About Keyword Search Pros Case Studies
These case studies have been created for the readership of Keyword Search Pros clients and prospects. They have been taken from real and active client studies. We are happy and proud to be able to share these with you here. In order maintain the privacy of our clients, we have left some campaigns details out including actual budgets, CPCs and, other account specifics from our case studies. We further ask that anyone reading this respect the privacy of our clients and do not attempt to contact them in any way. If you require references, we will be more than happy to assist in that department.
President of Soundstage Direct
Who they are:
- Independent online retailer
- Vinyl records and music equipment
- Advertising on Google since 2005
What they needed:
- Improved ROI
- Increased PPC-generated sales
- Reduce wasted ad spend
What they did:
- Targeted high-ROI products on a more granular level
- Leveraged new ad formats and industry tools
- Optimized campaigns by day of the week and hour of the day
What they accomplished:
- ROI improved by 79%
- Sales increased by 98%
- Cost per conversion decreased by 31%
We know where we want to be, but how do we get there?
Sound Stage Direct had been advertising since 2005, but their PPC campaigns weren’t showing the growth they had anticipated. They wanted to increase ROI from paid search on both the Google AdWords and Bing Ads platforms. Although ROI was already positive, they wanted to optimize their campaigns further, getting more sales and revenue while spending less. They knew that costs were too high and that revenue had to grow, but they didn’t know how to do it. And they didn’t have the time to devote to optimizing their campaigns – they had a growing business to run. That is when they came to Keyword Search Pros.
At Keyword Search Pros, we specialize in optimizing existing pay-per-click accounts. Our world class team is highly trained and experienced, which allows us to cut to the heart of the matter when it comes to PPC. With Sound Stage Direct, we had to take profitable campaigns and shatter the previous ROI records. Here is how we did it:
Working together as a team, we targeted high-ROI products at a more granular level, expanding ad reach for bands, records, and equipment that had over-performed in the past. This increased sales from high margin products, leading to increased ROI.
We are very in tune with the latest developments in pay-per-click and online marketing. We are true marketers and techies at heart, and as first adopters of new paid search products such as Product Listing Ads and beta ad formats, we were able to take Sound Stage Direct to a whole new level of customer acquisition. By leveraging these cutting edge advertising tools, we stayed ahead of the competition and earned cheaper traffic and more sales from new channels.
As marketers, we are into numbers and love crunching them. We analyzed performance data at the mico level, looking at ROI trends per product, per day, and per hour. By adjusting ad schedules against performance history and implementing targeted, micro bid strategies, we maximized ad reach for the most profitable products during the most profitable times.
The results… drumroll, please!
The results were astounding. Sound Stage Direct saw their revenue from PPC-generated sales increase by 91% year-on-year. Sales increased 98%. Records were flying off the shelves, and at the same time, the cost to sell those records was decreasing: cost per conversion decreased 31%. Together, this resulted in ROI improving by 79%.
Additionally, paid search marketing delivered 67% more new website visitors, and PPC accounted for 26% of website traffic and 17% of revenue. Pay-per-click traffic also had lower bounce rates than organic, referral, and direct traffic.
The strong PPC performance allowed Sound Stage Direct to trust us with their campaign management, which freed up time for them to focus on their strengths and passion – growing the business and brining great music to customers all over the world.
Elite Home Theater
Owner of Elite HTS
Who they are:
- Premium theater seating supplier
- Custom home theater designer
- Elite High-End Buying clientele
What they needed:
- Increase the number of high quality leads
- Drive (high-end buyers) quality leads on a worldwide scale
What they did:
- Integrated search, mobile, and display campaigns
- Created custom campaigns for key target markets
- Continuously tested and improved ad copy and creatives
What they accomplished:
- Quality leads increased 414%
- Improved overall quality of leads
- Reduced cost per lead by 54%
How do we fill the seats?
Elite Home Theater Seating needed their PPC campaigns to generate quality leads which would convert into sales. They had been running online marketing campaigns for years, but the return had slowly diminished year-on-year. They needed a way to bring their campaigns outside the box they had been operating in thus far. They wanted more leads, but they had to be good, and they had to turn into customers. They were also a very international company, with a global clientele; they had provided VIP theater experiences for clients in Chicago, New Zealand, China, Egypt, and everywhere in between. They needed an agency that could think outside the box on a big scale, someone who could understand clients with different backgrounds, and that is what they found at Keyword Search Pros.
Our team at Keyword Search Pros had to come up with something beyond simple keyword management, bid adjustments, and sitelinks. After putting our heads together, we came up with a multipronged strategy that took advantage of cutting edge new search marketing technology and our client’s strengths. Using search and display advertising, we created integrated campaigns that spanned search, display, and mobile.
