There is a widely perpetuated urban myth which claims that human beings use only 10% of their brains, and cannot unlock the potential of the other 90%.
Of course, this is false!
Replace “brain” with “AdWords Campaign” though, and you may well be onto something.
Having spent the last 12 months researching and analysing various pay per click campaigns, one thing has become very apparent. The vast majority of Google Adword campaigns are running at just a fraction of their potential.
This is true, even for the ones that are making a profit.
Even if your PPC campaigns are returning hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue every year, there’s a strong chance that they’re still very inefficient and could be performing much better.
An example of this lies within an account that our PPC team, led by experienced consultants Danny & Tom have been working on for the past six months or so. Having parted company with their previous digital agency, a multi-million-pound national car parts supplier came to us to discuss how we could help them increase their ROI and overall web presence.
This wasn’t any ordinary job of building an account from the ground up though, this company had been running Google AdWords for five and a half years already, and on the surface appeared to be going reasonably well, making close to £1,800,000 revenue from paid ads with an ROI of around 540%.
This sounds rather good, right? Most of us certainly wouldn’t mind a return of £1,800,000 from an investment of around £200,000.
However, it wasn’t until we dived deep into the account and had a real look around that we uncovered the truth.
As part of our agreement with the company, we carried out a comprehensive pay per click audit. Taking into account their goals and the work already done by others, we analysed campaigns, ad groups, ad copy and keywords to get a real picture of how the account was performing, and to highlight areas where improvements could be made.
Our findings left us pretty shocked!
This five-year-old account that was generating £1,800,000 and had 540% ROI was actually incredibly inefficient.
It appeared that through years of different agencies working on the account, and the fact that it was making a decent amount of money, no one had ever taken the time to look at the efficiency of the account, and focus on improving that rather than just pushing forward and adding more and more campaigns.
Some of the things that we found were pretty incredible!
Scores of ads not yet expanded, irrelevant landing pages, clicks from people searching for products that they didn’t even sell – backpacks, shirts, trainers, even children’s toys!
Hundreds of pounds worth of clicks being wasted every single month!
Now, you may think that a few hundred pounds per month is nothing to a company that has turnover figures in the millions, however, it runs much deeper than that.
Hundreds of pounds worth of clicks doesn’t equate to hundreds of pounds of lost revenue, it could potentially be thousands.
Hundreds of pounds worth of clicks wasted means missing out on clicks that may have led to a sale. Losing out on 50 clicks from potential buyers with an average order value of £150.00 equates to £7,500 worth of potential revenue, lost. Turn that into 100 or 200 wasted clicks, and you begin to see a real problem.
Additionally, when you’re not getting the revenue, it means that it’s going to your competitors.
Without taking the time to carry out a proper audit on the AdWords account and looking for these problems, they would have never been highlighted and would have continued to be a drain on their budget, clicks, and revenue.
Through identifying these issues we were able to make changes, rectifying, improving and fettling, to the point where the account brought in 10,000 more clicks over a three month period compared to the previous, for £0 extra spend – all efficiency savings.
This also saw the cost per acquisition fall, number of conversions increase, and – most importantly – revenue increase. ROI sat at an average of 1000% at this point.
From here, we were then able to develop the account further knowing that everything was on sound footing, adding campaigns and increasing spend without worrying that so much of it was going down the drain.
Now, I don’t expect a pat on the back from you for the work that we did – although we did give ourselves a bit of one – but what I do want people to do is recognise the message I’m trying to send out.
Audit your AdWords regularly, and never be satisfied until you KNOW that things are going well.
I don’t want to give you an unrealistic expectation, don’t go and scream at your agency or PPC Manager for 600% ROI because a few people bounced – no campaign will ever be perfect, and of course, the most important thing is making a profit from your ads.
However, by being conscientious, aware, and focusing on fine tuning your existing campaigns just as much as focusing on building new ones, you may well find that you can improve efficiency, squeeze more ROI from each campaign, and get your AdWords account running like a finely tuned machine, set up to give you sustainable, long term growth.
This article was originally published on Linkedin.