- Over 300% increase in Paid Search ROI
- 28% increase in new site registration
Conclusion: The Importance of Paid/Organic CoordinationWhile Paid and Organic Search operate independently—each calling for its own unique solutions and unique goals—neither exists in a vacuum. Capturing the full opportunity of both requires locating the nexus points between them. This Paid/Organic coordination is the outgrowth of a larger Did-it Search philosophy. Did-it realizes that developing the most powerful Search solutions relies on working within a campaign’s larger context. That context begins at the search engine results page; but it goes much further: into website deeper pages, the client’s offline business, and even into market forces beyond the client’s immediate business sphere.By integrating that larger context within campaigns, Did-it is able to capitalize on hidden Paid Search opportunity, and to craft solutions geared around the client’s complete business.
For the second half of 2004, Cingular Wireless, a client of Did-it.com, stipulated a specific average cost per order (CPO) for Web site orders that took place through search.The main search marketing expense is the click-through, so a campaign’s CPO is mainly the combination of the cost-per-click spent on keywords and the frequency with which a search marketer advertises on any term. Cingular specified an average CPO for the whole campaign, but gave Did-it free rein as to how to meet that average.One option was to spend an equal amount across all keywords. A second option was to vary the spend for different keywords. For the latter option, the question remained as to what type of differentiated CPO strategy would work best.At the same time, the right software determined the possibility of a more differentiated strategy. A more specialized strategy would require software that could be customized easily to every new client. Without thoroughly flexible software, a one-size-fits-all solution would become the only option, and the “best strategy” question would be moot.Solution and Results Did-it found that some keywords converted well with minimal investment while other conversion-powerful keywords needed higher spend to achieve results. “Cingular,” “cingular wireless” and “cingular.com,” for instance, all converted easily. “Cellular phones,” “cellular” and “wireless phone” were conversion-powerful keywords requiring more effort. This suggested that a differentiated strategy would work best.Did-it created a multitiered CPO solution based around ease of keyword conversion and the ROI that a keyword would yield. The result was a bidding strategy through which keywords that offered low-hanging fruit got less spend; high-yield, high-hanging fruit got more.Maestro, Did-it’s proprietary bidding platform, was programmed accordingly. A below-average target CPO was set for low-hanging fruit. Target CPO for high-hanging fruit keywords was programmed at as much as 60 percent above the campaign average. This strategy let Did-it exceed its campaign target by 20 percent, creating thousands more orders for Cingular than anticipated. In the course of its relationship with Did-it.com, Cingular’s search-driven Web site orders have doubled.Emphasize Each Unique Element The best search marketing campaigns are those that recognize the full diversity of all campaign elements. Uniform solutions can achieve ROI, but in emphasizing each unique element marketers can take full advantage of every opportunity that a campaign offers.Diversification requires a high level of customization. Customization, in turn, requires bidding software that can be adapted readily to the new opportunities that every campaign presents. This software/strategy combination yields the best-tailored search campaigns.
ChallengeAs a designer and producer of high-end goods and accessories, Coach has had more than half a century of experience crafting items that impress—and inspire. In 2003 however, Coach found itself less than inspired by the mediocre returns its SEM strategy of affiliate- driven search ads had provided. The luxury manufacturer wanted stronger ROI, a lower Cost per Order (CPO), and a more effective way of executing paid search tactics in time for their peak months during the holiday season.SolutionFrom October to January, Did-it used its industry-leading automated bidding platform Maestro to learn not only which branded terms were leading to sales for Coach, but also which ads, which landing pages and which generic keywords gave Coach the best grip on their market. Through creative holiday testing, changes in ad copy, advanced customized tracking and a controlled bidding strategy that put real-time value on orders, Did-it was able to optimize the client’s paid search campaign by the end of November.ResultsCoach has always been a player in luxury, and its online sales were never slow. But that wasn’t enough. They wanted to crush their competition in Search by increasing revenue without wasteful spending—and they wanted it fast. Did-it lived up to its reputation by driving down CPO 87% within one month, raising conversion rates 481%, and capturing a greater portion of market share for its client at a proportionally lower cost. This meant a 632% increased ROI, and a satisfied partnership on all sides. With the expert help of Did-it.com, in only three months Coach had it “in the bag.”What’s in a name, if the right people can’t find you? Coach realized their old approach to SEM wasn’t pulling its weight and enlisted Did-it.com to find a more tenacious strategy. By putting emphasis on search terms that increased revenue, tweaking copy and tracking landing pages, Did-it cut costs as a satisfied client saw its bags fill with cash.
