January 2018

In January 2018, Flatmate Finders, an iconic Australian flatmate finding site, was experiencing aggressive competition in the flatmate search market.

Although Flatmate Finders had clear differentiation in terms of service and brand, the company underestimated the value of SEO in a market where Google searches are still the preferred method for finding flatmates by the users.

Flatmate Finder’s competitors saw this situation as an opportunity and quickly deployed a series of SEO tactics that increased their online presence.

Consequently, a large brand with superior service found itself in a constant traffic loss situation that required an immediate solution.


The challenge

How can a company compete in a market where big players have already established dominant positions?

To make things worse, the new competitors included some large Australian holdings newly interested in the flatmate market, and they had big pockets to play in paid search. This made it considerably more difficult and expensive to compete.

The two graphs pasted below, illustrate how this new competition was making their Google ads campaign get fewer clicks (ctr) and pay more for each of the clicks available (average CTR).



Source: Wordstream


Chart Summary:

CTR is a measurement of how often your ads are being clicked. It’s calculated by dividing the number of times they are shown (impressions). A lowering CTR trend, means your ads are getting clicks fewer times than previously.

Average CPC tells you the average amount you actually were charged each time your ad is clicked. it’s calculated by taking the total cost of all clicks divided by the total number of clicks.

In Google ads, a trend of increased CPC’s means you will have to pay more to compete or participate in the market.

The solution

Our strategy began with competitor analysis. 

Pulse took the task of analysing the competitor’s websites to understand what tactics they had implemented and what was paying off.

By reverse-engineering their competitors, we learn how to structure the site to take full advantage of the search opportunity and fight back against the deeper pockets of Flatmate Finder’s competitors.

In addition, we identified great link opportunities we could easily take advantage of, as well as areas in paid and organic search where the competitors were weak. 



The Results


In six months, Flatmate Finders saw a 27.42% increase in visitors.

Pulse was able to dramatically lower the cost per acquisition while increasing conversion rates. By April, the organic traffic began to show a positive trend with a 4.19% increase as reported by Google search.

The positive trend continued improving well into May, and by June the uptrend was constant and stable.


Public review Via LinkedIn


Guy Mitchell, Flatmate Finders

‘’I contacted Pulse Agency to help me arrest a decline in website traffic as a result of aggressive competition and my focus on technical aspects of my business, rather than marketing, for the 12 months prior. Nicolas was fantastic in so many ways. He did the necessary research to diagnose the issue and developed a plan to address three key areas of concern, including SEO, PPC and social media marketing. We worked together for five months to implement his plan and achieved great results. Nicolas’ commitment to success exceeded my expectations. He monitored the results closely and made adjustments to our strategy where necessary. He also kept abreast of competitor activity, researched better ways to implement our SEO strategy and injected a great deal of energy into our business. I high recommend Nicolas for his digital marketing skills, problem-solving ability and commitment to success.”