How to investigate campaigns with low conversions

Regardless of your expertise, you've probably sat there at some point with your head in your hands looking at a high spending campaign with a big fat 0 in the conversion column. Let's see if we can find a possible next step.


PPC optimisation

This is no doubt the area you've already got well covered. But for the sake of covering the basics, let's run through a few things first. You'll want to ensure your ad account is well organised and reflects the structure of your site. The campaigns should be split by each individual service/product you offer. You will also want to split those campaigns by keyword match type. This way you can maximise the budget on your exact match terms before even thinking about a broad match. The ad groups should be split byways you predict people to search for the particular product or service. Variations such as price, colour, size and so on. This way you can ensure your landing page and ad copy better suits your keyword. This improves ad quality and generates cheaper traffic. It's also more likely to generate a conversion.


Right person at the right moment

You can target audiences in a number of different ways. Additionally, you can control spend levels when you drill down to specific audiences. In here lies a lot of an account managers workload. Looking at the data across paid media campaigns as well as the wider marketing mix and determining the perfect customer. This is based on a number of signals from demographics, device, location, time of day/week, new vs returning and many more. Research and understand the capabilities of Google ads and Google Analytics data to see where you're getting your best CVR. If not CVR then look at engagement signals. Which users spend the most time on site and view the most pages? Build up a profile of your perfect customer and restrict all budget and targeting down to this smaller but more promising audience.


Contributing to the bigger picture

This can usually cause a lot of confusion and stress for clients. Particularly those with little to no knowledge of PPC. Let's imagine a quick scenario. You have an account with some fairly good search campaigns. They spend reasonable amounts and generate a healthy number of conversions. However, there's a campaign in the mix that spends just as much but has 0 conversions. You look at the history of the campaign in Google ads and still no conversions. You decide there's no salvaging this campaign and you could save a portion of your budget simply switching it off. The next few weeks start seeing a decline in overall conversions. Not just in paid but across other channels such as social, organic and email. What's happened? It's not immediately obvious. Turns out the campaign had useful research keywords. People would be introduced to the brand through research and later on generate conversions through higher intent campaigns. Is there a way to prove this? Yes. Head to Google Analytics > Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversions Paths. Here you will see the customer journey for every one of your conversions. You can toggle the journey to channels, campaigns and even keywords to see where your low conversion campaign was useful. Of course, you may do this and find your campaign still hasn't done anything. Look at the other tips of this article if that's the case.


Tracking issues

This one will be fairly obvious but can be overlooked for how obvious it is. First, ensure you've added the global site tag from Google Analytics with the correct tracking ID to all pages of your site you want tracking. Then check your real-time reports to ensure traffic is still coming through. Next, ensure you have goals set up that are possible. For example, if you're basing a conversion on a page landing like a "/thank-you" page, does that page still exist? Next, sync the goals over to the correct Google Ads account and ensure they are visible in the ads account.


Behaviour analytics

Now, this is where many paid media marketers will drop off. Looking beyond statistical data. It is certainly possible to identify ways to improve your CVR, CTR, Bounce Rate and so forth simply by looking at stats. You might see that CVR is high for all age brackets apart from over 65's. And wouldn't you know it, over 65's is where you funnel the majority of your budget? And it just so happens you're trying to sell kids trainers. This is when life is easy. But if all the data is confusing and not revealing an answer then behaviour analytics can look at things differently. More naturally. The quickest method is for you yourself to play around on the site and live the life of the customer. How easy is it to find the product you're after? How easy is it going through the checkout process? Are there any major turnoffs like a scary data capturing notice? "If you buy from us we WILL hound you over email for the rest of your days". Does the quality of the site look a bit poor and you're concerned about sharing your payment details? Those are some simple checks you can run yourself but you may have invested in specialist analytics software like Hotjar. Using this platform you can capture customer screen recordings, generate user heatmaps and provide surveys to get feedback. Why not put an hour aside to watch screen recordings from your paid media traffic. See what they do and at what stage they leave. Any obvious patterns as to why? Lastly, you could be lucky enough to have a user testing department that provides continuous research into your customer experience and behaviour allowing you to steer the website and marketing in the right direction.



Another very straightforward but often overlooked approach is to simply compare yourself in the market. This couldn't be more obvious in the retail industry to simply search your top spending keywords and look at the ad copy and landing pages of your competitors. How are you doing pricing wise? If the other ads are noticeably cheaper and have just as good of a website if not better than yours then ask yourself why someone would choose you? You need to beat the competition at everything. Have more enticing ad copy, the cheapest offer, the easiest to use the site, the most secure and reassuring checkout process and so on. If you fail at one of these things then you can't be too confused about your lack of conversions. And you can even have a very simple plan of action. Though it's of course worth respecting the fact that some of these simple solutions could be vastly expensive. But at least you're clear on what needs to be done.


Hopefully, some of these ideas have guided you towards some hopeful next steps. There are a number of reasons that can hinder your chance of generating a conversion on any given campaign. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss an audit of your account or website to see if we can be of any help.