Google Adwords Challenge

Executive Summary

Inline Four began in the owner’s garage in 1999, which soon outgrew its original location and is now located in a 5000 sq ft. warehouse in Westminster, CA. Their products and services range from Acura and Honda specific OEM and aftermarket race preparation parts, installation, general maintenance and dyno-tuning. Inline Four had three major goals it wanted to accomplish from using Google Adwords, which are brand awareness, increasing sales and traffic. After establishing our Adwords campaign, we made changes every Tuesday and Thursday. One of the major changes was localizing our target market to the United States.

Three ad groups were used in this campaign: JDM ad, performance group and brand group. The best performing group was the JDM ad campaign, which included keywords that related to parts imported from Japan. Following the JDM ad group was the performance group, which focused on specific parts, and the brand group, which focused on selected brands that Inline Four carries. The brand group had the highest cost with the lowest clicks due to high competition. The metrics used to measure the success of each ad groups were CPC, bounce rate, unique visitors, page views, average time, pages per visits, CTR and impressions.

The key results of our campaign were that it generated a lower bounce rate, higher page views per visit and above average new unique visitors. Google Adwords produced a significant amount of new users to our client’s website. This raises awareness, which could potentially later become Inline Four customers.

All product are shopping goods because they are expensive, thus, people are unwilling to commit once they see something for the first time. The general idea is to keep the customer in an evoked set.

After completing Google Adwords campaign for three week, we came up with recommendations that could further improve Inline Four online and in store. We recommend using Google Adwords because it accomplished two out of three of our goals: increasing brand awareness and target. Furthermore, Inline Four can design website to maximize SEO, continue social media marketing, create specific landing page for each ad groups, and do more research for keyword that are relevance to their brand ad groups. In conclusion, with the right tools and keyword, Inline Four can produce major awareness and traffic through their website which could later procure sales.

Industry Component

In this section, we will give an overview of Inline Four’s Adwords campaign. A review of Inline Four’s goals that were set prior to running the Adwords campaign will be given, including a description of our approach to meet these goals. We will then discuss details of how Inline Four’s Adwords campaign was implemented. Next, we will discuss the changes that were made during the campaign and the impact the changes made on our campaign. After implementing the html coding for Google Analytics onto Inline Four’s website, we were able to track their traffic and keyword effectiveness. Data from Google Analytics will be analyzed. Finally, we will conclude with recommendations on how Inline Four should utilize Google Adwords for their online marketing.

The major goals that Inline Four wanted to accomplish with Google Adwords included raising brand awareness, increasing sales, and increase traffic to their website. Inline Four began to offer their own private labeled products and continually adds new brands and products to their inventory. To achieve the goal of raising brand awareness, we used Inline Four’s “What’s New” page as a landing page, because this is where Inline Four uploads all of their new offerings. All three of our ad campaigns were implemented in an effort to help Inline Four increase their sales. To reach the goal of increasing sales, we attempted to use an enthusiastic voice in our ads to create hype for the products that Inline Four carries while anticipating how our target market would react. We attempted to write the ads to be as relevant as possible to what we thought our target market would search for. To increase traffic to Inline Four’s website, we decided to implement 57 keywords that we thought would be the most relevant to the products being offered on their website. We used the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to estimate search traffic and estimated average CPC rate for each keyword. We selected the words that were not too expensive, yet had a few thousand global monthly searches. In terms of metrics, our goal was to exceed Inline Four’s current statistics of average time on site, bounce rate, and unique visitors.

Our Adwords campaign ran from April 5, 2010 to April 26, 2010. We decided to allocate $9.52 per day and we split this budget between three different ad groups, which allowed $3.17 to be spent on each ad group. The three ad groups used were, JDM ad campaign, performance group and brand group. The keywords for the three ad groups were chosen based on the products that were being offered on Inline Four’s website. In the JDM ad campaign we focused on nineteen keywords that were related to products that came from the Japanese Domestic Market. This group targeted consumers who were looking for parts that directly came from Japan. We spent a total of $68.55 for this campaign with an average cost per click of $0.14 and our ads had an average position of 3.6. The amount spent in this ad group was consistent with the amount we had budgeted for it. The performance ad group focused on specific performance parts that consumers were looking for.

