Houzz Advertising Results: A one year anaylsis
Let me start off by saying, I like Houzz.com. I think there site provides a lot of valuable information to home owners and people looking to remodel. With that being said, that is part of the problem. The site has so much information, it is almost impossible to make yourself stand out. Enter Houzz with their geo targeted advertising. The short of it is, their advertising platform allows business’ like ours to enter into a one year contract for paid placement in a specific category in a specific location. Our category was cabinetry and our location was Morristown and the central New Jersey shore area.
Lets start with this first. It cost us close to $7000 for a year long contract, to be in two geographical areas.
What you get
We will focus on what exactly impacts the end user. This consists of three front end parts.
1. The Offer – Houzz will put up an offer for you to stand out of the crowd. This shows up as a green banner on the directory listing, and as an offer on your profile page. It is basically a way to get your call to action out in front. Ours was 10% off a kitchen or bath remodel over $5000.
2. Picture Placement – Houzz will post paid users pictures on the front page. It may not be the first picture, but it will be first page. That is a good thing. Users surfing through photos will check it out and click on it. We have some great photos that we had professionally done, so it was good to see them get some views.
3. Web Pro Banner – At the bottom of most of the photo directories you see a “Find a local Pro” section. Your business will be placed in this section to entice people to go to your profile page, and use your business.
The goal of these three is to get people to your profile page where they will contact you through Houzz or go to your website. The end result is for you to make contact with a client, and hopefully close the sale.
At a glance the numbers look ok, but lets break a few of them down.
Profile Impressions Vs. Profile Clicks
For the year, our profile had 105,288 impressions. It is a fairly vague term, but those are impressions site wide through images and other things. These are paid and organic, and the break down on paid v. organic was 72% to 28%. Out of those impressions 391 people clicked through to the profile. A horrible click through at 0.371%. Still its 391 people that did not see us before, so my marketing brain says brand awareness win. Right?
Web Pro Banner Impressions Vs. Web Pro Banner Clicks
47,356 total impressions for the year. 47k people is still quite a bit, but when held up against a click rate of 53 it makes the click rate 0.111%. That is dismal. I feel like you would actually have to try to get a click through that low. Those 53 people barely make it out of the ACCIDENTAL click realm. The percentage of people that accidentally click is probably higher than the intentional, but I have no metrics for bounce or TOS to figure that out.
Houzz to Home Page Flow
So, out of the 444 people that landed on our profile page, how many of them went to our website? According to Google analytics run on the same date range……. drumroll…… 30! 6.75% of people that view our profile. I will not even give it its own section, but of those 444 people we had ZERO call, email, houzz message, or anything. We had ZERO opportunity to make a sale or even offer a free consultation.
There was not one. Not a single thing.
Was there some things I could do differently? According to my Houzz rep, I should have described my photos more. That to me is a cop out. Those types of things only go to enhance your organic ranking of photos for people searching, and has nothing to do with your paid placement. Which is what you’re paying for, so that should work better than organic.
The Houzz advertising plan is antiquated, and needs some serious updating. It is 2015. If you stand by the success of your product, and know it will work, then you should let your clients pay for actual results. Like Google. If you put almost $7000 into Google SEM you would get more people driven to your site in a month, than our entire year with Houzz. They should also give clients to ability to track keywords, and better metrics. This would have allowed us to fine tune our advertising to garner more traffic. I should tell you that you can change certain things, but only if you call them and ask them to. Again, no real time metrics kind makes it a blind call.
So, if you were thinking of going with Houzz, you may want to think again. Are there some success stories out there that they can show you, Yes! But, the more common result is far from what you are shown in their fancy webinar. I am not saying it will be tantamount to throwing 7 grand in a toilet, like ours was, but be skeptical when some one promises amazing results. Especially if there case studies have nothing to do with your niche in the industry.
As some one who has been in marketing for years, I should have seen it. I crunched some initial numbers, found some online reviews, and did a few other things, but I never expected the results I got. I am a very cautious man, and everything I put together was well below the stated estimates that were provided to me. Nothing could have prepared me for ZERO.