PPC advertising policy changes are not new and, unfortunately, they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Even if you do follow all the policies and attempt to comply, sometimes a feature or channel that once was a PPC profit center can become discontinued, severely impacting a businesses’ bottom line. However, if you have a diversified PPC strategy and are quick to adapt to the ever-changing industry, you can take a bummer of a situation like policy restrictions and turn it into a strategy for new channels. This is exactly what we did for one client in the health and supplement space.
This particular account has been advertising in the Health and Supplements vertical since 2010, with PPC driving the majority of online sales. The main PPC channels they were using included Google and Bing Search, Display and Remarketing campaigns.
The Problem – Policy Restrictions
For years, the AdWords remarketing campaigns were some of the top performing areas for this account. In fact, at one time AdWords remarketing campaigns accounted for 24% of total conversion volume for this account. The problem came when Google suddenly enforced a new policy update that prevented them from continuing to use the once lucrative channel. The account was at risk of losing a significant source of conversion volume if they were not able to adapt quickly.
With some teamwork, strategic planning and a client that was willing to test new channels, we were able to not only survive this loss of conversion volume but also thrive. Here is what we did.
The Solution – Diversify And Then Diversify Again
Now that 24% of conversion volume had been taken from the account, it was time to quickly hatch a plan for how to recoup those lost conversions. The first areas we were able to recoup conversions were through Facebook campaigns and expanding our Bing Ads budget.
Facebook advertising policies, being newer to the PPC space, were a little more relaxed. Since we had already been running a small budget on a few campaigns, we were able to move additional funds over to Facebook and immediately started to recoup a handful of conversions. In fact, CPA was half of what we saw in Google. This success, however, was also short-lived. Within time, Facebook started to enforce stricter policies and eventually these campaigns were also disapproved.
Next, we then moved the budget into testing Yahoo Gemini and AdRoll Retargeting. With this new market expansion strategy, we started to see a steady stream of conversions replace the once lucrative AdWords Remarketing campaigns and the results were pretty astounding.
The Results – Conversions Increased By 34%
After making sure to comply with advertising policies with all the new channels, we slowly started adding more spend. We were pleased when we began seeing conversions populating from these new PPC channels.
In fact, even after taking a 24% hit to conversions from AdWords Remarketing campaigns, we were able to increase conversions by 34% at a 24% lower CPA.
What was even more exciting was that over time, we were able to diversify our PPC conversions across several channels to make sure we are prepared for the next policy update by not having all of our eggs (conversions) in one basket.
Conclusion – Always. Be. Expanding.
If this account was only running Google PPC campaigns they could have been in big trouble. The ability to quickly adapt, diversify and willingness to test new markets allowed them to thrive in what could have been a bad situation.
Even if your account is not plagued with policy restrictions, some features sometimes just sail off into the sunset potentially leaving you high and dry. The way to thrive in the ever-changing PPC world is to remember these key items:
- Be sure to stay up-to-date and follow ad policies. Clix Marketing wrote a helpful article outlining advertising policies across several channels.
- Budget For Digital Market Expansion. A good rule of thumb to start budgeting for digital market expansion is the 70/20/10 rule. 70% to tried and true efforts, 20% to safe bet, and 10% experimental. Then adjust based on performance. Here is an article that can provide additional detail for planning and budgeting for digital market expansion.
The moral of the story is that the digital marketing space is not a fan of complacency and neither should your account. If you are not constantly testing new channels, betas, and markets then you will eventually be left in the dust. Learn from our experience so you can thrive when policy updates or changes are brought to your PPC account.