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PPC Advertising Case Study: Unitec

The web team at Unitec, Auckland's largest institute of technology, had more to do than it could reasonably handle. Among the team's many duties was managing the institute's pay-per-click search marketing campaigns, and consensus was that with professional management results could probably be improved.

When Unitec approached us for help, no-one on the Unitec Web Team had the time to optimise campaigns properly. Nor did they have time to keep up with ongoing innovations in product features and functionality and stay on top of best practice techniques.

We reviewed Unitec's Google AdWords account, and found a sizeable account that, on the surface, appeared to be performing well. But high quality scores and reasonable conversions were masking the real story. With a constrained budget and low impression share, ad spend needed to be more effective in generating non-brand search traffic. Importantly, improvements were needed in audience targeting, bids and budget allocation.

Our challenge wasn't just to make Unitec's paid search more profitable, while working with a limited online budget. For outsourcing to work for Unitec, we also needed to make sure that paid search outperformed previous results, even after including the extra cost in having a third party run the campaigns.

We revamped Unitec's paid search campaigns, with changes that included adding new ad creative and keywords, tightening match types, and optimising bids, budgets and distribution. Year-on-year, the improvement in results was dramatic: traffic increased by 122%; conversions by 194%, and cost per conversion (including our fees) was down 34%.

Unitec's team now had more time to focus on core duties, comfortable that search marketing was now producing the hoped-for improvement in results.

“Engaging SureFire to look after our search marketing was an easy decision and it’s proven to be the right one. As well as delivering great results they keep us up to date on industry trends and best practice. It's given me time to focus on other projects and marketing activities while knowing that our SEM is in good hands.”

– Chris Liew, Online Marketing Manager.

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