In early 2016, periscopeUP was contracted to assist a large residential construction & design company in generating more new custom home sales through paid search with less advertising spend. The online residential real estate space is crowded – a wide variety of builders, architects, realtors and design-build firms all compete for the attention of potential buyers. Additionally, the home buying process continues to evolve. In fact, in 2017 the National Association of Realtors reported reported that 51% of home buyers found the home they ultimately purchased on the Internet.
At the start of the engagement, we performed a detailed audit of the client’s existing PPC campaign. The audit revealed a targeting strategy inadvertently excluding prospects who wanted to move into the area where properties were for sale. Through the audit we also discovered the client was bidding unnecessarily high on both search and remarketing campaigns, resulting in a high cost-per-lead (CPL).
A custom home is a high-investment purchase, and naturally has a longer sales cycle, so it was important for us to determine which keywords attracted buyers who were further down in the sales funnel. By isolating the most advantageous keywords and implementing an aggressive manual bidding strategy to ensure that our bids were competitive, we were able reduce the cost-per-click (CPC) from close to $4.50 to approximately $1.50 and generate more traffic at a lower cost.
Following the initial PPC audit, we actively managed the AdWords and Bing campaigns, maintaining the competitively aggressive manual bidding strategy to keep CPC low. We also incorporated advertising on Zillow’s ad network in order to extend the campaign’s reach and increase the client’s visibility to local buyers. Cost per lead was reduced immediately upon engagement, going from an average of $111 over the course of the 13-month campaign. Over the course of the campaign, $39,283 in ad spend generated $15.9M in new home sales, translating to a return on advertising spend (ROAS) of $405 per ad dollar spent.
The positive results shown in the graph below illustrate the advantages of a PPC audit in helping a business get the most from its ad spend. Optimizing a PPC campaign with a competitive bidding strategy for advantageous keywords will result in more leads for a reduced budget.