Heimstaden | Why change a winning concept?

The following case is about a strong and acknowledged company, and its potential to achieve even more profitable operations. We´ll show you how we managed to go from decent to extraordinary. This should be an interesting read for you who are looking for a great return on investment, and want to understand the fundamentals of ROI in search engine marketing (SEM).

“We are very pleased with our choice of Layer as a partner for SEM. We have now chosen to expand the collaboration into a number of other fields, such as Social Media Marketing, SEO and Web Development - after a couple of really interesting audits showing the potential for growth.”

- Ina Hesle, Head of Marketing & Communications, Heimstaden Norway


Heimstaden is a leading competitor in the European residential real estate industry and operates in a highly competitive market. The company is dependent on being present on, and not least, performing on top of several online platforms in order to be competitive.

Challenges and needs

With rental of homes and commercial spaces as a product, Heimstaden offers something that benefits and interests a large audience. Therefore, precision and efficiency in terms of media budgets is crucial to achieve profitable results.

Heimstadens various locations are accessible via a number of platforms and relevant search engines that people use to find available rentals, not least Google.

The biggest challenge with Heimstadens search engine marketing (in this case, Google ads) was not the lack of traffic or inquiries, but the lack of insight of what effect and profitability the ads actually gave in return.

Before we started our collaboration in the beginning of 2021, Heimstaden had a combination of in-house resources and hired specialists that met the needs of paid search engine visibility, and overall digital presence. They seem to have everything under control, and the results were okay.

But there we were, asking one simple question. “Can it get better?” and the answer was, "We're not sure, but let's find out!"

Company goals and Google Ads KPIs

  • Rent out vacant homes for the lowest possible advertising cost.  
  • Drive relevant traffic to various landing pages that show available rentals. 
  • Establish their brand as a recognized and competitive player in Google search.

So, what could be improved with the current setup?

The scope for this kind of audit can be quite extensive, and we don't want to bore you - so here is a little taste of the things we wanted to examine in detail:

  • Is there well-functioning conversion tracking in place? 
  • Is the ads account limited by its daily budgets? 
  • Are there any automatic bidding rules for profitability?
  • Is the account well maintained and frequently tested?
  • Is there proper structure and division of campaigns?
  • How is the handling of mobile and tablet traffic?
  • Any bid management according to profitability?

And the list of things we wanted to examine goes on...

Solution proposal and execution

After spending some time digging and investigating, we came to a conclusion: There is definitely untapped potential here!

Let us briefly explain what we did to succeed:

  • Expanded the account in general, since it suffered from a far too small and detailed setup, set against the potential they could achieve. 
  • We increased the effort on maintenance, A/B-testing and advanced technology. 
  • We set up more sophisticated optimization, and not least significant conversion goals. 
  • Improvements of logics and automation in bidding and segmentation.
  • Better structure of ad groups that deals with the different services and types of rentals.
  • We enhanced the Google Ads / SEO interaction so it is easier to see what converts well, and identify the messages that triggers the most.
  • We performed ROI calculations of the cost per conversion, and found out the optimal spending amount to strive for. 
  • Adjusted the budget for maximum impact and growth for each and every keyword.

Results then vs. now - did we manage to improve the ROI?

  • Cost per click: -29%
  • Cost per conversion: -72% (211 CPA vs. 58 kr CPA)
  • Number of users: +332%
  • Conversion rate: +30%
  • Number of conversions: +35%
  • Chance of continued collaboration between Layer and Heimstaden: 100%

Project group

Jonas Abrahamsen

Project manager

Simon Allanson

Project lead