Case Study – Priority Services of Las Vegas
♦ A Tale of Two Summers ♦
Priority Services of Las Vegas is an HVAC/plumbing company established in 2002. Las Vegas is an especially competitive market for home service businesses.
Priority specializes in residential homes services for HVAC and plumbing, installation, and repair.
They had used few agencies to help with their Google ads, but with little improvement. I took over this account in August, 2019.
The account was generating conversions, mostly for their plumbing segment. However, leads generated were costly and not high-quality.
The lack and quality of leads was the result of lackadaisical keyword selection and not much consistent optimization within their ad account.
The owner was frustrated, like many business owners that use Google Ads. When not run properly, these campaigns can spend money and not produce the ROI on ad spend.
We focused on three areas that would help boost email and phone calls.
- Improve conversion volume
- Improve conversion rate
- Decrease CPA (Cost per acquisition) in order to extend their limited daily budget
Many advertisers in seasonal markets shut down campaigns once they’ve enjoyed their seasonal run. It doesn’t make sense to run AC ads during the winter months.
The problem pausing campaigns is that when those campaigns are turned back on, Google’s algorithm needs time to figure out (again) the audience and ad placement for the auctions you are bidding in.
Turning campaigns on in April allowed Priority to pick up AC leads early while the competition was still dusting off their summer marketing plans. This early start created momentum and by the time the hot season was on, the company had already out positioned their competition.
Aggressive Keyword Bidding
The strategy was simple: make sure the KWs that you are bidding on are generating impressions.
Part of the Google AI’s machine learning has to do with understanding your bid price compared to your competitor. Google considers thousands of signals to determine where your ad lands in the auction. Bid price is part of this assessment.
Because we were so aggressive, I could understand what was working sooner before the summer season. This gave me time to make changes, add or replace keywords, and position the company to be in front of the pack when the summer season kicked into gear.
Use Custom Landing Pages
HVAC and plumbing services wait on the emergency call. People don’t need HVAC until they need it. It’s usually at that point the user is searching for a service provider through her phone and clicking call now links.
So, it’s vital to have pages that load quickly on mobile devices. Optimized landing pages with good mobile speed score ensures you can deliver the offer to the user quickly. The last thing you want is the user clicking the back button because you made them wait to load your landing page.
I used a page builder to quickly create custom landing pages for each ad group and imported these into the Priority Services’ WordPress website.
The advantage in creating individual landing pages is you are sculpting a focused message around a group of keywords. For example, the keywords “ac repair” and “ac installation” are closely related, but the searchers “intent” is different for these two searches.
But by creating separate, thematic ad groups based on searcher “intent” with their respective landing pages, you improve focus and quality. This helps improve ad relevance (super important to Google) and improve your conversion rate.
Maintaining consistency between the search query to the ad and to landing page is crucial. By matching language and offers from our ads within the landing page, improves ad relevance for the searcher and as a result increases the likelihood of capturing a lead.
It can be hard to quantify just what actions led to better results. So much of the success in Google Ads comes from regular, consistent optimization. I staggered out most of my performing ad groups through each month to collect data before making changes. Testing keywords and ads is the bedrock of better performance and made the difference for Priority Services.
Better account organization
Better organized account structure. Separation of geo campaigns from ip campaigns that use location settings to target prospects.
Creating new ad groups or campaigns to meet specific keyword searches creates specificity and improved focus for the campaigns.
Regular A/B Testing
Testing keywords and ads. Most of my results came from manually managing campaigns. Careful analysis of search terms tells me what is working at the keyword level. Testing ad copy on regular rotation helps to create better converting ads.
I staggered out the high performing ad groups every two weeks in order to collect enough data to make some determinations about winners and losers with my ad copy.
Better Written Ads
Focused on active copy that matches the user’s search query. Used bold USP’s like “100% satisfaction guaranteed” with strong calls to get prospects to take action to make a call or get more info.
Used a variety of copy-types, such as emotional appeals and offers. We found offers worked very well. For example, a great loss leader for an HVAC campaign can be a discounted AC or heating tune up offer. This gives the company an opportunity to have a conversation and make a bigger sale.
Tightly Grouped Keywords
Reviewing the search term report can reveal a lot of ideas for negative and positive keywords. New keywords can be used for a new campaign or ad group.
Using focused keywords means better quality search traffic, as you eliminate a lot of garbage searches.
I used broad and modified broad for generating keyword search ideas. These can usually bring in volume, but the traffic can be a mix of good and bad. That’s where adding negative keywords comes into play.
Understanding how people search and what search terms they are using was essential in developing keywords in the individual ad groups.
Added Tons of Negatives
The account lacked negatives. There were some, but certainly not enough. At the time I took over the account, there were less than 200 negatives. That’s way too little and means that their ads were showing up for a lot of irrelevant searches.
There was some search volume in the account, but the search quality was lacking because of a lack of negatives.
Negative keywords filter out the garbage searches. The things you “don’t” want to be found for. Adding negatives helps focus in on the specific searches and searchers that lead to conversions.
Going after searches for phrases like “ac tune up las vegas” will get you a lot of searches for car ac services during the Las Vegas summers. Adding general negative terms like “car” or “auto” as well as specific car brands that came up in the searches, like “jeep,” meant I could home in on the prospect looking for residential ac services.
58.8% Increase in Leads
Conversions are tracked from the ad itself or a phone call or email from one of the landing pages.
Priority Services saw an increase to 119 conversions for July 2020, compared to just 49 for July 2019.
10.82% Increase in Conversion Rate
July 2019’s conversion rate was a dismal .8%. Nowhere to go but up, right? The line graph makes it noticeably clear.
59.5% Decrease in Cost Per Lead
For July 2019. Leads cost $183 per lead. For 2020 leads were $119.
There is still a ton of growth available for this account. The formula for conversions is pretty clear at the moment. The next objective for the company’s account would be to turn up the volume, increasing impression share and clicks.
We needed help with our marketing and were glad we found Charlie. We had been using another agency, but our account never quite got the attention we needed. Charlie gave us active marketing management, improving our lead generation through Google and was available whenever we had questions or concerns. He was like a member of our team. I Highly recommend his services.
Heidi Dexter, GM – Priority Service of Las Vegas