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Why We Offer Free Tools & What We’ve Learnt By Doing It

October 30, 2019
written by Amber Dawson
Copywriter

There’s nothing worse than being faced with a tedious, manual task.

TL;DR

  • Adzooma has just launched its new suite of free reports.
  • Our old Health Check was good but needed improvements.
  • We discovered what these were based on feedback and frustrations.
  • Main issues were lack of trust, a convoluted journey and reports feeling separate to the platform.
  • Our new reports give you more and are free forever.

But in our glorious online age, no matter what you’re doing, there’s often a tool that can help you out. 

So, you find the perfect tool online. It’s exactly what you need for this occasion, but there’s one problem. You need to sign up to a £20 a month fee to even access it. £20 a month for a tool that you’re not even sure that works.

It’s beyond frustrating. 

We believe that tools like this should be free. 

So, wanting to practice what we preach, we built a lifetime suite full of free ones. And, we thought we’d share some insights into what we’ve learnt along the way. 

Our first tool was called the Health Check. It gave you an overview of your Google Ads account in less than 60 seconds. It was free, quick to generate and highlighted how you could make improvements to your campaigns. Great stuff.

However, we were simply showing people what was wrong with their accounts and then telling them Adzooma could fix it for them. And although we were proud of our software, it wasn’t exactly helpful. So after a little bit of self-reflection, we went about making something better – not just a tool that users thought was just there to sell our own product.

Since then, we’ve made replaced our Health Check as well as expanded our offering. Now, you can find a wide range of reports, covering various aspects of Google, Microsoft and Facebook Ads accounts, all of which provide useful information that you can action immediately. So, our users get value with no catch whatsoever.

Let’s see what we’ve changed and why we think this works much better for our audience.

Our health check

The best tools incorporate a gateway into the product you offer – like a teaser. Our Health Check was a great little tool which aimed to save you time, money and effort, all for free. Not bad (if we do say so ourselves). 

We hoped to show potential customers just one part of what our software could do. Then signposted them to our free trial so they could unlock the full power of the Adzooma platform for their campaigns.

But, looking at our feedback, we found our Health Check was lacking. Our journey was a bit too long. The report felt separate to the platform and it looked a little like we’d only made it to get people to use our product.

This was reiterated by the fact only 9.45% of people that generated a Health Check became paying customers. So what was going wrong?

The name

Starting with the basics, we named our free report ‘The Health Check’. We figured that this was pretty self-explanatory; it does what it says on the tin and gives you an overview of your PPC account’s health.

As time went on though, we found that actually there was confusion. Particularly amongst customers from other countries. In the US, people mistook a Health Check for a check on their own health. Back to the drawing board.

Our new report is called the ‘Performance Report’ which reports on your campaign’s performance. Easy. Let’s just hope no one confuses it with a fitness performance report…

We’ve also expanded our offering to include a:

  • Funnel Performance Report
  • Quality Score report 
  • Best/Worst Performance Report
  • Cross Channel Comparison Report
  • KPI Trends Report

… all of which do exactly as they say. 

The problems

On to the bigger problem, we weren’t helping the user. 

Why? Well, we’ve boiled it down to the 3 main reasons.

1. Users didn’t trust the platform enough to share their data

This is always going to be a big hurdle. After all, if you make your living managing campaigns, you’re not just going to give away your account details to anyone – particularly if they belong to clients.

There has to be a pretty big benefit to hand over that golden key. And we admit, we didn’t go far enough to reassure people that we weren’t going to use their data for anything other than to provide them with a helpful report – for free. Sometimes things can seem a little too good to be true. Like when someone offers you something for a lot cheaper than expected, rather than being happy, you’re naturally wary.

As a Google Premier Partner, we hoped that prominently displaying the logo would be enough to show people we knew our stuff. But now we realise this didn’t go far enough.

We don’t ask for card details, we don’t share your data, we don’t do anything untoward. So why weren’t we saying that? Oops.

 2. The journey was too convoluted

Secondly, the journey was much longer than it needed to be.

In order to benefit from our free tool, people had to travel a long road.

From start to finish, it looked like this:

  • Clicked on a PPC ad for an account Health Check
  • Filled out a landing page for the Health Check
  • Got “onboarded” (they let the Health Check connect and analyse their Google Ads account)
  • Got told Adzooma is a quick and easy way to fix the problems identified in the Health Check
  • Onboarded to the Adzooma platform, and got a free trial
  • Inputted their card details, and paid

So whilst we were trying to help customers, in fact, we were just getting them very lost. 

3. The Health Check felt different from the product

The Health Check looked very different from the Adzooma platform. So if people had come from a branded Adzooma page, it was a jarring experience. And consistency is really important when you’re trying to show someone you’re there to help them, not scam them.

And going back to problem one, when asking people to share important things with you, you need to do everything you can to get them to trust you.

What we’ve changed and why

Now, we’re offering an entire suite of reports. The lead report is our Performance Report giving you a complete analysis of your PPC campaigns in under a minute.

We’ve changed the layout of the report so it’s easy to digest. You get an overall score out of 100. Then things are simply broken down into either “yes you’re doing it” or “no you’re not” with ticks and crosses which makes it easy to see where to start.

Going freemium

We now operate on a freemium model: all the reports are free forever. So, as soon as you create an account you’ll always be able to generate and access our full range of reports without having to pay anything. 

We’ve found this works much better for our audience as it means they get something of value, whether they currently use Adzooma or not. It’s entirely up to them if they use our product, we just hope they get value from anything that’s built by us.

What’s included and where they live 

We’ve also integrated our reports so they feel very much a part of the Adzooma platform. This makes it a lot easier to take advantage of our free trial to make improvements, but also hopes to reduce the number of people who leave because it feels like a separate experience.

Currently, we offer 5 different PPC reports. We’ve also simplified the user journey. Now, people come from an ad to a landing page then straight into making an account. Easy.

More importantly, the reports are helpful by themselves. 

Before, we were showing people what was wrong with their campaigns, but then asking them to use Adzoma to fix it. Now, they get value with no catch whatsoever.

Every aspect of your account that gets tested comes with some blurb underneath to state what’s being checked, why it’s important and how to make changes.

For example, before we showed people data such as their Impression Share percentage. But this wasn’t very helpful by itself; it was just an average and didn’t make it obvious what to fix. 

Now, we test for higher-level things such as your Impression Weighted Quality Score. This takes into account how things are distributed to give you a better insight on how your budget is being spent. It also makes it much easier to changes. As your CPC drastically increases as Quality Score falls, knowing this figure can help you identify where your issues lie simply by sorting your keywords by the number of impressions. This will highlight any low Quality Scores. 

It doesn’t just say something is wrong; it tells you exactly what you can do to start to fix it. It’s letting you take immediate action. 

Constantly improving

As you can see, our journey to the free tool we offer now hasn’t been a straight line. But, we feel like we’re constantly improving things for our users.

Our free reporting suite now offers more than ever before.

You can use it to:

  1. See at-a-glance how your campaigns are performing
  2. Identify where you can make improvements
  3. Find a clear action plan of how to make changes

Try our free reports here and see things for yourself.

Author
Amber Dawson

I studied English at Exeter University and have a Creative Advertising Masters from Falmouth. I spend most of my time reading and have rainbow coloured bookshelves. As a content strategist, I use crayons, research and my understanding of The Simpsons to shape customer narratives and create content experiences tailored to Adzooma’s target audience.' LinkedIn
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