Triple-Digit Growth from SEM

Linode is a Linux virtual private server hosting provider with data centers worldwide. Rising lead gen costs and competitors with virtually unlimited budgets had them looking for a new approach to search engine marketing, and Portent had the solution.


Content Strategy


Tech: Cloud Hosting

186% Increase in YoY Conversions
123% Average Annual Growth in SEM Leads
54% Decrease in the Average Cost Per Conversion

As a Linux VPS hosting provider, Linode competes for leads and customers with some of the biggest brands in the world. In the face of intense and mounting competition, they had an ambitious goal of increasing conversions, maintaining profitability, and gaining an edge over the competition. Specifically, this meant staying competitive against industry giants while staying on budget, improving prospect targeting and lead quality from paid search, and significantly improving their conversion rate.


Linode came to Portent knowing they needed to lower their CPA and increase their leads. They needed to be competitive enough to appear on Google and have compelling enough landing pages to get people to convert. But they didn’t know how to get there. Based on their competitive landscape and needs, identified Linode’s primary audiences and designed campaigns with dedicated landing pages and messaging for each segment. Additional work included:

  • Reorganizing their PPC account structure to significantly increase efficiency and ROI
  • Providing ongoing consulting and optimization of advanced SEM bid strategies
  • Edited copy for higher conversion
  • Performed conversion rate optimization and multivariate testing

Through the creation of segmented customer audiences with detailed campaigns, we were able to help Linode fly by their paid search goals for the year. We witnessed the following changes in click metrics:

  • Keyword expansion and creation of specific retargeting pools increased impressions year over year by 24%
  • We bolstered our bids to be competitive in the VPS space, which increased our CPC by 3%
  • New creative, new offers, and better ad positioning improved CTR by 4%, which led to a 33% cost increase
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