Paper London PPC Trial

Gordon Folta

In this blog post we explore a recent PPC trial we have carried out for one of our clients called Paper London. The sustainable fashion brand was over relying on a single paid channel in order to drive conversions and brand awareness.



In order to fully realise and fulfil the brand objectives, the digital marketing team and Paper London underwent an initial discovery session where we identified target audiences, objectives and KPIs in order to make the PPC trial as effective as possible. Our approach was to help the brand set up a marketing calendar which outlined product drops and core product focus, and translate this into Paid Search activity.

We identified that the PPC trial activity should focus on the UK and Australian markets first, backed up by cross-channel performance trends. To maximise the available test spend, we narrowed down geo scope to best-performing cities in the two markets. For the two month period we included the product categories swimwear, sleepwear and outerwear. We were therefore able to target both southern hemisphere Summer customers as well as those in the northern hemisphere looking at outerwear. We phased the spend in an agile way based on observed results, which meant we were able to spend efficiently while generating a good return of investment.

We also wanted to support seasonal sales such as “Green Friday”, an initiative where the brand would plant a tree for every purchase of a certain product category, and the “New Year Sale” in January.

Our personal objective was to strive for a return on ad-spend of two. We hypothesised that the proposed PPC activity would help generate brand specific traffic as well as raise awareness to new potential customers. We were conscious that PPC could cannibalise SEO traffic so we stipulated that a combined search effectiveness needs to be incremental for the test to be successful.



In order to set up the Paid Search activity it was essential to lay the foundations of which product categories to focus on in line with any other marketing activity that was going on, such as organic social media activity or press releases. This was done in the form of creating a comprehensive marketing calendar which formed the basis of 2020/2021s marketing strategy. Vessy, our PPC specialist, then went on to select markets, products categories and relevant keywords to create ad copy that would ensure we meet the brands targets.

The set up of our Paid Search activity also entailed the creation of a Google Ads and a Google Merchant Centre account, ensuring that tracking is pulling all the relevant information to create supporting data for the performance of the ads.



Performance Breakdown

For our 2 month trial with daily observations and spend management we were able to achieve the following:

UK based Paid Search activity:

  • 287,544 Impr
  • 9,230 Clicks
  • 33 Conversions
  • 79% Impression Share

Australia based Paid Search activity:

  • 220,533 Impr
  • 4,915 Clicks
  • 14 Conversions
  • 90% Impression Share


Not only were we able to uplift conversions, but the brand was also able to harness valuable information about their product categories and the demand for these products.

A variety of text ads, shopping ads and display ads all contributed to both customer conversion rates and brand awareness. The data gathered from Google Analytics also gave insight into device usage, demographic breakdown & consumer interests.

Having earlier hypothesized that the brand keyword Paid Search activity may cannibalise organic traffic, we were proven wrong. In fact, the collaboration of the two channels meant we were able to uplift session share between the two channels by 131% compared to the same time period in the previous year, as well as increase transactions by 428% and overall combined revenue increased by 640%.

Based on the trial period we were also able to analyse path length conversion, and therefore gained an understanding of the consumer journey and how many sessions it took for a conversion to happen. This in effect also impacted the frequency of newsletter send outs.

Ultimately, for the duration of the trial period, Paid Search became the 3rd best conversion driver cross-channel and PPC activity achieved a 1.91 return on ad spend, which was very close to the hypothesised outcome and laid the groundwork for a following retainer relationship with Paper London.

The Paid Search trial period also faced a variety of macro trends that meant our agile & market-reactive approach had to be put to practise. Brexit and new Covid-19 restrictions meant our campaigns needed quick adjustment to continue delivering on our projections and brands expectations.


The collaborative approach we took during our Paid Search trial period meant the client is still harnessing strong results since then. The value added not only lies in the effective campaigns we supplied, but also in the strategic growth opportunities we shared as part of the knowledge we gathered through our data led approach.

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