Australia Post are a unique business with over 4,000 store locations that have an incredibly broad audience and a highly diverse product set spanning across multiple verticals. Paid search has become a fundamental communication and acquisition marketing channel for the business and an integral part of their overall marketing mix.
When we acquired the Australia Post account, there were several key issues that were apparent and that became the immediate focus. Working with relevant teams across the business we were able to quickly identify these and formulate a plan of action that worked for both client and agency, which formed the basis of the project.
As standard practice when a new account is taken on, it is put through a robust auditing process. However, this was a bigger undertaking when transitioning the Australia Post accounts given there were 45 individual accounts to audit, restructure and improve performance on.
What were the issues identified?
- Basics not in place: the fundamental structure of the accounts were flawed and didn’t allow for the level of optimisation the business required.
- Structure requirements: the business requires a very specific set up which allows for the management of multiple different products across different verticals with unique targets. Structurally activity was considered under one umbrella and not in line with the business’ requirements to optimise towards each individual product.
- Performance: activity wasn’t geared towards meeting the business’ targets. With a variety of different products offered, the performance wasn’t considered on an individual product level.
- Lack of search assets: key assets such as extensions, sitelinks and bid adjustments were not in place which are fundamental to paid search performance.
- Underusing technology: the 3rd party bid management tool was simply being used as an aggregator of data across the different search channels and the additional benefits not utilised.
With the above in mind, we were able to devise a strategy which met the requirements of business to drive consistent performance through optimisation.
Australia Post is a highly trusted brand which touches everyone in Australia in some way putting them in a unique position in the market from both an online and offline perspective. Therefore, their audience within search is incredibly broad from a brand recognition point of view but also very diverse depending given the product depth.
The client’s role in this project was incredibly important and required a tight collaboration between key stakeholders and agency to ensure that from the outset, we would be in a position to achieve our goals.
Working closely with the Australia Post team, we were able to devise 5 key objectives that ensured we would provide the desired performance from a business perspective, whilst targeting the right audience groups and minimising the impact to their current activity.
- Audit each account using our 5 Pillars of Paid Search structure – this process focusses primarily on ensuring the fundamental basics are in place and to a high standard
- Restructure the accounts in way that would allow us to utilise the marketing budgets more effectively and create minimal impact to customers
- Improve performance on a product level
- Ensure search assets were used consistently across each account
- Maximise the technology platforms at our disposal
Over the course of the review and implementation process, our teams reviewed 45 accounts and created a unique approach for both Google and Bing considering key areas such as:
- Keyword strategy
- Ad copy approach and CTAs
- Mobile bid adjustments
- Sitelink cross-sell opportunity and extension capabilities
- Audience remarketing and list sharing
- Budget weighting
- Product level negative keywords
- Brand alignment and legal compliance
In order to understand how to write compelling ad copy that met Australia Post’s brand legal requirements, the team attended brand immersion sessions which ensured the approval process was efficient.
The client also provided very specific KPI targets across their financial services products which includes car, home & contents and travel insurance which would be used as a priority benchmark for performance throughout.
Working closely with the client, we prioritised the product accounts that should be tackled first and that would have minimal impact to business and customer. This was in line with both seasonal needs and in market campaign executions, which combined to result in a roadmap that covered both implementation and post-implementation testing.
The roadmap also allowed for flexibility to adapt and change if new campaign executions were required and to incorporate learnings from previous restructures that could be used on future accounts.
Following the audit process of each account, a unique list of items was identified as areas of concern which were then prioritised to streamline work flows across the implementation team and client teams. These were then cross-referenced with a default list of items considered within our 5 Pillars of Paid Search as high priority to ensure work flow was comprehensive.
This then helped ensure the work flow was structured and efficient, keeping in mind that also lengthy legal review processes by Australia Post of new ad copy would also need to be factored in.
Comparing quarter (Oct-Dec) performance year on year showed some significant improvements were achieved through the brilliant basic approach to paid search.
Over the course of the 11 month project, the key outcomes were:
- 45 accounts were reviewed, restructured across both Google and Bing.
- With a more granular structure implemented, the team were able to distribute budget better across the product set to drive efficiency.
- Thousands of redundant keywords were removed.
- Refreshed ad copy that aligned with the brand and legal compliance.
- Search assets fully utilised and accredited by Google.
Headline performance improvements:
- Over 10% more traffic was delivered
- Average CPC’s reduced from $0.82 to $0.71
- Average CTR increased from 18% to 20%
= $22,000 in savings per month ($66,000 overall).
Given the coverage of Australia Post business in Australia, the business is now able to review options that marry their online search data with customers going in-store. This will be hugely value not only from a paid search perspective, but also across the entire business’ marketing mix.
Two of the top performing business areas were car insurance and travel insurance which both saw significant improvements.
Car Insurance – performance overview (YoY):
- Quote to Policy conversion rate increased from 6.2% to 7.5%
- Google CPA improved by 48%
- Bing CPA improved by 25%
- Avg. CPC decreased from $15 to $7.50
- Overall CTR improved from 3.2% to 4.8%
- Increased revenue by 62%
Travel Insurance – performance overview:
- Overall CPA decreased by 45%
- Conversion rate increased from 5% to 11%
- CTR improved from 6.3% to 8.5%
- CPCs decreased from $5 to $4.50