Case Study Score - AboveX Digital Overview

SCORE

When using $400.000 per year is just the beginning.

About

SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors helping small businesses since 1964. The organization provides free in-person and online business mentoring, organizes webinars, local events, and maintains a sizable library of online business resources. SCORE has already provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.

  • Website: score.org
  • Location: United States
  • Cooperation period: 2018 – ongoing

Marketing Goals

  • Audit and reorganize existing Ad Grants Pro account
  • Raise the traffic relevancy
  • Increase the website traffic volume
  • Increase workshop signups and mentoring requests
  • Improve the interaction with online resources
  • Grow the number of event registrations

Success Metrics

  • Generate 200,000 relevant website visits in 2019
  • Bring in at least 9,000 new conversions in 2019
  • Increase the grant utilization to $400,000 in 2019
  • Bring the account to full compliance

Initial Situation

Score.org Ad Grants account has been managed by AboveX Digital since 2018. At that time, the organization had an existing Ad Grants Pro account and had thus access to a sizable $40.000 monthly advertising credit. The grant utilization was, however, barely reaching $25.000 and the organization complained about low traffic relevancy and a high number of completely irrelevant calls.

After the free initial audit, the reasons were clear – keyword lists were vast but not optimized, ad texts were vague, most ads were in old formats, conversion actions and bidding models were not set in a way to maximize conversions but rather to maximize the traffic quality. Due to this setup, the ads were frequently showing on non-related keywords, which was not just causing a low traffic quality but also endangering the account compliance with Ad Grants terms.

Impact of Google Ad Grants

AboveX Digital helped SCORE to rework and expand the account structure, optimize keyword lists, introduce new ad formats, experiment with different ad copies, landing pages, bidding strategies, and more. That, together with updated conversion tracking helped SCORE to maximize the efficiency of their Ad Grants Pro account, use over $440k in grant funds, generate over 215k website visits and most importantly track 9710 meaningful conversions.

Ad Grants campaigns generated in 2019 over 5% of total website traffic and produced more than 5% of all conversions, which, given the size and market recognition of the organization is a very solid result.

Conversion Tracking

Ad Grants campaigns are used primarily to generate visits and engagement on various business resource pages, downloads of business resources, and signups for startup mentoring and workshops. The conversion actions were configured in a way to enable us to understand the full impact of online marketing activities.

Here is what we track:

  • Downloads of business templates
  • Business mentoring requests
  • Workshop signups/completions
  • Volunteering signups
  • Donations
  • Event registrations
  • Contact initiations

Together with the organization, we’ve also estimated the values of each conversion based on their historical data, which helps us understand the incremental value driven by Google Ad Grants campaigns. A total conversion value generated by Ad Grants campaigns in 2019 exceeded $180k.

The Road Ahead

This organization has a strong educational focus. Ad Grants campaigns significantly contribute to the generation of new website visitors, content engagement, and business mentoring/workshops/event leads. That being said Ad Grants in 2019 became a key marketing channel for SCORE.

Encouraged by this success, SCORE decided to test commercial Google Ads campaigns in 2020 as a part of their marketing mix. We are currently testing banner retargeting campaigns and the results as far look very promising, especially from an ROI perspective. The plan is to add test more campaign formats and expand the targeting to new website visitors soon.

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