Techna Glass is a national auto glass company with 54 locations around the country. One of their franchisees contacted us to help improve their paid search campaign. This owner was originally working with the agency that corporate was using for all corporate-owned stores, but the campaign was generating almost no leads at all (less than 10 per month on average).
We took over and, In less than a week, we took the campaign to more than 300 leads per month.
I had a larger, well-known marketing company managing paid search for my auto glass franchise and they weren't getting the job done so I reached out to [UFO]. After meeting with John Crenshaw I decided to make a switch. I'm glad I did. In less than a week I went from 0 calls to more than 10 a day. On top of that I had an issue with the phone company and one of my phone lines went down. I emailed John on a Saturday afternoon and he had my ads updated with the new phone number within 20 minutes. I joked that [UFO] is this small company in Cincinnati and they're beating up on that big national company I was working with before!
- Joe Dills, Owner, Techna Glass Cincinnati
Google makes it really easy to setup and start spending money on Google Ads. They have a vested financial interest in making it as easy as possible to get started, and appear as easy as possible to manage with little skill. Unfortunately that's just not the case; most of recommendations made by Google reps, and the Google Ads system itself, will just make you spend more money. Unfortunately it's a heck of a lot harder to drive a result in Google Ads than it is to get started. And so pretty much every agency on the planet says they can do paid search advertising. Few of them can actually get a result from it.
And that's what was happening here. We didn't do anything magical. We've just been managing paid search for over 12 years; search is where we started, and we're really good at it.
So we cleaned up the account: removed all the broad match terms, got rid of all the mid to high funnel terms that weren't converting directly (this was a direct-response campaign only), disabled pretty much all the automated features (like auto bidding), and rewrote ad copy.
Auto glass is somewhere between the "Search" and "Experience," in the SEC classification of goods and services, which means customer reviews are crucial. So we developed a strategy to generate as many online reviews as possible, and the client executed on that strategy aggressively, generating over 200 online reviews across Google, Yelp, and Facebook (among others) in a very short period of time with an average rating of 5-stars.
The Techna Glass corporate site just sucked to be honest. It converted at a measly 10% or so. Plus, we had no ability to edit our franchise page on that site or add call or conversion tracking. Because of the extremely short sales cycle for this industry, we thought we could get away with a simple one-page website hosted separately. So we did that: We built out a one-page landing page and hosted it on a separate domain. It certainly wasn't going to win any design awards (see screenshot below), but the client didn't have a big budget and we were able to build out this page for less than $1,000.
That landing page took our conversion rate from 10% to around 50%. Yeah, half the people landing on that page were turning into leads. To date, that's still one of the highest conversion rates I've seen.
All together, we took the campaign from generating basically nothing, to over 300 leads per month at a 50% conversion rate and a $6 cost per lead.
In fact, the store was doing so well, corporate decided to buy the business from our client (this has happened before). And that led to an interesting experiment...
The original agency managing this client's paid search campaign was a larger, well-known agency that was also managing the entire corporate advertising effort. Corporate had a relationship with this agency, and so, when they bought the business from our client, they wanted to consolidate management of the campaigns with a single agency. So they fired us and this other agency took over our campaigns.
Not the greatest of ideas considering performance the last time, but hey, this time all they had to do was take what we built and not screw it up. That didn't happen.
Within 6 months the store was floundering and we got a call from corporate: they wanted us to take over the campaign again.
So we did. And business took off again.
And then, for whatever reason, they consolidated management with this other agency for a third time.
And guess what happened? Business tanked. In fact, that store no longer exists. It went out of business about a year later.
I'm sharing this level of detail because it's rare to literally have an experiment created unintentionally like this that tests our performance against another agency. We see it in our work every day, but it's not always so clear cut and we're not always able to share those stories. We sometimes hear from organizations that have run paid search and didn't get a result. Paid search certainly won't work for everyone. But more often than not, when we hear that, it's because whoever was running it just wasn't experienced enough.
So be careful who you hire. Every agency on the planet says they do paid search. Few of them can do it well. There's a big difference between flipping switches in Google Ads and actually driving meaningful business results and strong ROI.
Here's the landing page - this thing won't win any design awards but it cost the client less than $1,000 and it converts at 50%. That's actually one of our greatest assets as a company: we've worked on projects ranging from small, one-person companies, all the way up to the Fortune Top 10, and we've seen what works at every level. Sometimes you don't need to spend a lot to get big results.