This is Bob

Bob is cool

Bob is also the only marketer in a small, fast-growing education company.

A one-man army, the unsung superhero, living in the sales-star’s shadows, almost the dark knight.

He is always doing things!

Finding new lead generation channels, setting up email campaigns, creating the social strategy, running webinars to recruit and educate potential students.

But, that wasn’t enough!

They needed more leads, more paying students. So, they brainstormed.

That’s where it all began!

Bob loved the new challenge.

But, soon enough, he realized that running paid search campaigns wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies – there’s a lot of work involved.

Like, detailed keyword research.

More impressions in Adwords | Google Adwords Guide

And, more.

In the beginning, as is the case with all beginnings, things were smooth.

Leads came in. Everyone was happy!

But, what’s a good story without at least a few villains?

Slowly, but surely, things will start going downhill, like they always do.

A week in, Bob’s superstar status has started to fade.

Why, you must wonder!

Very few of the leads he generated became customers.

Sales team is now blaming him for not getting them high quality leads.

CEO questions him daily about wasting money without any sales to show.

He doesn’t even get invited to office parties.

It didn’t matter that he was also just learning.

What mattered was that he wasn’t saving the day anymore.

But, Bob is cool.

He knows that a problem is only a problem till it’s solved.

Instead of complaining about it, and wallowing in self-pity, he decides to take charge.

Google Adwords might be a beast, but it IS a beast waiting to be conquered.

Bob vs Adwords | Google Adwords Guide

But, how do you tame a beast the size of Adwords?

“You take your learnings, and implement them.”

Bob has tons of data – from the campaigns he has run.

He finally sits down to analyze it.

The key problem immediately shows.

Like many marketers, he was judging the campaigns by the number of leads generated, not their quality!

That’s why all the non-conversions.

So, before looking any further, he changes his success metric – quality over quantity!

Bob has his way forward now.

As he digs deeper into the data, he realizes that majority of the revenue comes from the course – Hadoop

But, in his campaigns, he was allocating similar budgets to all the courses.

Bob thinks the higher revenue from Hadoop might be because of higher demand.

But, Bob has enough leads looking for Python courses as well. Just that, they never seem to convert.

Now, he decides to change the strategy and give more weightage to more profitable courses.

When the spend was equally divided between Hadoop and Python

When the spend increased on Hadoop and reduced on Python

Things are looking better already.

It’s far from over though! Bob’s back at work.

He finds that there still were irrelevant search terms triggering his ads.

Like, ‘Hadoop jobs,’ “Android internships,” “Free Hadoop training” etc.

These search terms are irrelevant, because Bob’s company doesn’t provide jobs or internships, and they don’t provide training for free either.

He starts marking negative keywords.

Now, the irrelevant clicks were less frequent.

But, they were still there.

Reason: The overuse of broad match keywords.

That trigger the ad for irrelevant search terms.

He starts bidding more on “phrase,” “BMM” and “Exact” keywords, and less on broad.

This is how match types work.

Putting all your money on broad match is like selling blues music to everyone who likes music, irrespective of the genre. (by using “buy blues music CDs” as a broad keyword)

Or, even to people who are trying to sell their own music.

(Image Source:

And, trying to sell “blues” to “metal-heads” is never a good idea.

Instead, when you use +buy +blues +music (BMM), or “buy blues music” (phrase) and [buy blues music] (exact), you’ll eliminate people who are trying to sell their own music, and who are looking for other music genres.

(For those of you, who want to know more about the keyword match types, this article is a good place to start.)

The impressions are really relevant now.

Now, Bob is almost done getting rid of the bad impressions.

He still checks the search term report to see if he missed something.

He did.

There were certain relevant keywords with a good search volume, like “Hadoop crash courses,” but they were not getting enough clicks – because the ad copy advertised full-time courses.

So, he creates another ad group for crash courses specifically. This seems to work well, because of the search term + keyword + ad copy + landing page match.

He suppresses “crash courses” in other ad groups, so that the keywords don’t compete.

One week in, Bob saw an increase in the number of high-quality leads, and a much lower spend, and the impressions had dropped, because the focus was on relevance now.

Sales numbers were up. So were Bob’s spirits.

More importantly, he was saving the day again.

But, it’s far from over.

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