We also did our homework, expanding ad reach into key markets around the world. Based on our research, we created a patchwork of ad markets, each with their own tailor-made ad campaigns. This allowed Elite Home Theater Seating to speak directly to their target customers in the most effective way possible.
And we tested. We tested every last variable, from ad creatives as different as night and day down to punctuation variances. The result was a set of highly targeted, refined campaigns that we knew were as strong as they could be.
And The Oscar goes to…
What remained of the campaigns was a well oiled pay-per-click marketing machine. Leads increased by 414% while we cut the cost per lead by 54%. The clicks rolled in, and the phones were ringing off the hook. Just as importantly, the quality of leads also improved, which meant more business for Elite Home Theater Seating, and that business was cheaper to acquire.
As Elite Home Theater Seating continuously develops their product line and business, we also continuously are taking advantage of new ad formats, seasonal spikes, and competitor intelligence to ensure that our client has the most competitive pay-per-click campaigns in the business. And we are always working to keep it that way.
Paid Search and Marketing Analyst for Golfsmith
Who they are:
- Over 70 superstores across the US
- Online storefront
- Golf and tennis equipment and apparel
What they needed:
- To promote local stores online
- To build on the success of their Google AdWords campaign
What they did:
- Added Google local business ads to their existing Google AdWords campaigns
- Created local business ads for each of their 70+ storefronts
- Promoted their store locations onGoogle Maps and Google.com
What they accomplished:
- Increased overall AdWords impressions and clicks
- Achieved over 6% click-through rates on their local business ads
- Drove new customers to local stores while maintaining online conversions
Google Analytics Case Studies
By using Google local business ads to promote their 70+ store locations on Google Maps and Google, Golfsmith built on their search marketing success, driving more visits to their stores and more clicks on their website.
Innovation on the links and on the web
Throughout their 40+ years in operation, Golfsmith has grown to become a leader in the specialty golf retail space through a spirit of continuous innovation. That innovation remains as an essential part of the company’s DNA. It shows in their 70+ (and growing) stores, which provide Golfsmith “Guests” with hightech playgrounds in which to learn about and try out new equipment. It shows in a sophisticated, aggressive approach to integrating web-based, store-based, and print catalog experiences. Innovation also shows in Golfsmith’s embrace of Google AdWords and Google local business ads to reach potential customers on the web.
Golfsmith and Google get local
As Paid Search and Marketing Analyst for Golfsmith, Dillon Smith knows that Google AdWords is a valuable part of his online marketing tool kit. For example, Smith can create an ad, or sponsored link, to appear when a Google user searches for “new golf clubs.” Golfsmith only pays if someone clicks on their ad, and online tools easily track the company’s return-on-investment. Smith knew Google AdWords was driving sales to the Golfsmith online store, but he had another question: What about our store locations? Can Google help us bring customers to our physical stores as well as our virtual one? .
That’s when Smith discovered Google local business ads, a unique type of AdWords ad designed just for storefront locations. Smith created local business ads for all of Golfsmith’s 70+ global locations. That way, when people search Google Maps for golf-related terms, they can see Golfsmith ads for nearby locations. Not only does each of these ads include an address and phone number, but Golfsmith’s customized logo and photo also appear right on the map. And Golfsmith still pays only when someone clicks through to their website.
Local business ads also help Golfsmith reach local customers on Google.com and Google’s network of partner websites. That’s because a text-only version of the ads can appear to Google users who are near a Golfsmith store location (as identifi ed by their computer’s Internet Protocol address) or to users who enter a local search like “Palo Alto golf stores”.
Going for the green
Local business ads have been a hit at Golfsmith. Says Dillon Smith: “Local business ads are useful in multiple ways – yes, they’re going to drive traffi c to our site. On top of that, they’re one more way to say, ‘Hey, we have a store right around the corner from you.’ We’ve found them to be a tremendously useful way to drive traffic to our brick-and-mortar locations.”
Smith and his team don’t see local business ads replacing their regular AdWords ads, which continue to promote their online storefront. Instead, they attract a different kind of prospect: one searching online, but ready to browse or buy in person. The Golfsmith team created their local business ads with just these customers in mind, including ad copy such as “Order Online, Pick up in Store!” The strategy has paid off. “We’ve seen a steady increase of both ad impressions and clicks,” says Smith. Indeed, Golfsmith’s local business ads have achieved clickthrough rates – that is, the percentage of viewers who ultimately click the ad – of upwards of 6%.
A hole-in-one (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves)
Thanks to the strong customer response, local business ads have become an established part of Golfsmith’s search marketing strategy. Smith mentions another advantage, too: ease-of-use. The Golfsmith search marketing team can promote store locations across the country with a single Google AdWords campaign. They can apply the same ad text to all locations, or try different messages in different regions. All in all, local business ads are an “easy to implement and effective cross-channel marketing solution.” “Local business ads have built on our overall great results from AdWords,” summarizes Smith, “by increasing ad exposure and promoting our individual stores.”
