Search Marketing Strategies for Student Housing

Do you know what students type into Google when they search for an apartment? Do you know why some student housing ads get more clicks and impressions than others?

Most multifamily professionals know search marketing is an important component of a student housing marketing campaign, but they don’t know how student housing search marketing campaigns differ from general apartment search marketing campaigns, or what communities can do to stand out from others in the search engine.

By the end of this article, you won’t be like most multifamily housing professionals. You will have a better idea of how students search for apartments and what types of search ads they click on. You will know why some student housing search campaigns perform better than others and how your student housing community can use paid search campaigns to generate more traffic.

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Apartment SEO vs. SEM in 2019

If you took a sneak peek into thousands of apartment websites’ analytics accounts you might find that they tell a similar story. Most of their website traffic is coming from Google. Google is arguably the most important marketing channel for apartment marketers today, but it’s also one of the most difficult to compete in.

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Six Strategies for Writing Compelling Ad Copy

Pay Per ClickPay-per-click (PPC) ads allow you to create highly targeted advertising campaigns in an effort to reach your most valuable customers online. These paid search ads get your message in front of the right customers at the very top of search engine results pages.

When a potential customer enters a search query and your ad appears, it may be the first time they see or hear about your brand. Make a great first impression by crafting ad copy that introduces your offer to a customer, but also compels them to visit your website. Capturing their attention, enticing them with your offer, and providing them with the necessary steps to convert all begins with your ad copy. By following these six tried-and-true tactics, you can write great copy that compels your audience to click: 

  1. Be Relevant: Relevancy begins with an optimized campaign that delivers your message to the right audience. However, your ad copy is also critical in gaining relevance with potential customers. Your ad should match the keyword theme in its corresponding ad group and the copy you’re using should match the landing page users are directed to after clicking an ad. The more your ad matches the searcher’s intent, the more likely they are to click through to your website.
  1. Keep it concise: With character limits in ad headlines and descriptions, you don’t have much room for wordy messaging. Be concise and to the point. Stick to your message and don’t try to cover too much information in one ad.
  1. Share Your Unique Value: After grabbing the searcher’s attention with the headline, share something that makes you stand out from the competition. Why should the potential customer buy your product or use your service? Include promotions, exclusive offers, or other competitive differentiators to encourage users to click.
  1. Guide with a call-to-action:Tell the user what you want them to do after getting to your site with a call-to-action that drives click-through and conversion rates. Using phrases like, “buy now” or “contact us” will help guide your visitors to complete the action you want after getting to your site.
  1. Enable Ad Extensions: Your headlines are the most important part of your text ads. Ad extensions complement the headlines and improve overall click-through rate. Extensions like sitelinks, call or location extensions, and user reviews/ratings provide relevant messaging that gives searchers more information about your business.
  1. Test and Refine: Writing great ad copy that resonates with your audience doesn’t always happen on your first try. Implement ad tests so you can see what works and what doesn’t with your customers. Continue to test to discover what motivates searchers to act.

Need help creating and implementing your PPC campaign? Contact us today and we’ll help you deliver your compelling message to your target audience.


Google Tests New Mobile Ad Extension Format

Google Mobile AdsHow do your ads stand apart from your competition? Give searchers the relevant information they want by implementing ad extensions, extra details that encourage customers to click. By including more information about your company beneath your ad, extensions can help boost traffic, increase your ad’s visibility, and improve the click through rate.

AdWords shows one or more extensions with your ad when it calculates that the extension will improve your campaign performance, and when your ad rank is high enough for it to appear. Ads with greater expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher ad position than similar ads from your competitors.

Google is always testing and improving ad formats. Google has been using swipeable cards in mobile text ads to display extensions. Now, they are testing a new version that combines multiple ad extension types into a swipeable card carousel. The carousel includes a variety of extensions that provide a wealth of information to customers before they even click on your ad.

