How to keep advertising simple and double your sales in 6 months

SquidFactor is a fast-growing start-up from Sweden offering service to prepare job applicants for aptitude tests. SquidFactor moonshot is to give people an individualized path to understanding (instead of just memorizing) just like having a thoughtful teacher by your side . The target audience of SquidFactor are private persons, or businesses helping people under such circumstances.

GEO: Sweden

Sources: Google Ads and Microsoft Ads (ex. Bing Ads)

Analytics: Google Analytics (e-commerce module)

Collaboration period: October 2020 to March 2021 (6 months)

year 2021:

  • Gaining new clients (subscribers).
  • Results are measured based on the first order made by the subscriber.
  • Basic KPI for the agency’s goals in Sweden were as follows:
  • increase the monthly number of first orders from a monthly low double-digit number in October 2021 to high triple-digit numbers by the end of 2021.

year 2021 Q2:

  • Begin finding subscribers in the United Kingdom and promoting the services on social media.
  • Begin promoting the services using video and banner ads on social media.

Involve the buyer in communication with the brand by creating a user-friendly environment for using and subsequently subscribing to the service (convenient, functional; different types of personal growth tests). As part of the tests, clients are provided with correct answers and explanations (for practice purposes), with educational webinars posted, and high-quality customer service.

Split the audience into ‘new’, ‘returning’, and ‘portfolio’ segments in making personalised offers.

Stimulate the ordering of services (using the e-commerce settings in Google Analytics).

SquidFactor confidently entered the advertising market. Together with the client we opted for search engines, because the target audience specifically employs them to look for the services provided by the client, and would be ready to use these services.

The first step was to install and configure an e-commerce module, and to adapt all advertising campaigns to it.

Installing the e-commerce module made it possible to do the following:

  • Use Google automation strategies based on Target CPA (target cost per acquisition);
  • Analyse the path of the buyer from signing up to making the purchase: general visit – filling in/closing the subscriber sign-up form – checkout – completed purchase.

Overall result in 6 months:

Revenue EUR

  • October 2020: the first month after the installation of the e-commerce module;
  • March 2021: 298% increase.

Number of purchases

  • October 2020;
  • March 2021: 263% increase.

Effect of ads on revenue and sales (%)

  • October 2020: 60% of purchases are made with the influence of ads (last and assisted purchases);
  • March 2021: 70% of purchases are made with the influence of ads.

The top 3 sought-after services are as follows:

  • Matrigma tests (which measure and determine your general cognitive ability);
  • Police tests;
  • Aptitude tests (which measure the ability of a person to achieve success in a certain activity).

The client inspected the website to determine if it meets the expectations of the audience before and during the advertising campaigns.

Different landing pages were A/B-tested:

Over the 30 days, the conversion rate for the second landing page (as compared to the first one) rose from 2% to 5.2.%, whereas ROAS increased from 108% to 131%.

The main purpose of the banner ads is to reach a new audience, and make current audiences return to the website.

CTR rose from 0.5% to 1.1%.

CPC reached EUR 0.29, which is considered to be a low cost for obtaining new clients on the Swedish market.

Choosing the marketing channels

In conjunction with the client we chose the following platforms: Google (incl. Google Search, Google Display, YouTube) and Bing.

Google ads

Structural changes in the advertising accounts

The primary important task was to structure keywords based on keyword groups, with the purpose of gaining maximum results from every group, using custom (adaptive) advertising texts for every group. Custom advertising texts are advertising texts that are adapted to user searches. The corresponding landing pages were attached to every group of custom advertising texts.

Automation of advertising campaigns

Different advertising automation solutions were tested, specifically: Maximize Conversions and Target CPA. We used Maximize Conversions initially, which made it possible for us to quickly reach the number of orders necessary for the automation system to have enough data for achieving further conversion rate goals. 3–4 weeks later we added the Target CPA automation tool, which makes it possible to control the CPO (cost-per-order) ceiling and increase the number of orders at the same time. This result led to a 298% increase in revenue, and a 263% rise in the number of purchases.

Manual advertising campaigns

A number of advertising campaigns were created and activated at the beginning of the promotion on the Google search engine, because the Maximise Conversions automation tool first collected data and was trained to understand the target audience, which is why it did not generate the expected result. 3–4 weeks in, all manual campaigns were discontinued, as the automated systems produced a significantly better result.

Google Responsive Ads (incl. on YouTube)

Different banner ads were tested. We came to the conclusion that the consumer has been spoiled and tempted by glamorous ads so much that they show little interest in impressive wow-effect-based ads, and pay more and more attention to the pragmatic side of the offer: ‘What do they offer, exactly?’ and ‘What do I get?’.

Ultimately, as a result of the tests, we chose Google Responsive ads with static images that show examples of the tests that could be done. The consumer sees examples of tests that would be available to them, and becomes a client.

We chose the Google Responsive ad type because it enables approaching a larger potential audience, and Google’s algorithms can automatically adapt these ads to the content of websites. All the ads contain a memorable call-to-action button (order a test).

For reaching users again, the audience was segmented, with the following lists of audiences:

– users who visited the website during the last 30 and 60 days;

– users with different interests related to personal growth, changing jobs etc.;

– users who quit the checkout form and did not buy.

Microsoft Ads (ex. Bing Ads):

This search engine is used by a very limited portion of the target audience in Sweden (approx. 2% of Google searches). About a month in, well-performing Google Ads campaigns were copied to Microsoft advertising accounts.

We only used Microsoft Ads as an additional option for reaching the audience. Its advantage in that CPA is 30% lower than with Google advertising; however, the resulting purchases make up for only 3% of the overall sales results.


  • The interest of the target audience in increasing their personal growth and testing their knowledge and abilities has grown during the pandemic. Many people found themselves in situations where they had to look for new work. All this boosted the demand and propelled the online growth of SquidFactor.
  • Visually impressive ads relying on the wow factor are not necessary for successfully selling products and services online. Online users are tired of them, in fact, and want to see specific offers that demonstrate the immediate benefits, such as an unboxing video that shows the product, or a video and images that show the service features available from within the client profile, which is what SquidFactor does.
  • Correctly setting up search engine advertising (Google, Bing etc.) account structures made it possible for the user to immediately find the latest information about prices and services, and be sent to the section with the specific service. This resulted in a decrease in the CPC (cost-per-click) and an increase in the number of ad impressions. A higher sales result was achieved with a lower advertising budget because the ads were closer to what the potential buyers were searching for.
  • Correct selection of marketing channels, sufficiency of marketing budgets, segmentation of the market audience, use of ad automation tools and continuous testing are key to succeed in online performance campaigns!

We’re very satisfied with WHAT Digital and look forward to keep working with you – your results with us so far has been great!

Johan Ranstam

Member Chairman, SquidFactor

Got questions? Contact us

To top