What’s Happening In Adwords For Retirement Villages



Matthew Holmes:            Hi. In this short video what we’re going to do is we’re going to be running what are the trends in Adwords advertising for Retirement Villages. Google has very kindly provided us with some data comparing 2016 to 2017 in the first quarter. And it’s revealed some very interesting trends amongst people’s interactions with ads and so forth that will give you some great information for when you’re designing your ad campaigns for your particular developments. So let’s dive straight into it.

So this graph here shows us what the average number of searches are on Google search network for retirement related keyword terms. That is retirement village related keyword terms. So you’re looking in the region of 45,000 to about 70,000 searches a month for retirement village related terms. The average number that Google has picked up is 62,000 monthly searches, but the majority of those are taking place in New South Wales. 31% or 32% of the searches there. Victoria, not surprisingly is the next biggest one. That takes up about 23% of the searches. Queensland is the next biggest at around 19%. Western Australia, 12 and a half. South Australia about 9%, and then the other states take up about 5% of the total search volume. Not surprisingly searches do tend to drop off in December. Probably because people are otherwise occupied doing other things.

But otherwise the search numbers do stay reasonably consistent throughout the rest of the year. There isn’t a huge drop off from a seasonality point of view that respect. So let’s dive into a little bit more depth around specifics on the Adwords network. Okay so let’s dive into a little bit more detail. Let’s look at search queries. So all the data in these slides is going to be comparing quarter one 2016 to quarter one 2017 when we’re looking at the metrics for gross or drop offs or anything like that. Many of the graphs will show over a two year roughly period of time.

Search Queries

Now if we look we can see that the average number of queries is gradually increasing over time. And when we talk about queries, what we’re referring to is the number of searches around retirement village related terms. So if somebody goes in and types, “Retirement village near me,” into Google.com then these are the terms that are going to be showing up in that respect. Now this data is also just relating to Australia, so when I say Google.com it would be Google.com.au. So as we can see here, what we have is we’ve got a breakdown between mobiles, tablets, and computers. Perhaps not surprisingly year on year gross we’re looking at mobiles actually have the greatest increase, and then what we look at, we can see that desktop computers have the next biggest increase, and then tablets have a marginal sort of increase.

When you compare quarter four 2016 to quarter one 2017, they all have approximately the same sort of increase. Maybe with that one tablets are slightly more, computers are next, and then mobile phones are the first. When we look at the total number of queries, it is still by far and away computers that tend to have the largest number of searches done on them. So they’ve got 53% of the total search. Mobile phones tends to be the next one at about 31%, and then tablets is a smaller proportion at around 16%. So that interestingly means that handheld devices has an approximately equal share to desktop computers. So if we group mobiles and tablets together we’re looking at a fairly similar breakdown of the search queries taking place on devices like that as compared to a computer.


If we look at the impressions, these are the number of times that ads show up. So if somebody goes and types in, “Retirement village near me,” this is how many times an ad will actually show up for those related queries. So what we can actually see is that there is a decrease in the total number during the period of two years that we’re looking at. Or just under two years that we’re looking at. When you’re looking at it from a computer point of view. So desktop computer point of view. What we are seeing though is that mobiles and tablets actually are having more ads showing on them. So when we look at the breakdown here, we can see that mobiles have actually increased by 48% over the year on the year on year growth. Tablets have increased at about 6% whereas computers have dropped off by 30% which overall give a negative growth. But when you look at it, mobiles and tablets, particularly mobiles are seeing a definite increase. It’s just the computers that are tending to drop off.

That really reinforces what Google is generally saying is that when you’re looking at search, mobile is becoming increasingly more and more important. And so it’s very important to take mobile into account when you’re creating landing pages and so on and so forth. And to the point of saying, “Well what we probably should be doing is we should be creating dedicated mobile pages so that they are going to be as optimised as they possibly can be in order to deliver a good experience for somebody on the mobile phone.

Clicks & Click Through Rate

If we dive in a little bit further to the number of clicks that ads are seeing, what we are seeing over time is that people are clicking ads more and more. Okay. So the number of clicks is increased. So we are seeing that obviously there’s more searches related to these terms. So you’d probably expect therefore that the number of clicks are going to go up. But what we may have seen is that the clicks actually dropped off which would suggest that people actually are developing an aversion to the ads. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. The clicks here in this data are definitely increasing over time both for computer, and for mobile, and for tablet. And yet again mobile is definitely demonstrating the biggest growth in that interaction there. So just reinforcing that mobile message.

When we look at click through rate, we can see again this reinforces what I was just saying on the previous slide where people are getting used to clicking on ads. And so again, we can see here there’s 46% overall increase. This time we’re actually seeing more people starting to click on computers as opposed to mobile phones and tablets. But there is still increases on those handheld devices. I would suspect that this increase that we’re seeing on computer is probably due to the changes that Google has made in the way that ads are displayed. And that is where they’ve got rid of the right hand column. They have really just gone with the three ads at the top, and the one or two ads at the bottom. And what we’re actually starting to see is that they’re actually starting to put four ads at the top. So they’re pushing the organic results even further down the page. And so that is fitting with people increasing with their clicks.

The other thing that they’re doing is that they’re making the ads look less like ads. It used to be that the ads would have a yellow background, and it really stood out they were ads. Now it only had a little, small green icon that says that this is an ad. So it’s very easy to mistake the ad for an organic listing. So I suspect that that’s partly what’s going on here as well is that people are just starting to accept that ads are a normal part of the search result, and as a consequence we’re seeing click through rates increasing for those. Perhaps not surprisingly then what we’re seeing is that the costs per click are increasing as well. So when we look at this, we’re actually seeing for mobile particularly, again this isn’t really what we want, but not surprising given that there is more mobile traffic there, we can see that mobile costs per click have gone up over the space of the year by 18%. Whereas tablets and desktop are 7 and 9% respectively. So we are definitely seeing an upward trend in costs.

Ad Costs

So when we sort of average this data out we can see that there. Though when you look at the 2015 data on the end of this graph, we can see that actually the costs have dropped during 2016 and now they are starting to creep up. But by the look of it, they’re still not up around the levels that we were seeing towards the end of 2015. So interesting data there suggesting that there was that drop off. Sort of belies, or contradicts the fact that people say that cost per click always go up, and clearly they don’t


So in summary, what can we take away from this slide? What we can see is that more people are searching for retirement village related terms. We can also see that the impressions have dropped on desktop computers, but they have increased for ads on mobile phones and, to a lesser degree on tablets. We can also see that more people are clicking on retirement village related ads. So that would suggest that people are starting to become more familiar with ads and are starting to accept them as a normal part of the search results. And so they really do need to form part of your overall strategy when you look at marketing your villages online. And lastly, we’re seeing an upward trend in costs. This is an issue obviously, but what we need to make sure that we therefore do is that if it’s going to cost you more per click for an ad, is that you really need to make sure that all the optimal followup strategies are in place so as to maximise the return that you’re going to get from that cost of the click.

So things like making sure your landing pages are fully optimised in order to make the most of all the traffic that goes to them, and be running split tests to those landing pages so that you can be sure that you’re going to get the maximum return from that traffic. We cover all this in very great detail in the white-paper paper on increasing results with online advertising. Will be available very soon through the Retirement Living Council. Or you can email us directly and we’d be more than happy to make a copy available to you. If you have any questions about any of this data, or you’d like to discuss it in greater detail, be sure to pop us a line. Our contact data is available on the page where this will be displayed, or if you’re on LinkedIn or some other platform then just pop a question in below the video and we’ll be more than happy to discuss this with you.

Thanks again for watching. And I hope to see you again soon.

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