Case Study

B2B Digital Agency Uncovers 76% of Paid Keywords Drive $0

Maximizing Ad Spend Across Paid Keywords

When platforms are unable to see the entire end-to-end customer journey across all channels, or are reliant on 3rd party cookies and data for performance metrics, two things typically happen:

One: They lose track of which marketing efforts are actually driving revenues because either cookies are expiring, or consumers are switching between devices and platforms.

Two: They’re giving improper attributions to marketing channels because of their limited visibility into the entire customer journey across time, channels and devices.

When both things happen at the same time, like it did to this agency, they found out they were spending upwards of 59% of their client’s budget on paid keywords where at least 76% of them were driving as little as $0 in revenue.

The amount of detail at the keyword level was incredibly eye opening, and invaluable for growing our relationship with this client.” 


– Director, Paid Media


keywords driving $0 or less in revenue


budget allocated to non-revenue generating keywords


keywords driving 100% of paid ad revenues

Attribution in Complex Customer Journeys

On average, 70% of customers begin their journey on a search engine. And, with revenue attribution across the complex customer journey being complex, it’s no wonder that efforts actually responsible for revenue generation can get lost in the mix. Paid keywords can be the lifeblood of a company’s digital marketing revenue stream, so getting it right can be the difference between being found online or never at all.

Digital marketing agencies have tons of technical know-how when it comes to finding, buying and optimizing for the most valuable revenue generating keywords. The catch is that the value that those keywords generate can often be lost by conventional analytics tools or even overshadowed by incorrect attributions. Keywords that look like they’re performing incredibly well could actually be receiving the credit of other channels. But, when agencies are able to make decisions based on powerful, actionable insights – the results are game changing.

The Challenge

Digital marketing agencies deal with analytics and attribution platforms that have similar issues. Either they can only see snapshots of the customer journey across certain time periods, channels or eco-systems, or they can’t see which marketing efforts are actually responsible for revenue generation. These challenges tend to plague companies with complex customer journeys where consumers change devices, cookies expire, and the path to revenue isn’t as linear as, ‘click button buy item.’ Marketing efforts that should get credit for revenue creation end up losing attribution to channels further down the funnel while other efforts get more credit than they’re due. In the case of this agency, it was both. This resulted in 76% of paid keywords driving $0 in revenue for this client.

How can that happen?

Good question. As cookies expire, third party data decays, consumers switch devices, and parts of the customer journey are invisible to analytics platforms, it obscures the ability to see which channels are actually driving revenue. Some keywords look like they’re performing incredibly well while losing money, where others look like they’re under-performing when in reality they’re driving massive revenue multiples.

The Solution

Implementing the Click360 customer journey optimization platform gave this agency the actionable insight needed to turn the tables for their client. Once they were able to see which paid keywords were driving the highest Return-On-Ad Spend (ROAS), they honed in on those terms that drove meaningful revenues. By extension, they were also able to cut keywords that weren’t driving any meaningful revenues or even losing money. By dialing in the most valuable keywords, they knew not only where to allocate budgets, but also had actionable insight into which tested keywords should be scaled and which shouldn’t.

The Result

Optimizing for the most valuable revenue-generating keywords transformed this agency’s strategies. They allocated 80%+ of budgets to keywords driving 10x ROAS or higher, while also gaining insight into where certain keywords played into revenue generation throughout the entire customer journey. Some terms were great for prospecting while others were great for revenue generation. With this newfound insight, they were able to increase the clients ad spend 60% while maintaining a total ROAS of over 350%.

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