In Dogged Pursuit of Success: 3+ Years of Growth with WordStream Advisor

May 3, 2018

Way back in 2015  Koru K9 Dog Training and Rehabilitation in San Francisco, California partnered with WordStream to improve the quality and volume of leads driven through paid channels.

For the better part of three years, they’ve done just that. And they’re not the only ones who’ve grown.

customer spotlight

Since Koru K9 came on board, WordStream has changed immensely, expanding beyond paid search and refining Advisor to become the cross-platform ad management tool for small and medium sized businesses.

We decided to check in with our favorite canine-loving customer once again to see how the changes to WordStream Advisor have continued to contribute to the success of their business.

But first…

What Led Koru K9 to Try WordStream Advisor?

In the beginning, theirs was a familiar story…

After rescuing and rehabilitating a puppy who’d suffered trauma early in her life that led to behavioral difficulties, Ray and Bridget Murphy--the owners of Koru K9--decided to leverage their experience as a unique selling point and start a business. Because it can take months (or years) to grow through word of mouth and organic search alone, they turned to PPC advertising for leads.

But they were too busy, you know, running their business to learn the nuances of paid search.

Of course, that didn’t stop them from giving it a go (and nearly giving up). They were spending around $2,000 a month on AdWords without seeing any improvement in lead flow or quality. Unsatisfied with the initial results and desperate to do more without spending more, a fortuitous Google search led Bridget to give Advisor a shot.

Immediate Improvements

“When we first became a WordStream client,” says Bridget, “we had 26 new private, in-home clients, and 6 Board and Train clients (that was our first month taking board and trains).”

Right out of the gate, Koru K9 found success thanks to the structure and simplicity of the 20 Minute Work Week.

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By restructuring campaigns to align with the location-driven nature of their business and adding negative keywords to eliminate costly search queries, Bridget saw an immediate uptick in lead quality without increasing spend. By scaling back wasted ad spend and improving conversion tracking on lead-generating landing pages, Koru K9 was able to improve their close rate by 10%!

To further optimize their AdWords account, Bridget worked with her CS rep (and eventual Premier Consultant) to test ad copy, increase click-through rates, and expand into channels like Bing and Facebook. This evolving partnership helped to refine Koru K9’s online advertising strategy which, in turn jump-started business growth in a big way.

Fast forward to 2018...

Growth, Accelerated

When they first joined WordStream, Koru K9 had a total of three trainers operating exclusively within the confines of San Francisco proper. Now, says Bridget, “we cover the entire Bay Area, as well as Denver Metro.”

“Today, we have 13 trainers, plus my husband (who is more focused on expanding the K9 business vs. taking private clients these days): I also have an assistant now, which is freeing some of my time for other projects, like marketing.”

Obviously, the money to 4x headcount didn’t fall from the sky; by making ad spend work more efficiently and improving both volume and quality of leads, Koru K9 has been able to expand its customer base and invest in itself, growing both staff and area of coverage. While Bridget attributes much of this success to the almighty negative keyword, she doesn’t think the recent rash of profitability would have been possible without the help of Koru K9’s Premier Consultant, Navah.

“Working with Navah, our ad account has truly become a well-oiled machine. Our revenue growth has obviously been on a steady uptick, and this year has really started to take a turn: we are seeing some serious profits. If we look at March of 2018 vs. March of 2017, our conversions are up 91%, CPA is down 13%, and clicks are up 41%. This translated into 84 private clients and 17 board and trains!”

Compare that to the 36 monthly clients Koru K9 averaged in 2016 and that’s some serious growth. But they aren’t stopping there. Not even close.

The 20 Minute Work Week in Action

“What’s incredible to me,” says Bridget, “is that we are still constantly tweaking things to try to continually optimize, get that CPA a bit lower, and take on new clients.”

To do that, she turns to the tool that convinced her to sign on with WordStream in the first place: the 20 Minute Work Week (which has evolved quite a bit since 2015. When they first joined WordStream, Koru K9 received about 25 alerts per month; now, they receive an average of 150).

Since Koru K9 became a WordStream customer in 2015, they’ve received 3,244 alerts that span 26 different types and 3 ad networks (AdWords, Facebook, and Bing). By addressing high-priority actions from a single interface instead of wasting time (and money) blindly fumbling around native platforms trying to figure out which levers to pull, Koru K9 has leveraged the growing number of prescriptive notifications within the 20 Minute Work Week to grow their business.

wordstream advisor 20 minute workweek review costly alert

Additionally, Koru K9 has used QueryStream to add more than 2,500 negative keywords and uncover more than 500 new keywords to target based on high click-through rates when triggered by broad, existing keywords in their account.

The enhanced efficiency in time usage and ad spend and commitment to acting on the insights surfaced by Advisor have contributed to Koru K9’s growth to such a degree that even Bridget is lost for words:

“I don’t know that I can effectively communicate how instrumental WordStream has been in our growth.”

An Advertiser’s Best Friend

Bridget’s advice to other advertisers considering WordStream?

“Trust the process,” she says. “Sign up for Premier Consulting. My time with my rep is invaluable and has been absolutely instrumental in our growth and success!”

“Oh, and add negative keywords.”

Thanks to their partnership with WordStream and their desire to maximize the value of the 20 Minute Work Week, Koru K9 is still growing through paid search and social, but another source of new business has emerged: word of mouth.

“We have clients that are now coming back for group classes and board and trains who are singing our praises and referring their friends and family. Our referrals are higher than they have ever been.”

When asked what she thought might have kicked off the deluge of client referrals, Bridget was unwavering in her response:

“WordStream started that ball rolling.”

k9 koru dog paw

Allen Finn

Allen Finn is the co-founder of Toasted Collective, a cannabis-focused digital agency. Many moons ago, he worked at WordStream, where he reigned as fantasy football champion for some time.

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