Pay Per Click (PPC) Case Study

The Challenge offers passport assistance services to Canadian citizens in the United States. Sales from paid advertising using online channels had declined over the last 12 months and the CEO believed that more could be done to improve sales volume, and the variable cost of obtaining new customers. The team expressed concerns on quality of the ad copy being used in their campaigns under management of Reach Local. They also expressed concerns of how effective the automated bidding methodology used by the Reach Local advertising system was for their unique business. Additionally, they had concerns on the lack of actionable data they received from Reach Local. As a result, they entered the marketplace to find replacement services and a more complete solution to generating revenue through paid advertising.


Because of the lack of actionable data involved, benchmarks for lead cost had to first be defined before a recommendation of improvements could be made. There was no existing Adwords or Pay Per Click (PPC) account with conversion data (Reach Local does not provide this).

A goal analysis was completed to determine what company objectives were most important. Several strategy alternatives were identified that could be implemented with depending on what the goals of the company were.

  • Focus on volume and growth (lower initial profit margin or possible loss for the sake of expansion)
  • Focus on ROI by lowering the cost per conversion (high return on investment, but could potential cause a reduction in volume)
  • Combination of increase and volume and reduction in cost where opportunities were presented for quick improvement based on insights of the PPC team.

Additionally, a recommendation for split testing various ad copy and angles was given to increase potential sales volume in high converting marketplaces where 100% saturation had already been obtained. 100% saturation typically occurs in niche markets where the volume of business that could be won, is smaller than the budget capacity of the business attempting to win it. This occurred to as there are only so many Canadians in the united states looking to renew their passports online at a given time.

The Solution

The team decided to allocate 50% of the budget towards experimentation for finding new markets (growth). The other 50% would be focused in reducing cost per lead for the most promising markets that result in high conversion rates.

David Wolf of InBusiness, Inc. brainstormed with leaders of the company to identify advertising messaging that more clearly stated the value delivered by services with the goal of reducing unqualified clicks and increasing click thru rates. An advertising plan was implemented to purchase advertising directly from Google Adwords, and Bing Ads. This was done to gain clarity into what advertising was driving new customers and revenue, and introduce the ability to improve campaigns manually based on the information gathered from direct access to data and analytics (something that was previously missing). Conversion tracking was also implemented to properly track what keywords and placements were responsible for new sales. A remarketing campaign was also used to convert additional visitors into sales by increasing the number of brand impressions to qualified visitor without a dramatic increase in cost.

The Results

The result was a 210% increase in new business utilizing the same budget as before within 45 day period. A change to the ads used in the marketing campaigns caused a 350% increase in click-thru rates which increased the company’s visibility for its most important keywords. In addition, properly structured campaigns allowed for more granular bidding on placements in both the search and display networks. This enabled the ability to remove non performing ad placements and increase budget allocation to high performing placements. The combination of increased market saturation for converting keywords and placements with a lower cost per conversion resulted in the ability to expand the overall size of the marketing campaigns. had its most successful month in the history of the company 45 days after switching to PPC Management with InBusiness.

This graph shows the growth in conversions from PPC advertising as the campaign started. The drop of at the end is due to the time settings by week, and the end date of the chart being set to the middle of the week. .

This analytics charts shows the total number of sales on a weekly basis. The red circle indicates when InBusiness, Inc. took control of the account. The dip in sales before the red circle is what prompted the company to take action in finding a new vendor.


Note: Google Analytics data was used in this case study instead of Pay Per Click campaign data because no Adwords account existed prior to setup. This would result in the availability of no benchmark for comparison that would make sense on a graph. Prior to the change in management, determined its lead cost by simply dividing the total cost of advertising with ReachLocal, by the number of sales generated as a result.

<a href="">David Wolf</a> is the founder of InBusiness, Inc. He is also an avid entrepreneur. David is an avid reader, and an expert at SEO, PPC, and inbound marketing strategies.