When WONDERSKIN reached out to us, their team wanted a PPC strategy for Google Ads.
The brand was created by female beauty experts and beauticians who have been in the beauty industry for more than 20 years. They are very experienced and knowledgeable, so their products were promising.
We could see the indication of the products selling well and gaining popularity, especially considering that the beauty/skincare/makeup industry consists of expert enthusiasts, makeup gurus, TikTokers, and influencers.
What picked our brain about WONDERSKIN was the specificity of the beauty products.
They weren’t regular lipsticks, eyeshadows, and palettes… But unknown, never-before-searched-for makeup items.
We knew that finding the appropriate keywords for such unique products was a challenge, especially since most of our PPC team was male at the time and their makeup knowledge wasn’t admirable (laugh).
The biggest challenge with the account was it being brand new.
It had no historical data, conversion tracking, or product feed set up.
Our team had to do extensive research and couldn’t afford any mistakes with the structure.
But we saw it as a stroke of luck and made maximum effort to use this to our advance.
We focused on three main things to keep our client happy and thriving:
1) Conversion Tracking
2) Search Non-Brand campaigns
3) Shopping campaigns
We wanted to make sure we were accurately measuring the success of our campaigns, so we started the process with conversion tracking.
Google’s Smart bidding strategies consistently outperform humans when the pixel is fed with a significant number of relevant conversions.
Since we didn’t have that luxury, we set tracking up in a way that picks up all macro and micro conversions.
Macro conversions: Product Viewed, Add To Cart, Initiate Checkout, Transaction;
Micro conversions: Scroll Depth, Multiple Product Page Engagement Actions (image click, image zoom, etc.)
Tracking micro conversions allowed us to deeper segment our remarketing audiences and better tailor the message to each target group.
We wrote ad copy based on their engagement on the website. Each audience had its dedicated ad copy, Call To Action, and landing page.
You get an excellent early performance indicator when you have micro-conversions set up. This was critical for WONDERSKIN, who hadn’t had any historical data until we started with our activities.
If your business doesn’t have historical data and is just starting with Google Ads, micro conversions are an inevitable item on your checklist.
In the case of WONDERSKIN, micro conversions showed us which keywords brought better traffic, allowing us to start optimizing campaigns much faster.
Since we had no historical data to analyze and build from, we had to do our absolute best with keyword research. It required a lot of assumptions and creativity, not to mention getting to know the specific beauty products the client sold.
Keyword research is crucial for one more thing: titles in the product feed for shopping campaigns.
We were looking for three types of keywords:
– Relevant short tail
– Relevant long tail
We made our irrelevant keyword exclusion a regular thing to prevent unnecessary ad spend, which is always the #1 priority in Search campaigns.
And past data is a fantastic source of negative keywords.
It’s also one of the first optimizations we do when taking over an account or launching a new campaign.
Adding negative keywords is a task we do daily, sometimes even twice a day. It is one of our interns’ first tasks when they start their PPC training at the agency.
The strategy with relevant keywords was to split them based on length and intent.
We first launched a few short tail keywords to test the ads and work on the search terms they brought.
We had short tail keywords in Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs), and they never lacked volume. We needed to make ads in a way that explained precisely what our product is. And what it’s not.
Short tail keywords were bringing us a lot of different search terms, which then helped us expand our long tail converting keywords and build a negative keywords list.
In our initial research, we got as many long-tail relevant keywords as possible to break down the Iceberg effect in our Research campaigns (short tail keywords).
The action started taking place when we secured the base with an extensive structure. Finally!
As the research campaigns brought more & more conversions, we tirelessly expanded the list of long-tail keywords that converted.
We could allocate more of the client’s budget as the campaign grew.
It was of paramount importance that the client trusted us with this approach.
Long tail keywords naturally have lower search volume; Grouping them based on their intent successfully resolved the volume challenge and created an optimal setup for Smart bidding strategies.
Grouping by intent also allowed a significant level of ad copy and landing page relevancy. Long tail campaigns spend less but have higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR), Conversion rate, and ROAS.
