Case Study: Improving Google Ads Performance for A Property Portal

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Increase in Conversion RateDecrease in Cost per ConversionIncrease in Conversions

Before I stepped in

A nationwide property portal came to me with the goal of increasing their return on Google Ads. They had been using an agency to manage their pay-per-click account prior and not happy with the results in comparison to their management fees. Results had been stale for several months before they went south in November.

This is when the client lost their patience and brought me on board to start 1 December 2020. Their goal was to get as many qualified leads as possible with a maximum cost per conversion of £20.

What I found

The monthly reports from the previous company were greatly out-dated, Word documents with manual tables and no actual screenshots of the account performance nor live data. Likewise, the detail of what work had been carried out over the course of the month ad limited and little effort had been put into the ‘next steps’ segment at the end of the reports. In fact, only one of the nine next steps of the combined three reports I received, had been actioned.

Here is the data from those three months, between September-November 2020:

Account was paused on Monday 16 November

My task was to improve on the above benchmarks within a couple of months.

After my introduction

After checking the goal tracking was correctly setup it was time to analyse the current campaigns.

The initial task was to analyse the data I had in front of me – what was working? What was not working? From poor performing keywords to keywords with a great cost per conversion.

Which campaigns were profitable? Which were throwing money away?

Search query reports allowed me to add irrelevant terms missing from the Negative Keyword Lists, whilst I also went through the current lists to make sure relevant keywords weren’t accidentally on them.

Then my task was to analyse the landing pages. Unfortunately, there was no heatmap tracking installed so I was left to use Google Analytics data (Average Time on Page, Pages/Visit, Bounce Rate, Goal Flow etc.) whilst I gathered Hotjar data.

After collecting all of this data, which included pausing a handful of severely underperforming campaigns to being with, making on-page edits, pausing keywords, adding new keywords from Search Queries, adding over 100 negative keywords, adding Ad Schedules, and general changes to the account structure and campaigns, I was ready to go at the start of November.

Results of Google Ads Optimisation

The company’s goal had always been to get more quality leads within the target CPA, which meant that budget was essentially unlimited, as long as I could prove I could do the job and that there were more leads out there.

The campaign was nationwide in the United Kingdom and November proved to be a very successful month. Here’s a snapshot of my first month:

Such positive changes in the first month aren’t uncommon, particularly when the previous agency or whomever have been letting the account tick by and not been very proactive on the account.

This was December though, so the enormous changes were actually a little surprising. My intention had always been to have a month’s worth of data and Bid Strategies implemented in time for January, as my experience in this industry knew the turn of the year is huge for this industry. And January didn’t let me down:

The Cost per Conversion in December had dropped to £21.54 but was still above the goal. January was £14.21. An additional £8,000 monthly budget had been added too for the start of the New Year.

Improving the Quality Score over the second half of December and throughout January, as well as setting up more remarketing campaigns, saw the average cost per click drop from £0.29 and £0.20.

By the end of month three, things continue to improve:

CPA for February decreased to £13.17 whilst also increasing the number of conversions and the average CPC dropped to £0.19.

Is Google Ads worth it for Property Portals?

Google Ads remains one of the best advertising tools for businesses of any size. It gives you the opportunity to put your ads in front of your target users at the exact moment they are looking to make an enquiry.

However, it’s not just a case of setting them up and hoping they work. Lots of analysis and manual optimisation is required in order to make them work for your business. The above is a very brief snapshot of all the hours, days and nights I put into this client’s account.

If you have an existing Google Ads account that you feel your agency isn’t getting the most out of, get in touch and I’d be happy to find opportunities for improvement and actively manage it for you.