We only picked products that were being sold on Inline Four’s website so that our ads would be as relevant as possible. We spent a total of $63.06 for the performance campaign with an average cost per click of $0.30 and our ads had an average position of 4.4. For the brand ad group we selected the brands that Inline Four wanted to sell more of and the brands that they just began to carry. For the brand ad group we spent a total of $68.41 with an average cost per click of $0.40 for an average position of 3.2. We monitored the Adwords account every other day, while making adjustments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On the first day of the campaign, we allowed for the ads to be displayed in Europe, the Middle East and in the United States. After the first day, we realized that our budget of $9.52 per day was being spent too quickly. On the second day, the budget was nearly spent when it was only 1:00PM Pacific time. At this time, we decided to cut out Europe and the Middle East from our campaign starting on April 7. As a result, our clicks decreased from 52 on April 6 to 21 on April 7. Under the brand group of key words, we switched from automatic key word bidding to manual when we discovered that keywords were not being displayed because our bids were not high enough and our average positions were extremely low. We set all of the keywords to have a maximum bid of $0.70 and we set keyword Inline Four to be at $1.00 to try and improve our average position. From April 5 to April 14 our average position for the brand group was 3.1, after changing our maximum bids, our average position actually fell to 3.3, but our ads were now being displayed, because the bids were sufficient. Another major change we made during the campaign was changing the landing page for the JDM ad group. Previously the landing page was set at Inline Four’s “emblems page” which seemed to be most relevant with majority of the products being from Japan, however we felt that the bounce rate could be improved and the rating of our keywords could be improved by switching the landing page to Inline Four’s “genuine Honda parts” page. We felt that searchers who were searching for JDM parts would be looking more for performance parts rather than emblems. As a result, our campaigns’ bounce rate was 27.39% while the average site’s bounce rate was 40.04%.

Figure 1: Average Time on Site

We were pleased with the overall result of our campaign. Even though the AdWords traffic made up a small percentage of our overall search traffic. The end result was the quality of visits instead of the quantity that we received. Overall we saw a 45% increase in overall page views compared to the website average. As shown in the Figure 1, the average time on the website increased by 34% compared to the rest of the website. Figure 2 indicates that our ad campaign generated 83.03% new visitors to our clients website.

Figure 2: % New Visits

In addition, Figure 3 shows that our campaign only had a lower average bounce rate of 27.31% as compared to the site average of 44.22%.
Figure 3: Bounce Rate April 5 – April 26

Initially, our campaign out performed our budget. By the time our ad’s effectively hit the west coast of the United States, our client’s location, our entire daily budget was used up and keywords were no longer showing. We countered this by isolating the United States as the target for our search results. Immediately, paid traffic dropped and we were able to maintain our budget throughout the day. We further refined our results by deleting expensive and irrelevant keywords that were hindering our campaign. Overall, our JDM keyword driven campaign was the most effective. It generated a lower cost per click, higher page visits, and a higher average time on website. It even returned a lower bounce rate then our other campaigns. Our entire campaign was a success, because most of our keywords were rated 10/10 and we enjoyed our stay near the top of the search page. Our short fall was that we didn’t have purpose built landing pages for our ad groups, which we believe, could have increased our stats and lead to more conversions.

Paid traffic such as Google Ad words is an effective way to drive interested new clients to the business. Even though our paid traffic generated one instant sale through the webpage. We believe that by continuously gathering new and curious prospective clients (the average page visits, time on site and bounce rate were all better then the site average) Google Ad Words will generate a high ROI for Inline Four. Most of the items that our keywords targeted were above the $100 range and are subject to pre-buy research. By keeping Inline Four in the evoked set, when leads have finished their shopping they will likely choose Inline Four for all their after-market automotive needs. For Inline Four to continue to be successful they must take the following steps to optimize their website’s results.
• Redesign webpage for ease of use and SEO
• Continued use of Social Media to remain in the evoked set of the potential customer
We believe that adhering to the previously stated guidelines will increase Inline Four’s sales by maintaining a loyal customer base and facilitating shopping for specific parts or manufactures. In addition we also recommend another trial run of Google Ad words this time with, effective landing pages for paid traffic and coupon codes for paid traffic that will aid tracking of conversions. The overall statistics were better then the site average, but without a way to track the metrics of a final sale, there is no way to tell if Google Ad words is an essential long term sales tool.

Learning Component

Prior to the beginning of the session, we were expecting to learn the marketing strategies that businesses will use to expand their business and sustain profitable gains. Our professor, Catherine Atwong stated on the first day of class that the e-commerce is becoming a huge profit center and that it will continue to rise as technology is improving and customers find it much more convenient to purchase items from the internet rather than in person.
Figure 4: US Retail Commerce and Total Retail Sales 2008-2010

As you can see from Figure 4, total retail e-commerce sales have grown yearly. This growth can be explained by changing trends and technology. Technology is improving in such a way that it doesn’t take too much time to research items that a person seeks to buy. People can easily access the Internet, search for information on any item, compare the items and decide which one is preferred. Using Google Adwords as a company can give a company an edge as it exposes your product on a very popular Internet search engine, Google. We hoped to learn how to use Google Adwords to its maximum potential and we hope to use it again in our future jobs. Understanding the components of Google Adwords can give us an edge against competitors and see an increase in online sales. We hope that learning how to use Google Adwords will increase sales to make any company profitable.

