SEA & CRO
Case Study

How smartest coaching achieved an ROI of over 250% in the first month and tripled its conversion rate through conversion rate optimization and the right Google Ads settings.

From 0 to over
2000 impressions

Tripling
the
conversion rate

Over 250 %
ROI directly in the
first month

search-engine

10.24 %
Click-through rate (CTR)

SEA & CRO
Case Study

Company presentation

smartest coaching is an innovative online coaching company from Neubrandenburg with a focus on personal and professional development. Isabella Wichmann and Steffen Krause support their clients with individual coaching and psychological counseling in an appreciative and collaborative way. Through flexible online sessions, they offer a pleasant learning environment that is perfectly tailored to the needs of their participants. Their aim is to accompany people on their way into the job market and help them make a fresh start in their careers. Honesty, empathy and authenticity are their top priorities.

Initial situation & challenges

Before the start of the SEA and CRO project, smartest coaching generated the majority of its inquiries through referrals.

Status quo of the website

A specific landing page was created for the upcoming Google Ads campaign (https://avgs-job-coaching.com/). However, both the website of smartest coaching (https://www.smartest-coaching.de/) and the landing page had no visibility in Google at all – there were no visitors and no rankings for relevant keywords.

In addition, the landing page suffered from a lack of mobile-friendliness, design flaws and a lack of differentiation from competitors (e.g. because there were no unique USPs). This in turn ensured that the landing page’s conversion rate was low.

For this reason, it was important to optimize the landing page of smartest coaching for conversion before starting the SEA measures, so that the costs per click (or CPC) would be as low as possible later in the Google Ads campaign due to the high completion rate.

 

Challenges when setting up the Google Ads campaign

When the relevant keywords were selected for the Google Ads campaign, it turned out that the CPCs were generally high due to the high search volumes and the strong, investment-hungry competition. Therefore, special settings had to be made when setting up the campaign so that smartest coaching had a chance of asserting itself as a newcomer in the industry.

In addition, no data about smartest coaching’s target group was available when the campaign was set up, from which, for example, a lookalike audience (LLA) could have been created. This in turn made it more difficult to launch the campaign, as data about the target group had to be collected before the campaign could be specifically targeted to the target group in order to achieve low CPCs.

Goal

The following objectives were to be achieved with the SEA and CRO project:

Increase in immediate traffic

The landing page needed to attract new visitors directly, as they wanted to generate new inquiries and customers straight away. This was particularly important due to the short customer lifecycle of smartest coaching: after coaching and successful employment with a company, the customer no longer uses the services of smartest coaching. This means that you need new customers and you need them every month – as quickly as possible.

 

Immediate ROI

The resulting profit was to flow directly back into the Google Ads campaign budget in order to reach even more visitors and acquire additional new customers by increasing the budget. An immediate ROI was crucial to ensure the profitability of the project.

 

Improving brand awareness

Brand awareness was also to be improved. Since most of the customers had previously been acquired through recommendations, it was logical to assume that new customers acquired through SEA would also recommend the coaching to other job seekers.

 

More sales in the long term through the landing page

The improved conversion rate of the landing page should increase the number of sales generated via the landing page in the long term, leading to more sustainable business success.

CRO measures (March 2024 - April 2024):

From March 2024 to April 2024, various CRO measures were carried out to ensure that the landing page directly converts highly when the Google Ads campaign is launched.

Among other things, the following measures were taken to optimize the conversion rate of the landing page

build confidence:

We added customer quotes to the landing page to increase trust and social proof.

 

Unique selling points:

A clear and convincing value proposition was developed to emphasize the unique selling points, advantages and added value of smartest coaching and set it apart from the competition.

 

Revision of the design:

The design of the landing page was revised to create an appealing and modern look that increases the trust and interest of visitors.

 

Call-to-Actions (CTAs):

Strong and clear CTAs were implemented to increase the conversion rate of the landing page.

 

Mobile friendliness:

Finally, the landing page was designed responsively so that it works optimally on all devices and offers a pleasant user experience.

