One of the primary difficulties with managing Google Ads for your apartment community is simply knowing how those ads are performing. Google Ads is a complex platform, therefore, tracking performance can be a challenge.
That said, if you understand a few key metrics, it will help you monitor performance and make adjustments to your campaigns as needed.
The first metric is “search impression share.”
“Search impression share” is the impressions you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Eligibility is based on your current ads’ targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and quality. Impression share data is updated daily.
Monitoring this metric helps you understand the relative quality of your ads. It also helps you get a sense of what opportunities exists for an ad. Understanding your potential demand at a community can be a powerful tool for understanding what your potential rental rates could be.
Search Lost IS (Budget)
Related to impression share is the “Search Lost IS (Budget)” metric. This metric shows you what impressions you are missing out on due to your ad budget. This is a particularly helpful metric to monitor with branded keywords because people searching for you by name are genuinely your best leads and you should never miss out on those leads simply due to an insufficient ad budget. If what we call your “defensive ad,”—the ad targeting your community name and protecting your brand—is missing out on search due to budget, perhaps it’s time to reallocate your budget or simply considering increasing it.
Top of Page Rate
Google shows a variety of results at the top of a search result page. They can show local business listings, knowledge graph results, organic search results, or advertisements. The “top of page rate” and “absolute top of page rate” are the metrics which tell you how often your ad is appearing at the top.
Top of Page Rate
“Top of page rate” refers to how often your ad is the top ad on the search result page. So, it could have other types of search results showing up above it, but it is the top placed ad.
Absolute Top of Page Rate
The “absolute top of page rate”, then, refers to when your ad is the top overall result on the page, ahead not only of all the other ads but also all other types of search results.
Typically, ads that show up at the top of the page are going to be clicked more often than ads that are further down the page, so you want to have a high value for these metrics.
One other thing to keep in mind with these metrics: If you have a much higher “top of page” rate than “absolute top of page” rate, that may not be a bad thing. If Google is showing your Google My Business listing above the ad on mobile devices, then you don’t need to worry about the discrepancy because you’re still getting top placement on the page. As is always the case with online marketing data, understanding how to interpret the data is key.
How do I view these metrics?
First login to Google Ads & click on the campaign you want to look at:
Once you’re in Ad Groups, click Auction Insights:
Lastly, look at the data:
The data available inside Google Ads can be some of the most valuable marketing data you’ll ever find, provided you know how to read it and what to watch for. By monitoring your impression share and how regularly your ads are featured at the top of the page, you can know both how your ads are currently performing and how much potential there is for growth with a given campaign. This can be a powerful tool in understanding how to improve your broader marketing and revenue management strategy.