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How to squeeze more juice out of your AdWords campaigns?

January 19 · Issue #7 · View online
DataDiary by InnerTrends
Want to squeeze more juice out of your AdWords campaigns?
Ever wondered why some AdWords campaigns work better than others?
Optimizing AdWords campaigns for SaaS companies can be hell.
It’s not as straightforward as with e-commerce. They allocate a certain a budget, people click on their ads, and some of them buy. Their goal is to make more money than they invest. The recipe is simple: the more they invest, the more they earn.
For SaaS companies things work a bit different and very often investing more does not bring a proportional increase in revenue. Because it takes months for a customer brought by AdWords to become profitable, there is no reliable way to link revenue to investment. You need another metric to predict the profitability of an Adwords campaign.
Quality over quantity
That metric is not how many people sign up for your service, which is the most common conversion used by SaaS companies when doing AdWords campaigns.
It’s no surprise the metrics reported by AdWords and the most important analytics tools are:
  • How many people click?
  • How many people sign up?
Having these two numbers you can easily calculate the conversion rate. The higher the conversion rate, the more successful a campaign is considered.
But is this quantitative result indicative of how successful your campaign will be?
Unfortunately not. Simply because the product is more complex and people take longer to decide whether to use it or not. Having created an account does not equal to actually using your product or paying for it. 
What you need a quality metric, one that shows you how many people actually use your product, not only how many have created an account. This metric should correlate with the payments, but it should also be calculated as soon as possible after an account is created. There is no use for a metric that depends on actions that take weeks or months to happen. By that time you won’t have what to optimize anymore, as the campaign is too far behind.
That metric is the number of Onboarded users.
Here is how it works:
  1. You post an ad that creates a set of expectations.
  2. The user reaches a landing page that feeds those expectations.
  3. The user makes an account.
  4. The onboarding is finalized when that set of expectations is fulfilled.
By comparing your AdWords campaigns, you will be able to optimize your marketing efforts and budgets. And the way to optimize the these campaigns is by setting the right expectations for your clients.
In order to analyze the campaigns you need to have the correct number of onboarded users. There is a catch though. AdWords doesn’t automatically calculate this metric for you.
At InnerTrends we managed to export this data to AdWords, but realized that sending conversion data about onboarded users to AdWords is not as easy as it might sound. Because most often the onboarding process does not happen in one single session or on the same device, we needed a method to send the data server side.
Using the AdWords API we created an automated process that uploads conversions to AdWords every time a user who was brought by a campaign finishes the onboarding process.
This way, AdWords campaigns can be optimized for quality, not only quantity.
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