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A PPC Management Case Study

PPC management is the art of outsourcing your Google Adwords and other pay-per-click marketing campaigns to a company that makes understanding PPC their business. This is an aggregate case study, meaning it’s an average of several similar case studies for the purpose of conveying the point without naming any specific entities. Names are obviously fictional.

The Client: Alkohol Industries (AI) is a #2 rated online liquor store. It’s reached a plateau in it’s PPC campaign, and believed it had ‘maxed out’ the RoI of it’s PPC campaign. (In the world of pay-per-click marketing, this happens whenever adding a new keyword to your list would cause your cost-per-sale to increase more than your profit-per-sale increases.)

Strategy: The first thing to do here is analyze the client’s campaign history. Examining their advertisement, keyword list, click-through rates, cost-per-click, conversions, and total spend, it’s possible to find some areas where improvement can be made. a

With the learning portion complete, it’s time to optimize. As it turns out, AI appeared tightly optimized, but had a little room for growth. By adjusting bids for some of their common keywords upward or downward by a few pennies each, it was possible to open up some money in their budget for other keywords, slightly increasing sales without affecting their cost-per-sale.

More importantly, AI was operating exclusively through Google Adwords. By opening up PPC campaigns on other networks (largely Yahoo and MSN) we increased spend slightly, but dramatically improved total visits and total sales — and with them, profit-per-sale and thus total income.

Result: Alkohol Industries’ initial RoI on their PPC campaigns was 900%. By spreading to new PPC venues and perfecting the already-mostly-optimized Adwords, their RoI rose to a clean 1000% — returning $10 for every $1 of spend.

(We’d like to see the “organic SEO is always more profitable than pay-per-click” crowd explain that away.)