When launching a new Google ad campaign, it’s natural to want to know straight away how effective the campaign will be. You want to know how many conversions you are going to get each day for your ad spend.
We often find ourselves having to explain to our clients why it can take some time before we are going to discover the true potential of an ad account.
Usually after 3 months we have a fair idea on the cost per conversion of an ad account. This is the amount of time we recommend someone starts a PPC management project with us.
Here are the reasons why we need this amount of time.
Which Keywords Convert?
When we launch a new ad campaign, we first research which relevant search phrases your market is searching for. We organise these phrases into relevant groups of keywords and add them to your ad account.
After a month or two we usually start to see which search terms lead to conversions and which do not. By removing non-converting keywords from the account, more budget will go to keywords that do convert, thus increasing the amount of conversions.
Which Ad Copy Converts?
We typically add a number of ads to each ad group so we can see which ads have the highest conversion rates.
The conversion process does not begin when a user reaches your site. Often it has begun in the mind of the user when they read your ad copy. If there is something compelling in the ad copy which creates enough desire, then they may already be ready to convert when they reach your landing page. If the landing page reinforces the desire established in the ad copy, then we will see higher conversion rates for particular ads over other ads.
Once we determine the best performing ads, we can pause the poorly performing ads and try to ascertain why certain ads perform best. It may be a particular feature or benefit mentioned that worked. We can then add in another ad to test if we can improve on the existing one.
The catch is that ads don’t work in isolation. What we are really trying to find is which ad works best with which keyword and landing page. You guessed it – this process takes time and is an ongoing process. Constantly working towards higher conversion rates over time.
When Does Your Market Buy?
There are usually times during the day and days during the week when your market is more likely to convert. For example a business to consumer industry may see more conversions on the weekend or evenings after work. Whereas a business to business industry may see more conversions during work hours.
Every industry is different and while we can make some assumptions at the start of the ad campaign, we only know for sure the best days and times once we have run ads for 8-12 weeks and start to see a pattern emerge.
Once we see the best performing days and times, we can increase focus on these days and times using schedules and bid adjustments.
These adjustments are not set and forget and need ongoing monitoring as consumer habits change.
What Device Converts Best?
8+ weeks of data will also help us determine which devices lead to more conversions. The Google ads account will show us the amount of clicks and conversions for people on phones vs tablets vs pc computers.
There are a number of factors which can affect the performance of each of these devices:
- How well is your website built for mobile?
- How easy is it to convert your audience on each device?
- Is your market more likely to be on their mobile when looking to buy or pc?
Again, we can make assumptions, but it is the data and the performance of the ad account which gives us certainty. Once we see a pattern emerge where people are more likely to convert on a certain device, we can again increase bids for these devices.
What Location Converts Best?
If you are targeting a wide geographic area such as a major metropolitan region, then it is very likely that certain suburbs will have higher conversion rates than other suburbs.
We may initially see a pattern in the first few weeks, but it is important that we gather enough statistically significant data before increasing the bids for the highest converting areas.
This is because there are so many variables which could affect the conversion rates of a particular area such as competitor targeting, weather, local laws and regulations, news and world events etc. We want to make sure that high performing suburbs are in fact going to perform well in the long term if we are going to increase budget for them.
Once we do set a bid adjustment it is an ongoing task to ensure certain areas do perform well over time and to adjust accordingly.
Other Demographic Factors
While we have mentioned a few of the demographic factors already, there is in fact a lot more factors available to us in the ad account that we can make adjustments for. This includes:
- Household income (tied to suburb data)
- Online search habits
- Marital Status
This data is all incredibly powerful but we need to see a few months of clicks and conversions before we start to make adjustments either way.
Slicing and Dicing It All
As you can see, there is a lot of ways to improve the conversion rates of an ad account. Each individual factor needs time and data before we can make an informed decision that will improve conversion rates.
Once adjustments are made, it is a constant effort to continue to keep the account performing and fine tuning it.
On top of all this, we must also consider the combination of factors which may lead to more conversions.
For example, we may find in one ad account that women in their 40’s tend to convert more on Wednesday afternoons on their mobile, while men in tend to convert more on Friday afternoons on the same account. So we can’t just increase bids for women and reduce them for men across the board. Instead, we need to look at where and when things are happening and adjust accordingly.
You see the challenge here? Google ads, like life, is not always black and white and often it’s in the combination of factors that we see some patterns emerge. The good news is that there is often a lot of room for improvement in an ad account in the first few months as the data comes in and we start to see a pattern emerge.
Given all the above, I hope you can see why the first few months of an ad account are experimental in the sense that we are seeing how the market responds to the combination of keywords, ads and landing pages in the account.
A lot of adjustments are made in an effort to increase conversion and make it viable. After about 3 months we are able to give you an honest assessment of the ad account and the expected ROI on it.
While usually we will have a rough idea on how well an ad account will perform when we launch it, we never really know until the ads a rolling how well it is going to perform. There are just too many factors, both internal and external that can affect the performance of an ad account.
It’s for this reason we do not lock in businesses to a contract for PPC Management. We don’t want businesses to be locked in for a year on an ad account that is giving them no ROI. What we do say is give it a few months to work out if it is going to be right for you.