Hootsuite: International PPC Campaign Management
account growth, from 2,900 keywords to 6,400
of new business came from the additional keywords
drop in cost per acquisition (CPA)
Prior to working with Search Laboratory, Hootsuite’s PPC campaigns were managed by a global digital agency with offices spread across Europe, running campaigns in their domestic markets. Having numerous offices in many different locations meant that there was little communication between different country campaigns and successes could not be shared easily while working with the previous provider.
Search Laboratory’s offering was unique in that it offered Hootsuite the ability to combine all their European campaigns to be managed by a single agency from the same geographical location, whilst maintaining the cultural and linguistic faithfulness that mother-tongue linguists can provide.
Search Laboratory took over the running of Hootsuite’s Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch PPC campaigns using in-house linguists who could work together to create a more robust campaign that had a centralised strategy.
The main brief the client gave to Search Laboratory was to streamline and centralise Hootsuite’s international campaigns, making it easier to manage and implement a consistent strategy.
Hootsuite wanted Search Laboratory to increase its conversions for its “Pro” accounts as these are paid monthly subscriptions which have additional features to the free edition. The key measure of success was to decrease the customer acquisition cost to an agreed average across the campaigns.
The first stage of optimising Hootsuite’s campaigns was to ensure that the whole team, including numerous linguists, knew what Hootsuite were looking for when they amalgamated their country-specific campaigns.
The team set about creating extensive lists of all keywords from each language campaign and then combined them to make a definitive list that could be utilised across all the country accounts to ensure long-tail search terms returned relevant adverts that would attract click-throughs and encourage conversions.
The next step was to carry out a search term review which involved removing any keywords that were performing poorly to ensure that budget was not being spent inefficiently. Bids were also reduced for keywords with lower conversion rates and high resultant CPAs.
Keyword expansion was also part of this review with ad groups set up that contained both exact match and Broad Match Modifier (BMM) variants for each individual set of international keywords. English keywords that were redundant in the international campaigns were also segregated into separate groups to avoid mixed language adverts displaying.
Once these low-volume keywords were optimised as effectively as possible, the structure of the current ad groups was re-evaluated to make sure that they were grouped effectively and the page that was being served to the user was the most relevant one possible.
When the campaigns were, up and running, split testing of the ad text commenced to ensure that the most effective advert with the strongest message was continually being displayed.
Bid reviews are carried daily using our proprietary bid management software, BidLab. This ensures that bids are consistently reflecting the conversion rate of keywords and high spending keywords are monitored and bids altered accordingly.
Demographic bid adjustments were also a large part of making these campaigns targeted and ensuring that bid prices reflected the relevancy of the user searching for Hootsuite’s products.
Location-based bid adjustments were made as the campaigns found major discrepancies between conversion rates in major cities as compared to smaller towns. For example, users searching in Barcelona had a much higher conversion rate, therefore bids were inflated by 26% whereas users in the Murcia region weren’t converting as well, meaning their bids were reduced by 28% and the overall campaign budget was spent efficiently.
- The account grew by 120% starting with 2,900 keywords and being extended to 6,400.
- 51% of new business sign-ups came from keywords that were added in the search term review process. Had the campaign not been extended these adverts may not have been served and the conversion may have been lost.
- Since the launch of the campaign, the average cost per conversion has fallen every month, with an overall drop of 28%.
- Conversion numbers have also seen a dramatic increase with 38% more overall conversions and an impressive 66% rise in non-brand conversions. This is testament to the extent of the keyword expansion that took place at the start of the campaign which considerably broadened the campaign reach.
- The refinement of search terms, alongside the structural improvements and increases in ad and landing page relevance have led to strong improvements in quality score. Average quality score over the first 3 months was up across all campaigns, with an average increase of 1.7 points.
As Hootsuite continues to grow globally, and in this context in EMEA, we needed to partner with an agency who understood our product, who could work with the challenges and barriers we faced operating in several markets, and indeed across multiple different languages. We chose Search Laboratory to manage our PPC campaigns due to their expertise in handling such challenges and since we have started working with them we have some excellent growth in our core markets.
We attribute a lot of this growth to Search Laboratory and the great work they have done with our campaigns, helping us to optimize and localise our PPC efforts in EMEA. Meticulous analysis, research and implementation has really benefitted our organisation.
Their innovation and proactive approach to existing and new campaigns, has helped to increase conversion for us. Keeping our brand messaging and values across diverse and complex regions has been one of the areas where Search Laboratory has also assisted us greatly.
As we continue to work with Search Laboratory we are confident we will see further growth in current markets and indeed into new regions.
Manager - Growth Marketing Channels EMEA