Australia’s Sportsbet Beats the Odds With Real-Time Price Extensions

August 2017

Jockeys aren’t the only ones sweating out the Melbourne Cup. The day is also highly competitive for online betting site Sportsbet. To win the day on mobile search, Sportsbet used dynamic price extensions, securing the top search result and a larger tappable area, leading to qualified clicks.


+212% increase in click-through rate on the day of the Melbourne Cup

+25% uplift overall in click-through rate

42% decrease in overall cost per acquisition

12 hours of saved labour time every month

The Challenge

“The race that stops the nation” is the biggest day of the year for horse racing fans, jockeys, and sports betting companies. The Melbourne Cup is a national holiday in Victoria, and Australians all over the country take the afternoon off to dress up, attend viewing parties, and cheer for their horse to win. They also place bets—lots of them.

For Sportsbet, one of Australia’s largest sports betting companies, the Melbourne Cup is a huge opportunity. It’s Black Friday for the sports betting industry; a good Melbourne Cup can be the difference in whether the company hits annual sales targets (or not).

Success is all about reaching bettors in the moments they search for information—especially odds. Search volumes snowball throughout the day from early in the morning until the main race starts at 3:00 p.m. During the Cup, a whopping 60% of all event-related searches happen on mobile. On this make-or-break day, Sportsbet needed to capture the attention and convert the mass of mobile punters.

The Approach

Dynamic text ads are relevant text ads

In the heat of the betting moment, punters care about getting information quickly and easily. Sportsbet used price extensions to give its betting odds a bigger showcase—and for the Cup, the brand made its text ads even more relevant for mobile searchers by updating the odds in real time.

Using scripts through the Google Ads API,1 Sportsbet intelligently automated and deployed price extensions that showed punters real-time, dynamic odds, right in their mobile search results. Whenever the market changed, the ads changed. This way, searchers had all the information they needed right in the moment—and were just a couple clicks away from being able to place a bet.


Real-time ads propelled Sportsbet to the front of the pack

Since price extensions appear first on a search results page, Sportsbet could combine them with expanded text ads and own the full page of search results on mobile, besting its competitors on the battlefield of coveted betting terms. On Cup Day alone, the innovative campaign resulted in a 212% increase in click-through rate.

For the rest of the campaign, Sportsbet saw a 42% decrease in cost per acquisition for new users (compared to a standard mobile campaign) and a 25% increase in click-through rates. The scripts Sportsbet set up also saved valuable time (up to 12 hours per month) that can now be spent on more strategic efforts.

“Price extensions have given Sportsbet the ability to better promote breadth of product and price to a clearly receptive audience.”

Price extensions helped create a smarter, more confident betting experience for the punters, and paid off handsomely for Sportsbet during the Melbourne Cup and beyond.  “Price extensions have given Sportsbet the ability to better promote breadth of product and price to a clearly receptive audience,” said Jose Fernandez, Sportsbet’s head of search. “The ability to automate these valuable extensions provides an opportunity to significantly scale the promotion of key differentiators in a hyper competitive market.”

The Products

Price extensions

The Results
Local Inventory Ads Help SportScheck Score Big With Mobile Shoppers