My friend planned to run a kids summer camp in mountains, so I proposed him Google Ads (Adwords at that time) as a traffic source. This camp has been running in Ukraine and called “Civilization”.
We had a very limited time, about 1 month, till the first camp session starts. That is why we decided to focus on PPC campaigns in order to achieve such goals:
get the enough amount of traffic fast;
test the landing page conversion;
learn the hottest visitors and leads in order to improve offers and business processes;
see how many leads from Adwords would buy passes to the kids camp.
We planned to use this information in order to bring more and cheaper leads for next sessions of the summer camp.
We were doing SEO meanwhile and wanted to use visitors’ real search queries in new articles about the camp. But it was a long term game.
Kids Camp Selling Process, Adwords Goals and Results
The camp had a very simple funnel:
the traffic goes to the landing page with different paid packages of the same proposal;
visitors convert for a free consultation;
the camp team consults leads and offers them paid camp packages.
There were neither pre-landings nor email marketing yet. The average camp pass costed about 7000 UAH ($337.55).
As for Google Ads we wanted the allowed cost per lead (CPL) to be 500 UAH ($24.11). But we have got 31 leads, each costed $21.11. It was 12.17% cheaper than planned.
And it has happened during first 30 days of campaigns work: since May 6 till June 6, 2015! I’ll tell you about what we were doing, so please keep reading.
Keywords Research and Adwords Campaigns Structure
Firstly I researched keywords in Google. There were no branding ones like “kids camp civilization”, “civilization camp carpathians” at all, because our camp was new on the market.
Hot buying keywords like “kids summer camp buy pass”, “prices children summer camp” were also very few. So I could not use only them in PPC campaigns.
The largest amount of keywords consisted of “warm-cold” phrases. I grouped them in segments and those segments formed the Adwords campaign’s structure. Here are some of groups, for example:
kids camp in Ukraine;
kids camp (general);
summer camp (general);
holidays for children;
Targeted Web Pages, PPC Campaign Types and Cost per Click
Ideally each ad group had to drive traffic to the relevant website page (landing or content). But unfortunately we had no time to create those web pages. Therefore we decided to test all the ad groups on the only landing page we already had.
So I created one campaign for Search, one for the Display Network and one for Remarketing. From the landing page content we got variations of the main offer and a list of additional advantages.
The Adwords Search and Display Network campaigns were showing main kids camp’s offers in their ad texts. And the Remarketing campaign was telling about other advantages.
The cost per click (CPC) was low: 2 UAH ($0.10) for the Search and 1 UAH ($0.05) for the Display and Remarketing.
PPC Campaigns Support
Campaigns started clicking very good from their start. Perhaps because in May people search Google actively to which summer camp send their kids.
I started the standard actions for supporting PPC campaigns:
cleaning traffic with negative keywords;
watching CPC and spendings, so the daily traffic amount was constant;
checking leads number and CPL.
Campaigns gathered statistics quickly and soon the amount of clicks reached 1000 in each of them. As a result I could potentionally make a deep optimization: find ads without leads and stop them.
But the offer price was high – 7000 UAH or $337.55, it was very expensive to sell directly. So I decided to wait more till each of ad groups spends 1.5-2 x allowed CPL (about 750-1000 UAH or $36-$48, though they had already enough clicks.
At that time I continued to add negative keywords, there were a lot of them.
Once any ad group spends more than $36, I’d look closer at it:
is it’s traffic clean enough?
how many leads had it brought?
how many clicks had it?
does its traffic engages well with the website (spends enough time, looks to other pages)?
Depending on that I’d perform the following:
if there were many cheap leads – then live the ad group work as it does;
if the ad group had few expensive leads – then work on its traffic quality. Add more negative keywords, decrease CPC, test new ad texts;
if the group had no leads and spent more than 1.5-2 allowed CPL – then stop it.
Results of Kids Camp Adwords Campaigns
The Search campaign brought:
clicks = 2682 – enough for optimization;
CPL = 738.41 UAH ($35.61), it was 47.68% more expensive than allowed CPL;
number of leads = 5.
The Display Network campaign results:
clicks = 20649 – enough for optimization;
CPA = 152.13 UAH ($7.34), it was 69.57% cheaper than allowed CPL;
number of leads = 26
To sum up, we have got from both campaigns:
CPA = 439.16 UAH ($21.18), it was 12.17% cheaper than allowed CPL;
number of leads = 31.
The Search Campaign Analysis
Most of segments brought cheap leads except “дитячий табір” (“kids camp” in English):
The “дитячий табір” group had the biggest number of clicks, but only one lead. That meant it was broad and required:
putting keywords into phrase or exact match;
testing ad texts;
If it would not bring new leads – then turn that group off. Write articles about kids camps and drive people there.
Takeaway: because people are not hot, they do not buy from scratch. Need to bring them to the relevant content first.
The Display Network Campaign Analysis
This campaign had very good results. I suppose if people read sites, they were more engaged and wanted to the summer camp:
This campaign required only general PPC support:
watch CPC, daily traffic and a number of leads;
test ad creatives;
watch GDN websites and turn those with 0 or expensive results off.
Takeaways from Adwords Campaigns for a Kids Camp
Kids camp’s offers are usually expensive and not good to sell directly. Therefore such kind of sales may be possible for a very hot keywords (e. g. branded).
If you run Google Ads campaigns directly to the kids camp landing page, then optimize them strictly by stopping bad resulting ads.
It might be better to create relevant pages for each ad group and drive traffic there. Tell visitors exactly about what they ask in their search queries. Then offer your paid services if they do not want to do everything themselves.
Work on your brand awareness. Sell to people directly from Search only if we start having branded keywords.
Do You Like This Case Study?
I’ll be thankful for your thoughts and questions in comments to this post. I review every comment and answer instantly or in new articles.
Please share this material with your friends, they may thank you too.