Identifying pay-per-click advertising waste with a Folsom Audit.
Many businesses outsource their digital marketing services, and for good reason. If you are a baker, you shouldn't be expected to know the ins-and-outs of conversion tracking, data analysis, and digital advertising. You should be expected to bake, and deliver a good product to your customers. It is the role of the marketer, or marketing agency, to grow your business using the digital channels best suited for your business. To take the time to learn about your business, and report honestly on the results of their efforts.
However, many marketers are great at painting data in a way that makes them look good. If you don't know what to look for, it can be easy to lose a lot of money with the wrong marketing agency. That is what EquipmentWatch realized with their Google Ads management agency. While they were being told that the ads were performing well, they weren't seeing the "results" translate to actual business. Folsom conducted an audit of their Google Ads account, and helped bring to light many issues with their Google Ads management.
Increase in demo request rate
Increase in demo requests
Decrease in Google ad spend
EquipmentWatch provides data for construction equipment, lift trucks and ag equipment - equipment costs, values/prices, year verification, rental rates. Thousands of contractors and project owners trust their Rental Rate Blue Book rates to reimburse equipment ownership and operating costs incurred during extra work.
They are a 3rd party value provider trusted by more banks and lenders than anyone in the industry. They've built that trust over decades by providing the most accurate current and residual values, with the most granular adjustments, backed by the world’s largest database of resale and auction market activity (over 28 million records and counting).
EquipmentWatch's Google Ads management suffered from 3 critical problems:
- Their ads management didn't take the time to understand the business, resulting in poor keyword choices
- The targeting was too broad, and wasn't updated based on performance
- They were tracking duplicate conversions, meaning it looked like they were doing twice as well as they actually were
This agency was bidding on all of the wrong keywords, bringing in a huge amount of unwanted traffic. While EquipmentWatch provides for heavy equipment data, such as "equipment retail rental rates" - they were bidding on keywords such as "hertz rentals". This created obvious problems, and they were getting a lot of traffic and phone calls from users looking to rent a car. Not only does this waste ad dollars, but it wastes the time of the EquipmentWatch sales team who had to take these calls. Additionally, the keyword bidding was too broad. Even when the ads manager was in the right industry with keywords such as "sunbelt rentals" - they failed to realize that keywords like this were much too broad. Instead of getting traffic from users looking for a data provider to find industry-standard rental rates for Sunbelt rental, they were getting traffic from users who wanted to RENT Sunbelts. This is why it is incredibly important to take weeks to understand a business, review keyword lists with a point of contact at the company, and launch upon approval.
What made their situation even worse was that their ads managers were also tracking duplicate conversions, which made their performance look better than it actually was. When we tracked down the real performance in Google Analytics, it became evident to EquipmentWatch that a change was needed in their advertising management.
EquipmentWatch first tasked Folsom Creative with a thorough audit of the account, to identify areas for improvement, and to determine if a change in management was necessary. After identifying the aforementioned problems (among others) - EquipmentWatch charged Folsom with rebuilding the campaigns from scratch, and relaunching them based on our recommendations.
Our first step in rebuilding the account was to properly set up conversion tracking, removing the duplicated conversions to ensure that we honestly tracked our results. From there, our next step was to learn as much about EquipmentWatch as possible. We spent weeks crawling the website, building keyword lists, and writing ad copy that clearly communicated what EquipmentWatch provided, and who their data was for. After building our keyword lists and ad copy, we reviewed with the team at EquipmentWatch to ensure that everything met their specifications. While we realized that their team may not understand advertising best practices; we understood that they do know what their business is, and how their brand should be conveyed. Once all keywords and ads were approved, we proceeded to launch the new campaigns.
However, once you launch ads - the work does not stop there. While many marketers will create campaigns, and turn on what they refer to as "autopilot" - Folsom checks the data every single week to ensure that performance is continually improving. While performance does ebb and flow, our team always takes the time to identify any inefficiencies, and keep performance trending in a positive direction. This process has led to constant improvement within the account, with the account now performing as well as it ever has.
The process of removing duplicate conversions, making keywords more relevant, and measuring performance every week in the effort to constantly improve has had a tremendous impact on EquipmentWatch's Google Ads performance. Since Folsom began management, their "Demo Requests" (their primary conversion) from Google Ads has surged 407%, and the conversion rate of these demo requests has increased 769% since the period before. All the while, in the same time period, EquipmentWatch has spent 11% less on ads, and brought in 44% less users. What this shows is that not all traffic is valuable! If you are attracting the wrong traffic to your website, you are lighting your ad dollars on fire. We were happy to cut out the users who were looking to rent a car, or rent equipment; as these were people we never wanted to attract to the website in the first place.
To see if your Google Ads account is wasting ad dollars like EquipmentWatch was, contact us for a free audit!
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