At the end of Q3, our converting campaign was spending 40% less than the research campaign, with 78% higher ROAS.
Regarding the bidding strategies, we didn’t have many options to choose from – WONDERSKIN was a new account with a freshly set up conversion tracking; Manual bidding was the only way to go.
We had strict ROAS targets from the start, so Maximize Conversions wasn’t an option.
Our end goal was to reach 40-50 conversions from search non-brand campaigns before we switched to TCPA or TROAS.
Our side goals were understanding competition, the impression share we can get with different bids, and the volume each keyword has.
It took us two months to reach our end goal and start testing TCPA with TROAS and Maximize Conversions.
Our doubt with Maximize Conversions was correct- it converted, but ROAS fell 30% below the target.
TROAS bidding strategy had amazing ROAS, but the spend and number of conversions were 20-30% compared to TCPA, which worked the best for us.
The first two weeks after the transition to Smart bidding strategies weren’t impressive; From the third week, performance stabilized significantly.
In the 6th week, we saw it stabilizing completely, fulfilling most targets.
When comparing Q3 with Q2, we spent 129% more on Search Non-Brand, having 195% more conversions with 29% higher ROAS.
A big part of our setup for WONDERSKIN was product feed in the Merchant Center. We identified multiple terms people use to describe our product during keyword research.
We first had to understand which keywords would perform the best in the title; For that, we had to create multiple variations of each product in the product feed, changing only the titles.
Standard Shopping was our starting point. Having each product in Single Product Ad Groups (SPAG) allowed us to see the exact search terms each of the title variations brought.
We used this data to build a list of negative keywords for Shopping and find the best title version for each product.
We also had to wait for at least 80-100 conversions from Standard Shopping before we switched to Smart Shopping.
We got there a mid-2nd month but didn’t do our title optimization well yet.
At the beginning of the 3rd month, we migrated all of our Standard Shopping campaigns into Smart ones.
Like with Search, Smart Shopping took us three weeks to surpass Standard.
At the end of the day, the final result was worth it!
After the first entire month, Smart Shopping campaigns spent 38% more and got 56% more conversions with 27% higher ROAS when compared with the previous month of Standard Shopping.
Comparing Q3 with Q2, Shopping campaigns spent 169% more and got 157% more conversions with 9.38% lower ROAS.
At the end of Q3, when compared with Q2 2021, we spent 150.78% more, and we got 114.13% more conversions with 28.18% lower cost/conversion.
In that period, our ROAS reduced by 15.3%, most of which came from branded campaigns.
As we were scaling non-brand and shopping, more and more people started googling our brand name, which led to brand keyword spending 175% more for 82% more conversions.
A drop in branded ROAS of 31% wasn’t worrying because the rest of the acquisition campaigns improved in profitability and volume.
Profitability will always decrease temporarily when the account grows with spend and conversions.
In our case, even with account growing and ROAS reducing, we were always well above our minimum target ROAS and almost always at the position where we have room to reduce ROAS more to increase sales.
Finding the optimal PPC strategy was fruitful on this account. It wasn’t easy, but we sensed it was possible and learned so much. Trust your intuition, marketers!
We love to get our hands dirty. Feel free to compare us to moles, those small animals who drill holes and tunnels in the earth’s most nutrient-filled & rich space! Rest assured, they trust their intuition and flair.
The same can be said for our PPC skills, as we drill holes and tunnels to bring out the maximum potential of your advertising efforts with intuition, precision, and expertise.
At our agency, we specialize in helping brands like WONDERSKIN increase profits through PPC, Web Analytics, and CRO. Years of experience have taught us what works and what doesn’t.
Let us help you improve your business by contacting us today for a free consultation.
To grow WONDERSKIN, we focused on:
- Keyword level optimization
- Negative keywords
- Bidding strategies development
- Product feed optimization
- GA4 Setup
- Up-sell & cross-sell campaign
- Ad Testing & Improvement
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