London and Country loved the control of managing their own paid search, but wanted to retain the insight and expertise of an agency. Our in-house support blended audits, market reports and data analysis to keep their campaigns in peak condition.

“Search Star has a can-do, flexible approach to suit the needs of the client. The team know their subject and innovate to achieve account growth”

Annette Read, London & Country

London & Country

London & Country are the UK’s number 1 online mortgage brokers. They offer fee-free mortgage advice for first-time buyers, house movers, remortgagers, and buy-to-let investors. Having won over 140 awards since starting up in 2002, they help take the hassle out of finding a mortgage for thousands of people every year.

Their Objectives

London & Country felt confident in their ability to manage their own paid search campaigns, moving activity in-house in a bid to increase levels of control and reactivity. However, they wanted to ensure that their own management kept pace with best practice in the constantly changing world of digital marketing.

In their highly-competitive industry they needed a way of identifying opportunities and developing strategies to stay ahead of their competitors. Given the lead-based nature of their new customer acquisition, they needed to be sure that their online tracking and measurement tools were working accurately and effectively to deliver the data and insight required for first-class marketing.

Our Approach

We worked closely with London & Country to define the exact level of support required and how this would be delivered. The output was a detailed task list covering all aspects of account management and clearly divided responsibilities between SearchStar and London & Country.

This approach gave the client complete reassurance that all bases were covered and meant that it was very clear what they could expect from SearchStar on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

While London & Country handled the majority of the day-to-day management, we provided support on longer-term account development and analysis tasks, taking time to dive deeper into the data to sculpt improved bidding, targeting and creative strategies.

We also provided an invaluable quality control service, providing regular account reviews based on our comprehensive 100-point audit document so that any problems or errors within the account were spotted and dealt with quickly. This was combined with our Google-certified Analytics prowess, meaning London & Country benefited from the support of industry-leading experts in tracking, measurement and attribution.

Using our wider industry knowledge and agency-level subscriptions to intelligence tools such as Hitwise, our consultants were able to deliver greater levels of competitor and market insight to London & Country, directing not just their paid search strategy but also their wider website and marketing efforts.

All of this was tied together with incredibly high levels of collaboration and communication, so that it could truly be said that we were operating as an extension of the London & Country team.

Their Results

London & Country’s shift in-house coincided with a tough time for the mortgage market, as house prices and the number of people moving house started to falter. However, with SearchStar’s support they felt confident to continue to push PPC hard in order to ward-off disruptive competitors and grow market share in an increasingly difficult space.

Our combined approach saw search investment increase by over 150% year-on-year, with no associated rise in cost-per-click. The level of proactivity and reactivity achieved by having both agency and in-house staff working on the account can be evidenced by the number of account changes being made – up 30% year-on-year.

The ultimate result is that the client is extremely happy with the working relationship between the in-house and agency teams, and that the balance of having both internal control and external insight has been achieved.

Are you considering a move in-house?

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