Accelerate The Growth Engine

The Challenge

Responding To Change And Maintaining SERP Performance

AVADO offers a transformative learning experience with courses in digital transformation, digital marketing, people and talent, and accountancy and finance. They recently rebranded from Home Learning College, and as a result, found themselves in a Google SERP (search engine results page) that was already populated with competitors, many of which already had a high Google Quality Score. As the industry approached its peak business season, new paid search opportunities needed to be uncovered to help with the transition and to ensure AVADO did not lose footing among their competitors.

Google had already announced that standard ad formats would begin to phase out in the coming months, with an automatic change in the visual aspect already in motion. The deadline for the full changeover is February 2017 and according to some sources, it’s forecasted that more than 8 billion ads will be impacted by the change worldwide. With the deadline nearing, AVADO needed to act quickly to ensure they didn’t miss an opportunity with Google’s SERP.

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The Work

Controlled Testing And Measuring

We used AVADO and the online education sector to AB test standard text ads vs. the new and improved extended ads. This meant that we could measure the impact on core paid metrics, such as clickthrough rate (CTR), average cost per click (CPC) and online conversion rates.

The test ran across a controlled set of ad groups within the finance branch of the account, focusing on a select set of campaigns. The test took our top performing ads which served as our benchmark. We then tested it against similar messaging (with extended call-to-actions) under the new ad format.

The test ran between the old Home Learning College account and the new AVADO branded account. To help improve the Google Quality Score, we tested inline messaging with on-page content and call-to-actions.

The Impact

Increased Interest, Decreased Cost

Our AB test result showed that after a grace period between the structures, CTR across the ad copy was 5% higher compared to the original ad template, with similar average CPCs and conversion rates.

As a result of the test, we took the decision to change all the ads across the finance account to the extended ad copy template. In return, we saw the CTR increase by 9% across the account with the average CPC dropping by 13% (compared to the seven day period prior to the launch).

The majority of the increase in CTR came from mobile. This demonstrates that there was a clear benefit from the extra character limits, which dominated the mobile screen and pushed organic results further down the screen.

Despite the forced rollout from Google, it’s good to know that the change is having a positive impact on advertising campaigns and helping AVADO to once again retain its position across Google paid search results.



  • Paid Search
  • Performance Strategy
  • AdWords Account Structure & Best Practice
  • Brand Protection

Case Study / Modulr


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