Open Study College is a UK-based provider of home learning courses, providing qualifications certified by ASET in a huge choice of subjects from hairdressing to law to computer studies.
Its study packages are sold online from the www. openstudycollege.com web site, which receives constant traffic from direct entry, organic search results and from Sponsored Search.
In April 2007 Matt Jones, Director of Open Study College gave AdStorm a brief to increase the performance of its pay-per-click advertising on search engine Google.
Advertising was already working well, but Matt believed that a certified Google Adwords Professional could improve their return on investment.
Robert Frost from AdStorm began the project with a thorough audit of Open Study College, its markets, its products, its competitors, website and its current advertising. Competitors in the market place and their online marketing strategies were also studied.
“At the heart of any project like this is the analysis of conversion data,” Robert Frost commented. “Open Study College had already installed Google Analytics on their web site, providing invaluable insight into the keywords that were actually working.
“Following from our initial audit we enhanced this implementation to measure goal conversion and ecommerce revenue on their third party payment solution and to link this data back to their media, keywords and ad creative. Companies often only optimise cost per click, but by using conversion data we were able to focus their investment on those keywords that actually generate sales, in order to optimise ROI.
“First of all we were able to study funnel abandonment within the web site, and we quickly concluded that the site was doing a superb job of converting visitors. Roughly 10% of visitors were resulting in a customer conversion of some description – statistics any online company would be proud of. And no particular page within the site was suffering from a higher than normal funnel abandonment rate.
“Satisfied that the site was working well, we focussed on increasing relevant traffic to the site and an initial optimisation exercise on three courses increased the traffic to their web site by around 20%, with no increase in budget.
“Then we began more thorough research into search terms that other advertisers had neglected. By identifying these we could advertise against terms with less competition, thereby reducing the cost per click.
“These additional keywords were implemented across all of Open Sstudy College’s courses. Each keyword’s performance was then tracked, as was its conversion data and user behaviour on the web site, eliminating keywords that generated poor traffic.
“Finally we divided the advertising into separate campaigns, each with its own budget. This prevented broad keywords that attract many clicks from dominating the ad budget, allowing niche targeted keywords with higher conversion rates the freedom to generate cheaper clicks.”
Matt Jones was delighted with the results: “We’re really happy with the results we’re seeing! We’re selling three times as many courses per day, with no increase in budget – which is a vast improvement on what we were selling before AdStorm started.
“Furthermore, with experts on hand to interpret the finer details of the Google Analytics data, we have all the information at our fingertips to support our decision-making process in the future.
“We used to spend an inordinate amount of time managing and tweaking our online advertising. Now it takes no management at all, and the all-important ROI of our advertising is triple what it was. All in all we are delighted with the results.”