ChallengeAs a wholesale distributor of packing materials, Associated Bag Company has helped its clients ship goods for over sixty years. Warehouses, catalogs and a reputation for service carried the company far—but in 2003, the online age demanded more.Associated was running an in-house Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign with no object other than to increase rank and prominence. Bidding on keywords regardless of whether their visibility led to purchases was siphoning thousands of dollars every week; and the wholesaler realized that a lower Cost per Acquisition would be necessary in order to sustain a healthy online presence.SolutionNoting that that the optimal CPO for a repeat buyer was less than what was being levied, Did-it.com moved to eliminate wasteful spending practices. Using Maestro, Did-it’s proprietary bidding platform, experts were able to support keywords boasting high conversion rates while simultaneously cutting off more sluggish performers.Critical changes were then implemented to landing pages with the aim of not only increasing the number of inbound clicks coming through the site, but also of boosting their value by enhancing the likelihood of subsequent sales.ResultAt the end of one month Did-it.com had reached the client’s goal of a more reasonable Cost per Order and ahigher conversion rate. Comparing the first full week of Did-it’s involvement in June with the same period in July, Associated spent 52% less on SEM, while reaping a 1900% increase in order volume and achieving a 98% lower CPO.Today Associated Bag continues its lucrative partnership on a more extensive scale. In the first weeks of January 2005, the distributor saw its ROI soar by 74% as search costs maintained their steady decline. Just one more client with results signed, sealed and delivered by Did-it.Getting from Point A to Point B can be a daunting process for businesses that rely on the internet to serve their clients. For Associated Bag, finding the right SEM strategy meant finding a firm that could tailor its insight to both the company and its customers. Did-it provided not only a greater quantity of visitors, but a better quality of business. That’s searching “outside the box.”
Didit’s creative team delivers results for users driven through paid search. We look to identify the best User Experience (UX) practices to discover opportunities for improving leads from landing pages.The Client: Baker College offers users 40 Career Programs for students to take online.The Audit:
- The original page design contained too much generic copy and even a video didn’t provide the proper engagement for visiting users.
- The form was extremely long and the call-to-action (CTA) was placed well below the fold.
- The tabbed navigation duplicated site content and often took users off the page and away from a conversion.
- Several pages were developed targeting popular courses according to keyword research.
- Copy is divided into easy to read, scanable sections and bulleted points.
- Visual appeals to the target audience and directs users to a simple form.
- Call-to-action stands out on the page.
- 111% increase in spend
- 144% increase in revenue
- 16% increase in ROI
- 135% increase in sales
- 204% increase in free trial sign ups
By concentrating efforts in higher converting geographic locations, the conversion rate increased by 15%Follow UpIn more recent reports, 2 months following initial launch, the spend, revenue, and sales are still maintaining the increased levels and Corel has given approval for the expansion of Maps to additional product lines. “Corel continues to see increased success metrics as we utilize the audience targeting platform of MAPS to assist our overall search strategy.” – Derek Tucker, Global Marketing Manager
“Partnering with Didit has increased PPC revenue 68% (CAGR) over the last three years. We’re now able to run multi-platform ad campaigns as Didit’s full service model allowed us to have comparison-shopping-engines, Google Product-listing-ads and and Google Shopping campaigns run holistically alongside our PPC and display programs.There have been many additional benefits. For example, time spent maintaining and bidding on individual CSE listings has been dramatically reduced while raising revenue through Didit’s effective use of Inceptor’s daily bid management system. Set-up was also easy as Didit managed all technical aspects of setting up new CSE and PLA campaigns, including the need to write Regex expressions and other programming to optimize feed data.Overall, we have found that the alignment of CSEs, PLAs, Google Shopping, with PPC and Display has made our campaigns more profitable, easier to deploy, and less expensive to maintain. A fantastic result when you consider how easy it was to move to this new system.”
