Search Engine Marketing: Decorative Hardwoods Association

Decorative Hardwoods Association (DHA) is trade association that helps connect consumers to high quality wood products. In 2017, we developed a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign for DHA to promote the association’s new website and to drive traffic to their most important resource: a PDF catalogue that highlights member organizations selling high quality hardwood products.

1 month


$1.04 cost per download


In order to set the campaign up for success, we held a kick off meeting to learn about DHA’s key audiences, how Google Ads will fit into their overall digital strategy, understand what content is most important, and determine key performance indicators for the account.

Based on our conversations with DHA, we decided to structure the ad campaigns around three key products: hardwood plywood, wood veneer, and engineered hardwood flooring. We used downloads of their most important resource - a PDF catalogue that highlights member organizations - as our key metric.

Keyword Research

Before we launched the campaigns, we spent significant time on keyword research to understand search trends. We wanted to find specific, relevant, high-traffic keywords for each of DHA’s products.

During our research, we found that there are nearly as many people searching for “oak veneers” as “wood veneers.” This led us to develop ad groups for specific types of wood: oak veneers, teak veneers, maple veneers, etc. This specificity encourages clicks and drives high-quality traffic.

Google Ad

Ongoing Optimization

Once the campaigns were set up, we set a regular check in and reporting schedule with DHA. Our clear metric for success - PDF downloads - allowed us to measure success and recommend improvements.

When we started the campaigns, the cost per PDF download was $1.57.

Over the following months, we made a number of optimizations to decrease the cost per download. This included:

  • Use A/B testing to find the ad copy that leads to the most PDF downloads.
  • Prioritize platforms with a lower cost per download (i.e. desktop over mobile).
  • Add Site Links to the ads to help users access the PDF directly from Google’s search results.

After several months, we decreased the cost per download to $1.04.