How to Use the New AdWords IF Function for Apartment PPC


Earlier last week, Google announced the official end of Standard Text Ads, a format that held on for 15 years despite many changes in PPC over the past decade and a half. At the same time, the search company introduced AdWords IF functions, a new component that should give Multifamily advertisers a better way to target rental prospects.

Similar to how IF functions work in many programming languages as well as in spreadsheet software suites like Microsoft Excel, the new IF functions use certain conditions to determine which users see which ads. For example, if a marketer wanted mobile users to receive different messaging than desktop users, he or she could easily do so by opting to only display ads to User A IF User A is mobile. Marketers can also apply IF functions to their lists in order to customize messages for people who previously visited their site, which could come in handy for form fill-out abandonment.

Apartment marketers can apply IF functions to any extension. Site URL extensions are the only exception to this rule. So if you want to display a discounted lease rate to people only IF they’re on your list of returning users, you could certainly do so.

How to Set Up AdWords IF Functions

Like all things AdWords, setting up IF functions can seem intimidating for the uninitiated. But for those who are already familiar with the tool, the process is fairly straightforward. Here’s a quick set of steps to walk you through it:

  1. Start with “{=IF”
  2. Add an open “(” after IF
  3. Follow with the targeting of “device=mobile” or “audience IN”
  4. If you’re using audience targeting, but the list you want to target inside parentheses. If you are targeting multiple audience lists, separate them with a comma.
  5. Put a comma after the targeting.
  6. Add the text to insert when targeting criteria is met.
  7. Close “)”
  8. Follow with a colon “:”
  9. After the colon, add the default text that will be used when the targeting criteria is not met.
  10. End with the closing curly bracket “}”

Why IF Functions Matter

The benefits of AdWords IF functions are twofold.

First and foremost, they allow marketers to tailor their messaging so that it resonates more with their audience. People are more likely to click on ads that specifically cater to them, rather than ads that reach out to everyone all at once.

Second, customized ads have a positive effect on Click Through Rate. And because ads with higher CTRs tend to receive higher Quality Scores, and ads with higher Quality Scores tend to pay less for clicks, IF functions could actually help you save money on your apartment PPC campaign.

Not Sure Where to Start?

If the above directions for setting up IF functions seem too complicated, or you’re simply too busy to manage AdWords on your own, consider giving us a call. Our entire PPC management team is Google certified, and our ad CTRs are the highest in the Multifamily industry!


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