Here at ICND, we’re all about finding the path of least resistance for increasing profits. For some clients, that means that we’ll be working on content for their website, updating an old site with a fresh design or creating intelligent social media marketing campaigns.
It also means that we’re fans of well-spent paid advertising to produce a fantastic ROI. Today, I’m excited to share some pretty fantastic pay-per-click results we’re seeing with a client in the vacation rental industry.
Note: To protect our client’s privacy, we cannot share the location of the rentals.
This particular company has been running pay-per-click advertising for a few years, mostly with the intent of generating traffic to their website. With no revenue tracking in place, they weren’t sure what traffic was working the best. They came to us hoping for far better maximizing the spend on their AdWords dollars. The client had a basic understanding of how keyword bidding worked and an okay account structure, but was looking to maximize results.
Our first steps were analyzing the current AdWords setup with our comprehensive kickoff audit checklist. After this audit, we found a few glaring holes in the tracking and conversion departments. There was only goal-based tracking in place with no revenue tracking to truly nail down precise ROI on adspend. We fixed this immediately and began on improving the account structure, match types and ad copy through testing.
After adding conversion tracking we were able to find specific keywords that were generating fairly high click through rates and traffic, but no conversions. Sure, people were on the website and browsing around, but our ultimate goal is to get the best people who are likely to book with pay-per-click advertising. After dumping around 15-20 keywords that were sapping up a fair amount of adspend, we were better able to find keywords that convert into bookings. Finding these keywords has allowed us to spend time on keywords that convert and then breaking up those into separate ad groups for better quality scores. Given that in most of our accounts, we can only spend up to a certain fixed budget, dumping non-performing keywords can provide a huge lift to our ROI.
Our steps follow a similar pattern for most of our pay-per-click accounts in the vacation rental space.
Setup & run conversion tracking for Adwords to see campaign, ad group, ad copy and keyword level conversion data.
Create a really in depth negative keyword list for covering accidental impressions and wasted ad spend. We spend at least a few hours digging up negative keywords every month to add to our accounts to reduce waste.
Create a solid campaign & ad group structure that reflects the correct match types, topics, categories and landing pages for maximum quality score.
Constantly test elements like landing pages, ad copy and sitelinks to increase CTR.