- CPMs increased over 2017 for Facebook ads (+96.13%) and Paid Search (+89.86%).
- Splash pages continue to produce high quality leads with increasing lead quality. Lead quality increased 66.17% for our Facebook ads and 9.98% for Paid Search clients utilizing our splash pages. At the end of 2017, Paid search lead quality continued to outperform Facebook with a 55.19% higher lead quality.
- Website performance (Load Time and Server Response Time) became more important for CRO in 2017. The slowest loading sites in our sample set had a 35.20% lower conversion rate than fast loading sites.
- There were 5 confirmed and 7 unconfirmed major algorithm updates in 2017. Do you know what they are?
The environment for digital advertising in real estate became much more competitive over 2017. CPM (cost per thousand impressions) increased 96.13% for ads on Facebook and 89.86% for paid search ads in our sample set. With this increase, we have implemented several measures to control CPC (cost per click), improve landing page and customer experience, and experimented with several audience targeting tactics to maximize our client's ROI. As a result, our agency is producing the highest quality leads that we've ever generated. We're excited to continue this focus in 2018 and roll out strategies that continue to improve lead quality.
Facebook has long been known as one of the least expensive methods of digital advertising, but this is changing quickly. Our aggregate CPMs increased 96.13% over 2017, near what we see as standard CPMs for banner ads through publishers. One of the common themes we hear from prospective clients is that Facebook leads aren't the best. We made lead quality a major focus in 2017 for Facebook and saw leads from our campaigns spending 66.17% longer on our client's websites after registering. It's clear to say from our results that targeted Facebook traffic can produce high quality real estate leads when paired with a highly aligned splash page.
Paid Search is known for its inherent relevance and benefit due to the nature of a searcher's intent. This trend held true over 2017 with lead quality being 55.19% higher than Facebook. Competition in paid search has also increased when measured by CPM, with an 89.86% increase over the year while lead quality increased 9.98% for our splash page clients. Paid search has become more important of 2017 as ads can take up nearly all of the above-the-fold results for high volume searches on Google.
Website performance and Conversion Rate Optimization
Load time and server response time are two site performance metrics we harp on regularly - and for good reason. Last year, sites with a load time over 6 seconds had a 38.90% lower conversion rate than site that loaded in 2 seconds or lower. Server response time is the time it takes before the page starts to load. Sites that had a server response time over 1.25s had a conversion rate 36.88% lower than sites with response times 200ms or lower (Google's recommended target).
Google Algorithm Updates
There were many updates to Google's search algorithm in 2017 - here are our top 3:
- Intrusive Interstitial mobile penalty – January 2017
- This is a penalty towards sites that use popups that “might damage the mobile user experience”.
- HTTPS warning in Chrome– October 2017
- This is more of a browser update, but it highlights Google’s continued focus on promoting sites that are secured with HTTPS.
- Meta Description limit increase – November 2017
- Google increased its meta description limit from 155 characters to 300.
View all confirmed and unconfirmed algorithm updates from Moz here: https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.