Frost Supply, a family owned electrical supply company, entrusted Sundaram to transition their PPC account from their previous management agency and improve management its effectiveness. Our team began with a comprehensive review of the account to identify optimization opportunities. We then devised measurement and cross-device tracking strategies, culminating in a thoughtful plan for ongoing management.
The initial challenge with Frost Supply’s account was the mere fact that that they had two target audiences that were not only vastly different, but were searching with different purchasing intents. Everyday consumers were the first target audience, which had a tendency to look for specific electrical parts by replacement bulbs, UPCs, or specific items that they couldn’t find at a big-box vendor. Businesses and government contractors were the other target audience, which demand the flexibility to accommodate for large orders of multiple parts or supplies to supplement a particular job contract.
Naturally, the account was challenged, as its ad copy needed to appeal to businesses and government contractors, but didn’t fend off one-time purchases from local consumers that may funnel through one of Frost Supply’s seven branch locations that were located throughout the Mid-Missouri and the Bi-State area.
Frost Supply’s capacity to service a vast range of purchasers’ needs means that it houses a large inventory with the flexibility to handle diverse purchase orders. The large inventory is controlled through a complex database that feeds product images, information, and search results into Frost Supply’s website, placing limitations on what changes Sundaram can make to PPC landing pages. Landing pages are an important part of a successful PPC program, since they factor into the Quality Score, which is Google’s measurement of how relevant it determines an ad and landing page is to the user’s search query, in return often influencing the advertisers required cost-per-click (CPC).
Frost Supply has multiple locations that allow a local audience to receive support on the phone or through one of its locations, which proves valuable for consumers who are looking for a replacement part or don’t necessarily know what they need to solve their problem. Frost Supply also competes well for particular product categories, in some cases providing products at a lower cost than its competitors. Lastly, Frost Supply’s brand holds a significant advantage since they have been in business since 1870 and have a well established local reputation and consumer network.
Proper setup and organization of campaigns and ad groups is a critical component of a successful PPC program, so Sundaram began by restructuring the account’s current campaigns into well-organized ad groups and keyword groupings, enabling logical, tight-knit groups of keywords. Although Frost Supply’s current structure was organized relatively well, separating high-level topics into ad groups, such as Power Tools and Lineman Tools and Gear, there was an opportunity to improve and structure this organization in a way would likely result in higher clickthrough rates and lower costs in the long run, enabling the account to actually get more traffic at the same cost than if it were poorly organized.
This type of organization also makes it easier to write targeted messaging in ads, which is not only important since Google rewards quality ad copy, but most importantly, would test different messaging between Frost Supply’s diverse target audience. Sundaram also made simple updates to the current ad copy to incorporate copywriting best practices that would have an impact on overall campaign performance, including grammatical changes, carefully chosen destination URLs, updates to display URLs, and added mobile-specific ads meant specifically for display on smaller devices.
Bid assignment can be done several ways within a Google Adwords campaign. For smaller to mid-sized accounts, Sundaram recommended bidding at the keyword level. This generally results in better performance across the campaign and can result in more clicks than using the “auto” bid options. While Frost Supply’s positioning was not extremely low, it was hovering near the 3 position overall, which could be improved with closer monitoring and more regular bid adjustments.
Sundaram paused keywords that historically hadn’t performed poorly and added conversion tracking to further optimize the campaign based on performance. With conversion data on hand, we were able to switch focus from clickthrough rate and clicks to conversions and ROI.
While Frost Supply’s account experienced a decline in clicks and impressions, we were able to reduce Frost Supply’s monthly spend by 73%. This movement resulted from our recommendation to scale the account down from a nationwide campaign to a campaign that strategically targeted a 30-mile radius around Frost Supply’s branch location. Radius targeting allowed us to focus limited dollars that weren’t sufficient enough to compete on a national scale and leverage Frost Supply’s established brand recognition to dominate the local scene.
Naturally, as we scaled down the account, we limited the amount of clicks and impressions the account could show for and therefore, it was impossible for the account to see improvements for these metrics when comparing year-over-year. However, this allowed us to reduce advertising spend by 73%, while increasing the click-through rate by over 2000% with a 15% improvement in the average position. Additionally, we saw a positive improvement in the site usage metrics, including:
- 223% increase in the number of pages per visit (up from 1.8 to 6.1)
- 302% increase in the average visit duration (up from 00:00:54 to 00:03:37)
- 71% decline in the bounce rate, which is a positive improvement (down from 80% to 23%)
Frost Supply may no longer be competing on a national scale, but through a local strategy Frost Supply’s account has reaped numerous benefits and is paying to drive quality traffic at a lower volume, rather than irrelevant traffic at a higher volume.