How to Boost Your Apartment PPC Positions Without Raising Bids

by | Sep 28, 2016

Securing a higher position in Google almost guarantees that your website listing will get more clicks. And because more clicks translates to more traffic and conversions, multifamily marketers are willing to pay a lot of money to gain higher positions. But what if we told you that you could boost your apartment PPC positions without raising your bid price?

Believe it or not, ad spend isn’t the end-all-be-all of PPC success. David beats Goliath everyday in Google AdWords. And with the right knowledge and strategies, you can get your ads to rank above a competitor with deeper pockets than your own.

Here’s a three step process that shows you how to boost your PPC positions without paying an arm and a leg.

Step 1: Understand How AdWords Works

Multifamily marketers will never experience a winning apartment PPC strategy until they truly understand how AdWords works. The AdWords community is rife with jargon. And clearing up this jargon is the first step towards AdWords success.

Bids

Let us start by noting that AdWords does not use a traditional auction formula. Instead, it uses a variation of the second price auction formula. There’s a big difference between the two.

In a traditional auction, the highest bidder remains committed to their highest bid at the end of the auction. In a second price auction, the highest bidder only commits to pay the bid price of the second highest bidder. So even if you’re willing to pay $10 for your position, you only have to pay $9 if that’s the maximum bid of your strongest competition.

Quality Score

Google has built its legacy on reliability and trust. And if it were to sell top PPC listings to the highest bidder, it would lose both overnight. That’s why, in addition to bid price, the search engine uses something called Quality Score to determine PPC ad positions.

Google bases Quality Score on the following three different factors:

  • Expected Click Through Rate – How likely the search engine feels a user might click on the ad.
  • Ad Relevance – How relevant the ad is to the user’s search query.
  • Landing Page Experience – How easy it is to navigate the listed webpage.

Quality score ratings range between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest score.

Formats and Extensions

Formats and extensions display additional information like site links and phone numbers in search. They also play a role in determining Ad Rank, which we’ll cover shortly. Please note that while you can choose the content of your extensions, Google determines when those ads are eligible to display their extensions as well as the format in which they’re displayed.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank is ultimately what determines where Google positions your ad. The search engine calculates Ad Rank by accounting for your bid amount, your Quality Score, and the effectiveness of your formatting and extensions.

Step 2: Optimize the Quality Score of Your Apartment PPC Ads

The objective of this article is to increase your Ad Rank (and Google position) without spending an arm and a leg. As we mentioned above, Ad Rank is determined by bid amount and Quality Score. So in order to boost your Ad Rank without raising the bid amount, you need to find ways to increase your Quality Score.

How to Increase Your Expected CTR

Google uses historical data to calculate expected CTR for a given keyword. This historical data compares how well ads have performed for that keyword in the past. Google then assigns a grade of Below Average, Average, or Above Average, based on the comparison.

Because expected CTR uses historical data, increasing your expected CTR requires commitment. The longer you run a campaign, the higher your expected CTR.

How to Increase Ad Relevance

Ad Relevance is a keyword status that tells you how closely related your keyword is to your ads.

There are multiple ways to increase Ad Relevance and you should try all of them in order to optimize your apartment PPC performance.

First off, make sure that you have tightly themed Ad Groups with only related keywords. Second, include relevant keywords within the copy of the ad, preferably in the title. Third, ensure that your landing page is relevant to the ad and includes instances of the keyword, preferably in headers, image alt tags, and body copy. If you need help with any of these, check out our apartment PPC services.

How to Increase Landing Page Quality

Landing page quality is a huge concern for Google. We’ve already mentioned that the company wants to direct people to relevant content. But it also wants to direct people to content that’s easy to read and navigate.

Having a static, non-responsive website is a surefire way to guarantee a bad landing page experience. Make sure that your website features a responsive design and looks good on every device. You’ll also want to add Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), as Google will likely consider AMP as a ranking signal in the near future.

Step 3: Review. Refine. Repeat.

The last step in optimizing your apartment PPC strategy without raising bids is kind of a given. Google AdWords gives you a ton of information about campaign performance. Make sure you use it to your advantage!

Review

Frequently review how your ads are performing. And when we say frequently, we don’t just mean once a month. Take a look at campaigns on a weekly basis. The truly dedicated will look at performance statistics everyday.

Refine

After reviewing your campaigns, refine anything that’s not performing up to standards. Add negative keywords to groups. Tweak the wording of an ad or two. Take elements from your top performing ads and apply those elements to the lowest performing ads. There are a million ways to refine your results!

Repeat

Your work with AdWords is never done. The more you tweak, the more you learn. Constantly reviewing and refining ensures that you create the best apartment PPC strategy possible.