Aeria Games & Entertainment
Chief Marketing Officer, Aeria
The Gaming Community Site
Gaming community site Aeria Games derives over 35% of their conversions from image ads on MySpace and other social media sites in the Google content network
Let the Games Begin!
Started in late 2006, AeriaGames.com is not only a free-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming site but also a community that connects both regular and casual gamers. In the past 2 years, Aeria Games has released five Free-to-Play MMO games and licensedthem for North America, including competitive racing game Project Torque, anime role-playing game Dream of Mirror, and fantasy game Shaiya, which was voted one of China’s
most anticipated games in 2006 by Chinese gaming portal 17173.com.
When Aeria Games first launched their site, they looked to Google Search to reach users looking for interactive online games. “It wasn’t long before we decided to try the Google content network,” says JT Nguyen, Chief Marketing Offi cer at Aeria. “We really wanted to connect with users browsing the web and looking for interactive content online, and what ultimately drew us to the content network was the ability to run display ads, which offered more fl exibility for creative and appealing campaigns.” Starting with contextual targeting, JT and his team trusted Google’s technology to place their ads on relevant pages in the content network. “To optimize our contextually-targeted campaigns and drive more user registrations on our site, we needed to understand which sites were driving valuable traffic and which ones weren’t meeting ROI goals, so we began running Placement Performance Reports,” explains JT. These reports, found in the AdWords Report Center, provide site-by-site
performance metrics for all content network campaigns, and can be a great resource for figuring out which sites to exclude and which ones to target more aggressively.
to figure out exactly what works to drive conversions and where.”
Developing a Social Strategy
“When we fi rst considered putting our message on social networking sites to promote Dream of Mirror Online, an anime-style role-playing game, we were a bit skeptical. We understand how engaging these sites can be and how many things compete for users’ attention, but given the social nature of our games, we thought we’d give it a try.” JT expected social networking sites like MySpace to perform on par with search and the rest of the sites in the content network.
“We decided to kick off our social media campaign with text ads on MySpace,” explains JT, “but we were seeing very low conversion rates and an extremely high cost-per-conversion.” The team decided to try out image ads to give users a visual representation of Dream of Mirror and to more effectively engage with them on these sites. “Text ads simply didn’t do justice to multiplayer games.” When JT re-ran the Placement Performance Report and looked at the results, he was shocked to see that MySpace was actually delivering the majority of conversions.
Tips and Tricks
By switching to image ads, Aeria Games saw a 2000% increase in conversions and a decrease of over 90% in cost-per-conversion. MySpace, YouTube, and IMVU.com are some of Aeria Games’ best performing sites. Together, they’ve delivered over 10,000 conversions over 3 months for the Dream of Mirror campaign, averaging conversion rates of approximately 10% and cost-per-conversions of a less than a dollar. According to JT, there are definitely some best practices when it comes to creating display ads on social networking sites. He advises to use as little text as possible, grab the user’s attention with visually appealing creatives, and emphasize the fun and social nature of your site, product, or service. Since MySpace and YouTube users value interaction, it’s important to have a clear call-to-action around the type of engagement you can offer them on your site.
“Hands down, sites like MySpace and YouTube have had a much higher conversion rate for us and at a lower cost per conversion than any other site we’ve been on.” Tools like the Placement Performance Report have proved invaluable in understanding and optimizing Aeria Games’ campaigns on the content network and have also exposed that social media sites, like GaiaOnline.com and IMVU, are yielding good results. “With Google, we can really slice and dice and go down to the site level to figure out exactly what works to drive conversions and where.” Furthermore, Aeria Games has its own proprietary reporting tools that provide visibility into how much money users are spending on their site and which site they came originally came from when registering. “We’ve found that users coming from social networking sites spend quite a bit of money in our games by purchasing virtual items and engaging in microtransactions while they’re playing to improve their ingame experience.”
Playing to Win
“We currently have over two million members in our gaming community,” JT says proudly. “About 25% of them are 30-day actives who spend around 20 to 30 hours a week playing our games online.” As Aeria Games’ community continues to grow, so do their plans to work with Google. “We are astonished at the vast set of tools that Google provides for creating, maintaining, and optimizing our campaigns. In the near future, we plan to expand our placement targeted campaign and start our video ad and newspaper campaigns.”
About the Google Display Network
The Google Display Network (GDN) comprises millions of high-quality websites, news pages, and blogs that partner with Google to display targeted AdWords ads. By choosing to advertise on the Display Network, you can Remarket your existing prospects and expand your marketing reach to targeted audiences – and potential customers – visiting these sites every day. There’s no larger network for contextual advertising in the world. For more information, visit www.adwords.google.com/select/afc.html.