August - October 31 2015 Average CPC is $.05

Case Study: SEM Google Adwords Quality Score

According to Google:

Because we believe that better ads are a good thing for everyone, the Google Ads system is set up to identify and reward quality ads. High-quality ads can give you a higher Ad Rank and lead to other potential benefits, including:

  • Lower costs-per-click

  • Better ad positions

  • Eligibility for ad extensions and other ad formats

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how a Google Quality Score can affect Cost Per Click. Other factors on the effectiveness of SEM optimization were excluded. That being said, one of the landing pages collected 200 email addresses per day. All materials included in this study use the same demographics, the same keywords, and the same landing pages. This case study is a real-life example of when I managed to reduce the Cost Per Click just by increasing a landing pages’ Quality Score. Below is a comparison between two Adwords budgets of almost the same size on the same website. The average cost per click from February to May is $.94 while the average cost per click from August to October is $.05. In this scenario, I was able to increase web traffic by over 20x while using the same budget and keywords. The changes that were made increased our Quality Score from 2/10 to 8/10.

The Google Quality Score for any landing page is based on three factors. Those factors are: Expected clickthrough rate, Ad relevance, and Landing page experience. Using the keyword planner, I determined a series of on-brand keywords that would result in massive amounts of traffic. Using those keywords, I designed two contests and wrote the copy for each landing page while keeping SEM in mind. These contests are where the vast majority of the web traffic went to. The goals of the contests were to collect email addresses and to gain organic exposure. In order to meet the requirements from Google to increase our Quality Score, I directed the web team to make changes to the website.

Landing page experience is probably the most important part of any website. Landing pages should be designed with user-friendliness in mind. Pagespeed is an important factor in determining the Landing page experience. We made our landing pages faster by removing scripts and unnecessary elements that affect how fast the page speed loads – while still remaining well designed. We had to ask ourselves what we absolutely needed on the website. Realizing that this was an unreasonable ask of the entire website, we ended up only making dramatic changes to the pages that were being served in Google Ads. Some of the suggestions on what needed to be changed can be found through the Google PageSpeed Tool. Also, there is no harm in increasing your page speed, Amazon discovered that for every 100ms above 2 seconds that their page takes to load, it costs their company %1 in revenue. So 1 second = -10% in revenue.

View The Archived landing page here

View the usable web archive version here

Having a high Expected Click Through Ratio can be tricky. Click Through Ratio is the ratio between the number of times an ad is shown versus the number of times an ad is clicked. A higher Click Through Ratio would suggest that your ad is resonating with the audience it’s being advertised to, that the Ad being served is relevant. For this scenario, I created hundreds of variants of copy for the Ads within the campaign. Using A/B testing, the most effective ads gradually rose to the top and I paused the ineffective ones. The difference in Click Through Ratio varied from 3% to 15%.

The next factor in defining quality score is Ad Relevance. Ad Relevance is essentially the relationship between the keywords within an AdGroup, the relationship between the keywords and the landing page, and the relationship between the keywords and the ads that you’re displaying. To increase Ad Relevance, I had to clean up the AdGroups to make sure that the keywords within the AdGroup were related to each other. I then wrote SEM optimized copy with our keywords in mind, which was edited by executive staff. Then I directed the web team to include keywords in the landing pages Meta-data, Alt-Text, and URL. This required some backend changes. Also, every graphic on the website was renamed with SEM optimization in mind.



Case Study: PeaceJam’s “Hero Award”

In 2015, I strategized the BillionActs Hero Award with the intent to generate new user leads, generate web traffic, and increase brand awareness. The central idea included an award presented by a Nobel Peace Laureate during PeaceJam’s yearly film premiere at the Monte Carlo Television and Film Festival. Nominees in 5 categories win an award based on a half jury, half public vote. By 2017, this multi-department social media contest received 10,036 new registered users, 30,903 votes, and 94,222 organic page views.

Public nominations were accepted until March of 2017, users were encouraged to nominate their favorite Act of Peace through the BillionActs website. At the end of the year, we selected 10 of the best Acts of Peace logged on the BillionActs website, and these top ten acts of peace became the semi-finalists for the Hero Award. The semi-finalists competed in 5 different on-brand categories; Best Youth Act, Best Non-Profit Act, Best Business Act, Best University Act, and Best Up and Coming Peacemaker. Team mebers worked together to create a video for each semi-finalist that briefly explained what each semi-finalist accomplished that qualified them for the nomination. For quality control reasons, we made all the videos in-house. This ensured that we portrayed our brand to the public in a consistent manner and that no person would have an advantage or disadvantage based on the quality of their video production. I wrote draft copy for each of the video script, which followed a simple formula: demonstrate the problem with legitimate statistics, then position the semi-finalist as the solution.

Additionally, I communicated the strategy and the structure of the contest to PeaceJam’s internal web team. Such as; How the landing page should look? What order the videos should go in? Why did we decide not to display vote counts above 1000? Which each had their own strategic answer.

Semi-finalists were allowed 4 weeks between April and May to encourage their followers to help measure their impact by voting. This short voting period added urgeny to the campaign. During this time period, I drafted language for the nominees to share on their social media outlets and coordinated with each of the semi-finalists’ marketing teams to highlight each nominee on a particular day across our internal 1.1 M follower social media network. This allowed us to maximize our organic exposure for each nominee. Voting required users to register through the BillionActs of Peace website. This resulted in new user registrations. In order to prevent the contest from becoming a popularity contest, the winners were partially determined by popular vote and partially determined by a jury made up of Nobel Peace Laureates serving on PeaceJam’s board. Winners were announced just after the PeaceJam Foundation’s board meeting that June.