Software Development Outsourcing
Google Search Ads Case Study
At the beginning of this year, I got a new client, a software development company from Europe.
First, let me tell you about how I won the client.
I run Google Search ads for keywords around the topic of “Google Ads management freelancer” and the client submitted a form on my website. We went on to an introductory call. Now as always, I prepared a personalized presentation where I did the initial keyword research and example ads before event talking to them. Later on, a client told me that this was what persuaded him to start working with me.
Middle of March – Start of the collaboration
To start, I did more detailed keyword research and implemented the client’s initial feedback.
We went through the keywords together, and I did my best to explain why I picked certain keywords and how important is the search intent behind each keyword.
Next, I set up the campaigns.
I started with 10 campaigns. I used a new campaign for each service and location group (EU, North America, etc.) combination.
On the initial setup, I used the Max Clicks bid strategy with no cap to test the field and see what kind of CPC I’d get.
I didn’t select any goal. Make sure that advanced location settings are “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations”
The daily budget for all campaigns combined was approximately 200$.
Since we are targeting CTOs, on the ad group level for the US and Canada I disabled the audience by income level. This can’t be done in Europe.
I didn’t set up any other optimization initially.
Next, I wrote the ad copies.
Before hitting the enable button I fixed the conversion tracking in Google Tag Manager.
No micro conversions, only real conversions.
1st of April – Starting the campaigns.
Usually before starting I don’t set up too many negative keywords, just obvious ones. Just so that I don’t waste my time figuring out what might users search for.
In the first few days of campaigns running I focus on polishing out the search terms, adding negative keywords or pausing the keywords that are attracting the audience with a wrong search intent.
In this period I also check Google Analytics, Clarity, and other analytics tools just to make sure everything is working fine.
For example, I want to be sure that UTMs are set up properly and that ads are linking to the appropriate landing pages. Stuff like this.
In the second week of running the campaigns we already got 2 conversions.
After that, I felt like we were on the right track and switched the bid strategy of most of the campaigns to Max Conversions.
The reason why I didn’t go for Max Conversions from the begging was that I wanted to give Google some knowledge about conversion before going for Max Conversions.
30th of April – End of first month
We received a total of 5 conversions.
The cost per conversion is around 900$.
4 out of 5 ware sales qualified leads.
Regarding optimization, I was just focusing on refining the keywords.
31 of May – End of second month
I didn’t change the budget. Usually, I tend to change my budget once per month just so as not to mess up Google’s Algorithm to much. So, same daily budget, I also had 5 conversions, coming to a similar cost per conversion.
30th of June – End of the third month
We got 8 conversions.
Cost per conversion: 570$.
After 3 months of running ads and optimizing keywords, my keywords were in good shape, my search term report was showing mostly highly relevant keywords.
I refined ads and set up different options.
6 conversions. Cost per conversion 700$.
End of July and August – Conversion rate optimization
The client’s landing pages were not great not terrible, I would rate them 3.6.
Since my spouse is a senior UI/UX designer I was able to upsell my client’s new landing page design. We made a bunch of improvements.
It took a while to develop them due to the August holidays.
We created new landing pages and directed traffic to them.
I was thinking about doing A/B testing but in this case, improvements are quite obvious so I decided to go directly to new pages.
We’ll track the results closely.
Next steps – September
Since we published new landing pages in the second half of August I’ll let the ads run with minor optimizations in September to see the impact of the new landing pages.
Then I’m going to create experiments and I’ll test out if I can get better results with Manual CPC.
Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.