How we reduced conversion rate by 70% with the help of a Google custom experiment. A digital marketing case study of a bridal salon

Client: a bridal salon in New York, USA, an official representative of the brands WONA and Eva Lendel, focused on consumers higher than the middle class and custom bridal dress design.

The task: to target advertising at the interested audience (women aged 18-45), focusing on three directions: booking try-on appointments online, attracting offline visitors, and building brand awareness. 

Goals: launching an advertising campaign in a highly-competitive niche, testing strategies and audiences, generating at least 30 potential leads during a month.

Challenges: intense competition for ad impressions in the New York market, high cost-per-click, and limited advertising budget.

Project period: August 2021 — now.

A wedding is a special event in the life of any woman. She can start planning everything as a child: the style of the wedding party, the flowers, and the song for the first dance with her husband. And, of course, selecting the bridal dress will be an essential part of it all. Bridal shop owners know it best.

A bridal salon is a special place for a bride-to-be: dreamy, romantic, teeming with flowy fabrics. Bridal stylists are always ready to listen to the bride-to-be and suggest dresses that can suit her best.

Wedding advertising has always been exciting and highly competitive. When we started working on the advertising campaign for the bridal dress salon WONA in New York, we determined three directions:

  • brand advertising to increase brand awareness
  • advertising targeted at the potentially interested brides-to-be who are in search of their ideal wedding dress
  • Google Maps ads to help attract offline visitors

Case description

  1. Brand awareness

For starters, we analyzed the situation in the market and assessed competitors’ ads and offers and their value. Then we launched brand advertising for WONA and Eva Lendel,  brands our shop is an official representative of. This allowed us to work towards two goals simultaneously: show ads to audiences looking for dresses of these brands and compete with other shops already using brand advertising.

We set up a classic search advertising campaign: location — New York, target audiences — women aged 25-44 (potential brides-to-be) and women aged 55-64 (potential mothers of brides-to-be).

With the starting daily budget of $20, we selected manual bidding as the targeting strategy that allowed us to set a maximum price on the cost of someone clicking on our ads. Each ad group contains 2-3 text ads and 1-2 responsive search ads. We focused on the brand, custom-made dresses, and using images in the expanded search ads.

Results after the first month of Brand Advertising:

During 30 days, our text ads received 2789 impressions in Google search, 993 clicks and site visits, and 159 conversions, with the average cost per conversion of $2.23 and the conversion rate of 16.01%.

2. Classic search advertising

We gathered semantically related keywords connected with bridal dresses, categorized them into smaller groups to use in separate ad groups, and set up the campaign.

With the starting budget of $35, we went for Maximize Clicks as the bidding strategy that allowed us to set the maximum cost-per-click automatically. We targeted ads at women aged 25-44 and 55-65, including purchase intent and interests.

Results after the first month of advertising:

Our ads received 45,037 impressions in Google search, 2489 site visits with an average cost-per-click of $0.95, 84 conversions with an average cost per conversion of $28.12, and CTR of 5.53% (a bit low result). We started looking for ways to raise CTR and decrease cost per conversion.

3. Performance Max

In the fall of 2021, there appeared and started being actively used a new campaign type, Performance Max.


  • it allows you to simultaneously access all of Google Ads inventory from a single campaign: keyword-based search campaigns, YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.


  • it is in its beta test phase at the moment
  • it is 80% automated, which limits your actions: you can only determine budget, bidding, and audience segmentation. 

As a test, we launched campaigns targeted at interested audiences and custom segments by adding specific keywords.

The starting daily budget was $35.

An example of this type of ad:

Results after the first month of advertising:

The ads received 976,173 total impressions, 6578 clicks and site visits with an average cost-per-click of $0.14, and 270 conversions with an average cost per conversion of $3.43.

The second month of advertising. Time for experiments

We analyzed the first month’s metrics and goals we managed to achieve. We went on actively using Brand Advertising and Performance Max and determined two new challenges to focus on: 

  • a big part of visitors left the website while making decisions, so it was a reasonable solution to encourage them to visit the offline store to try on dresses and accessories
  • search advertising was expensive, with a high cost per conversion.

To avoid draining the budget by search ads, we decided to experiment with other types of advertising.

2.1. Local search ads on Google Maps

  • this type of advertising is directed toward offline visitors
  • it is essential to link ads to the store’s location on Google Maps.

We set up the first campaign, targeting ads at site visitors and similar audiences.

Results after the first month of advertising:

202 conversions with direction clicks for $1.71. 

2.2. Custom experiment

Google constantly analyzes advertising campaigns and gives recommendations for improving and optimizing metrics. One such suggestion was creating an experimental search campaign using broad match keywords. We are extremely cautious about this format since it usually generates massive amounts of irrelevant traffic. 

That is why, before setting up the experiment, we compiled a list of negative keywords to prevent showing ads to uninterested audiences. We launched the campaign with the same budget as the previous one and Maximize Clicks as the bidding strategy. 

Results after 30 days of the experiment:

The metrics have exceeded our expectations: within the same budget we received 134 conversions (instead of 84), and cost per conversion has dropped to $6.26 (instead of $28.12 in the campaign with a broad keyword match).

The experiment has shown remarkable results, so we continue working on and optimizing it.

Conclusions and recommendations

The wedding industry is an exciting and effective business segment characterized by intense competition, ample supply, and high value. The advertising approach should be well-thought-out, researched, and engaging. Even with a limited budget, it is worth experimenting and testing different hypotheses and ideas. This way, we managed to double clicks and conversions in two months.

The next step is to analyze the audience data, segment the audience more minutely based on  indicators, and launch advertising for competitors’ audiences.


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