click ads or PPC) as a first step, typically because Google has made it easy and lightning fast for nearly anyone to get an account running and paid ads showing up in search results.

Unfortunately, the glowing allure of a fast and easy account setup along with ads showing up immediately lures most businesses into a false sense of security, and makes it easy for them to assume that professional PPC management isn’t necessary.

“No, we’ve been doing Google Adwords ourselves, we don’t need help.”

That’s what we hear.
All the time.
Said with conviction.

Technical knowledge = required for success

99 times out of 100, the businesses that say they have/can handle their own PPC are in trouble. They’re throwing money down the drain on a monthly basis. They just don’t know it.

Although we would never claim that online marketing efforts like PPC campaigns can only be run by an online marketing company, there is absolutely enough technical knowledge required that we tend to have doubts about an account created or run by someone whose skill set lies elsewhere, most especially when in all likelihood the workload they were originally hired for probably hasn’t diminished.

A real life PPC case study

Let’s look at a client we worked with during 2014 who hired our Denver digital marketing agency to help turn their underperforming PPC campaigns around. (As they’ve asked we protect their privacy, we won’t provide their real name in this post.)

This client is a long-established, highly reputable business in the industrial supply field that relied on traffic from PPC very heavily. In fact, PPC traffic accounted for 86% of all the traffic to their website.

Things were steadily getting worse

This client had had an internal team member managing their PPC account. Unfortunately, over time this team member was given an increasing number of additional responsibilities and had been stretched too thin. He couldn’t spend the time required to manage and maintain the PPC account on a daily or even weekly basis. (Additionally, he had a skill set with incredible strengths—but those strengths existed outside of online marketing.)

Not surprisingly, things started going downhill.

This client had seen a steep decline in both traffic (-40%) and sales (-61%) for three straight quarters. They needed help.

In early conversations, the client admitted that managing their PPC account had long been a low priority for them. It wasn’t until their traffic and conversions continued a steady decline that they suddenly realized how much PPC impacted their business.

They started to pay attention, and they hired us to audit and fix their existing setup, turn their traffic and conversion trends around, and get online revenue growth back on track.

The 2 primary tactics we implemented

Proper Tracking Set Up:

  • Strategic online marketing decisions can’t be made without real data. So, in Q1 of 2014, proper Analytics tracking was installed across their multiple websites so that real, actionable data could be gathered and informed decisions could be made.

PPC Account Analysis

  • The client’s entire PPC account was reviewed and completely rebuilt according to Google best practices. Special attention was paid to keyword selection, ad copy, and landing pages.

Here’s what happened

In the first 45 days, website traffic was up +23% and Ecommerce conversions (online sales) were up +37%.

Anaytics screenshot detailing increases in traffic and Ecommece conversions.

We continued with daily and weekly optimizations of their PPC account and, with time, an interesting trend appeared.

A full reversal of their PPC traffic decline never occurred.

Yep, you read that right.

We actually didn’t completely reverse the trend of their traffic decline. Wondering why we’re sharing this with you? Read on.

What happened?

At the end of Q2, traffic was still down (-22%) over Q1.

However, the revenue we were generating for the client continued to increase.

The end goal is to increase revenue for the client. Typically, increased traffic is required to reach this goal. But that wasn’t the case here.

The data we were tracking was showing that while the previous campaigns the client’s team member had initially up had brought in more traffic overall, that traffic wasn’t as valuable as the traffic we were generating for the client.

And which would be more important to you?

  • Traffic?
  • Or increased revenue?

The important metrics continued to improve

At the end of Q2 of 2014, the edits and optimizations we were making to the client’s PPC campaigns continued to gain steam.

Conversion growth was slowing down a bit (+4% over Q1) but the effect on revenue—the ultimate goal of hiring the Followbright team—was far more impressive.

Revenue was up +58% over the course of Q2 2014.

That’s right. Despite not fully reversing the declining traffic trend yet, heading into the 3rd quarter of the year, the stated objectives had been met and the decreasing revenue trends had been turned around.

Analytics screenshot showing the decreasing revenue trends being turned around.

A powerful lesson to be learned

Because of the incredible complexity of this particular client’s business model and how they generate revenue, how they can’t, and certain data they unfortunately never collected, it is difficult to determine exact percentages of revenue growth in this instance.

That being said, one lesson is crystal clear from the data.

Giving minimal attention to a PPC account set up by an internal team member leaves money on the table. Had they not brought in our online marketing agency, this client’s conversions and revenue would have continued to decline.

In the span of just 6 months, our team was able to turn their decreasing revenue trend around, get their PPC account reversed and growing again, and bring in both immediate revenue and long-term revenue growth in the thousands, as well as lifetime revenue growth projected into the millions.

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Would you like your business to experience amazing results like this client did? If you’re curious about the potential to improve your conversions and revenue through online marketing, get in touch. We’d be happy to explore your goals and challenges, your current setup, and whether you have a high potential to see results (because not all companies do, and we’ll be the first ones to tell you if you don’t).

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