Keep Friends Close and Competition Closer: Benefits and Risks of Conquesting Ads in Senior Living

Have you ever searched for your senior living community on Google to find a paid ad for your competition at the top of search results?

What gives? Are they even allowed to do that?

Short answer, yes, and your senior living marketing team could do the same. In this post, we’re discussing the competitive advertising tactic of conquesting in Google Ads. You’ll learn:

  • A definition of conquesting ads
  • Three potential benefits and trade-offs your senior living marketing team should be aware of before conquesting in Google Ads

A Suit of the Same Color – What are Conquesting Google Ads?

Conquesting ads is a paid tactic of bidding on the branded keywords of your competition. In practice, your community would purposely pay to leverage your competitor’s brand name for your own PPC advertising. By using conquesting ads in Google, your community can attract attention and get clicks from a targeted audience similar to your own. Instead of trying to outbid the titans in the space, your senior living marketing team can be found for the terms their prospective residents are using.

Competitive advertising tactics like conquesting ads provide a cost-effective way to earn visibility with search traffic that’s both relevant and targeted. While there are benefits to using your competition’s branded name for your own PPC campaign, conquesting in Google Ads is considered controversial with its share of trade-offs to consider. We’ll outline these potential pitfalls alongside the benefits to give your community a well-rounded understanding of this tactic.

Conquesting in Google Ads: Steal the SERP Real Estate of Your Competition or Start a Bidding War

Wordstream cites that on average, 41% of clicks go to the first three paid positions on Google’s search engine results page. With competition for organic rankings on Google’s SERP being more intense than ever before, a PPC campaign with the right keywords can give communities an edge. By using your competitor’s branded keywords to your benefit, your community will gain prime SERP real estate that it wouldn’t have otherwise had if it bid on its own brand name in a PPC campaign.

Granted, this is also real estate that your competition will surely notice. If your senior living marketing team is consistently tracking its position on Google’s SERP, it can be assumed your competition is doing the same. And it’s doubtful that they would be happy to learn that their branded keywords are being used to your community’s benefit. In some instances, competition will retaliate, inciting a bidding war.

Conquesting in Google Ads: Uncover Keyword Opportunities or see a Lower Ad Quality Score

Any senior living marketing professional who’s agonized over keyword research can breathe a sigh of relief. A competitive advertising tactic like conquesting ads creates opportunities to incorporate keywords your community didn’t have before. Of course, this will require research and some strategic maneuvering from your team, but the effort is well-worth it.

What keywords are driving your competitor’s success? Which keywords are moving the meter for them? Your community doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines of that success. There could be untapped opportunities in the form of longtail keywords your team could discover. Your community could also learn of keywords with high search volume that are essentially low hanging fruit that your team picks up.

Conversely, your community could notice a lower Ad Quality Score due to bidding on your competitor’s brand name. Ad Quality Scores impact the cost per click (CPC), and lower Ad Quality Scores produce a higher CPC. Based on the expense of your CPC, your community could see increased cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per lead (CPL). While your community will gain competitive insight and keyword opportunities, don’t start conquesting in Google Ads without first setting the expectation that a higher CPC, CPA and CPL are a potential result from this competitive advertising tactic.

Conquesting in Google Ads: Sway Searchers Mindsets or see Traffic Bounce

In addition to being on the radar of prospective residents who wouldn’t have known of your community, you also have an opportunity to convert that traffic into a call, tour or move-in. The value of this traffic surpasses that of a cold lead because these prospects are already in a state of searching for the ideal community to suit their needs. Just because that traffic searched for your competition doesn’t mean it’s the ideal option for them. It gives your community an ideal opportunity to differentiate itself.

At the same time, because that traffic’s original intent was to connect with your competition, your community could have difficulty converting them. Your senior living marketing team could track lower conversion rates and an increase in users bouncing from your site as a result. In a way, your community could anticipate this reaction, since this traffic originally wanted to connect with your competition to begin with.

Respectful and Competitive Rivalries: Using Conquesting Ads to Your Advantage

Conquesting in Google Ads is but one tactic to incorporate into a PPC strategy. The benefits and potential risks should be carefully weighed and considered before implementing into your PPC campaign. Our team can help your community determine whether conquesting in Google Ads makes strategic sense. Contact us and we’ll answer your questions and provide counsel based on your unique needs.

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