Case study: Using (not provided) keywords for better ad performance


    123Makler operates in the competitive online real estate brokerage space. As a digital platform, SEO is central to their business, and enhancing their organic search performance was a key business objective for 2020.

    In this case study, we will present how 123Makler improved paid goal conversions by 136% in just three months and optimized their main landing pages based on new organic keywords discovered with Keyword Hero.

    Topics in focus:

    1. Using organic keywords to enhance Google Ads campaigns
    2. Understanding users and user value better
    3. Monitoring rankings
    4. Enhancing pages based on new keywords

    The company

    123makler helps people all across Germany find and evaluate real estate brokers online.

    The challenge

    123Makler wanted more visibility into the search terms that were leading to conversions on different pages on their website. 

    They also wanted to improve ROI for Google Ads by integrating organic keywords into new ad campaigns.

    Like any other Google Analytics user their keywords were blocked as (not provided).

    Before they had been using various workarounds for the problem of (not provided) including Google Search Console.

    The solution: Unlock keywords in Google Analytics

    After creating an account with Keyword Hero they reduced the percentage (not provided) keywords down to below 7%.

    Not provided keywords

    In our client’s own words:

    Keyword Hero

    After a month of using Keyword hero, our client could see what keywords people were searching to reach and they applied these to new paid ad campaigns.

    The results

    Let’s take a look at the four key results they observed over the course of three months.

    1. Using organic keywords to enhance Google Ads campaigns

    Keyword Hero enabled 123Makler to unlock (not provided) search. 

    This meant that they could identify the overlap between top-performing organic keywords and paid keywords. 

    In doing so, they were able to optimize paid search campaigns.

    When you have a dataset of hundreds of keywords, how can you ensure you are including the best performing organic keywords in paid campaigns?

    By selecting the best performing organic keywords, 123Makler was able to reduce CPC and increase CTR. 

    In addition, as Google awards the top above-the-fold positions to paid ads, 123Makler ensured that they ranked there for both paid and organic, so they increased conversions simply by taking up more page space on the Serps.

    136% improvement in paid conversions

    For this case study let’s compare the three months from July to September 2020 to the three months previous (before 123Makler started using Keyword Hero.)

    By unlocking (not provided) on Google Analytics, 123Makler was able to improve its goal conversion rate in just three months by 136%, despite a decrease in new paid search users of 63%. 

    goal conversion rate

    Here are the keywords (translated from German) that they discovered that had the highest conversion potential, which they were able to track.

    1. Rating portal realtor
    2. Real estate agent rating portal
    3. Broker rating
    4. Real estate agent comparison
    5. Valuation real estate agent

    With new keyword insight, 123Makler increased their click-through-rate to 2.6% from 1.3% at the start of April last year. The industry average CTR for real estate is 2.03%.

    CTR percentage

    2. Understanding users and user value better

    Once 123Makler had reclaimed their keywords (not provided) on Google Analytics, they could analyze their customers in greater detail, by linking organic keywords directly to sessions on Google Analytics.

    One of the first things they discovered was that many people were searching directly for the real estate brokers themselves, for instance, Bernd Nagel, who works for Jung und Nagel Immobilien. 


    When they realized that people were searching for the name of real estate brokers, they added individual pages for each broker along with a rating system. As you can see from the above, Mr. Nagel has an almost perfect rating, which can be seen reflected in the 100% improvement in goal completion for people who searched for his name on Google.


    They also discovered that people were searching directly for ReWa Immobilien GmbH, a real estate agency in Baden-Württemberg. 


    To highlight that the broker worked for ReWa Immobilien GmbH, they changed the page design, so that the logo appeared front and center for visitors. This increased the number of visitors by 250% for the three-month comparison period. Just by closer matching search intent with page content.

    rewa immobilien

    3. Monitoring rankings

    Once Keyword Hero is up and running you can enjoy a new custom dimension called Position. By filtering by Position you can see how your keywords rank in Google search results.

    If you click on a specific keyword from the results and choose Position as your secondary dimension, then you can see the breakdown of all the different instances of where your keyword ranked in search results.

    In using this Keyword Hero custom dimension, 123Makler could see the keywords that were almost on the first page of the search results and needed a little boost – that is positions 11, 12, and 13. Getting these keywords to rank on the first page leads to huge traffic gains.

    Keyword: 123 immobilien

    Rank April to June: 6

    Rank July to Sep: 17

    By monitoring our custom position dashboard, 123Makler spotted the slide in ranking for this popular keyword. They renewed some content and optimized a few key pages and they got back to position one.

    123 immo

    This was an easy win for 123Makler. 

    4. Optimizing pages for quick wins

    After unlocking their (not provided) keywords, 123Makler set about optimizing each page to drive traffic and reduce bounce rates. 

    Like most businesses, their primary landing page is their homepage.

    With some keyword optimization, they were better able to match search intent with page content. This resulted in an improvement in the goal conversion rate for their homepage of 32.26% in just three months. 

    homepage keyword optimization

    The following five keywords (translated from German) had the most impact, which were previously hidden as (not provided).

    1. Find real estate agent
    2. Find realtor
    3. Search realtor
    4. Realtor
    5. Cheap broker

    Summary of results

    Summary of results

    123Makler enjoyed some quick wins by getting their (not provided) keywords back into Google Analytics.

    • The percentage of keywords not provided decreased from 99% to 6.58%
    • Paid search conversion rate improved by 136%
    • Ad click-through rate increased to 2.6% from 1.3%
    • Homepage conversion rate increased 32%

    Daniel Schmeh
    For eight years Daniel Schmeh has been involved in online marketing, in the first years mainly with SEO, later more and more with web analytics and marketing automation.

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