- Derek Tucker, Global Marketing Manager – eCommerce
Didit backs up their promises with performance. Check ‘n Go has collaborated with them on a number of complicated and crucially important marketing campaigns, and they’ve consistently delivered results.In March 2010, we hired Didit to take our search marketing to the next level. Check ‘n Go is a national company providing payday loans online, personal installment loans, cash advances, and check cashing to customers in the US, so we needed an SEM company with the tools and experience to manage integrated marketing campaigns with various moving parts. Didit’s marketing savvy and technological prowess made them the obvious choice.Didit’s team easily stepped into our marketing situation and aligned their goals with our business objectives. They were prepared from their very first day on the job without any tug-of-war over scope or priorities. They’ve seamlessly executed our campaign without asking us to connect the dots for them.One thing that really impressed us about Didit’s approach was that they didn’t bring preconceived ideas to our projects. They didn’t try to fit Check ‘n Go into a one-size-fits-all search marketing template. Instead, they researched our cash advance vertical and customer demographics so they could focus on our buyer targets from the get-go.Didit has been able to manage every aspect of our campaigns, from designing eye-catching landing pages; to overseeing our paid search accounts for Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google; to setting up automated optimization solutions.They’ve consistently met our expectations from a cost per funded loan basis, while also making incremental, manual improvements to our campaign. Prior to adopting their services, we struggled to optimize the channel based on our business goals, which change on a state-by-state basis. Didit devised a search formula to entice the most click-throughs in a way that gets more efficient with each iteration. Their software and team continually tweaked our results, finding better and better ways to increase volume while reducing the advertising cost per acquisition (CPA). Their software platform and manual improvements allowed us to optimize our campaigns based on the CPA, leading to successively higher monthly volumes.Didit also excels at client communication and follow-up. They welcome feedback and use it to the client’s advantage. We meet with their team frequently, and at every meeting they provide us with constructive and practicable feedback on what we could and should do to extend the improvements we’ve been making. They also update us with reports showing outlays and CPA.Didit has also run a/b tests to find out which landing pages produce the best results. This constant attention to, and monitoring of, our CPA has given us the ability to make steady improvements in our transaction volumes while lowering the CPA – two metrics that are vitally important to us. In addition, our ROI has significantly increased in the paid search channel.Since they work closely with Google, Yahoo, and MSN, Didit has been able to give us an unexpected edge over our competitors. We’ve experienced the highest ROI for paid search since opening the PPC channel in 2005.Working with Didit has made Check ‘n Go much more efficient internet marketers. They are ruthless about performance, and they don’t leave anything to chance. We’re getting more transactions, and each online installment loan we add is giving us a better return on our investment. That’s how we define success. When it comes to meeting our search marketing goals, Didit has definitely “done it” for us.
- Jean-Marx Mantilla, Interactive Marketing Director
Bio:Jean-Marx Mantilla leads the eCommerce team in his role as the Director of Interactive Marketing and currently reports to Doug Clark, Axcess Financial’s COO. Through Jean-Marx’s leadership and oversight of online marketing and ecommerce strategies, Check ‘n Go Online’s revenue continues to grow every year. He has more than a dozen years of experience in the eBusiness and technology management fields, where he specialized in digital marketing and eCommerce.Jean-Marx career in the eBusiness sector is notable for its many accomplishments. He launched first-generation ecommerce websites for Victoria’s Secret and Burton Snowboards. He served as consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies as an Information Architect at US/Web CKS. And he led marketing and conversion campaigns as eCommerce Director for the internet retail start-up eJewelry.com.Prior to coming to Axcess Financial, Jean-Marx was VP of eCommerce Strategy at JPMorgan Chase. He’s a graduate of The Ohio State University.
“The best thing about working with the Inceptor/Didit team is their ability to adapt to changing market conditions.”
