Search case study: Purplebricks boosts performance via attribution and smart bidding

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With paid search a key channel in generating leads for their hybrid estate agency, Purplebricks look for every opportunity to push their budgets further in search of conversions.


Case study summary

• Online estate agency aimed to generate qualified leads at an efficient cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
• Wanted to understand real value of online campaigns and keywords throughout the funnel
• Replaced their Adwords Last-Click Attribution Model with the Adwords Data-Driven Model
• Saw a 28% increase in conversion rates and 70% improvement in conversion rates on mobile generic campaigns

The challenge

In April 2014, hybrid estate agent Purplebricks launched in the UK. Their innovative business model, combining the deep area knowledge of local property experts with the ease and convenience of an online platform, has since helped them to become the fastest growing estate agent in the UK, and won them a host of awards for innovation, including the number one spot on 2015’s Startups 100 List.

As a hybrid online business operating without a traditional high street presence, Purplebricks use a variety of marketing channels to drive awareness, including both television and radio. However, as Neil Jones, Digital Acquisitions Manager at Purplebricks reveals, Google AdWords is one of the main pillars of their lead generation strategy: “Paid channels have proven to be the strongest channels for us in generating qualified and committed leads, through both brand and generic campaigns.”

The solution

At the core of Purplebricks’ customer proposition is the promise to not just outperform traditional estate agents on service and convenience, but to also beat them on value. On average, customers save over £4000 when selling through Purplebricks compared to a traditional agent, and in order to pass on such savings, the marketing team have to keep a tight rein on costs. As part of this drive for efficiency, and to understand the real value of their campaigns and keywords at every stage of the purchase funnel, Purplebricks recently began trialing the new Data-driven Attribution Model in AdWords.

Data-driven attribution allows advertisers to go beyond traditional last-click models, by using machine learning to analyse every search advertising interaction a customer has with the brand prior to conversion. Because the conversion and campaign data being analysed is unique to each advertiser, each data-driven model is also unique, giving advertisers the best possible insight into the performance of individual keywords in all the different phases of the conversion cycle. Better data equals better attribution and more intelligent bids, maximising the number of conversions for any given budget.

The results

• 28% increase in conversion rates on generic campaigns
• 70% improvement in conversion rates on mobile generic campaigns
• The additional data also lead to valuable time-savings for the marketing team who are now able to focus on the brand’s future keyword strategy

Before they began trialing a Data-driven Attribution model, Purplebricks had already been using Targeted CPA on certain campaigns with last-click attribution, so moving over to the new model was a simple matter of adjusting conversion settings. With the new system in place, Purplebricks saw immediate benefits.

On average, generic campaigns saw a 28% improvement in conversion performance, while mobile generic campaigns improved even more, achieving a 70% increase in conversion rate. The additional data also led to valuable time-savings for the marketing team, who were now able to see the real value of generic keywords & mobile devices without additional analysis.

With lower CPAs enabling Purplebricks to achieve a higher number of conversions for their monthly budgets, and with new keyword insights feeding the brand’s future keyword strategy, Neil Jones is clear on the value of the new attribution model: “Our industry is still in its infancy, and it’s important for us as a company to grasp every opportunity that might provide us with a competitive advantage. Targeted CPA and Data-driven Attribution have given us lower CPAs, and allowed us to compete and thrive in a competitive and volatile space.”

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