WordStream Helps Small Bakery Find Recipe for Pay-Per-Click ROI
1-800-Bakery Inc. is an online bakery, offering fresh-baked desserts--including delicious Petit Fours and Christmas Stollen--with shipping across the U.S. The company showcases gourmet goods using recipes from renowned pastry chefs, delivered with 100% freshness guaranteed.
Background & Goals
After five years of working to improve the results of his pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, Stephen Pazyra, CEO of 1-800-Bakery, was still perplexed as to why a larger percentage of his website traffic was not converting directly into sales.
After spending most of that time managing the PPC campaign on his own, Pazyra eventually hired a third party to take over the campaign, hoping an SEM agency could do a better job of uncovering the right keywords to drive more qualified leads to his website.
Instead, his results stayed the same and in some cases worsened. It became increasingly evident to Pazyra as he reviewed his keyword inventory that no one knew his business better than he did. However, there were not enough hours in the day for Pazyra to effectively leverage his superior knowledge of the business into a successful PPC strategy. He needed a keyword management solution to help him more efficiently and productively manage his campaign.
As with any small business owner, ROI was the key metric. Keeping that in mind, he set out to find a better solution. Pazyra’s main goal was to increase the quality of his Web traffic, in terms of both number of conversions and the cost per conversion.
The PPC agency Pazyra hired used a third-party keyword tool to discover new keywords. Because the research tools available online are available to everyone, the same keyword data accessible to 1-800-Bakery was accessible to all of its competitors. This situation made for stiff competition and high bids on a handful of the same broad terms. Due to the increase in competitive bids combined with a decrease in relevancy, the cost per click (CPC) for 1-800-Bakery's keywords was on the rise.
In addition, the more general keywords provided by standard-issue keyword suggestion tools were not helping Pazyra capture targeted long-tail traffic—high-intent keywords for which Pazyra could have bid more competitively and enjoyed more relevant clicks. He was bidding on terms like "cake," a highly competitive, broad term that was driving clicks but not conversions. More specific baked good terms for the actual products 1-800-Bakery offers, such as "gluten free cake," would cost less and bring more qualified visitors. With over 100 different products, Pazyra needed help in identifying the right keywords that would convert at a more cost-efficient rate.
Finally, Pazyra's campaign lacked an effective approach to negative keywords to help filter out irrelevant clicks. Pazyra was wasting money on broad matches like "cake recipes." Since 1-800-Bakery doesn't offer recipes, those clicks were useless. To avoid wasteful spending, the company needed a simple way to identify and eliminate those irrelevant keywords.
Pazyra needed a solution that would deliver results without breaking the bank or requiring his constant, undivided attention.
The WordStream Solution: Setting up a Successful PPC Campaign
When Pazyra decided to seek out a new solution, he researched several vendors. As part of his research, he attended a WordStream webinar and was struck by a specific comment made by WordStream founder Larry Kim: "Your keywords are a valuable, proprietary asset."
Pazyra responded, "It made sense to me, because if specific keywords are drawing in the traffic you want, which leads to the conversions you want, then they are worth money. And that is an asset just as valuable as my more tangible assets such as machinery and equipment."
After speaking with WordStream, Pazyra discovered the JumpStart program designed for small business owners like himself.
WordStream's JumpStart service is a 60-day hands-on learning program, created to help search marketers increase the relevance, value and productivity of their PPC efforts, without enlisting an agency. We provide each client with a dedicated WS account manager who demonstrates in "baby steps" how to set up an online small business marketing plan based on an effective PPC campaign and get expert-level results with minimal time and cost investment. Beginning with how visitors are finding the website and then moving on to how to mine that data for the right keywords, JumpStart clients get active training on how to effectively manage their keywords and optimize their PPC campaigns. By the end of the program, they are ready to take their campaigns into their own hands.
"The value of JumpStart is enormous. It would cost thousands of dollars to receive the same level of private PPC consulting," Pazyra said.
