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Beating the Competition at Their Own Game: A NetElixir Case Study

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“Competitors keep you active and dynamic. Competitors push you to achieve more.” – M. Cobonli


Digital Marketing: A Team Effort

Great partnerships form the foundation of many of life’s successes. It’s no different in digital marketing. The relationship between agency and client must be strong, facilitating open communication to develop a shared vision and tackle problems. At the same time, the individual departments or teams within a digital marketing agency need to work together effectively as well, combining their unique talents for the benefit of clients and the organization as a whole.

A recent case involving one of our clients demonstrated this fundamental principle at work.

Meet Our Client

They’re in the business of preserving and showcasing cherished memories. They provide your favorite photos with the love and attention they deserve. You can give these snapshots a new lease on life with an array of customizable, professional quality printing options including panoramas, metal prints, framed canvas, photo mugs, and more.

An Unexpected Setback

The picture grew dim, however, when we noticed a sudden PPC performance decline for the client in November 2017. Our initial analysis diagnosed it as a trademark campaign issue, as competition on their brand and trademark search terms skyrocketed overnight.

We created a new metric called Top of Page Index which showed a 33% increase from late October to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period in 2017. This meant that not only were more competitors entering the market, but they were also controlling the top SERP position at a higher rate than our client.

With the crucial holiday shopping season upon us, we needed to formulate an effective solution – and quickly.

Competition will always be around but like a game of chess, it involves patience and planning.

Coupon Wars

To gain more insight into the problem, we investigated these competitors that had appeared out of nowhere to crowd our client out of their own trademark and brand terms. What we discovered was a genuine surprise: Dedicated coupon sites that post deals from various brands had lifted coupon codes directly from our client’s site and were featuring them in their own PPC ads.

By bidding on our client’s brand name, these sites were diverting traffic from our client’s site. They were evidently experiencing plenty of success, as indicated by the performance downturn that initially set off our alarm bells. We needed to design a game plan to navigate the new realities of this more unforgiving environment.

A Two-Pronged Approach

We knew it wasn’t feasible to simply outbid all these competitors, so we had to get creative. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of outside-the-box thinking at NetElixir, and we were determined to help our friends immediately. Our PPC and Content Team got together to collaborate on a multi-faceted strategy.

Our content writers quickly created new ad copies highlighting our client’s coupon codes. This allowed us to promote the branded site with the same offers and discounts being used by the dedicated coupon sites to undermine our client. The PPC Team then included these codes in sitelink extensions, which would help our client’s ads take up more precious real estate on the SERP when our client did appear as the top result.

We also banked on improved quality scores from these ads to maintain market presence in an increasingly crowded field.

Always consider every angle before making your next move.

Rapid Results

After a disappointing November, we saw significant progress in December 2017 as our new strategy was implemented just in time to capture those last-minute holiday shoppers. The new ads delivered substantial improvements in key metrics for our client’s branded campaign.

Though traffic remained steady with just a 0.46% increase, the enhanced quality scores of the ads reduced CPC by 33%, just as we’d hoped. Even better, this drove an overall cost reduction of 33%.

With their discounts and promotions now front and center, business picked up for our client, as well. Orders and revenue each increased by 29% during this period. In perhaps the most welcome development, we saw a massive 96% jump in ROI between these months, from 1.78% to 3.46%. Our client was enjoying much more bang for their buck, putting a satisfying end to a momentary crisis.

In the PPC arena, unforeseen hurdles come with the territory. While they can be headaches for brands and agencies alike, they’re also great opportunities for your unique digital marketing teams to come together and shine.

To learn more tips and tricks for search marketing success, visit our blog and check out NetElixir University for a treasure trove of resources, including on-demand webinars, whitepapers, and more. Interested in what our fanatically analytical experts can do for your business? Just fill out our contact form and we’ll answer all your questions!

TL:DR: Competition can be overwhelming but a little bit of patience, strategic planning, and innovation can go a long way.

Checkmate!