The largest media website in New Zealand, Stuff ( were struggling to make their Google Adwords account work for them so they came to speak to Digital Hothouse. is the 5th ranked website in New Zealand with 40 million sessions per month* visiting the website. Stuff covers every aspect of news and information, from breaking national and international crises through to in-depth features, sports, business, entertainment, life and style and technology articles, weather reports, travel services, movie reviews, rural news… and lots more.



Stuff is New Zealand’s multi-award winning news and information website, bringing together the resources of Fairfax New Zealand Ltd more than 600 hundred journalists and photographers around the country to provide a single online ‘publication’.

Stuff were struggling to get their Google Adwords account to be profitable – they were getting solid traffic to the website, but at too high a cost for their advertising model to be profitable.


Digital Hothouse have worked with Fairfax Media for over 6 years now and in that time, working firstly with their Essential Mums brand and then managing Google Adwords management of

Fairfax brought their Adwords back in house after working with an agency previously, and although it worked short term, they struggled to get any improvements going forward with a steady deterioration of the account.

Digital Hothouse took over the account and did a full root and branch analysis of the account. The overall Quality Score wasn’t as high as we would expect, so the first job was to focus on all keywords with a quality score of less than 6. We restructured the campaigns and ad groups in order to get more contextual and then rewrote ads to ensure they were more specific and relevant to the keywords within the ad group.

We added hundreds of negative keywords to further enhance the accuracy of the terms along with changing the focus of the keyword matching.

Over time, we have continuously improved the campaign and last month we spent 800% more and got 2,400% more traffic. If we’d have spent the same, we’d still have got 2.5 times as much traffic!

With our constant optimisation we now have the account over 30,000 keywords, 3,200 ads, almost 1,000 ad groups. We are able to jump on major trends such as Mahe Drysdale and Lisa Carrington winning gold at Rio, The Block NZ house going for record amounts, the biggest ever Lotto winner in history rolling over again, Donald Trump, Brexit and other news stories.


  • Increase in visits by over 2,200%
  • Percentage of New Sessions up by 350%
  • Average CPC decreased by over 60%
  • Increase in clickthrough rate by over 1000%
  • Cost per Page View down 65%
  • Average Position decreased by over 60%

“In a world that is moving more and more to the online space, Digital Hothouse have helped to ensure that Stuff is at the forefront in terms of how people consume their media online in New Zealand.”

Oliver Hill
New Product Marketing Manager , Fairfax Media