Every modern real estate agent knows that homes are sold as much online as by tours and open houses. But just building a website or a great Zillow listing isn’t enough to attract the perfect buyers for each home you have on the market. You’ve got to collect online leads in order to draw them into your tempting collection of online listings. One of the best ways to do this is with PPC (pay-per-click) marketing through search engines like Google. AdWords is the leading PPC platform and specializes in showing search-engine users custom ad-results based on what they’re searching.
This means that if you build your PPC campaign correctly, you can show your ad only to people who are likely searching for homes in your area and only pay for advertising when those leads choose to click. It’s a win-win situation, if you’ve got your strategy down. This guide is a quick crash-course for real estate agents to hone your PPC strategy even if you’ve never PPC’d before.
Base Keyword Selection on Inventory and Target Audience
The central premise of PPC is that you sign up for specific keywords or clusters of keywords. Then, when a Google user (aka: anyone) searches for those keywords, your ad is shown to them and they have the option to click. This means you need great keyword targeting and persuasive ad-copy to make that click follow through.
So start with your keyword selection. Start by researching the most highly-researched keywords in local real estate. These will be your broad search terms. On top of this, refine your keyword clusters and long-tail keywords to match your inventory and target audience. For example, include “condo” or “beach house” if that’s what you have on the market.
Geotargeting and Localized Keywords
There’s no need to show off your real estate ads to anyone who’s not looking for homes in your area, so localizing your PPC campaign is an important next step. There are two ways to localize. The first is easy and universal. Simply add the name of your city and the neighborhoods where you properties are located in the keyword clusters. The second way is to geotarget, in which you only show your ads to searchers within your local area. Geotargeting may be ideal if you’re looking for local buyers.
Getting Fancy with Keywords
– Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are exclusions so that you don’t show up in searches that don’t quite relate to your home inventory. For example, you might exclude ‘dog house’ from searches for houses in your area. Proper use of negative keywords can save you money and refine your PPC targeting.
– Broad Match Modifiers
Broad match modifiers are keywords combined with (+) plus symbols. This means that any long-tail search with the included words will trigger your ad, not just the exact combination you entered. For example “buy+Denver+house” will catch searches for both “I want to buy a house in Denver” and “find Denver houses to buy”
Write Powerful Ad Copy
The title of your ad and the blurb of text or image underneath will be what determines if searchers actually want to click on your ad. This means you need powerful, persuasive ad copy that inspires clicks and entices potential buyers. Images of homes in your inventory may do the trick, or the exact right words that appeal to your target audience of buyers. Your ad copy is what turns ad-viewers into potential leads, so put real thought into what you write and how you craft your PPC ad.
Create Custom Landing Pages for Conversion
One leads click, they will go to your landing page. Do NOT simply use your website homepage for a universal landing page. Create a custom landing page for each ad you make. This page should have the content your lead was clicking for, perhaps a single home listing or a showcase of homes of a specific type in the area. Make it tempting and, most of all, make sure the page guides leads down the ‘conversion funnel’ to the next stage of consideration.
Gather Data from Your Leads
Don’t neglect your data gathering. Use on-site data collection software to pick up passive information about leads. Then, once a lead has clicked around, ask for their email address and offer them a showing or an exclusive photo gallery of the homes they’ve been looking at. Seek contact information and prepare to follow-up. If you have a live-chat window, consider reaching out through this method as well.
Gauge Success and Hone Your Strategy
Finally, measure your success with metrics. Consider Cost per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR) among other metrics that will help you determine just how effective your PPC ads have been. Then use that data to refine your campaign with better keyword targeting, ad copy, landing pages, and so on.
Every aspect of your real estate PPC campaign can be refined, and we can help. Contact our marketing team today for more information on how to perfect your real estate PPC and other marketing efforts.