During the campaign, our client, Inline Four, had seen new visitors, increased average time spent on the site, increased page views and a lower bounce rate. As a team, we succeeded and surpassed our learning expectations in that regard. Our goal stated in the pre-campaign report was to increase awareness; therefore we reached our goal according to the increased time spent on site, page views and lower bounce rate. However, we assumed that the increased awareness would turn into an increase of sales, but that was not the case. A key outcome that we will remember is the achievement in increasing awareness. It proved that our campaign was successful and we were able to attract new customers to come to our client’s website, which created an opportunity for conversion. Although the statistics show that we did not increase sales, we felt that the potential was there.
Prior to participating in the Challenge, we expected to learn how to use Google Adwords effectively so that it would be beneficial and practical for us to use it in the real world. We expected the campaign to be challenging and we also expected to see an increase of sales. However, we did not expect to reach our goal and see an increase in new visitors a week into the campaign. From the increase of awareness we expected sales to increase but they did not.
One of the challenges we had as a group was creating the best ad groups to bring our client the highest impressions and clicks while not depleting our budget. We created many types of ads and divided them into groups such as performance parts and brands. We also had to monitor the campaign to make sure there were no keywords that used too much of our budget or provided minimal impressions and clicks. After we figured out what kind of ad groups were the best, it became easier. The process was much more fluid as we reached the end of our campaign.

Another challenge was trying to figure out how to increase sales. We saw a large number of impressions and clicks. The bounce rate was very low, however, no purchases were being made. We wanted to create new landing pages, but the client restricted us from modifying their website. We were very limited to how we could create an increase in sales. We had no control over their pricing and website design, which could have been a factor.

The team expected a lot of different opinions about which ad groups could be more efficient and with a team of 5 members we expected decisions to take longer because it is harder to come to a consensus, but this was not the case. An unexpected outcome was that the dynamics of the group was clear and organized. We understood what the goal was and shared the same ideas, which made the decision making a lot easier.

During our initial meeting with Inline Four the group was informed that Inline Four truly desired to expand into the European and Middle East Honda and Acura performance market. Disappointingly, budget constraints prevented us from running our ads in both the United States and the European and Middle Eastern markets. Our team recommended that Inline Four’s focus be placed on the United States. It was determined once Inline Four became a more dominant force in the U.S. market, the European and Middle Eastern market strategy would be revisited. As mentioned earlier in this paper, our group spent far too much of our budgeted money on the first day. In order to stay within our preset funds, decisions had to be made to determine the fiscal prudence of expanding out of the U.S. region. By eliminating the European and Middle East regions, our group was able to stay within budget for the remainder of the campaign. As for the future, there very well may be a market in Europe and the Middle East; however, we decided to focus on the West Coast of the United States and, in turn, expand eastward, throughout the United States. At this time they should focus their growth in a market that returns a higher bottom line.

The next issue we encountered was creating proper landing pages for each ad group. Our group recommended that Inline Four create a specific landing page for the JDM group. Instead, Inline Four asked us to switch the landing page to their “What’s New” page. The reason for this recommendation was due to the fact that JDM parts were a 10/10 in terms of relevance. Our group felt that creating a landing page would increase time spent on the page, reduce the bounce rate and increase traffic by being more relevant.

The final challenge our team faced was Inline Four’s use of Yahoo Analytics. Our project was completed using Google. This caused difficulty due to our group’s inability to freely access Inline Four’s Yahoo analytics. In addition, since Inline Four uses Yahoo Store, our group encountered problems with Inline Four’s advertisements, because Yahoo converts their headings into jpegs. Google looks for relevant content to rate relevance of ads, but Inline Four has a large photo, which cannot be recognized. The recommendation would be to switch to a new webhost that allows Inline Four to use regular HTML coding.

Overall, this was a fruitful test run. Our group’s goal was to increase sales, brand awareness and traffic for Inline Four. While only one sale resulted from our campaign, it should be recognized there was an increase in awareness and equally important the bounce rate was significantly reduced. Another positive outcome was that the visitors who clicked on our ads spent more time on Inline Four’s website than the average visitor of their site. Although it was difficult to monitor the advertisements, our group was able to finish within our budget.

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