Business Challenges and Campaign Objectives

In 2017, Equipment Depot realized that most of the impressions and clicks generated by its rental pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns were not converting into leads. In response, the brand audited its paid search strategy and discovered numerous flaws in it. For instance:

  • Equipment Depot’s paid search activities were driving users to an organic page that was not optimized for a PPC audience.
  • Competitors were bidding against Equipment Depot-related terms, enabling them to appear above the brand’s organic search results and siphoning away clicks and conversions.
  • Equipment Depot’s click-through rate (CTR) was a modest 2.5 percent, and its conversion rate was a paltry 1 percent, which was below the industry average.

Faced with these challenges, the brand set out to:

  • Increase awareness of the Equipment Depot brand.
  • Improve the click-through rate to 5 percent.
  • Achieve a 3 percent conversion rate.
  • Generate qualified leads for the sales team.

Insights and Strategy

To inform its SEM strategy, the marketing team performed extensive keyword research using Google Keyword Planner and compiled a list of relevant long-tail keywords. In addition, it interviewed internal subject matter experts to discover major customer pain points and priorities.


To optimize its new PPC landing page, Equipment Depot designed it to clearly list the different types of equipment available for rent. This page also featured a dropdown menu with all Equipment Depot branches, making it easier for customers to pick the most convenient location. In addition, the brand positioned the lead generation form near the top of the page for easy access and replaced the “Contact Us” button with the more actionable “Request a Free Quote.” Finally, by reducing the page’s form fields from ten to five, the page significantly diminished friction, leading to more conversions.

When it came to advertising online, Equipment Depot began segmenting by region. Instead of one campaign that targeted all of Equipment Depot’s 35 locations, the brand launched smaller, more localized ad campaigns that resonated with the consumers in particular communities.

To fight back against competitors who ranked above Equipment Depot in search results, the brand designed SEM campaigns with brand-related keywords (e.g., “equipment depot” or “equipment depot forklifts”). These branded campaigns ran alongside non-branded campaigns (that used keywords such as “forklift rentals”), yielding well-rounded results.

Finally, Equipment Depot revised its ad copy to resonate more deeply with consumers’ needs by incorporating language pulled from customer requests and call logs.


Equipment Depot’s SEM overhaul exceeded all of its goals and objectives:

  • Website users increased by 18 percent.
  • CTR swelled from 2.5 percent to 7 percent, a 180 percent increase.
  • The brand’s conversion rate ballooned from 1 percent to 13 percent.
  • Marketing-qualified rental leads rose by 295 percent.
  • Cost-per-lead fell to $32, a 93 percent reduction.



“Equipment Depot PPC Campaign.” 2018 B2 Award Gold Winner, Search Advertising — SEM or SEO. Brand: Equipment Depot. Lead Agency: Think Versatile.