ChallengeA large national-brand school group with both an online division and campus locations came to us looking to improve the results from their pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. The client’s previous agency was bidding primarily on brand terms and had limited their growth potential. The client was experiencing a decline in the total number of students attending school due to their PPC advertising efforts.
In the four months prior to The Pittman Group taking over the account, the number of leads had dropped to 53 and averaged 156 leads per month. The client was looking for a fresh take on their PPC advertising efforts and turned to The Pittman Group to provide the expertise and guidance to improve results.
SolutionAfter performing a complete audit of the existing account, our team pinpointed what, exactly, was causing the client’s PPC campaign to perform ineffectively:
- Poor campaign design
- Improper campaign settings
- Redundant and low-quality ad copy
- Outdated landing page design
- Lack of maintenance activities
- Poor use of ad extension units
Our team began by performing a Search Query Analysis, eliminating unsuccessful keyword variants, adjusting bids for various match types and eliminating key terms that had not received clicks. We also redesigned the landing pages to update the look and feel, and improve the conversion path. These activities yielded a 25% increase in conversions within the first 60 days.
Next, we turned our attention to the account structure and campaign settings. A poorly structured account leads to management issues and can confuse the bid engine. We implemented our time-test campaign design best practices to improve flexibility and manageability of the account, while staying within the search engine recommendations for campaign unit size. During this process, we wrote over 4,000 pieces of new ad copy to make the ads more relevant to the individual user, work in stronger calls to action and take full advantage of the available characters.
Finally, we began testing different variations of ad extensions to see if we could improve click through rates and drive additional leads for the client.
ResultsIn the third month of managing this client, we generated a 100% increase in the number of leads the client received from this campaign. In the fourth month, the leads increased by 170% from the average of the four months prior to The Pittman Group taking over the account. Over the last three full quarters, we have maintained a 110% increase in leads at a 22% increase in cost per lead. The client has seen a 68% increase in student enrollments from this channel and results continue to improve monthly.
Through an integrated approach that combines creative and technical expertise, The Pittman Group was able to improve marketing results for this client. This is an example of how PPC advertising requires more than an understanding of how the bidding system works on various vendor platforms. It requires a solid performance-driven plan executed by highly-skilled professionals.