Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.236.171.181

Forum Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Message Too Old, No Replies

CTR, ROAS down on Exact Match Brand. Theories? Ideas?

     
4:25 am on Oct 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 5, 2008
posts: 5
votes: 1


I am seeing a disturbing drop in performance across most of the metrics that I'm watching for a few brand campaigns. And I'm having trouble coming up with a plausible explanation or ideas on how to bring them back up. Hoping someone out there might have seen something similar or has some ideas on what might be going on.

I'm spending more money on brand YOY, and although impressions are up, CTR is down. I am actively testing ads and selecting the ones that perform better for both CTR and conversion, so it's possible that the ads are simply not as effective compared to last year, but theoretically they should be better than the previous ones.

I wouldn't be particularly worried if the CTR was down, but my ROAS is down as well. So, I'm not getting as much interest in my ads AND the people who are clicking are less likely to convert.

A lower ROAS could reflect less qualified traffic, but I'm seeing this in exact match brand for multiple brands with fairly unique names. I'm not sure how to get more qualified than that, or why that population would be less likely to convert, but it's a trend that's continued for a few months now in spite of my best efforts.

It's possible that we have less inventory to sell, but I don't think that's it. And while that would explain a lower ROAS, it doesn't explain the lower CTR.

What are other people seeing in your brand campaigns?

Any ideas on a better way to think about this or what I might try to bring the performance back up?
6:50 am on Oct 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 25, 2005
posts:3598
votes: 53


Hard answer to come up with. I would ,since the ads are old, create new ones just to test something. The net is changing 70% of a site I manage is now mobile. Your talking demographics of mid 40's-60's with money to buy the item the site sells.

Look at anything that might give you a clue as to a change. People very rarely (IMO) buy 1st click are your tracking return users?

I sometimes go a website from and ad save the site do another search or go back click another website and come back to the saved site ,if the price was right, maybe a day, hour, or week and make the buy.

Xmas is close has this ever been an issue at this time of year before?

Mine is as well down but I have told the owner his biggest issue is outdated images displaying his item. Adwords and free traffic are up but sales are down.
5:42 pm on Oct 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 25, 2002
posts:8639
votes: 284


70% of a site I manage is now mobile


That raises a good question - can you segment out just desktop traffic and see how that has changed? A shift to mobile would explain both lower CTR and lower conversion rate.
6:43 pm on Oct 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 5, 2008
posts: 5
votes: 1


Thanks for the suggestion, bwnbwn and ergophobe! I'll take a look at the mobile traffic! In general I've been seeing big increases there and its true that may have changed the click and conversion patterns.

Particularly in my industry the customer journey is a long one, and people take a long time before deciding to make a purchase. We're running some remarketing campaigns... but when you say "tracking return users" do you mean something beyond that?

Figuring out the conversion piece is tricky business. It sounds like your recommendation to update images makes a lot of sense in that case. It's nice to have conversion optimization and search overlap since everything is so connected. Thanks again for the ideas!
3:31 am on Oct 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 25, 2005
posts:3598
votes: 53


ergophobe mobile has just been steadily increasing 1% increase almost every couple of months for the last couple of years. The website right now doesn't have the option to view a larger image on mobile. Inherited from previous webmaster. I don't have the original images. One big reason I want to get new ones also the machines are dated so I really believe adding new images will be a big boost for sales.

I have looked at desktop to mobile sales and desktop is way ahead of mobile on conversion. I feel the outdated images and lack of enlarging the image is my main issue.

Simply this might be something to look at as well visual is a big deal the more a person can see of the product the better
3:36 am on Nov 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 25, 2002
posts:8639
votes: 284


Everywhere I've looked, mobile conversions are way lower than desktop. We recently did a conversion to responsive and it didn't change mobile conversions all that much. I think there are some reasons for that (strong pressure to make the site visually rich).

Also, the mobile site might convert on phone calls. We recently did a test with a prominent trackable phone number and clicks on the phone number were fairly high (2.5%) and conversion rate on phone calls is pretty high. So I'm not sure trying to get people to go all the way through checkout is the way to go on mobile.
8:31 pm on Nov 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 14, 2003
posts: 4320
votes: 42


Problem is that most people design a site for desktop and then try to make it work on mobile.

Now a site should be done the other way. Design the site for mobile and then make it work on desktop or have 2 designs

Making a site responsive is not going to automatically fix your problem.
6:38 pm on Nov 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 25, 2002
posts:8639
votes: 284


We've tried both ways ogletree... I think there is something inherent in the small screen, lack of keyboard, location of use and more that make people less likely to want to try to type in their name, address and credit card number. Alternate payment methods that eliminate that need are probably more important for conversion than a mobile-first design

(mobile-first doesn't always imply "mobile-better" - it's more an approach to the design process and to a lesser extent the delivery process, than it is an approach to usability).

That said, the site in question has some design aspects that are definitely "desktop first" that make it less friendly on mobile. Mostly just the weight of the pages (i.e. it looks nice and works well on mobile once the page finally loads... but there's a noticeable wait for that first page to load; not so bad once key resources cache)