BCN case study: The art of handling keywords (or how to reduce costs by a factor of 5)

Keyword management remains a fundamental aspect of SEA. Three watchwords: 1) Choose carefully. 2) Choose the right match type. 3) Optimise the budget. This is the recipe that allows us to multiply the number of leads by 13 in one year, with the cost per lead reduced by a factor of 5.


The context

Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise (BCN) promotes its various banking and financial services through campaigns on search engines. While the number of calls brought in by the campaigns had always been satisfactory, the number of actions carried out directly online was more limited, such as opening an account or ordering a credit card.

The goal

BCN aimed to increase the number of online interactions by reaching a qualified audience. The goal was to generate leads through the website’s various forms.

The strategy

When we took over the Google Ads account, it was in good overall condition. The structure was clear, and relevant ads and usage extensions were used. While some additions and modifications have been made to incorporate the latest best practices and new features, the bulk of the work has been done elsewhere: through managing keywords!

A first analysis showed us that although essential keywords were being included, they weren’t being used optimally. The majority of the budget was being spent on keywords with a “broad match”, and the corresponding search terms led to few conversions.

The strategy we put in place was to revise all the keywords, pause almost half of them, and opt for exact match or phrase types.

The account history also made it possible to exclude a large number of search terms that weren’t so relevant to the customer, such as queries relating to emergencies, the brand, and card blocking. This piece of work enabled a higher quality to be achieved.

The results:

From the first month of management in September 2020, we saw a significant increase in macro conversions. These are when forms are sent to utilise a service or make an appointment. Other conversion actions, including calls, were deliberately excluded from the comparison since the main objective was to increase the number of macro conversions.

Comparing the results for these macro conversions only over a period of one year before and after taking over the account, we found the following increases:

  • Number of leads multiplied by 13
  • Cost per lead reduced by a factor of 5
  • Spending increased by 2.8x

The number of incoming leads


Cost per lead



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