There are two types of ad extensions: automated and manual. AdWords independently creates and displays the automated extensions (seller ratings, consumer ratings, social extensions, and previous visits) when it predicts that they’ll improve your ad’s performance. You can manually create new ad extensions that will show beneath your ad, including:

  • Site extension: links to promote additional landing pages or direct customers to more specific page on site
  • Callout extension: promote unique offers to shoppers, like 356-day return policy or free shipping. When customers see your ads, they get detailed information about your business, products, and services.
  • Call extension: a click to call button
  • Location extension: address to find nearest storefront
  • App extension: button to download your app.
  • Price extensions: show as a set of up to 8 cards that consumers can view to see different options and prices. From your price menu, people can go directly to the product that interests them on your site.
  • Structured snippets: highlight specific aspects of your products and services. Give potential customers a snapshot of what you do before they click on your ad.

There is no cost to add extensions to your campaign, but you’re charged as usual for clicks on your ad, with the exception of automated extensions. Consider beefing up your ads with informative extensions that compel buyers to click.

Learn more about our  Google AdWords services or contact us today!


Dealership Sees Increased Sales After Going Digital

Digital AdvertisingDoes your dealership still rely heavily on traditional advertising methods to reach potential car buyers? TV, print, and radio ads may have been effective in the past, but now digital advertising is where it’s at. If you haven’t taken the plunge, consider going all-in with a digital campaign.

Google recently profiled a small-town Canadian car dealership that experienced huge results after abandoning their traditional marketing plans and launching a digital strategy. Recognizing that car buyers were spending more and more time online, the dealership decided to go all digital in 2014. Since then, they have experienced:

  • 50% increase in new car sales
  • 79% increase in website visitors
  • 67% increase in the dealership’s website page views

By advertising to an online audience, the dealership was able to deliver highly-relevant ads to a targeted market. In addition to increasing sales and online traffic, a digital campaign can deliver these three benefits:

Multiple tools: Digital advertising allows you to develop a proactive strategy with the flexibility to adjust as needed. Here are a few tactics that we implement to drive traffic to your dealership.

  • Paid search ads: By using targeted keyword lists that focus on purchase intent, our paid search campaigns put an ad for your business at the top of the search results pages, giving you increased visibility to local searchers.
  • Dynamic Facebook ads: After identifying the best audience and determining purchase intent, we serve the most relevant ad to that potential buyer. The ad pulls real-time inventory from your website’s data feed. We optimize the bid to bring the most potential traffic back to your site, generating the maximum amount of VDP views. Dealerships using our highly-targeted dynamic ads are achieving record sales. Compared to standard Facebook ads, dealerships experience increased time on website, increased page views per session, and improved vehicle search conversion rate.
  • YouTube video ads: Video gives you the opportunity to personalize your dealership and creatively advertise your current promotions and deals.

Increased Engagement Opportunities: Digital advertising offers multiple platforms to boost engagement, build brand awareness, and foster relationships. Through social media, email marketing campaigns, and your website, you can reward buyers with valuable information they need to make an informed decision.

Measurable results: It can be difficult to pinpoint the effectiveness of a TV or radio promotion. With digital, you can track many metrics such as emails, site visits, calls, and car sales. By being able to instantly measure your results, you can spend your ad budget on tactics that deliver the best ROI.

 

We specialize in digital auto ad campaigns. We have the expertise and experience to create a plan for your dealership that will deliver results. Contact us today to get started.


5 Tips to Create Effective Paid Search Campaigns

Search Engine Marketing

Every day, more and more consumers use mobile search to find information and make purchases. Since most people are using mobile to search, you need to have an active presence on mobile. Google AdWords makes it easy to execute a paid search campaign to reach mobile users. By setting up an effective mobile paid search campaign you get in front of more prospects, when and where they’re looking for you.

Here are five tips to create an effective campaign:

1.Set Goals: What are your campaign objectives? Do you want to generate more calls? Improve traffic? Increase click-through rates? Setting goals helps you gauge whether or not your campaign is running smoothly. Continually analyze your campaign performance, test, and optimize.

2.Define Your Target Audience: Accurate targeting helps you reach in-market buyers. Knowing about your customers, including their location and device helps you pinpoint which search queries are a good match for your ads. Precise, focused targeting helps drive your ad creative so you can capture interested buyers when they are looking for what you have to offer.

3.Determine Your Keywords: The keywords you choose to target tell Google AdWords which user searches your ads should appear for. It’s important to consider the many different keywords and phrases a mobile searcher uses when looking for information. Choose unique, action-oriented keywords that help users make a decision quickly.

