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How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%

Author:
PPC specialist
Reviewer: Galina Liman
Head of Context Department
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How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%

Client

Online store of car tuning products

Our goal

Increase the number of transactions and revenue

Period of work

From 19.07.2021 until 24.02.2023 and from 17.03.2022 until 05.09.2023.

Intro

When we started working with the client, search ad campaigns and smart commercial ad campaigns were active in the Google Ads account.

Micro-conversions were counted in the conversions column (Add to Cart button, Checkout button, Contact page), and successful purchase was counted twice (Transaction and Successful Order Page).

The ads did not use dynamic keyword and number substitution, as they were difficult to perceive and did not stand out in the total mass of search results.

Setting up

First and foremost, our experts fine-tuned the missing conversions and adjusted the micro-conversions settings to ensure they were not included in the conversions column and taken into account when optimizing the smart strategy.

It was important to remove duplicate conversions and micro-conversions from the statistics, and to ensure that the intelligent bid assignment strategy is focused on receiving only those commercial conversions which are essential for the business.

Search ad campaigns

  • We changed the structure of search ad campaigns to STAG (grouping keywords based on the principle “1 group – 1 topic”) to achieve more efficient optimization of ad campaigns and increase the volume of statistics by ad groups.
  • To increase CTR, we wrote new, more engaging ads which included dynamic keyword substitution.
  • To increase conversion rates, we added precise and relevant landing pages to the ads leading to the product page according to the car brand and model specified in the keyword.

The outcome of the initial phase, after fixing the tracking bugs, was an expected decrease in the total number of conversions and increase in their value, however, the number of transactions and their value also increased.

How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%, photo 1

 

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Taking into account the core principles of Google Ads automated strategies, after making changes to the ad campaign, we gave the campaigns some time to retrain, meanwhile we carefully monitored the changes in indicators and implemented any necessary adjustments.

Optimization

Commercial ad campaigns

After retraining the betting strategies to work solely with macro-conversions, we started optimizing smart commercial ad campaigns closer to September. Our experts came up with recommendations on improving the feed, yet their implementation was postponed due to the technical impossibility of making changes.

Due to the absence of any means to directly influence the effectiveness of ad campaigns, we took up some implicit ways:

  • to increase the effectiveness of smart commercial campaigns, we added customer email lists to the account for ad campaigns targeting;
  • once our staff had collected sufficient statistics, some conversions were converted to attribution based on that data.

Search ad campaigns

You have to regularly analyze semantics and ad performance to successfully run your search campaigns.

As a part of optimization, we carried out the following activities:

  • expanded the semantics of active ad campaigns (after collecting sufficient statistics, conducting keyword analysis and suspending the use of expensive ad campaigns to optimize the cost of conversion);
  • added adaptive search ads and images to increase CTR;
  • launched a branded ad campaign.

Having analyzed the search results for branded keywords, we found several companies with the same name as that of our client.

Thus we decided to launch a search ad campaign on branded keywords, which are now receiving conversions at a low cost.

Initial results

Following ad campaign optimization, the total number of transactions increased by 7% and revenue by 14.4% accordingly.

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The ad had several directions, with different conversion rates. Later we launched additional test directions, while terminating some of them, which affected the general statistics.

Therefore, we would like to present here some statistics for priority category (search and commercial campaigns), which has been active all the time.

While expenses increased by 181.6%, the number of transactions increased by 207.7% and revenue by 175.3% accordingly.

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After February 24, 2022 (with the start of a full-scale invasion)

On February 24, all ad campaigns were suspended. In mid-March 2022, after the situation in the country seemed to normalize, the client decided to resume ad campaigns in some categories.

We started with a low budget to assess the changing situation at the auctions and test the demand from clients.

Results of the initial trial period

As expected, the number of conversions was the lowest, however, the average transaction value increased.

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Scaling the ad campaigns

Once the trial period was over and we received the initial results, our experts started to gradually scale the campaigns by adding some new categories to the ads and increasing the budget.

Optimization actions with the greatest impact on the results

Reconfiguration of commercial ad campaigns to Performance Max

In early February, right before the full-scale invasion, we tested the launch of Performance Max for one of the categories and received good results.

Thus we decided not to wait for the scheduled automatic transition for the rest of the categories, but to customize them ourselves, having elaborated the audience signals and prepared the ads. Eventually, we gradually switched to the new type of ad campaign: first, we launched the campaign together with Smart Commercial, and later we re-allocated the budget in its favor.

Following the initial phase, we managed to reduce the cost per conversion by 26% compared to the previous phase of Smart Comercial Ad Campaign, and increase the value of conversions by 2%.

Later we analyzed the ad effectiveness, further improving the items with low performance.

How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%, photo 6

Feed optimization

To optimize the Performance Max ad campaigns, we prepared some recommendations for improving the product feed.

First and foremost, it was required to make adjustments to the names and descriptions of products, so that the system could more precisely identify the product and make a decision on displaying the ads. We also added additional attributes affecting the quality of the feed and the ad performance.

Following the first phase of working with the updated feed, we managed to increase the number of transactions by 13.4%, revenue by 17.4% while increasing the expenses by 5.8%.

How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%, photo 7

For comparison, different ranges in terms of the number of calendar days to balance out the number of advertising days are shown.

Final results

Following the optimization, we managed to increase the revenue from transactions by 19.2% in all directions collectively, with a 6.8% decrease in conversions and a 19.9% decrease in expenses compared to the previous year.

How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%, photo 8

As for the individual priority category, we managed to increase the number of transactions by 11.3% and revenue by 42.1% with a decrease in expenses by 16.3% compared to January of the previous year.

How we managed to increase our priority category revenue by 42%, photo 9

Conclusions

  1. We need to clearly understand the project goal and correctly set up macro-conversion tracking in Google Ads so that the auto-strategies can be trained to achieve the macro-conversions that are important for the business.
  2. Using clients’ emails for targeting helps the system find the most valuable clients.
  3. The quality of product feed has a direct impact on the effectiveness of the ad campaign. Therefore, you should not limit yourself to the mandatory ones, but add all relevant attributes as well. The quality of filling, correct titles and descriptions are also important – all of these give the system a better understanding of the product type and the user profile to whom the ads can be shown.

Project Participants:

  • Project Manager: Marharyta Petrenko
  • PPC specialist: Iryna Khomenko
  • Head of Contextual Advertising Department: Halyna Lyman
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