Larry Davis, VP of Marketing for Ross-Simons
“They have made the organic online marketing channel a low-cost acquisition channel for us. We have been able to turn it around (from before) and drive costs down. It is of high importance for us to have them onboard.”
- Sr. eCommerce Strategy Manager, Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
“I would never recommend them to another company like mine. I want to maintain the competitive advantage I get from working with them!”
eCommerce Client – Home Furnishings
“Inceptor brings to the table a broader view of the marketplace. Working with a vendor that can bring us larger marketing trends is very useful to us because we are very myopic. Their role is very important. They do the actual bidding and management of our campaign, plus they serve a technical and advisory role to our business.”
eCommerce Client – Sporting Goods and Apparel
“Our SEO account person is very quick to respond, well-versed in search engines, and sets expectations very well, which is what I need. They are not promising the world and then not delivering. That is what makes this a good relationship.”
Sr. eCommerce Strategy Manager, Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
“From my experience working with Inceptor/Didit, they are looking for ways to improve our PPC account and bring best practices. They are always looking after our business goals on a day in and day out basis.”
Client – B2B Services
“They handle everything. They launch it, do automatic feeds, and there is little involvement required on my part.”
eCommerce Client – Home Decor
“We have been able to identify pockets of underdeveloped search terms to minimize our cost per click. Our team is not afraid to push back and share new ideas. It’s a pleasure working with Inceptor/Didit.”
Larry Davis, VP of Marketing for Ross-Simons
“I think the main thing they have really helped us is to keep our marketing dollars in front of us. Pay per click is very expensive. The cost of marketing was difficult to determine what makes money and what doesn’t. They have helped us to be more effective in spending our marketing dollars.”
eCommerce Client – Healthy Home Products
“Inceptor/Didit understands it is about the business results, not just the eyeballs you get to your site. That is what sets them apart.”
Sr. eCommerce Strategy Manager, Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
“They are very knowledgeable about bringing best practices into what we are doing. They have brought tools to bear to help us understand our keyword campaigns at a granular level.”
Client – Sanitation Service Industry
“There is a responsiveness and accountability working with them. They did exactly what they promised. If I need to reach my account manager, bam, he is there. They watch my campaigns closely. They keep me informed and they have had good results – return on investment.”
eCommerce Client – Lighting and Architectural Products
“Our company has been in business since 1926, and we have locations in 67 countries around the world. Our headquarters is just west of Boston in Southborough, Massachusetts. We do conception, manufacturing, and sales of products for Vicks, Honeywell, and Braun.We’ve been working with Inceptor for about 18 months. Inceptor/Didit built our accounts from scratch, and manages our Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, and Comparison Shopping Engine feeds. We selected them because they seemed to be knowledgeable, honorable, personable, and intelligent. All of these assumptions have turned out to be correct.Prior to 2009, we didn’t really have a direct-to-consumer business to speak of. Since we hired Inceptor/Didit, they’ve been an integral part of our journey from nothing to exciting. There has been significant growth in our business, and Inceptor/Didit has played a major role in that. We track our ROI, and while it varies from month to month, it’s typically 4 to 5 times our investment.The most important thing to me personally has been Inceptor/Didit’s ability to anticipate the next thing and remain flexible. I’m running a relatively new business within a larger business that expects big things from me. This makes me have to do things quickly and with more agility than is usually necessary, and Inceptor/Didit has been able to accommodate that.Inceptor/Didit is incredibly attentive to my needs. Many vendors send you a few emails and an invoice every month, but I’m in contact with Inceptor/Didit three to five times a week, depending on what is going on. Deadlines don’t constantly slide and fly by unmentioned like with many other vendors. They can accommodate my schedule and are always around for meetings when I need them.I would definitely select Inceptor/Didit again, and in fact, I have. We’ve signed four contracts with them at this point. I can tell other business owners that you’ll do better with Didit, and that they really have your best interests at heart.”Fred Hosley, Web Manager Kaz USA, Inc. Southborough, Mass.
