How I Increased Conversions By 267% While Reducing Cost By 57% Using Google Search Ads

About This Project:

The client is in the vertical of general contracting (specifically concrete). Originally a campaign was setup that wasn’t efficient on their end. The original campaign was a smart campaign in Google Ads. The client was getting calls but a lot of the clicks were irrelevant & the lead quality was poor. I decided to investigate the reason for this & what I could personally do to improve the campaign. 

Analyzing Problems With The Smart Campaign:

We start by analyzing the effectiveness of the smart campaign originally created. We are going to look at several factors such as search terms relevance, occurrence of clicks (search, search partners, YouTube, etc), etc. Here are some problems we found: 

Irrelevant Search Terms:

One of the problems mentioned to me by the client was they were receiving calls from customers who needed cement to pour concrete for their projects. The contractor needed customers who needed a contractor to complete the job for them, not a company who supplies cement concrete contractors. Here is an image showing the terms:

Large Amounts Of Irrelevant Clicks From Partner Sites:

I found there were a large amount of clicks from Google partner websites which led to a tremendous amount of wasted ad spend. Google partner site clicks accounted for approximately 45% of the overall traffic. This explains why a lot of the calls the contractor was receiving were low quality. See image below:

Overall Smart Campaign Stats:

Implementing A Solution

I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves & offer this contractor help by implementing an expert mode campaign & running it against the smart mode campaign to compare the results of each. Here are the steps I took to create the campaign:

Steps I Used To Creating A Search Ads Campaign:

Create A High Converting Landing Page

Creating a landing page optimized for conversions is key to maximizing lead generation results in Google Ads. After many months of testing & analyzing data from different landing page formats, I designed a very effective landing page format that will prompt the user to take action which will increase conversion rates. You can view it below:

I divided the main sections into two columns. One column will have the headline, telephone number, description text, & CTA Call-Now Button While the second column is a form field. These are the first two things the user sees when they land on the page. Both columns prompt the user to take some sort of action. Keep in mind , this landing page has message matching implemented on it, so the headline & description matches what the ad copy says which really drives up the conversation rate. 

Determine Best Campaign Structure

When it comes onto setting up a campaign , re-enforcing proper structure is key. Using industry best practices, I was able to create a solid Google Ads campaign structure for the best results. Typically you do this by grouping everything by ‘themes’. This directly applies primarily to how the ad groups are set up which I will highlight later in this case study. Here is an overview of the settings:

Notice how I only selected Google Search as the network & removed the rest along with applying proper location targeting techniques by targeting the city of El Paso since this is where the contractor conducted business. 

I typically would start with manual CPC as the bid strategy to have more control over the account but I was stretched for time so implementing Maximize clicks & placing a CPC cap (Max CPC limit) was a good alternative here to ensure the contractor was always in profit.  

Set Ad Groups Based On Keyword Themes

Having tightly themed ad groups offers various benefits. You can lower your quality score by offering relevant ad content to the user searching for a particular keyword which will ultimately lower your cost-per-click. There are many other benefits to setting up the campaign this way but I want to keep this case study brief. You can see the ad groups I used for this concrete campaign below:

Added Keywords To Tightly Themed Ad Groups

When I set up the ad groups, I ensured the keywords that I would associate for each of these ad groups would relate to the subject at hand. Each of the keywords that I picked while conducting keyword research using the keyword planner helped me create a laser targeted ad group. I made sure to use phrase & exact match keyword types as broad match keywords tend to bring in irrelevant search queries, that is the problem the contractor previously had in the smart campaign which he had no control over. I show some examples of these below:

Crafted Highly Relevant Ad Copy

When crafting the ad copy, I kept the subject or theme in mind. I ensured the copy of the ad related to the queries (keywords) the user would type in & the content of the landing page. This is commonly known as message matching. These two things really helped keep cost down & ad position at the maximum. Here are some sample ads I wrote:

Setup Conversion Tracking In Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager

In this particular instance, I set up conversion tracking to record the results coming into to the campaign so Google has more data to work with & that I could use to optimize the campaign later on. I used an aggregate of various data types such as form submits & call tracking. Many people incorrectly set up conversion tracking & wonder why they don’t have accurate conversion data which makes it crucial to ensure the setup is correct. I use Google Tag Manager as its a pretty effective tool to setting up multiple tags on a website in a quicker amount of time. 

Optimizing The Campaign

Adding A Negative Keyword List

I decided to be resourceful. I used the data from the smart campaign to build a negative keyword list for the search ads campaign I built. Since the smart campaign was receiving so many irrelevant search terms, the biggest one being cement, I decided to add those keywords as phrase match to my negative keyword list. This mitigates the problem the contractor had with the cement leads coming in because anything associate with the phrase “cement” will be excluded by Google. Here is a snapshot of the negative keyword list:


The results for this campaign were astounding. Not only was I able to reduce the cost by 57% but I was also to increase the conversion rate by 267% while maintaining the conversion quantity.  

Campaign Results Side-By-Side Comparison

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the smart campaign results vs. the expert campaign I built:

November Results:
All-Time Results:


The El Paso, TX Concrete – Lead Gen expert mode campaign I built performed much more effectively & efficiently than the El Paso Concrete Contractors SMRT smart campaign did. Not only was I able to reduce cost dramatically for the advertiser, I was also able to increase conversion rates & lead quality as well by creating a good campaign structure. This is why its important to create a campaign that has proper structure because that will help you get better results. 

If you’d like to hire me to help you get increasingly better results & lower the cost of your Google Ads campaigns, please do not hesitate to contact me here.

Thank you for reading this case study!

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