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Purplebricks’ record-breaking web traffic despite Google slump - claim

A property media analyst claims Purplebricks has record-breaking website traffic thanks to its “relentless” and vast budget marketing.

“Whether you like to admit it, their marketing is on point. Their quirky ads and slogans get the attention that’s made them a household name” says Raj Dosanjh, who runs the comparative fee platform Rentround, and who is also a property industry analyst.

Dosanjh cites two 2021 examples of Purplebricks’ marketing which appear to have produced substantial improvements to its website traffic.

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The first was the sponsorship of the Team GB Olympic squad, which Dosanjh calculates would have cost around £10m. “For the latest quarter the site traffic since the Olympics took place has been 41 per cent higher compared to the average number of monthly visitors since 2019” he says.

Purplebricks also launched a major TV campaign in September - it’s still ongoing - and Dosanjh claims this has led to substantial multi-media awareness, including one YouTube advertisement video securing over two million views.

However, the analyst does find at least one weak point in Purplebricks’ marketing stats - Google searches.

‘Purplebricks’ is being searched for less often than before on Google, and has remained static at around 550,000 searches per month since early summer.

“Never has there been a three month consecutive period where the term has been searched for at the current low volume. If you removed April 2020 which saw the first lockdown and [all] December months, the term has never had a single month being searched for this infrequently,” Dosanjh notes.

He also says that related searches - ‘Purplebricks estate agents’, ‘purple bricks reviews’ and ‘purple bricks for sale’ - have declined by 45, 19 and 19 per cent respectively. 

This performance comes despite substantial Purplebricks spending on Google Ads; Dosanjh calculates that this spend amounted to £176,000 in the past month alone - although that is a shadow of the agency’s reported spend of £500,000 a month on Google Ads in the distant past.

There’s plenty more detail in Dosanjh’s analysis, which you can see in full here.

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    Never in the history of man/womankind, ha ha, have we seen a spend of this magnitude on Estate Agency advertising in the UK. And we all know what will happen when it stops.

  • Chris Arnold

    "Warning - the advertising market is dangerous, unregulated & crawling with bots, scammers & other questionable traffic. There's a serious risk that a quarter of your ads will never be seen by a real person.". - Association of National Advertisers, USA.

    Fraudsters manipulate ad impressions, clicks, conversion, or data by driving fake traffic to the advertiser's site. For example," Buy 1,000 clicks for $1 - :no way for advertisers to distinguish our traffic from regular traffic."

    "With ad blocking now a very real issue for advertisers (over 12 million people use one in UK), over a quarter of the people they're trying to reach are wilfully making themselves unreachable." Bill Fisher, eMarketer.

    So, "record breaking website traffic" might be taken with a pinch of salt. The marketing is not "on point" simply because it supposedly gains attention. Attention, in itself, is not enough. There has to be engagement and of that there is no evidence that the quirky ads work, other than for brand recognition.

    The "relentless and vast marketing budget" can't buy the one thing that every vendor wants from an estate agency - trust.
    I prefer to rely on the quote from Paul Graham (legendary investor at Y Combinator) "It doesn't matter how much you spend on advertising. If the strategy is wrong, you're default dead."

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