Using dynamic search ads to drive rentals

ForRent.com offers renters an online home search destination while helping property managers and owners increase their listings’ online visibility.

The website began advertising online with AdWords in 2002, and now drives high-quality rental leads in over 80 U.S. markets using search campaigns and conversion tracking.

Founded in 1982, ForRent.com provides a customized search for thousands of apartment listings, making it one of the nation’s leading online home search destinations

The brief

With a vast and rapidly changing inventory of properties available to market online, ForRent.com needed a fast and scalable way to cover relevant user queries for every location and property featured on the website.

The rental destination was also looking for new ways to lower its cost-per-lead. With help from paid search partner agency Jellyfish, ForRent.com turned to Dynamic Search Ads.

The client set the following objectives:

  • To expand online reach at scale
  • To achieve higher return on investment
  • To drive more conversions
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The solution

In response to the brief, the team here at Jellyfish completed the following;

  • Implemented DSAs in a three-month test 

  • Combined DSAs with remarketing lists for Search ads 

  • Invested 17% of AdWords budget in DSAs in 2015

 

DSA helped ForRent.com reach customers with the right information in the moments they were searching—without the need to manage keywords.

DSA indexed the company’s website to determine which searches to show ads for. If a search was relevant to the content on the site, Google automatically created an ad to enter into the auction. The ads’ headlines and landing pages were generated based on the products and services ForRent.com offered, as well as what people were searching for. These highly targeted ads complemented other AdWords campaigns by delivering value for relevant searches that weren’t covered by existing keywords.

DSA also organised ForRent.com’s content into recommended categories for targeting its ads. Recommended categories were customised to its products and services and triggered ads for search queries where ForRent.com had a relevant landing page. Each category was also refined to show additional, more specific categories.

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DSA is a very intuitive and efficient tool that allows us to capture long-tail search terms. We’re able to increase coverage of these searches while generating the best ad copy and landing page for a specific user.

Terry Slattery President, ForRent.com

Market testing leads to increased DSA campaign spend 

ForRent.com and Jellyfish began by running DSA test campaigns in a few markets during the first quarter of 2015.

When their test showed significantly increased visibility for specific properties and broader coverage across long-tail search terms, the rental website gradually increased its DSA campaign spending to 17% of its overall AdWords budget.

As its investment increased, its cost-per-lead decreased, leading the website’s marketing team to quickly build more DSA campaigns to cover all of the markets served by ForRent.com. The home search website also took advantage of remarketing campaigns to achieve greater exposure for more specific searches.

Performance has been so strong that the website’s DSA campaigns now drive 22% of its AdWords leads.

 

DSA drives clicks, drops costs 

ForRent.com’s use of DSA campaigns delivered a marked improvement in performance compared to the website’s standard AdWords campaigns:

Click-through rates increased by 26%, CPCs decreased by 30%, and CPAs decreased by 37%. Performance has been so strong that the website’s DSA campaigns now drive 22% of its AdWords leads.

With help from Jellyfish, ForRent.com looks forward to taking further advantage of DSA’s auto-targeting features to drive more leads from interested renters at scale.

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26%higher click through rate
30%lower cost-per-click
37%decrease in cost-per-acquisition
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