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The Power of PPC – 5 Case Studies

In today’s highly dynamic online ecosystem, many wonder if PPC is still viable. Can companies and brands get an ROI on their PPC campaigns? What are the challenges and the solutions to running successful PPC ads?

Here is a look at 5 case studies that show the power of PPC campaigns.

1. The Southern Sun Case Study

Southern Sun is a South African hotel chain and hotel operator. With the launch of their new website, previous organic search engine rankings were lost and there was an urgent need to bring up a steady flow of bookings despite the ranking loss, analyze user behavior & responses, as well as generate trust from search engines in order to get them up the search engine results pages.
Tsogo Sun

The Objectives

The goal was to increase the number of online bookings on the new site and target the international tourist and business travel market. A PPC campaign was needed in order to increase international traffic to the website and split-test conversions. The procedure undertaken included separating local and international traffic, brand and place-specific hotels, as well as special campaign offers and normal traffic. This allowed full control over budget allocation.

Campaigns were set up to test the best marketing message to see if different groups of people were influenced by different adverts. Landing page split tests were done while tracking the different stages of the buying process to see where drop-offs occurred.

The result?

The website received an average of 7500 clicks per month for the first three months. The split test revealed that the Southern Sun brand name was particularly popular in the local market and supplying a list of hotels in an area proved more successful. Generally, local responses had a 780% ROI over international at 430%. The conversion rate for the entire campaign increased by 125%, the CPC decreased by 67%, and there was an ROI ratio of 20:1 with a return of R20 for every R1 spent.

Takeaway:Continually test and optimize your presentation, test behavior, and attract enough traffic to avoid losing business.

2. The Payoneer Case Study

Payoneer is one of the largest and fasters online payment services. With the launch of their new service for professionals and freelancers, the company was a faced with a few challenges including

The Objectives

The objectives of the campaign included reaching potential users, introduce a new service that had no search inventory, and assess the product value over time. The KPIs for the campaign included users registrations, card activations, loading of money onto cards, and ongoing use of the cards.

A comprehensive marketing strategy was needed which started with in-depth research into how best to reach this audience. It included launching an array of landing pages that were constantly optimized based on collected traffic data.

The result?

Client acquisitions were in tens of thousands per month which exceeded expectations with a 4751% growth. The campaign covered over 200 countries and the business volume from this marketing strategy continues to grow.

Takeaway:Enable accurate evaluation of customer lifetime value in order to improve targeting and budget allocation.

3. The Confetti Case Study

Confetti is one of UK’s most popular sites for weddings accessories, ideas, advice, and planning. Retail campaigns were not achieving any tangible results and there was a lack of granularity in the campaign setup. There was also an over-dependence on the brand and a lack of accounts improvements at all levels.

The Objectives

A KPIs report that advised on problems encountered and solutions provided was needed. A highly refined keyword listing based on search volume and relevancy was also needed in order to improve quality scores. A/B testing was also conducted across different ad groups together with an effective retail campaign to identify best and worst performances.

It was also necessary to reduce campaign costs by lowering irrelevant and non-converting traffic in order to provide value.

The result?

Revenue went up by 42.58%, conversion rate was up by over 256.52% and an increased ROI of over 369.72%. The number of con-converting traffic went down by 59.76% subsequently resulting in a campaign cost reduction of 54.37%.
Takeaway: Increased transparency, commentary, and reporting in paid search campaigns results in improved KPIs and overall profitability.

4. The Cornwalls Cottages Case Study

Cornwalls Cottages offers holiday catering accommodation in Cornwall. It’s busiest times is during Spring and Summer. With PPC being one of their main traffic sources, it was important to continue driving traffic to its online resources and accentuate their unique marketplace offering.

The Objectives

With a busy staff, it was important to increase sales and profitability without spending a lot of time managing their online accounts. It was also necessary to increase the number of clicks at the same budget.

To accomplish this, they hired an agency to do a little housekeeping and add tracking codes to their website. These codes helped track enquiries, bookings, and better budget allocation. The account was expanded in order to capture clicks from all geographical areas. Campaigns, ad groups, and keywords were restructured to be more targeted and ad texts rebuilt to ensure the most appropriate redirections. Continued optimization of ongoing activity ensure the account was running at optimal levels.

The result?

Cornwalls Cottages management freed up time to concentrate on their core business. There was also an increase in quality traffic at a lower CPC.

Takeaway: Ongoing optimization through refining keywords and ad texts ensures you achieve the optimum traffic level for the spend budget.

5. The InterTrader Case Study provides stock indices, Forex, CFDs, and spread betting tools to trade in the financial markets.
With a competitive UK market that includes well-established firms, there was an negative effect on the average CPC and a low uality AdWords score.

The Objectives

It was necessary to raise the quality score by improving the CTR, have a much tighter control over keyword match variations, create and test new ad copies, and increase search engine rankings for its landing pages.

To achieve this, the search term, ad copy, and landing page flow was tightened around core keyword groups and ad copies were tested methodically.

The result?

There was increased CTR, decreased CPC, and an improved landing page positioning on SERPs.
Takeaway: Use of analytics is essential in order to achieve a higher CTR, more clicks, and lower the cost per click.


Whether it is to increase site awareness, boost traffic or deliver conversions, PPC is still one of the best ways to accomplish any or all of these goals. The above 5 case studies are proof that running a PPC campaign truly does deliver a high ROI.


Guest Blogger David Gitonga
Guest Blogger David Gitonga
David Gitonga is a full-time Web content creator and strategist working with various companies in developing and executing online marketing campaigns on social networks and search engines. He mostly works with small and medium-sized businesses looking to leverage the Internet to drive sales, innovation, and engagement online. Connect with David on Twitter and Google+ or through his website.