COVID-19 has presented many challenges to companies all across the home improvement industry, particularly where their marketing strategies are concerned. Do you continue as normal, reduce budgets and activity or take a step back from your marketing completely?
The answer to that question will of course be unique to each and every business and one of the most common worries has been what to do about pay per click (PPC) marketing, particularly in Google Ads. Is it still sensible to pay for website traffic at a time where installations cannot be carried out and supply chains aren’t running at normal capacity?
Whatever your reaction to the current crisis has been in regards to PPC, we want to give our customers the lowdown on some of the trends that we’ve noticed in paid search data for businesses who’ve maintained their PPC and we think you may be quite interested in a few of them.*
1 – Reduced competition has levelled the playing field
The period of widespread lockdown has affected how companies interact with their customers massively and with home visits and showroom appointments out of the question for almost everyone, many have wondered how enquiries be sustained cost-effectively with pay per click?
These valid concerns have led to a drastically altered market in Google paid search marketing, with major players and smaller businesses alike pulling out of Google Ads altogether. The impact of this widespread withdrawal from paid search results has hugely reduced keyword competition, leading to improved visibility and even increased clicks for businesses with mid to low-end budgets.
Companies brave enough to maintain their PPC budgets and activity have been handsomely rewarded by more frequent appearances at the top of search results and fewer limits on the number of times they can afford to appear per day.
2 – Businesses are getting MORE impressions since lockdown started
Because of the reduced competition in search results, companies who have kept a budget consistent with their pre-lockdown budget have actually seen, on average, a 28% increase in impressions.
This is a massive improvement and may be surprising to some as search volumes are have typically been lower during this period. However, decreased saturation in the paid search market from big budget competitors has meant that for many the decreased in overall searches is actually irrelevant and many businesses have more eyes on their ads than they were ever capable of obtaining before lockdown.
3 – Average cost per click has dropped by up to 30%
One of the key components in the increase of impressions being possible is the reduction in the average cost of every click on your ads. Businesses with lower budgets can often struggle to compete with a cost per click that is dictated by businesses with the largest budgets seeking to always conquer the auction process and get the number 1 position in paid search.
This usually means that a business will either have to risk paying more and getting fewer clicks in order to be the first ad or accept that they’ll appear closer to the bottom of the page in order to get more clicks.
With reduced competition since the 23rd of March this has been a choice that fewer companies have had to make and has resulted in…
4 – 25% More clicks on average!
Yes, you read that correctly. Due to the very same reductions in competition and some attentive work from PPC managers to reduce keyword bids, most companies from our sample have seen an average increase of 25% more clicks, compared to the 30 days before the 23rd of March 2020.
This once again goes to show that, particularly for those on limited budgets, the reductions in conversions, conversion rate and overall search volume really don’t matter to the vast majority of small and medium companies. The reduction in cost per click and overall increase in the number of clicks has comfortably offset reductions in other key metrics and enabled many to achieve consistent conversion and cost per conversion figures during lockdown.
5 – Cost Per Conversion has been far more positive than you may think
Seeking a good return on investment is obviously going to be the crucial area of concern for any company, and the fear of being unable to maintain a consistent cost per conversion during lockdown restrictions has heavily contributed to the altered landscape of PPC during this time.
The data does however suggest that the impact on cost per lead for the glazing and home improvements industry on Google Ads has been far less drastic that one might’ve expected.
60% of PPC accounts active since the 23rd of March 2020 have actually reported an improved cost per conversion when compared to the 30 days before. So, not only has reduced cost and competition provided the environment for traffic and visibility to improve, it has also enabled many businesses to be more effective at generating leads. This proving that marketing during lockdown doesn’t have to just be about maintenance.
Despite a justifiable reaction to stopping pay per click marketing for many businesses, there is really a lot to be positive about when looking at the possibilities for PPC at this time. Changes in competition and average costs mean that, for many, the lockdown has offered a unique opportunity to boost marketing efficiency through paid channels whilst spending the same or even less money to do so.
The initial periods of uncertainty for PPC in lockdown have now given way to a much more steady and cost-effective market that your business can use to it’s advantage. And we would urge anyone with the capacity to still serve customers and book installations to consider their Google PPC again.
Purplex Marketing was founded in 2004 by Andrew Scott, who has acquired, built and sold several successful businesses in the industry, including manufacturers, distributors and retail businesses. Since its establishment, Purplex has grown by at least 34% every year and now boasts a large clientele of customers located throughout the UK and Europe.
For more information, get in contact here or call 01934 808132
*Our data is an accumulation of Google PPC activity for Glazing & Home Improvements clients across the UK who have maintained a full Google ads budget from 23 March 2020 to the 22 April 2020 compared to the 30 days before.