For 1-800-Bakery, the JumpStart setup process was easy. Pazyra was impressed by the constant availability of training sessions and, in particular, the level of transparency. During each meeting, Pazyra was able to view the computer screen of his account manager, Robert Stanley, so that he could see exactly what steps Stanley was taking to improve his PPC campaign. Pazyra commented, "I was able to see everything WordStream was doing, because they wanted me to see what they were doing. I've worked with others in the past who didn't want me to see that."
Once the campaign was set up, Pazyra noticed additional benefits of using WordStream. The greatest differentiator for Pazyra was the ability to discover the exact keywords that visitors were using to find his site, so that he could bid on the actual keywords most relevant to his products.
Because this information is based on his site's historical and ongoing traffic data, 1-800-Bakery's private keyword database becomes more personalized and unique as it grows over time, complete with a long tail of highly relevant keywords that competitors don't have access to. Armed with an understanding of the search queries that people actually use to find the products relevant to 1-800-Bakery, Pazyra possesses a critical piece of competitive intelligence. As Stanley explained it, "Building a proprietary, comprehensive, up-to-date and well-researched keyword taxonomy is the foundation of any successful PPC effort."
With the aid of powerful keyword grouping capabilities, WordStream also helped Pazyra create well-organized and close-knit ad groups, critical to long-term PPC success. Rather than a few broad-based ad groups, WordStream created additional groups each week to cover each of 1-800-Bakery's products. With over 100 different bakery items, this process would have required tremendous time and effort to accomplish manually.
Pazyra added, "The best ROI comes from defined ads targeted to what the customer is looking for. That is what WordStream helps to accomplish, by first capitalizing on these keywords and next organizing tightly aligned keyword groups."
Filtering Out Unwanted Keywords & Traffic
Pazyra also found incredible value in the ability to fine-tune his campaigns using negative keywords. Negative keyword discovery and expansion is another critical factor for optimized campaigns and high PPC profits. Eliminating wasteful keywords and reducing irrelevant clicks can have a drastic impact on overall paid search costs, improving click-through rates (CTRs) and Quality Scores and lowering cost per action.
For example, prior to working with WordStream, Pazyra was bidding on the keyword "ship birthday cake," which accounted for a great deal of traffic. Pazyra was confused as to why these leads were not converting into sales. He discovered through using WordStream that visitors were actually searching for products such as "pirate ship birthday cake," which 1-800-Bakery doesn't sell. Using WordStream's negative keyword tool to designate terms like "pirate" as negative greatly reduced Pazyra's ad spend and allowed him to more aggressively bid on the keywords delivering the right traffic.
Pazyra noted, "WordStream has the best software I've seen for developing negative keyword campaigns. How could I have possibly otherwise discovered that 'pirate' would be a key negative term for the PPC campaign of an online bakery?"
At the close of his 60 days with JumpStart, Pazyra felt confident enough to take over the reins from his account manager. However, unlike the first time he attempted to manage his campaign on his own, he was able to put his unique business knowledge to use with a proven keyword management solution and significantly improved understanding of how to execute PPC. This added up to far better results and lower costs, in a fraction of the time he was previously spending on his campaign.
After fine-tuning his keywords to include more long-tail phrases, Pazyra was able to reach his goals of more qualified visits and subsequent conversions. Despite the seasonality issues that come with supplying online baked goods, in the month of April 1-800-Bakery increased its conversion rate by 60% and reduced the cost per conversion by nearly 10%. At the same time, CTR rose by more than 25% from 1.6% in January to 2.02% in April.
Pazyra can bid more aggressively on the keywords that translate to the most sales, now that he has a negative keyword campaign in place to filter out the keywords that waste clicks and budget. He is now driving more traffic with the leads that are most likely to convert, so it's quality traffic, not quantity traffic.
In terms of productivity, Pazyra now has over 100 ad groups—yet he's not overwhelmed by his more expansive PPC campaign, because WordStream ensures his keyword groups are well-organized and easily manageable. With smaller ad groups, the relevancy of keywords to text ads has increased. As a result, his call-to-action ads are highly specific and directly targeted to the terms that his visitors are searching on.
Speaking as a small business owner, acutely aware of the importance of ROI, Pazyra concluded, "My Google budget is the same, but I'm seeing more leads translating to sales. That is real ROI - and a highly effective small business marketing strategy"