Royal Bank of Canada Makes Every Marketing Dollar Count

31 %
Reduction in CPA
33 %
Increase in Bing CTR
144 %
Increase in CTR


Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. It is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services, and capital markets products and services on a global basis.

In a highly competitive industry, where capturing the attention and fostering the loyalty of their customers is key, RBC has to squeeze efficiency out of each and every dollar of its marketing investment. With a robust search program already in place, RBC knew the key to continued growth was to improve the ROI of their existing paid search profiles and lower the overall cost-per-action (CPA) of their portfolio of campaigns. No small feat, given their search programs were already quite successful.


In order to maximize the efficiency of their overall search portfolio and attain their goals, RBC was intent on increasing search activity across all lines of business, while not sacrificing campaign quality or negatively impacting budget pacing over defined spend cycles. Without additional people resources, they were also very focused on driving as much efficiency in their processes as possible


To start, the RBC team enabled campaign mirroring on all critical paid search campaigns. This enabled them to increase both the volume and quality of the campaign improvements made to Bing, as well as reduce the overall time spent maintaining both channels. Campaign mirroring made it possible to sync recommendations from Google AdWords Opportunities to Bing campaigns without additional work.

RBC also looked for other ways to automate their optimization. First and foremost, they took advantage of bid policies like Skai’s Portfolio Optimizer (KPO) to automate the optimization of their campaigns, with a sophisticated algorithm that runs predictive models to maximize campaign results. They also leveraged Halogen to develop and control their spend pacing, based on Skai’s algorithm forecasts of the most opportunity during each budget period.

They used the Keyword Suggest report to drive weekly reviews of additional positive and negative keywords for upload via Skai Editor, to more easily expand campaign keyword sets to drive more clicks and online actions. The Keyword Cannibalization report was used to schedule weekly uploads via Skai Editor of negative keywords, to prevent overlapping bids (i.e., the same search term being targeted by multiple campaign keywords.) And finally, RBC used Skai to manage AdWords sitelinks, permitting their management at the profile level and creating additional opportunities for optimization while reducing the time spent managing similar sitelinks in multiple campaigns.


Results were impressive. RBC reduced cost-per-action by 31% and cost-per-click by 25% overall. They also were able to increase CTR by 144% by increasing clicks by 34%. Their Bing performance also improved, with YoY increases of 65% to 137% in clicks and 21% to 33% in CTR. As a result, their investment in Bing increased significantly. All of these great results were achieved while reducing the time to maintain.