You can find an overview of the most important CRO measures here:

Setting up and optimizing the Google Ads campaign (from May 2024):

After optimizing the conversion rate of the landing page, it was now time to set up, launch and continuously optimize the Google Ads campaign.

Among other things, we took the following measures to achieve the aforementioned goals:

Research of the keywords:

First, we carried out extensive research into relevant keywords that potential customers could use. To do this, we used various keyword tools to analyze the search volume and the competition.

 

Campaign settings

The campaign was set to optimize for conversions as part of the bidding settings. Specific settings were also made for the advertising network, locations, languages and target groups so that the CPC was as low as possible at the start of the campaign.

The idea behind this was: As we do not have any data on the target group of smartest coaching, we will first ensure that we achieve a low CPC with the settings made and at the same time collect the first target group data. If sufficient data is then available later, the ads can be scaled further so that the reach of the ads is increased and the CPC is still low enough to generate sufficient ROAS (return on ad spent).

After consultation with the smartest coaching team, we set the daily budget for the Google Ads campaign.

 

Ad group settings:

Keyword selection:

The appropriate keywords were then selected for the Google Ads campaign. Over the course of the campaign, further keywords were added and A/B tested. Furthermore, the bids for the keywords were adjusted manually – depending on how much purchase intent the respective keywords had.

A list of keywords to be excluded was also drawn up.

 

Ad titles and ad descriptions:

Suitable ad titles were created for all 15 possible slots so that Google can automatically select the best ad titles from the 15 title variations in its A/B tests. We made sure that the most important USPs of smartest coaching were emphasized. We also positioned the ad titles appropriately so that they always appear in the right place in the ad.

We also filled in all 4 ad descriptions with the most important USPs and further information about smartest coaching’s offer – again with the idea that Google would only display the best of the 4 ad descriptions after the A/B tests.

 

Display extensions:

We have also implemented ad extensions (e.g. sitelinks, callouts, call extensions) to increase the visibility and attractiveness of the ads.

 

Optimization factor, or quality factor of the ads:

The optimization factor in Google Ads is a percentage scale (up to 100%) that reflects the relevance and quality of the ads, keywords and landing pages. A higher quality score can lead to lower cost per click (CPC) and better ad positions.

For the optimization factor of the ads, it was important to us to achieve a factor of approx. 70-80% and not the full 100%. The reason for this is that Google makes further recommendations to the campaign manager in order to achieve the full 100% optimization factor. For example, it is recommended to add broader keywords to the keyword list in order to generate more reach. However, such settings would ensure that the ad is also displayed to a less interested target group, resulting in high costs per click (CPCs). However, Google suggests such recommendations because their goal is to earn as much money as possible with the ads. So in some cases, we would spend more money through their suggested settings. Therefore, it is important to always question such suggestions for campaign settings that increase the optimization factor and, if necessary, omit them. A quality factor of 70-80% is absolutely sufficient to achieve both low CPCs and a high ad position.

 

Optimization of the Google Ads campaign through A/B tests and competitive analysis:

In order to continuously improve the Google Ads campaign of smartest coaching, we have implemented the following measures, among others:

Regular data analysis:

We regularly analyzed the campaign data, for example adjusting the bids and keywords based on the results.

 

A/B-Tests:

We carried out regular A/B tests to identify potential and implement optimizations. For example, we tested additional ad texts and determined the most effective variants to further increase the click-through rate (CTR) and reduce the costs per click (CPCs).

 

Competitive analysis:

We regularly checked competitors’ ads to stay up to date and identify further potential for smartest coaching. The campaign was then further and continuously optimized based on the findings.

You can find an overview of the most important SEA actions here:

Results

The results of smartest coaching show:

Optimization is key. It is possible to run very successful Google Ads campaigns despite a lack of target group data if the campaign and ad settings have been made precisely and are also constantly optimized.

It is crucial that the website converts well: The best traffic in the world is no good if the website is not attractively designed and prospective customers bounce straight away.

Through continuous optimization of the website and ads, smartest coaching was able to quickly achieve significant success and considerably increase their reach and number of customers.

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