To ensure users can access information on its wide range of products whenever and wherever suits them best, Towergate Insurance built a new site using responsive web design (RWD). This strategy enabled the company to optimize user experience across different screen sizes and devices without creating multiple websites. It also upgraded to AdWords enhanced campaigns, enabling easy adjustment of bids by device and time of day. As a result, visits on mobile are up by 218% and on tablet by 236%.


  • Deliver user experience tailored to device
  • Consolidate content into a single site
  • Future-proof online presence for new devices


  • Used responsive web design (RWD) to build new site
  • Upgraded AdWords activity to enhanced campaigns
  • Implemented bid adjustments by time of day and device


  • Since launch of RWD site, visits on mobile have grown 218%
  • Tablet visits are up 236%
  • Click to lead rate has improved by up to 5% on some product categories
July 2013

Towergate is an award-winning insurance intermediary, created 15 years ago to offer specialist insurance to personal and business customers. The company employs experts in every field of insurance it offers, covering more than 200 specialist insurance products for niche markets ranging from holiday homes to private helicopters.

Moving into the future

Towergate began developing a multi-screen strategy to ensure users could access its products whenever and wherever suited them best. “Through both Google AdWords and Analytics we were noticing a significant upward trend of traffic coming from smartphones and tablet devices,” explains Towergate’s PPC Manager, Keith Mowbray. “We also looked into industry statistics that showed more and more people were looking for insurance on these devices.”Towergate Insurance’s website worked well when viewed on a desktop computer, but usability was inconsistent when the same site was viewed on a mobile or tablet screen. While the company could have addressed this by launching a mobile-optimized site, it went a different route by building a new site incorporating the best practices of responsive web design (RWD).

“We felt that with complex products and information, the user experience on mobile should be different, but not the content around the products and services we offer,” Keith explains of the decision to create a RWD site rather than a mobile-optimized one. “We wanted a device-independent solution to cater for all, and for our website to be future-proof for new smartphones and tablets. This approach also had the added benefit that we didn’t have to maintain two separate websites, which, with so many products, could have become time consuming.”

By using HTML5 and CSS3 features, the new site would comply with the latest web standards too. And, since Towergate Insurance believed it would be the first in its sector to adopt RWD, the company stood to gain an advantage within this highly competitive vertical. Using a combination of in-house and agency expertise, the development of the new site took less than four months.

Taking action with enhanced campaigns

The underlying goal of Towergate Insurance’s online presence is the same regardless of the user’s method of access. “Our objective is to drive a high volume of quality leads via our website,” Keith says. “The aim is for a customer to reach relevant conversion touch points on our site allowing them to either buy online or make contact with a skilled advisor.”

Not long after the completion of Towergate Insurance’s new RWD site, Google AdWords released enhanced campaigns, a new set of features geared towards simplifying the challenge of marketing in a multi-screen world. Enhanced campaigns give advertisers the ability to manage bids across devices, locations, and time of day – entirely from a single campaign.

The company upgraded all of its AdWords marketing to enhanced campaigns at the same time. In total this represented around 150 campaigns across 15 different accounts. “The upgrade was incredibly simple and only took an afternoon to implement,” Keith says. “The process was completed account by account, and involved pausing our old mobile and tablet variations of campaigns and upgrading our desktop campaign variant to an enhanced campaign.”

Bidding and reporting for success

Bid adjustments enable AdWords to automatically serve appropriate ads to users. For example, bids are adjusted according to the time of day on any Towergate products that do not yet have quote and buy functionality. “This ensures that when leads are generated via enquiry forms or a mobile click-to-call, there is someone there in office hours to follow up that enquiry,” Keith explains.

Towergate Insurance also employs bid adjustments according to whether a user is visiting from a desktop or mobile. “We completely appreciate the need for the user journey to be perfectly tailored to an individual device,” Keith says. “We use mobile preferred ads on our more mobile-heavy campaigns focusing on products such as military insurance.”

Thanks to the advanced reporting features in enhanced campaigns, Towergate can refine its efforts even further. “We take full advantage of call extensions and use the new mobile call tracking code which allows us to get a view of how many mobile phone conversations have resulted in a lead,” Keith explains. “And advanced location insights are helping us to profile our digital customer base more effectively. Time of day statistics from our call extensions are generating internal discussions as to whether call centers should be kept open for longer.”

Before, we managed three separate campaigns for each product – a mobile, tablet and desktop variance. Now that we have a responsive site, all devices can be grouped together in the same campaign.

The leading edge

As for the results of all of these initiatives, Keith reports that campaign management has become more efficient and much simpler. “Before, we managed three separate campaigns for each product – a mobile, tablet and desktop variance. Bids were decreased on tablet and mobile devices, as we weren’t fully optimized. Now that we have a responsive site, all devices can be grouped together in the same campaign as there is more confidence that a user will be getting an optimal site experience for the device they have visited from.”

Performance metrics have consequently made notable gains too. “The new site has given us more confidence to increase bids across all devices, which has led to improvements. Conversion rates tend to fluctuate seasonally, but in general visit to lead rates across the board are on the rise,” Keith reveals. The click to lead rate has improved by up to 5% across some product categories, while mobile visits have grown 218% and tablet visits are up 236% since the launch of the RWD site.