PPC Analytics to Predict the Stanley Cup Champion


With the NHL Playoffs kicking off last week, it only seemed appropriate to take a break from running the metrics on Google AdWords and move them over to NHL teams, in an effort to predict this year’s Stanley Cup Champion.

The analysis will be taking FOUR common Search Engine Marketing PPC (Pay Per Click) metrics and adapting them for use in the hockey world.

Google AdWords 101

At RingPartner we focus solely on Pay-Per-Call marketing, which means an advertiser only pays for qualified phone leads. One of the main avenues our distribution network drives telephone leads is via Google AdWords, specifically with AdWords newly introduced Call-Only campaigns.

Running an effective campaign requires constant monitoring of keyword strings, luckily there’s no shortage of different stats to dive into. There’s no sure-fire way to maximize ROI on an AdWords campaign, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll start with FOUR of the basic ones and then adapt for use in the hockey world.

For hockey, we will adapt keywords to be the teams themselves.

1. Converted Clicks

Also simply called “Conversions” these are the customer actions that a client pays for. Generally it’s a consumer click that has turned into a phone call and lasted for over a minute (or whatever the stipulated length is).

For hockey, we will adapt this to a teams Converted Shots, aka a team’s goals for.

2. Quality Score

Google gives all ads a “Quality Score” which is their own secret scoring algorithm to determine how relevant your ads are to the person searching for them.

For hockey, we will adapt this to a team’s Playoff Seed.

3. Click-thru Rate (CTR)

The Click-thru Rate is the number of clicks your ad receives, divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions).

CTR = clicks/impressions

For hockey, we will adapt this to a team’s Shoot-Thru Rate: the number of shots on goal, divided by the total minutes they play.

STR = shots/minutes

4. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the number of conversions (what gets you paid), divided by the number of clicks (which you pay for).

Conversion Rate = conversions/clicks

For hockey, we will adapt this to a team’s Scoring Rate: the number of goals scored, divided by the number of shots.

Scoring Rate = goal/shots

What separates good Search Engine Marketers from the rest is their ability to quantify the wealth of data that Google provides and use it to actually improve an ads performance and ultimately the ROI of their efforts. This is where marketers get creative with formulas and spreadsheets, for today’s NHL exercise we’ll be using a basic one, which may or may not be useful in the real world.

Let’s say I wanted to use the above four metrics in one formula, it would look something like this:

= (Converted Clicks x CTR X Conversion Rate) + Quality Score/10

This would give a nice numerical scoring value, which one could then sort and eliminate keywords with.

Adapting this to the hockey world would look like so:

= (Converted Shots x STR x Scoring Rate) – Playoff Seed/16 [minus, because lower seed is better]

Now we have the RingPartner 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Predictor (a very offensive-biased engine)



(RingPartner takes no liability for lost bets using these picks):

Round 1

(1) Blues vs. (4) Wild

(2) Predators vs. (3) Blackhawks

(1) Ducks vs. (4) Jets

(2) Canucks vs. (3) Flames

(1) Canadiens vs. (4) Senators

(2) Lightning vs. (3) Red Wings

(1) Rangers vs. (4) Penguins

(2) Capitals vs. (3) Islanders

Round 2

(1) Blues vs. (2) Predators

(1) Ducks vs. (3) Flames

(2) Lightning vs. (4) Senators

(1) Rangers vs. (3) Islanders

Conference Finals

(1) Blues vs. (3) Flames

(1) Rangers vs. (2) Lightning

Stanley Cup Finals

(1) Blues vs. (2) Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning 2015 Stanley Cup Champions.