Google Ads for Kayak Tours – 648% ROAS

Google Ads for Kayak Tours case study

Google Ads for Kayak Tours –  audit, setup and management

The subject of this case study is the audit and implementation of Google Ads for Kayak Tours company based in Wisconsin.

Despite having a well-designed website and numerous reviews across various platforms, the company was struggling with the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

The client approached us with a clear problem: their campaigns were not performing as well as they had hoped.

Services Utilized: Google Ads Audit, Google Ads Setup, Google Analytics Setup, Landing Page Audit

Problem Statement

We spotted numerous problems at first glance. There were campaigns that had been set up poorly and no conversion tracking.

However, on the part of the client, Google Analytics was set up well enough to allow a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 138% for each and every campaign. Hence, it was clear that it needed some improvements.

As such, it means that I had to combine information manually because Google Analytics never linked with Google Ads.

Initial Strategies and Actions

To do a thorough audit of Google Ads and the landing page was our first move. After identifying several weak points, we came up with a plan on how to address them.

  • Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 Linking: We connected Google Ads to Google Analytics 4, so that the ads can see conversions then algorithms optimize better. As such, this integration provided us with valuable data that we could use to improve the performance of our campaigns.
  • Optimization for Website: Because the site had high mobile traffic rate (84%+), we prioritized fixing the mobile version of the website. We identified and resolved issues related to mobile responsiveness, page load speed, and user experience. This would ensure smooth browsing for mobile users which is important for conversion rate optimization purposes.
  • Conversion Tracking Setup: To do this, we set up conversion tracking accurately to measure how effective these campaigns were. This enabled tracking key metrics like conversion rate and ROAS thus making data-driven decisions for improving campaign performance.

These initial steps laid a foundation upon which our further actions in optimizing Google Ads campaigns were based upon in addressing those major challenges that our audit showed us about it as well as other changes implemented in following steps.

Before starting the work, we conduct a thorough audit to assess what has already been done and, utilizing the accumulated statistics, create a detailed improvement plan.

Results of Initial Actions

While setting up new campaigns, we decided not to stop the previous ones. Interestingly, our actions had a positive impact on the old campaigns as well, which started to perform slightly better. The ROAS increased to 236%, and we observed an increase in engagement rate and engagement time.

Further Steps and Strategies

We were able to optimize our campaigns by taking some subsequent steps immediately after these initial actions.

  • Keyword Research: We engaged in extensive keyword research using SEMrush, competitor analysis and Google’s keyword planner. This led us to identify 410 related keywords which was a significant increase from an initial 20. On top, we revised the negative keywords list through comprehensive study and historical search term data, growing it from 9 up to about 500.
  • Campaign and Ad Group Organization: The key words were then divided into six campaigns and twenty-four ad groups thus making the account-campaign-ad-group structure more organized and relevant. Through this structure, we were able to target specific audiences better and run manage campaigns more easily.
  • Ad Creation and Optimization: We wrote 48 new pertinent ads for each ad group that used keywords, calls to action as well as company benefits amongst other things for clients. Moreover, four new assets were included while old ones had been fixed. This made sure that our advertisements became compelling, appropriate and effective in creating conversions.
  • Retargeting Campaign Optimization: We rearranged the retargeting campaigns, turning off low-performing audiences and focusing on regular retargeting directly for website visitors. This allowed us to re-engage visitors who had previously shown interest in the client’s services, increasing the chances of conversions.
  • Display Schedule Implementation: A new display schedule was implemented: standard display during business hours and reduced-rate displays during off-peak hours. This ensured that our ads were displayed at the most optimal times to reach our target audience.
  • Geographic and Interest-Based Targeting: Our optimization strategies focused on capturing all targeted traffic in the customer’s location and expanding reach to people from nearby locations and states interested in kayak tours. We used broader keywords and display ads for this purpose. This strategy allowed us to reach a wider audience and attract potential customers who were already interested in kayak tours.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Optimization: Google Ads is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It requires continuous monitoring and optimization to maintain high performance. We regularly reviewed the campaign performance data and made necessary adjustments to ensure that the campaigns were always performing at their best.

Additional Improvements

These steps and strategies led to significant improvements in campaign performance. We saw a 69.29% increase in clicks and a doubling of the conversion rate from 2.09% to 4.05%. Conversions increased by 228.72%, and revenue increased by 200.78%.

We also made additional improvements such as integrating UTM tags to facilitate tracking in external analytics systems and increasing bid amounts for desktop platforms due to their superior performance and ROAS potential.

However, not all campaigns performed well. Campaigns using broader targeting on sea rch didn’t yield satisfactory results, as people from distant locations have a much longer decision cycle. In this case, display ads were more suitable. We turned off our testing search ads for other locations in favor of display campaigns.


Google Ads for Kayak Tours  can bring amazing results. In the end, we identified two campaigns that drove 90% of all conversions with a remarkable ROAS of 648%. This case study demonstrates the power of thorough auditing, strategic planning, and continuous optimization in improving the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns.

It’s important to note that Google Ads is not a “set it and forget it” tool. It requires constant attention and optimization to achieve and maintain high performance. The results we achieved in the first two weeks after the start of the new campaigns are a testament to this. We managed to increase the ROAS from 138% to 648%, significantly exceeding the client’s initial target of 500%.

However, we believe there is still a lot of room for improvement. We have identified new growth points and insights that will allow us to further outperform the client’s initial expectations. Our work continues as we strive to further optimize the campaigns and deliver even better results.

In addition to Google Ads optimization, we also developed a plan for landing page optimization. The client’s development team is currently working on implementing these improvements. We anticipate that these landing page enhancements will further boost conversion rates and ROAS, contributing to even more impressive results in the future.