Tuesday 19 November 2019

YHA - Paid Search Case Study

The Challenge

YHA is a charity with over 150 youth hostels in England & Wales that transforms young lives forever through travel and real adventure, opening their doors to almost 1m people each year.

During 2018 paid search performance declined across all campaigns. Impression share dropped off a cliff and revenue suffered. This was in part due to the rapid expansion of paid search bidding by online travel agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com.

YHA engaged us in March 2019 to reverse the slump in performance and to combat the growing market share of the OTAs.

The Solution

Our approach to improving the YHA accounts focused on building a solid foundation of keywords and ads, incremental changes based on data, and a series of test campaigns in different niche areas. 

The account we took over had many hundreds of ad groups across two accounts (including a Google Grant account). The quality of these ad groups varied enormously. Many had irrelevant keywords, generic or incorrect ad copy or had the wrong bid strategy to compete in search.

We isolated the best performing keywords and conducted our own keyword research. We also overhauled all the ad copy to make it relevant to the keywords and updating the proposition copy. We also added Responsive Search ads to the campaigns. After cutting large numbers of poorly performing campaigns, adding new campaigns and changing bid strategies and bid prices we started seeing some improvements in performance. 

The Results

After three months managing the account revenue was up year on year by 206%, from an increase in spend of only 10%.  The YHA's impression share also grew against competitor OTAs, resulting in a reduced cost per acquisition. 

“I’m delighted with the results achieved so far. We’ve not only seen a dramatic increase in traffic to the website and more accommodation sales, but we’re now making better use of the Google Grants account. This means we’re reaching more potential volunteers, funders and beneficiaries as well as families, friends and schools who could benefit from the charity in future.”
Jon Smith, Head of Digital, YHA (England & Wales)

Friday 2 August 2019

Top Christmas Ecommerce Tips

Once everyone is back from their summer holiday, Christmas will come around before you know it. Here are our top ecommerce tips for getting ready for Christmas.
  1. Mine Your Data - Your most valuable resource for deciding what you should do next Christmas is data you have from last year. Look at who bought from you and when in previous years.  Use this data to build segments for your email campaigns. Review what products you sold most of last year. Can these categories be expanded? Are there any categories that didn't sell well? Additionally, review which promotions worked the best; what times of year and what types of promotion were they?  
  2. Embrace PPC - You might not normally use PPC but at Christmas it can be a great way to cut through the competition and boost traffic and sales. Customers are more likely to convert at Christmas which means better margins than the rest of the year. Google Shopping feeds, Remarketing Lists and image ads can take time to get right, especially if you have to go through external developers and designers so give yourself plenty of time to set these up. 
  3. Optimise Mobile & Tablet - Sales made with mobile phones last Christmas grew 14% compared to 2015 and are set to keep growing. We would hope that everybody has a responsive mobile template by now, but are you doing everything you can to make it easy to buy from you on mobile? Adding simple payment solutions like Paypal can give your conversion rates a real boost. 
  4. Improve Conversion with Plugins - Basket Abandonment functionality and review software, like Feefo or Trustpilot, are proven to improve conversion rates. We've seen great results with both types of software. If you want to get the most out of these improvements before Christmas, you're going to have to get coding and testing soon. 
  5. Site Speed, Code Freezes & Hosting - Slow speed or site crashes can cause huge revenue losses in the lead up to Christmas. We recommend a 'code freeze' in Q4 to prevent any unexpected bugs and changes taking down the site during peak business. It’s also worth checking with your hosting providers to see how easy it is to scale up your hosting capability during peak times. 
Find out more about us here.

Friday 8 March 2019

Teamseer - Adwords & Digital Marketing Case Study

TeamSeer is a market leading absence management software provider. Their Adwords Campaigns - which were managed in-house - were losing traction and YoY performance was down.


Using Analytics we reviewed year-on-year performance and identified the factors that had changed that might explain the decline in performance. We also undertook Keyword Research to assess how relevant their 1+ year old keyword mix still was to the market.


Once we put the numbers on context we found that traffic levels had remained constant but the conversion rate had been slipping. We sat down with them and took them through our list of page improvement recommendations. There was a set of immediate campaign changes that would improve conversion and traffic relevance, as well as a list of longer term areas to improve and test. Particular areas for optimisation were bid price, ad copy and keyword relevance.


Improvements were instantaneous. The new bidding strategy and keyword work increased click through rates and conversions increased 80%.

Thursday 17 January 2019

Indigoblue - Digital Marketing Case Study

Indigoblue are leaders in Agile business transformation and training. They were looking for help with their SEO and PPC, and improving their overall web presence.

What We Did

We worked with Indigoblue to identify the core terms that defined their business. Having defined these terms we then used them to streamline their on-site keywords, as well as their PPC campaigns.
We also helped them transition to a new website. This included updating SEO elements, fixing crawl errors and redirecting old links to relevant new pages. Monthly 'mentoring' meetings keep the in-house web and marketing improvements moving forward.


We were able to transition to the new site with no loss of SEO ranking. In fact we have seen a 25% increase in SEO traffic YoY and a 20% increase in new users across the site. PPC traffic is up 47%, with costs down 17% compared to last year.
The increase in traffic has not been huge but there has been a change in quality and relevance of the traffic. This is the key difference. Our keyword research and on-site positioning for SEO means that the traffic is now more qualified and more likely to convert, meaning much greater value for marketing spend.
Our approach to digital mentoring would suit any B2B or B2C business that is looking for a sustained improvement in marketing performance, or that is looking to navigate their way through large scale changes such as a new website.