National Bankcard Services

Increased sales by 85%
Decreased CPL by 117%

National Bankcard offers credit card processing services for businesses. Working with mobile terminals, standard readers and even POS systems, National Bankcard provides solutions for businesses of all sized and needs.

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National Bankcard Services case study featured image
Industry B2B Services
Service Search & Shopping

Challenges & Goals

Several challenges arose while working with National Bankcard. NBC’s main goal was to reduce back-end CPA numbers while maintaining or increasing their lead and customer flow. In addition, one of their challenges that we helped overcome was to merge their data between their CRM system & AdWords to analyze queries by sales, not just leads both on leads and phone calls.

Approach, Strategy & Solution

Our first tasks were improving data readability and robustness and creating extra data point connections that would lead to smarter spend allocations and optimizations. We developed a document that combined CRM data to campaign and keyword level platform data, which let us track leads and signed deals back to the proper source. This required us to make sure we had the proper UTM parameters passed into the CRM. Then, by tracking site enter URLs to form fills, we were able to accumulate data by campaign, ad group, even keyword when necessary.

Call data tracking was our next area of improvement. When we started working with National Bankcard, call data was not being used effectively, there were a lot of holes in the setup, and the only distinction we could make was the site source of the calls. We dove deep into the call data and found several pieces of information that led us to create a link to the site source along with the keyword or creative that drove the call. More importantly, this link allowed us to track the outcome of the lead through the whole application and approval process, which was something the client was previously never able to do.

With new reporting in place, we were able to tackle the back-end CPA as well as front-end leads and CPLs. We began with a restructure that would maximize efficiency and work well with our new reporting set-up. Spend was directed to the campaigns and channels that showed the best performance in the back end, and it was clear that low CPL from the platforms did not always correlate to a low back-end CPA. The structure we decided for the client was based on keyword category as well as device. The categories were based on the service that the keywords related to, such as Credit Card Terminals, Merchant Services, Mobile Card Readers and more. The campaigns were also broken out even further by the keyword match type.

As always with a new structure, we set bids manually and optimized based on in-platform lead cost as well as back end CPA data from the leads that were generated. This optimization strategy gradually reduced both the CPL and the CPA. A few months later, we ran tests with TCPA or in our case TCPL bidding. Considerable success drove us to introduce several portfolio bidding strategies aimed at lumping together campaigns by CPL and letting us adjust with faster results. Once we hit more consistent and stable stretches, this strategy began to significantly increase performance. We eventually cut CPL by close to 50% and surpassed the client’s CPA goals.

Another important ingredient for success was consistent negative keyword pulls. After launching restructured campaigns, we went through search terms every couple of days in search of irrelevant queries along with queries that were good but much too expensive based on the results they produced. Maintaining this practice helped us not only eliminate tens of thousands of dollars of wasteful spend but also hundreds of thousands worth of potential future spend.

With our shopping campaigns, our main goals were the same as search. Improving CVR and CPL in the platform while also achieving lower backend CPAs. When it comes to structure, we built and implemented it as 3 campaigns with multiple ad groups. This type of advanced structure is effective for clients such as NBC, which offer a variety of product types/brands. Arranging products by ad group gave us tighter control over queries, bidding and budget. It also gives us the advantage of having product-specific negatives lists. The goal was to achieve multiple slots and dominate the ad space for higher profitability categories such as terminals followed by other products groups (POS, mobile readers). Feed quality and right bidding with use of back-end data were key for achieving multiple slots. With both reports combined, we managed to decrease CPL and CPAL across the board.


Decreased CPL by 117%
Decreased CPA by 95%
Increased sales by 85%
Increased average quality score by 34%