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If Google Search is an online doorway to your customers, then you can either knock timidly on it or kick your way through. In e-commerce, these two methods correspond to SEO marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising respectively; both are effective in attracting people to your website, but the time frames differ considerably.

We used to do very little PPC until a couple of years ago. Instead, we focused mainly on on-page SEO and link building through blogs, guest articles and creating other types of content. Sure, we always kept an eye out for the latest Google AdWords (as it used to be called) and paid search marketing developments, but that was it.

Things have changed a lot since then. 

Google Ads campaigns are an important part of our work today; they have enabled several of our clients to achieve considerable gains in the number of website visitors and conversions recorded, in a relatively short span of time.

Client success stories with Google Ads

While SEO and excellent content and links to help on-page factors are important, they take time to create and nurture. Doing all that in tandem with a well-structured Google Ads campaign will return better and quicker results. 

If your brand has zero visibility on page one of the search engine results page (SERP), with Google Ads you pay for it and get it almost immediately. And if you do have visibility in the top five links of the first page of a SERP, with paid ads you instantly double the screen real estate your site commands.

Retail giant pulls in half a million views at 10% conversion

Increase in Online Orders


We flipped the switch on this PPC campaign in April 2019; since then the ads we published have been clicked over 7,000 times and resulted in a 38.2% increase in online orders for the same period in the year before.

A particular text ad focused on the international brand in question has a click-through rate of 40%, meaning that 4 of every 10 viewers of this ad ended up clicking on it. Certain brand and product keywords registered a conversation rate of 10% from search to purchase. 

Luxury Valletta restaurant whets the appetite with targeted ads

This search ad campaign has been running since February 2019 and racked up 2.1 million views and 28,700 clicks for a total cost of €1,250. Video ads have been viewed over 200,000 times. Keywords related to the restaurant’s name and location performed at a 35% click-through rate (CTR).

In this case, we have used intelligent ad targeting based on predefined user affinities, so meat lovers see an advert with a meat dish while people with a sweet tooth get an ad for a dessert.

E-commerce website nabs PPC deal at 0.30 per click

Million Ad Impressions


This particular campaign was exceptional in many ways, not least in that we actually had to tell the client to stop investing more money than the allocated budget since our analytics showed that a bigger spend didn’t correspond to more sales. This is the beauty of a data-driven campaign, where every detail is carefully tracked.

Over a period of 14 months, we registered around 40 million ad impressions and 127,000 clicks at a cost-per-click (CPC) of under 30 cents on average. A number of text ads had a conversion rate of over 50%!

Notably, we also ran a pay-per-conversion campaign in which the client only paid Google for an ad when someone clicks on it and completes a purchase. We got to the point where such a campaign made sense because we had amassed lots of data and had a well-structured account with data sharing across various platforms.

Sightseeing company lands 7% CTR with bare-bones campaign

Clicks for €1000


Clear proof that you don’t need a big budget to run a successful paid search marketing project, this account was able to get 540,000 views and 6,000 clicks — all for €1000. Over four thousand new users reached the agency’s booking page through the adverts displayed on search results. On certain ads, from search to booking page, the CTR recorded was 7%.

Healthcare provider finds a branding tonic in paid search marketing

This client had never run ads on Google and had abysmal SEO, with zero page structure or markup for SERP. Over seven months, we managed to turn everything around and make this into a PPC success story: with 332,000 ad views and 8,000 clicks, and a cost of €350. 

The cost per click averaged at just €0.05.

A simple and well-written explanatory text ad was the champion of the search campaign, having a 20% CTR. Using brand keywords only in the search campaign and supplementing with smaller search and display campaigns pushing specific promotions proved to be a great success for the ailing health of this client’s website, and proved to be a great stop-gap in the time needed to design a new website. 

Google Ads: Rocket fuel for your online business?

Digital creative agencies like to make bold promises about your chances of overnight success with Google Ads. And the results can be dramatic indeed, as I showed with our own experiences of paid search marketing. 

But it takes more than throwing money at Agency X and Google to get there. What we’ve learned since we started doing PPC is—like any marketing channel—you need the right combination of technical expertise and creative insight to reap all its potential.

Ready to launch your first Google Ads campaign with Systemato? 

Send us an email with the details and we’ll be in touch. While our team handles the technical stuff, we suggest to strap in tight and prepare for lift-off. 🚀

Mark Debono

Author Mark Debono

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