4.Use Ad Extensions: Ad extensions are simple to set up and can have a huge impact on your paid search performance. AdWords independently creates and displays the automated extensions (seller ratings, consumer ratings, social extensions, and previous visits) when it predicts that they’ll improve your ad’s performance. You can manually create new ad extensions that will show beneath your ad, including:

  • Site extension: links to promote additional landing pages or direct customers to more specific page on site
  • Call extension: a click to call button
  • Location extension: address to find nearest storefront
  • Click-to-text extensions: like call extensions, but they provide users a method for sending a direct text to the business.

5.Compel mobile searchers to click with clear calls to action: A focused call-to-action with a few well-chose words is better than long, convoluted paragraphs. Skip the flowery language and opt for clear, direct language that conveys your message in simple terms. One clear call-to-action offers value to the consumer and increases conversions.

Paid search is all about showing the right ads to the right audience. We have the expertise and experience to execute an effective paid search campaign that delivers results. Contact us today.


Brand Jacking: The importance of Protecting Your Brand Name in Search Engines

If you’re doing a PPC (pay per click) campaign for your business, chances are you are focusing mostly on specific keywords to bring new traffic to your site. This is important, but you shouldn’t forget about buying branded search terms to protect your brand name from brand jacking.

Brand jacking is when someone camps on your brand name in search ads, in an attempt to drive people away from your business. If it seems like a sleazy move, that’s because it is. Luckily for us, Google’s quality score metric makes it cheaper for you to buy your brand name than the guy who’s trying to steal it. So, with any luck, you’ll be able to buy your name for $.20 a click while your competitor has to pay $1 a click.

The problem arises when a company doesn’t buy its brand name and a competitor successfully brand jacks it for an extended period of time. The reason this is an issue is because when a competitor gets clicks with their search ad, Google sees them as the most relevant option. So even if a company starts buying its own name, they have an uphill battle until Google realizes they are the rightful owner of the brand term.

Thankfully, it’s easy to combat this. If you manage a SEM or PPC campaign, stop reading right now and go buy your brand term. We’ve seen too many clients who didn’t want to spend $.20 a click on their brand name, and now have to spend $2 a click to overcome their entrenched competitors.

Don’t lose your brand name to brand jackers! Bite the bullet and buy your brand name. Trust us, it’s worth it.


Paid Search Impressions and Clicks Increasing, Cost Decreasing

Paid search spending grew 30.3% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012, representing the highest growth rate since the last quarter of 2010 (35%).

These numbers come from IgnitonOne, who tracked Internet marketing usage during this time period.

Mobile and tablet paid search also increased, with spending up 221.1% year-over-year, and impressions up 119.9%.

Despite the increased budget spending, cost-per-click didn’t increase, rising just 0.9% year-over-year. Clicks rose 32.5% and click-through rates were up 25.3%.

All these numbers mean good things for small businesses trying to use search marketing. Clicks and click-through rates are rising, and the cost per click isn’t changing at all. This means that businesses are getting more impression and clicks than ever before for the same price.

If you’re interested in getting started with search engine marketing, contact us today. We target and fine-tune all of our campaigns, giving you the best return possible on all your marketing efforts.


Mobile, Mobile and More Mobile

We’ve preached over and over how mobile is changing the digital marketing and advertising business. We’ve seen it with our own clients, and marketers across the U.S. are increasing their mobile budgets as well.

The latest report comes from Marin, a search-management software company. They predict that mobile will be bigger than desktop soon, and that marketers need to raise budgets accordingly.

One prediction is that at the current run-rates, mobile devices will account for 25% of all paid search clicks on Google by December 2012. Additionally, the share of ad spend will be 23%. Those are additions of 103% and 164%, respectively.

One of the driving factors behind all of this growth in mobile is the insanely fast consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets. In 2011 alone, Apple sold more iOS devices than the total number of Macs ever sold in the last 28 years.

Another reason for adding mobile into your business’ marketing strategy is that smartphones have higher click-through rate, and a lower cost-per-click than both desktop and tablets. Smartphone users click on ads 4.12% of the time compared with 2.39% for desktops and 3.12% for tablets. Additionally, the cost per click is only $.53 for smartphones, compared with $.83 and $.63 for desktops and tablets, respectively.

So have you decided that you need mobile yet? Well if you haven’t yet, I’ll do my best to convince you with some more data about mobile over the next few days.