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SuddenLink Case Study

Cable Services Provider Increases Subscriptions,

Dials Back Cost per Subscriber


Company Background

Suddenlink Communications is a top-10 U.S. cable broadband services provider, supporting the information, communication and entertainment demands of approximately 1.3 million customers and offering savings through bundles of TV, Internet and phone services.


A young, rapidly growing company, Suddenlink needed to win targeted customers away from larger cable providers. However, Suddenlink’s paid search programs were not producing profitable subscriber conversions—the cost per subscription was 35% higher than that of campaigns run offline or in other online channels. Additionally, Suddentlink was not attributing its site traffic to the proper channels. Because most conversions would happen over the phone, not the Internet, the company lacked a way to identify what drove prospective subscribers to call.


KeywordFirst was hired and charged with creating a profitable and measurable search engine marketing campaign for Suddenlink.

First, the team analyzed existing paid search programs to look for areas of opportunity in order to re-build the campaigns to be more effective. Based on findings, KeywordFirst:

  • Developed a new campaign structure that is used for the more than 1,500 cities that Suddenlink serves. Each of these campaigns is geo-targeted so that people outside of these areas are not served Suddenlink ads when searching for cable, Internet or phone services.
  • Established a national campaign that includes branded terms and city/region specific keywords.
  • Implemented a call tracking program to help measure the success of the search programs. Customers clicking on a Suddenlink ad see a unique, campaign-specific phone number that followes them on the website. Each time one of these numbers is called, Suddenlink can attribute a subscriber conversion to the appropriate channel and campaign.

Due to the more efficient and targeted campaign structure, KeywordFirst lowered the cost per click 35% through better quality scores and more relevant landing pages. Using city-specific price points in the ad copy improved subscriber conversion rates by 26%.

In the last five years that KeywordFirst has been managing the paid search programs for Suddenlink, the cost per subscriber through paid search is now 50% better than any other channel. The call tracking program has been critical to better understanding the real ROI on the programs.

Suddenlink’s paid search programs are now a core part of the company’s marketing strategy and have expanded as the firm has entered new markets.

Suddenlink testimonial

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