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Saas/Online Software Product Optimization Tips

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, Does anybody have any tips, best practices, lessons learned - what to do and what not to do when it comes to doing search marketing for a Saas (Software As a Service) product?

We have campaigns running worldwide and the KPIs are two folds - 1. Cost Per Signup - driving Signups for free trials 2. new Customer Acquisition Cost - generating new paying customers from free trials. However, there is a minimum of one month lag from the time a customer signs up for a free trial to the time the trial becomes a paying customer. So cost data for acquisition is one month behind and you can't optimize real time. Secondly, without this information in real time, we still need to drive volume for sign ups for free trials in the current month in order to convert enough trials into paying customers next month, so we can't hold back on spend in the current month, even when we have data that shows the previous month's cost of acquiring customer is high. 

Any thoughts would be much appreciated...



Saas/Online Software Product Optimization Tips

[ Edited ]
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# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

HI Rita.


I work for an agency that dealt with products that are 1. Expensive and 2. Long decision making (3 to 6 months)


You sell a long-decision-time required product. That means your customers need to do a considerable amount of learning and shopping before making the sale. This means the actual time of sale is really INSIGNIFICANT compared to the entire customer journey. You need to measure customer interactions with other channels (organic, direct, email, referral, calls) and customer interactions with your ads within the paid search channel (how many times they clicked on your adwords ads and over what period of time).


Here are a few tips from what I have learned.



Adwords Last Click attribute conversion to the keyword/ad when it is clicked. Not when it’s was purchased.

For Example: if someone clicks on your Adwords Ad on 9-3-2016 and then purchased on 10-1-2016. The Conversion will be attributed to the keyword/ad for 9-3-2016 in Google Adwords.


Google Analytics attribute conversions WHEN the purchase is made.

For Example: if someone clicks on your Adwords Ad on 9-3-2016 and then purchased on 10-1-2016. The Conversion will be attributed to the keyword/ad for 10-1-2016 in Google Analytics.


I think you should explore these two options AND other linear attributions so that you can evenly distribute a conversion point to all Adwords Keywords and Non Paid Search Channels over the course of the purchasing decision.


For Example if someone clicks on your Adwords Ad on 9-3-2016. Comes back Organically on 9-4-2016 and signs up for more information. Clicks on another adwords Ad on 9-21-2016 and finally makes the purchase from a referral link on 10-03-2016.


Linear model in adwords will assign 0.5 conversion to 9-3-2016 and 0.5 on 9-3-2016 (retroactively added after the purchase is made on 10-03-2016)


Linear model in Google Analytics will Attribute 0.25 conversion Paid Search to 9-3-2016, 0.25 conversion to Organic on 9-4-2016, 0.25 conversion Paid Search on 9-21-2016, and 0.25 conversion Referral 10-03-2016


  1. Conversion Time Window and Reporting Window


Start Reporting (or provide supplemental reports) on time period equivalent to the amount of time it takes for an average customer to convert. (2 months reports, quarterly reports?)


  • Reporting Metrics and Optimizations Metrics.


You also need to be clear that the metrics you use for reporting doesn’t have to be the metrics you use for optimization.  For example. If management request clicks on reports doesn’t mean you can’t optimize to a linear/U shaped attribution to use for optimization for better overall optimizations across your adwords campaigns or even your entire accounts.


Good luck!