Few agencies can demonstrate the concrete effects that a fully integrated search marketing program delivers for a client’s business and overall revenue contribution. Working hand-in-hand with our client, Kaz USA, we were able to create a highly successful, proactive campaign leveraging the synergy between Pay Per Click (PPC), Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Data/learnings were passed from the CSE and SEO teams to the PPC team and the client. Close monitoring, good cross-team communication, flexibility, and quick action on identified opportunities are essential for maximizing revenue and return. The improved visibility across all three channels led to an increase in sales from both the CSEs and organic search.
- More than 3000% increase in unit sales (client estimates it would have increased 5,000% or more if they had been fully stocked)
- Category “Fans” more than doubled the percent of revenue contribution
- Organic traffic was up 600% and delivered a 35% conversion rate
- After the PPC campaign was launched, we saw a 36% increase in average weekly sales of the unit in the CSEs
Site wide results:
- Sales are up 60%+ YTD
- For the month of August 2010, ROI was 4.6X and conversion rate 5.2%
- YTD ROI meets the goal of 4x and is expected to be significantly higher through the 2010 winter and holiday season
- Significant organic growth year over year. Google visits are up 246% and revenue increased 1,805%. Visits on Bing grew 1,218% with a 2,749% growth in revenue
- CSE advertising programs require product “data feeds” to keep the shopping engines up-to-date. Our client was already providing a daily product feed for processing and submission to the CSEs. So we used this daily CSE data feed to automatically identify when product-specific bids needed to be paused/eliminated in the CSE and PPC programs due to product unavailability.
- The Inceptor team understood that determining “availability” in the apparel industry presents a unique dilemma. The problem goes beyond simply identifying those items that are totally out-of-stock. For bidding purposes, availability also requires having a sufficient variety of sizes in stock. For example, if only size 5 of a specific model of shoe is in stock, a click on a PPC ad for that product is unlikely to convert.
- In addition, retailers often discount the price on last season’s products, especially those with limited size or color availability. If these bargains are included in the feed to the CSEs, the listings are even more likely to generate many clicks, but very few conversions.
- The Inceptor CSE team developed a specialized algorithm to determine what combination of sizes is “sufficient” enough to warrant any ongoing spending on clicks, both PPC and CSE.
- Another complexity involves the effect of inventory changes on optimization for entire categories of products. So the team enhanced its in-house-developed link checking tool to verify not only that all landing pages in the paid search campaigns are still active, but also to identify cases where a keyword represents an entire class of products that should be considered “unavailable” for bidding purposes.
The positive impact of this automation project improved efficiency in both time and money. The time previously devoted to troubleshooting inventory issues was re-allocated to expanding and optimizing the account. And, by eliminating thousands of unnecessary clicks on low inventory/out of stock products, the saved budget was re-assigned to higher converting areas within the account.ResultsA preliminary test of the newly developed technology was performed in late Q3 and the full program was rolled out in time for the busy Q4 holiday season.During the test period in the relatively slow early fall season, the retailer benefited from exceptional PPC savings, while continuing to maintain revenue at current levels. A comparison of the key metrics 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after the new technology was initially implemented shows:
- Cost of Marketing (Spend/Revenue) decreased by 18%
- Average Weekly Spend decreased by 14%
- Average Weekly Cost per Sale fell by 10%
- Average Weekly Revenue increased by 1%
To ensure we obtain the best possible results, the availability determination algorithm and link checking technology is continually tweaked based on ongoing results as well as new insights into the apparel sizing/availability dilemma. During Q4, the campaigns were diligently optimized and re-optimized and savings were re-applied to expand the scope of the campaigns. As a result, the year over year results for Q4 were outstanding:
- Revenue increased by 46%
- Cost of Marketing decreased by 17%
- Spending increased only 21%
Many agencies promote a fully integrated paid search offering but few can demonstrate the concrete effects on a large scale client’s business and overall revenue contribution. Working hand-in-hand with our client, we were able to create a highly successful, proactive campaign leveraging the synergy between CSE and PPC programs.
