A major destination tourism bureau needed help optimizing and managing their Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing efforts.

Process

After reviewing past performance reports provided by the client, we rebuilt paid search campaigns using a fresh account to avoid account history penalties using our best practices from 15+ years of experience and let it run for two weeks. This gave us more information to determine the next best approach for boosting their campaign performance. From there, we did what we do bestoptimization!

During the campaign rebuild, we focused on four key things:

Quality Score

By using terms and phrases from the client's website, we were able to increase the overall quality scorea key factor in ad rank, to make ads more relevant to the landing page.

Keywords

The original campaign build focused on general, more competitive keywords, giving the account a higher click cost. We identified less competitive keywords and long tail keywords because budgets were so limited. We also added a variety of broad, client-specific keywords to increase the visibility of the ads.

We did this by building keyword lists from the types of activities listed on their website. These keywords come in at a lower cost per click and are highly relevant to the client, contributing to the overall quality score.

Ad Copy

Lastly, D2 optimized ad copy in two ways: keyword insertion and evoking emotion.

We were able to take advantage of low-cost keywords and insert them directly into the ad copy using keyword insertion, making ads seem more relevant and applicable to what users were looking for. D2 aimed to create copy that evoked excitement and emotion among readers, inspiring them to click and create new memories for themselves. We did this with content designed to pose questions and adding value propositions to the ad copy.

Ad Targeting

Based on history with other travel and tourism clients, we knew the mindset this client was looking to find. We knew that the type of events they were trying to promote would often be considered last-minute instead of pre-planned. That's why we shifted ad targeting to visitors who already arrived and were on vacation instead of reaching people before their vacation. This drastically cut clicks costs because we're only competing against local groups instead of national tourism groups. With the same budget lower click costs we could afford a 5-fold increase in traffic with the same budget because all metrics were creating a self-feeding loop of optimizations:

Better targeting led to cheaper clicks, which led to better quality scores, which led to better ad positioning, which led to higher ad ranks, which led to better click rates, which led to better quality scores, which led to yet cheaper clicks.

Results

Over the course of 8 months click costs dropped by as much as 80%. Engagement rates increased by 50%. Total unadjusted traffic grew by up to 10x at campaign peak.