Gaining efficiency around search-based marketing: REA Group's keyword quest

ASX-listed property digital media company rolls out online advertising management tool and gains new automated reporting and management capabilities

When you have more than one million keyword search terms and multiple digital brands to manage, having an automated, scalable and efficient search management and reporting tool is vital to your sanity.

This was the case for Bill Robinson, an SEM specialist working at ASX-listed online property industry digital advertising organisation, REA Group. The company operates a host of well-known real estate brands including realestate.com.au, and realcommercial.com.au, all of which are heavily reliant on Google and Bing search for traffic and customer leads.

Robinson and his team manage 30 accounts including different identities for each state, as well as website sections such as land development or commercial property. The search marketing team is a centralised function and works across all lines of business.

The problem was that its incumbent search management solution was archaic, slow and manual. Making bulk changes to keywords was an arduous process, and customer service was poor.

“Our goal was to improve paid search ROI and the level of inquiries from paid search activities,” Robinson said. “This is very important as search sits at the heart of our traffic strategy.”

The company opted to roll out Marin Software’s platform concurrently with another major SEM software provider over a three-month period, a task which involved tracking tasks through both systems. Tests were conducted in four main areas, Robinson said: Bid management and automation efficiency; customer service; reporting efficiency; and accuracy of conversion.

The Marin Platform was successful and has now been rolled out as a permanent platform. In one example, Robinson said REA saw a 52 per cent increase in enquiry conversion rates on one of its accounts on realestate.com.au after deploying the software, and a 39 per cent decrease in cost per click.

Scheduling, changing and optimising campaigns across the sites has also become quicker and easier, and was achieved without spending additional dollars.

Another key area of improvement is reporting. “I can automate reports and distribute these to stakeholders, whereas previously we had to download reports,” Robinson said. “Data is presented in a more visually appealing way as well.

"People are more interested in the metrics that affect them, such as cost per inquiry or return on ad spend."

In addition, Marin integrates well with REA Group’s existing analytics social and search technology tracking platform, SiteCatalyst, and allows the team to pull in conversion data, such as email leads to real estate agendas. This helps determine which real estate ads to run for that day. Marin also integrates with Google Adwords, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook and Adobe Insights.

Having rolled out the Marin automation bidding platform earlier this year across higher value accounts, Robinson said his team are working to extend the technology across all keyword accounts. Recent upgrades to the platform have also allowed REA Group to gain more functionality with site links and how it tags ads for Google.

"We're using this feature more to change our site links," he said.

More on managing technology in marketing:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Customer experience crisis: Proactively mitigating the risk of broken promises

Last Friday, three weeks after United Airline’s spectacular customer experience disaster, customers received a letter from the company’s CEO, Oscar Munoz.

The politics of branding

There have been some real doozies lately. I’m speaking of campaigns where brands have dipped their toe in - or jump straight into the deep end – of the political spectrum, aligning with social causes that seem to be the flavour of the day.

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

Thank you Shane Blandford for carrying my Smarketing vision into KM !

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

Thanks for helping me putting those threads of thoughts together. Simplification and connection - neat idea.

Mark Bayly

Tips from IAG on how to craft human-centred design

Read more

The problem with Box is that they made a couple of big mistakes - they first hired a bunch of unprepared kids and gave them big roles and...

Tim Woods

CMO interview: Why Box's marketing chief is rewarding staff for failing

Read more

At this point, being hit hard will also be subject for a detailed study. In honesty, too early to tell but there are precedents to follow...

Sean Lindeman

Australian Government to abolish 457 visa program

Read more

iflix is really a company with great potential. As a young company, iflix has forward-looking insights and able to identify data-driven m...

Serene Chan

How iflix used consumer intent data to gain 1 million subscribers in six months

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in