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How PPC Helped to Increase Brand Traffic by 268% in Two Years — Case Study

When resorting to an agency, clients expect immediate results. Therefore, the specialists choose tools which drive the most conversion (search campaigns, shopping campaigns). These tools are aimed at working with users who are at the lower funnel stages (do, care) — with the active and interested audience.

Sales funnel

Sales Funnel — See Think Do Care

However, the potential of such conversion campaigns is quickly exhausted, since only 15% of an audience are active consumers. The rest 85% (see, think stages) are potential consumers. But it’s important to work with them as well since the synergic effect will help to drive clients even if the advertising has been already disabled or cost on it has been decreased — a user will still buy products/services because he knows a company.

A perfect tool for working with the passive audience is GDN. This is the tool we paid attention to when we needed to expand advertising. Although initially display campaigns had to drive conversions to a site, we also kept in mind that GDN would allow us to affect wider audience and to convert it in clients later. This is what we call branding.

Branding is a targeted marketing practice of creating long-term goods preferences of the consumers

To make branding work efficiently, a project must meet the following requirements:

  • individual corporate style and features which differentiate a product from products of the competitors;
  • a user-friendly and optimized site (especially for mobile devices);
  • there is a company page in social networks and possibility to contact a company.

There are 3 levels of brand awareness. Ad performance indicators vary upon the level of brand awareness:

1. brand recognition is the weakest level of brand awareness. It refers to the ability of the consumers to correctly differentiate the brand when they come into contact with it.

Performance indicators: reach, frequency.

2.brand recall  refers to the ability of the consumers to correctly elicit a brand name from memory when prompted by a product category

Performance indicators: brand queries availability and increase. of mind refers to 3-4 brands which come to the consumer’s mind when prompted by a product category. A consumer usually buys the one from these brands.

Performance indicators: brand queries increase.

Let's consider how GDN campaigns work on an example of a website for car sales

Tool: Google Ads

Result: brand traffic increased by 268%

Period: July 2016 — June 2018

We remind you that the brand had already existed — we didn’t create it.   

We launched that same display network campaigns we mentioned above. It’s crucial to use brand colors, logos and name in ads headings and descriptions when creating display ads.

Then we created a brand search campaign. But still, it’s not an easy thing since launching a brand campaign in Google Ads is quite a controversial issue. Some specialists see no point in launching such campaigns. The clients tend to ask a reasonable question — why to spend extra money for a brand search campaign if the site is shown first when searching for a brand?

I usually resort to three arguments:

  1. Protecting brand traffic — you never know when a competitor decides to launch campaigns on your brand search — that’s a common practice nowadays.
  2. Increasing the number of the relevant first-page search results. E.g. this allows to replace sites with negative reviews about the company from the top ten search results.
  3. Tracking brand queries number increase since Search Console data are disembodied, and a lot of search queries are often hidden in «not set».

As soon as we launched display advertising, a quantity of impressions and reach was continually growing.

Comparing the reach indicators for the first three months since the campaign has been launched (July — September 2016) to the same period in 2017.  

Comparing the reach indicators with 2017

Comparing the reach indicators for July — September 2016 to the period of April — June 2018

Comparing the reach indicators with 2018

This positively affected a quantity of brand traffic — it increased as time went on.
Dynamics of brand search campaign traffic growth

Dynamics of brand search campaign traffic growth

Brand traffic was increased by: (18669/6968)*100%=268%.


Resorting to display campaign, we managed to increase brand awareness, which can be easily assessed by launching a search campaign with brand queries.  Brand search campaigns bring conversion at a lower price in 99% of cases (if compare to other search campaigns). In our case, CPA is 5.5-fold lower than CPA of other search campaigns, and the conversion rate is more than two-fold higher.

But you would say that the achievement of such results required funds on display campaign launch — did display campaign launch pay off?  The answer to this question is a comparison of total CPA of display and brand campaigns due to an average CPA of search campaigns for July 2016 to June 2018.

CPA of display and brand campaigns = (Cost of display and brand campaigns) / (Conversion of display and brand campaigns) = (62928+3922) / (11477+8564) = 3,34 BGN (1,7 EUR)

CPA of search campaigns = (Cost of search campaigns) / (Conversion of search campaigns) = 48233 / 7915 = 6,09 BGN (3,11 EUR)

CPA = 6.09 / 3.34 = 1.82

So yes, display advertising launch let us get conversions at 1.82-fold lower price compared to the conversion cost of search advertising campaigns.

The article was written in co-authorship with Tania Kichuk.

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