We remember when using text ads on the display network, more times than not, did not work. It seemed like a black hole of PPC where money basically flew out of the window. For the longest time we steered our clients away from using text ads on the display network because we’re extremely focused on ROI, ROAS and conversion rate – until recently! There are many reasons for this: better reporting, more transparency and an improved network. As you can see from the infograph below, Google has drastically improved their network.
Showing a True Return on Ad Spend
Take for example two clients, both are lead generation clients: one focuses on getting your information to sell you a service later and the other is getting your information to help you now.
Until recently we always looked at everything Google did as a direct response vertical – someone clicks and they either opt-in or not – but some things in Google don’t really prove their worth until you dig into the reports further.
The client listed in Figure 1 below is a non-seasonal company that we started running text ads in the Google Display Network (GDN) on May 9th. What you will see is that three verticals had increased traffic and conversions month-over-month.
The paid impressions being up 223% should be not surprise. However having the direct response conversions for anyone who used text ads in the past, probably is. When you couple all the conversions together along with the increase in brand awareness and direct traffic, it takes the ROAS for this client through the roof! This client only does online marketing so there shouldn’t be any outlying factors that would contribute for these sources increasing traffic or conversions.
The client listed in Figure 2 and 3 below shows year-over-year numbers as opposed to month-over-month. We started running text ads on GDN on Oct 9, 2011 and, for the most part, experienced year-over-year increases:
Again, brand and direct traffic increased year over year by as much as 30% and with the site’s 10% average conversion rate, this easily equated to at least 1,900 more leads for the client.
Now you’re probably wondering why clicks and impressions are down year-over-year. This is because our experts found opportunities to optimize the account to yield a better CPA and conversion rate:
As you can see from Figure 3, we were able to lower the CPA by 25% and increase conversion rate 81% year over year. The 37% drop in clicks was a result of our experts optimizing the account to get rid of irrelevant clicks that was costing the client money with no return.
While there will be many debates on whether or not people actually see or read the text ads in GDN, the numbers are pointing to an obvious trend. Revisiting, testing and continually optimizing a text GDN campaign should bring favorable results. If you’re struggling on making GDN or PPC in general work for you, please contact OPM and get a free account audit.