Finding a PPC agency is like finding the right partner. Even if an agency seems completely compatible with your business goals, it takes time and commitment to achieve those goals.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out.
This was the situation in which Carolyn Bradley of Adaptive Insights found herself when the financial forecasting software company brought its PPC campaign management back in-house after an unsatisfying experience with an agency.
However, as Carolyn explains, adopting the DIY approach to PPC also proved problematic.
A Problem of Scale
Founded in 2003, Adaptive Insights is a financial SaaS company that offers forecasting, reporting, and analysis tools for finance teams as part of its cloud-based Adaptive Suite.
Subscribers can access Adaptive Insights’ wide range of software tools and products via the Web, eliminating the need for costly on-site deployments and integrations while saving time.
Carolyn is a Marketing Program Manager within Adaptive Insights’ Demand Generation team, managing the company’s paid online advertising programs as well as its SEO.
Adaptive Suite, Adaptive Insights’ financial software
Two years ago, a third-party PPC agency was handling Adaptive Insights’ paid search campaigns. However, it soon became apparent to Carolyn that there was a disconnect between Adaptive Insights’ expectations and the results the agency was delivering.
“We took our paid programs in-house about 18 months ago after our previous agency stopped delivering on the goals and value we had agreed upon,” Carolyn says.
Unfortunately, there was significantly more work to be done than Carolyn had anticipated.
“After we stopped working with our first agency, I managed the account myself,” Carolyn says. “The daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance work to keep the account running smoothly, while also A/B testing and implementing best practices, kept me very busy. When I started to take on additional SEO responsibilities, I knew I wouldn’t have the time necessary to continue testing new ads, landing pages, and working to improve our Quality Score.”
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Carolyn knew she needed help, but was reluctant to hire another agency. That’s when she discovered WordStream’s Managed Services team.
Getting it Done with the Right Partner
As it does with every new client, WordStream’s Managed Services team conducted a comprehensive audit of Adaptive Insights’ AdWords account to see exactly what was going on. According to Carolyn, this due diligence really paid off.
“We were impressed with the audit that WordStream conducted on our account, and felt that tapping the experienced team at WordStream would help us to see positive changes quickly,” Carolyn says. “We found the pricing to be competitive and knew the WordStream team could implement the broad set of improvements more quickly than I would be able to, by myself.”
Although the initial audit was crucially important, Carolyn says that her relationship with her Managed Services account representative is equally important to ensuring that long-term business objectives are being met and that the ROI of Adaptive Insights’ PPC accounts is meeting expectations.
“With WordStream, our account manager is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and constantly goes back to our goals and budget to ensure our project plan meet expectations,” Carolyn says. “The focus on our priorities is evident through the prioritization of tasks, and we are often asked for feedback to improve the weekly communication of performance. We didn’t feel the same level of attentiveness and responsiveness when working with the previous agency.”
How Adaptive Insights’ Key Metrics Changed
In addition to the strong rapport and results-driven approach to AdWords account management offered by WordStream’s Managed Services team, Carolyn has seen consistent improvements in not only individual account metrics, but wider account-level advertising strategies that have delivered results.
“Since we are past the point of getting the low-hanging fruit in CPC, WordStream has been instrumental in helping identify, prioritize, and execute the numerous projects and tasks we need to keep up our pace of improvement,” Carolyn says.
These improvements include:
- An increase in average click-through rate of 30%
- Average position has increased by 5% since August
- CPA decreases across several areas, including remarketing, non-brand forecasting and budget campaigns, and Display initiatives
The Icing on the Cake: Getting Time Back
Although Carolyn has seen strong improvements in the performance of Adaptive Insights’ PPC campaigns, she has also experienced several other benefits of working with WordStream’s Managed Services team.
“When we brought on WordStream, our account manager immediately took a lot of the stress of the daily and weekly maintenance off of me, while also implementing broader changes to improve account performance,” Carolyn says. “I’ve saved close to 50% of my time that I’ve since been able to invest in thinking more broadly about testing ideas and in SEO initiatives.”
In addition to freeing up precious time in Carolyn’s schedule, WordStream’s Managed Services team has also helped Adaptive Insights achieve the kind of growth that Carolyn envisioned from the beginning – in significantly less time.
“While we’ve only worked with WordStream for three months, we’ve already been able to roll out tests and account changes that would not have been possible in such a short time period before,” Carolyn says. “The WordStream team was integral to our launching Expanded Text Ads in a painless, efficient process, and we’ve already seen improved CTRs as a result.”
“We’ve also rolled out a few tests and made some broader account bidding changes that will continue to drive high-quality leads at a lower CPA. Our account rep has also been great at working with us, and Google, to try to diagnose some curious cases of low Quality Scores. We’ve already seen a reduced number of the dreaded ‘Rarely shown due to low quality score’ messages, and we’re confident that we will continue to see increasing Quality Scores in the coming months.”
Let WordStream Take the Wheel
If you’re struggling to achieve the results you want from AdWords, or simply don’t have the time to manage your AdWords campaigns yourself, WordStream’s Managed Services team can help. To discuss your needs with a Managed Services representative, drop them a line.