In an industry embracing eCommerce at an alarming rate, our outdoor fishing retailer was relatively new to Google Shopping, and after a few month, they were experiencing unsatisfactory returns on their ad spend. As a re-seller of fishing goods (baits, lures, rods, etc.) margins are inherently rather thin; averaging 20%-30% across most of their popular product categories. Due to low margins, the campaigns were only advertising their most popular and most profitable products. Despite advertising the most popular products from their brick and mortar retail location and eCommerce organic traffic, there were very few sales attributed to Search Engine Marketing.

Our main objective was to determine why products that performed well in other channels weren’t selling at the same rate, from their Search Engine Marketing efforts. According to the data, the products being advertised were the most likely to drive sales online. Not sure that the current product selection was attracting the right type of user, we needed to find a solution that would attract similar traffic numbers at a better price and also increase total sales numbers.


Upon taking over the account, we immediately dug into the data, understanding their product mix, performance data, and potential areas for improvement. We found that the actively promoted products were exclusively comprised of all rods and reels priced between $200 – $1,000. Digging into the behavior of the users directly attributed to these specific Search Engine Marketing campaigns, we found an interesting trend.

We found that users being brought to the site by the current set of products appeared to possess little purchase intent; acting as window shoppers. Taking at look at site engagement metrics, such as time on site and pages per session, users were spending 1- 2 minutes on the site, but only looking at one page on average, before exiting. When these users completed a purchase, it was often for products at a much lower price point than the product that originally earned the click. Since the account was bidding on highly competitive, high CPC products, their bids were rather high and acquiring a window shopper was costing as much as $5, all to generate a session in which a purchase wasn’t completed.

With a better understanding of how consumers were shopping, we created a new structure that emphasized products with higher click through rates and lower costs per click. This new structure would allow the account to generate a higher number of clicks, at a more inexpensive cost per click, while allowing us to improve our total number of impressions, and get more mileage out of their monthly budget. By increasing impressions and clicks on lower priced items like baits, there was a better chance to attract customers to the site and make a purchase, than other searchers looking at $500 fishing rods. Additionally, earning these customers allowed our client to capture their first party data, and use this data in their other marketing channels, thus increasing lifetime customer value.


Once we completed our account changes, the performance of the campaigns experienced dramatic improvements. After the first month, impressions and clicks more than doubled, when compared to the previous month. Also, in our first month, revenue increased by 165%, when compared to the previous month.

Comparing May – September 16 to October 16 – March 17, the impact of WTM Digital’s changes were even more dramatic. Total conversions increased by 498% and there was a 488% increase in total revenue from AdWords.

While seeing large gains in conversion metrics, our client also experienced a 19% reduction in the cost per conversion. After implementing the new campaign structure, the account is more profitable than it’s ever been before.

Case Study Highlights

Industry: Outdoor/Fishing


  • Increase total number of conversions and conversion rate
  • Increase total online revenue


  • Increased AdWords Sales by 498% vs. previous period
  • Increased AdWords Revenue by 489% vs. previous period
  • Deduced Cost Per Sale by 20% vs. previous period