“Since Mabo Media have took over our account our performance has increased dramatically.“
ROAS Increased By
(6 months into Mabo Media’s management vs same month previous year)
New Cakes are an award-winning online cake company based in Slough, Berkshire. Their amazing handmade cakes are delivered nationwide and customers have a choice of over 500 ready-to-order cake designs as well as a bespoke cake design service.
YEARS USING PPC
When New Cakes first came to us they were struggling to break even with their Google Ads spend. They set us the complex challenge of trying to reduce their spend by nearly 50% while maintaining sales. There was also a hope that we could improve the quality of telephone enquiries. Shay Naidoo, one of the Directors at New Cakes said;
“We were getting hundreds of calls from people who thought we were a local shop that they could collect from with completely unrealistic expectations. They were confused about who we were and were wasting our time.”
Following our initial research we found that the New Cakes audience was split largely between last-minute cake purchasers who bought ready made designs with minimal changes and bespoke cake purchasers who were more inclined to call and discuss their requirements. But both audiences had a preconceived idea that they would need to use a local provider to get the cake they wanted. That was a mindset we would need to change in order to make a success of the New Cakes Google Ads campaigns.
The first step (as is always the case when we take on a Google Ads account) was to rebuild the account into a structure that would allow us to form a strategy to achieve the clients goals. That meant creating a separation between the traffic for the two types of audience. With Google Shopping being an ecommerce platform suited to immediate purchases we utilised this to capitilise on our ready-to-buy audience to simplify their journey and also allow us to showcase the quality and variations of the New Cakes range visually through shopping ads before we’ve even received the click. By highlighting the speed of delivery and convenience of ordering online we were able to counter the local purchaser mindset for these users.
For the more considered purchasers and bespoke cake purchasers we had a bit more of a difficult job on our hands. We realised that a large portion of the searches actually included the location in the search as they were so intent on buying locally – and some of those were searching around types of cakes eg. ‘ Birthday Cakes Edinburgh’ and others more specifically for shops eg. ‘Cake Shops Edinburgh’. We took the decision to break those variations of cake vs cake shop into separate campaigns as we felt there was more of an opportunity with the ‘cake’ related searches whereas the ‘cake shop’ searches were not only giving us an indication of their intent to buy locally, but also their intent to buy from a shop rather than online; so we had a feeling that traffic would be poorer performing and there seemed to be a pattern in line with the clients comments on the content of the poor quality calls. Each campaign was then broken into hundreds of ad groups targeting 590 UK locations! A large amount of initial work, but that meant we could adjust based on performance of different searches, intent and locations much more easily. This structure also allowed us to create location-themed ads alerting searchers to the fact that we could deliver quickly and conveniently to their location and to reassure them of the reliability of things like the packaging and delivery which we found to be a major hurdle against online purchases.
That then left the more generic non-location specific searches eg. ‘buy a birthday cake’; from our research and looking at past data we came to understand that all customers were interested in buying cakes locally regardless of whether they explicitly searched that way. That presented an even more complex challenge that required a bit more creativity and innovative thinking. We again created separation by pulling those keywords into their own campaign so we could manage them uniquely, but in order to reflect locality in the ads we set up an ad customiser feed which would personalise the ads to the searcher based on their location. So the ads dynamically changed to say “Free Next Day Delivery To (location of the user). As above this allowed us the opportunity to highlight the facility to get a service equivalent to that of a local business from an online vendor.
We also implemented call tracking so we could measure the number of calls and the call length coming from ad clicks and that way we could try and assess where the poor quality calls were coming from and try and optimise the campaigns accordingly.
With our structure and strategy in place we started to build and react to data. There were some early wins from being more conservative with certain types of bidding and cutting some waste, and we saw click-through-rate improve quickly due to the way we were catering the ads; particularly in the ad customiser campaign which was a complete success.
But most importantly we saw big swings in profitability. Just by categorising the traffic we were able to see performance and opportunity much more clearly. But in addition to this the way we improved the targeting and the work to change that local mindset was an absolute game changer for the account. We managed to convince much larger numbers of users to try the online delivery service, and keywords that had previously shown little sales benefit started to convert.
The call tracking gave us the information we needed to improve the quality of calls. As expected the cake shop keywords were generating multiple calls but generally of poor call length so we reduced the spend on these terms and then liaised with New Cakes to see what impact that had on the quality of calls and volume of sales over the phone. They confirmed that the time wasting calls had considerably reduced and there was no impact to the number of sales. As Shay from New Cakes puts it:
“Now these calls have all but disappeared and we are getting customers calling who have engaged with the site, know who we are and are ready to buy!”
We were then able to optimise based on the longer length call times and actually increase the volume of bespoke cake orders placed over the phone.
By the beginning of July in our first years managing the New Cakes PPC campaigns we had completely transformed the Google Ads performance and everything had been consistently in line with the initial goals for a few months. The spend was significantly decreased, the sales had been on an upward trajectory for some time and the calls New Cakes were receiving were from the people they wanted to speak to. By mid-July New Cakes called to tell us we needed to give their cake decorators a bit of a break. We were hitting record numbers for transactions and they were starting to struggle to keep up with demand – some turnaround from an account that was struggling to break even just a few months previous.
“Since Mabo Media have took over our account our performance has increased dramatically with a very healthy return on investment into our ad words account. Phoebe quickly grasped what was the performing campaigns and reduced the “wastage” that was apparently quite clear to see. She has been very approachable and proactive during our time with Mabo and has always been on hand to assist with any issues that have arised. On the rare occasion that we have had a dip in sales, she has always assessed the account and quickly understood the reasons behind the drop to be able to boost sales quickly thereafter. One element of the ad campaign that was a very problematic area was the type of calls we were receiving whereby the customer was calling from a part of the country far away from our studio. However Phoebe managed to improve this aspect of the campaign and negate the wasted spend by removing the majority of these futile calls. I have no doubt that our account will be even more profitable next year and that Phoebe will assist in growing our business to the next level.”
Shay Naidoo – Director
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