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Rethinking good and bad performance

By Phil Jenson – Head of Client Success
November 14th 2022

What if you could make more money from your Google Ads account without impacting your rate of return? 

It is not some form of voodoo. Think of it as smarter smart bidding.  

A client who joined us four months ago has seen some impressive results.

In under 6 months ATLAS achieved a 322% growth in monthly revenue at their target ROAS of 100%

In this article we will show how the Search Machine team used ATLAS’ unique capabilities to drive that improvement. 

Rethinking good and bad performance 

When we are bidding towards a target ROAS we need to recalibrate our definition of what is good and bad performance. 

Bad performance is missing the target. Over target, under target, they are both a problem. Although your boss will have less of an issue with the ROAS being over target! 

The problem is that the “good” performance can hide the “bad” performance. The result can be that the account hits its ROAS target overall but there is unrealised potential in the account. Better balancing can unlock that potential.  

That is precisely the problem our client had. 

Our analysis showed two dimensions where Google’s Maximise Conversion Value bidding product was significantly underperforming:  

  • Country – countries with a lower revenue per acquisition (RPA) than the average had a ROAS of 62%, whereas higher RPA countries were delivering a ROAS of 120%. 
  • Product Type – the client’s products fell into two main product types. For one the ROAS was 115% and the other 74%. 

These three charts visualise the imbalance in performance by country with Cost (x-axis), ROAS (y-axis) and Value (size of the circles).  

The ideal for this client is the circles perfectly falling on the 100% ROAS line. The reality before ATLAS shows a very wide distribution off optimal. After the ATLAS implementation we see a much closer match to the ideal distribution. 

The result was an instant increase of 22% in RPA.

With each acquisition bringing in more money, bids could be raised, and more sales were achieved. This is where genuine breakthrough growth occurred. 

Finding the opportunities 

When a client buys ATLAS they also get access to Search Machine’s Data Science team who come with decades of experience in search marketing across many industry verticals. 

Combining that expertise with our smart tech is what delivers the breakthrough results. 

We start with a deep analysis of the data. The results of which are as unique as each client. This then informs everything from the account structure design to how ATLAS is used to deliver maximum value. 

For this client, the analysis identified five issues including the uneven ROAS distribution: 

  1. A lack of adequate keyword coverage  
  2. Overly generic ads  
  3. Ads sending customers to landing pages that were too general 
  4. Bidding that could be further improved 
  5. The uneven ROAS performance we have already mentioned 

ATLAS enabled us to rapidly address each of them: 

  1. The entire account was redesigned to help Google to better bid by geography and product type. 
  2. Keywords were increased 3x by ATLAS’ search term crawler gathering all relevant terms. 
  3. Super specific ads were generated by using ATLAS’ AI driven understanding of the search terms.  
  4. Using ATLAS’ understanding of the search terms more specific landing pages were allocated. 
  5. ATLAS’ mROAS bidding solution augmented Google’s own bidding product to maximise revenue yield.  

The total time from contract signature to accounts being live in the account was three weeks, and as you can see ATLAS and the team at Search Machines were able to deliver value immediately. If you would like to speak with one of our team to learn more about how ATLAS could work for you then please contact us here. 

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