We run over 300 real estate pay-per-click accounts on Google Adwords for our clients. As you can imagine, part of our (often hectic) jobs are figuring out what to make of all the performance statistics we accumulate over time. What we’re going to share with you now is extremely valuable information because: A. Not everyone runs 3 pay-per-click accounts, let alone 300. B. We’re going to show you some weekly search trends that are going to make your Adwords campaigns more effective! In this analysis, we ran a report which took all of our active campaigns for the month of October, and compiled averages for 8 different stats, and then split up those averages over the different days of the week. We took out the actual numbers so that this can be viewed as more of a relational analysis than a quantitative one (we apologize if that isn’t the exact term for that.. we hope you get the gist though!). What this day by day breakdown over 8 different stats allows us to do is see which days may be more advantageous to be aggressive on with ad spends than others. As you’ll see, even though some clear patterns emerge from this, even more questions/challenges are presented by the stats. So after we all learn something by going through this, you can participate in the exercise (and we encourage it) by voicing your own interpretation of these stats via comments. Ok, let’s waste no further time…
Average Impressions by Date of Week
What this shows is that there are far more people searching for real estate related phrases on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday than at any other time of the week. Surprisingly, since people have the time off during the weekend, Saturday yields the lowest amount of real estate search traffic. Or is it that shocking? It could be that people are too busy going out to look at the homes they’ve been researching all week to spend time looking online for more of them? All considerations aside, it’s obvious from this graph that there’s more traffic to potentially drive to your site at the beginning of the week than at any other time!
Click Through Rate by Date of Week
This graph shows that you actually get a much higher click-through rate during the weekends than during the week. And interestingly enough, Mondays are perhaps the worst day to try and convert impressions into visitors for your site. Our educated guess is that since web surfers have more time to do their searching, they are probably going to be less less picky with their clicks. That would lead to them more carefully investigating each page, and more of those sites in the sponsored listings receiving traffic. Monday, the day when the most impressions are to be had, would be the opposite scenario where people are just trying fit in a search between their lunch breaks, and have less time to casually browse the results. By this logic, if you have high-quality, content-driven pitches on your landing pages, it might be best to serve them on the weekend since those people will probably have more time to check them out fully (and appreciate their value!)
Clicks by Date of Week
It’s no surprise that this graph pretty closely matches that of the impressions; the more impressions available, it’s possible that it directly translates to more overall click volume. This doesn’t really tell us much as far as the quality of the traffic is concerned, but it’s nonetheless interesting to note in that it reinforces that the beginning of the work week is when the most clicks happen for the real estate industry on Google.
Conversions by Date of Week
By far the most interesting graph so far is the one we compiled for conversions. Note that conversions in our line of work are conversions from visitors into leads via lead capture forms. This stat doesn’t take into account any person who would directly contact someone via email or phone (not track-able through Adwords). It’s sort of predictable that Monday yields the most conversions overall, and then the rate slides down through the week, based on the graphs for impressions and clicks. But what is a bit perplexing is that Sunday seems to have a nice conversion "rebound" when compared to Saturday. What we think all of this means is that Monday is the best day to get people to do something impulsive, like fill out a capture form, because they have a shorter attention span. But that Sunday might offer the best value overall in terms of converting the traffic that is available at a higher clip than relative to the rest of the week. Perhaps filling out lead-gen forms is what anyone who doesn’t watch NFL football does with their Sundays?
Cost Per Conversion by Date of the Week
This cost per conversion analysis shows that Sunday does in fact offer the best ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of converting potential clients into actual contacts. It is cheaper to convert visitors on Sunday than any other day of the week. Notice that it is more expensive to convert people on Wednesday than any other time of the week. We guess that this is because people have already spent a couple of days of the week searching, and by this time in the week, they have pretty much either already made their decision, or are the types who are highly discriminating, and are most difficult to get to commit. So steer clear of advertising on Adwords on Wednesday if you can avoid it!
Cost Per Click by Date of the Week
This graph shows a pretty level line, but it does show that Monday and Saturday have the most expensive clicks. Monday obviously has the most search volume, but it also seems to have the most aggressive competition, driving the average cost per click higher than any other day but Saturday. Why clicks cost more on Saturday… well we think it’s because there are too many people trying to advertise to a relatively low number of searchers, driving average CPC up.
Average Position by Date of Week
Once again, a pretty level line on this chart, but there’s still something that can be gleaned from it. It shows that ads tend to serve lower on the page on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This would reinforce the concept that there’s more aggressive competition for less interested searchers on those two days. So this is another indicator that those two days are not the best days to target your Adwords marketing on.
Cost by Date of Week
Finally, we get to the "bottom line" figure of overall cost. It’s more costly to advertise on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Regardless of the results, you’ll spend more money on these days. So that’s definitely something to be aware of. This chart falls closely in line with those for impressions and clicks, so it’s pretty safe to say that your costs are gonna be closely tied to those things as well. Which all makes sense.
In our opinion, the optimal days of the week to advertise real estate services are Sunday and Monday, while the "worst" days to advertise are Wednesday and Saturday. The other days fall in line somewhere between those ends of the marketing effectiveness spectrum. We hope you enjoyed this analysis, and please contribute your additional thoughts (or even re-interpretation of the data – we’d love to hear it!) by commenting to this blog post.