- Average CPC decreased by 31%
- Qualified Search impressions increased by 26%
- 10% revenue growth while ROI increased by 124%
Larry Davis, VP of Marketing for Ross-Simons summarizes the Inceptor relationship as follows: “The best thing about working with Inceptor is their ability to adapt to changing market conditions and fickle search results. We have been able to identify pockets of underdeveloped search terms and words and minimize our cost-per-click. We are most happy with our team and their commitment to Ross-Simons. They aren’t afraid to push back and share new ideas. It’s a pleasure working with Inceptor.”
- Partner sites that fall under the umbrella of the main company
- Micro-sites to promote different areas of the business
- Promotional sites to target specific products or audiences within the company’s vertical
The challenge with all three is to increase conversions even as the competitive nature of the multiple sites threatens to raise the cost per click (CPC).SituationA client in a highly competitive financial vertical planned to launch two micro-sites in addition to its main website. Although each of the sites varied only slightly in messaging, the intent was to raise overall conversions by appearing in more places on the first page of paid search results for the same keywords. In effect, they wanted to take these spaces away from some of their deep-pocket competitors.ChallengesWhile each site had its own unique purpose, the keyword lists for all three were exactly the same. This created a risk of driving up CPCs for the original site. In addition, the duplicate sites and keyword lists raised the potential for conflict with Google’s editorial guidelines for duplicate/mirror sites.
SolutionInceptor advised the client against launching all three sites at once; instead we together decided to benchmark the original site for three months, optimize the account and use the data collected to create a plan for launching the additional sites.During the three month test, Didit worked with Google to gain approval to add the first micro-site. After the data from the initial launch was analyzed, the site was activated using the same keyword list, but with CPCs set around 30% lower than the main site. This was to ensure that there would be no direct competition among sites.After six months of running the original site and the first micro-site with the exact same keyword lists, and finding higher overall conversions, the second micro-site was launched. Originally, it was expected that it would rank lower than the first two sites, but this quickly changed when the conversion rate of the second micro-site nearly doubled that of the first. ResultsManaging an account with three sites all competing for the same keywords seemed, at least initially, to be a risky idea, but with careful planning and optimization, the strategy proved sound.
- Adding the first micro-site increased average monthly clicks by 68% while average spend increased by only 60%
- Adding the second micro-site only increased average monthly spend by 4%
- Average monthly conversions increased by a total of 114% after the second micro-site was launched
The optimization performed by Google drove a 1200% increase in traffic but at a return of less than 100%. After our second round of optimizations, the ROI improved upon the Google optimization by over 300%. In addition, the revenue remained consistent and traffic increased by 380% over the initial launch period.
- While PPC ads may go offline due to budget constraints, organic results are available to searchers at all times. On the other hand, if organic results slip due to an algorithm change, PPC can temporarily ramp up to fill the void.
- Using PPC with well-targeted ad copy for both branded terms and some well-chosen general keywords (along with adequate negative keywords to maintain relevance) helped to attract cost-effective clicks.
- SEO techniques helped overcome the challenge encountered when Google does not display paid ads for infrequently searched, very specific keywords with a low CTR.
- Appearing in both paid and organic search results on the same page helped to boost the total click through rate.
RESULTSThe number of organic visits from non-branded search terms improved by 75% year over year. The top traffic-driving organic terms are specific technical terms, such as “ecori” and “xhoi.” Meanwhile, as a result of the first six month’s of Inceptor’s PPC campaign restructuring and optimization efforts, the paid search Click through Rate improved by 1594% while the number of impressions dropped by 80%. The well-targeted ads and better CTR improved the Google Quality Score and led to a 39% drop in CPCs and an improvement in average position from 2.7 to 2.1. The top performing non-brand PPC keywords include relatively general terms such as “enzyme,” and “gene expression,” as well as some more specific terms like “DH5.“The CMS implementation is close to completion and the redesign project is still in progress, so the full impact of applying SEO principles is yet to be realized and fully measured. And the PPC program is just getting underway, with improvements anticipated as additional optimization, Sitelinks, and testing techniques are implemented.Applying paid and organic search to the types of terms for which they are each best suited allows the client to reach the broad spectrum of biotech researchers, whether they are looking for a specific product, technical reference information about certain enzymes, or simply for a reputable source of enzyme products.