How Maze Rooms Used Google To Drive Bookings, Reduce CPCs By 96%

For Maze Rooms, it's all about the customer experience online and in the physical world. The entertainment venue wanted to drive those searching online for new experiences into their physical locations, so it tapped a local search agency to drive foot traffic through bookings.

Escape games take place in physical rooms typically in strip malls. The goal is to find the way out of the room by solving puzzles based on themes within 60 minutes. In Los Angeles, the company offers two themes: a one-way train ride, and lunar mission to outer space. Rooms are equipped with cameras and microphones if players need help.

Founded by Natalie Lapidus and Ruslan Balashov, the two brought the escape room games concept to the United States from Russia. The concept began as a computer game, Escape the Room, first in 1994. Until recently, no one had tried to turn that computer game into a physical experience.

Arthur Yeranosyan -- founder at Geoklix Digital Marketing Agency, which specializes in paid media and search engine optimization campaigns -- began managing search campaigns for Maze Rooms in August 5, 2015.

Within the first month, Maze Rooms saw a positive return on investment. Now with more than 18,000 online conversions to date -- which means the number of people who actually booked a game from the Google AdWords ads -- Maze Rooms has seen conversion rates between 35% and 64.46%, depending on the month, the promotion and other factors. 

Success comes from ongoing campaign optimization related to manual and AdWords scripts, Web site layout and usability improvements, booking and checkout page simplification, and cross-device compatibility and responsiveness. 

The campaign reduced the average cost per click by 96%. The average click-through rate rose from 0.23% to 10.41%, and the invalid click rate fell by approximately 225% by actively monitoring incoming traffic and excluding IPs flagged for click rate or invalid clicks caused by bots or other artificial factors.

While Maze Rooms uses text- and banner-based ads that follow searchers throughout the Google network such as TMZ, CNN or eBay, much of the success in conversion rates came from the ability to book the game online.

Yeranosyan said Maze Rooms' previous Web site did not have all the tracking pixels, so the agency used heat maps to track movement on the their Web site. "We placed a mouse tracking system that records mouse moments and creates heat maps," he said. "You can see this in a visual playback."

Geoklix also changed the main navigation for the site to improve the way people find and book rooms, and began using something called the Google Consumer Survey to get consumer feedback. The survey pops up to ask visitors if they found what they searched for and whether or not they liked the experience.

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