How PPC can grow your Estate Agency

PPC advertising is one of the most popular ways in which you can get traffic to your website, and it is something that Real Estate Agents should definitely be encouraged to consider. Most people initially think of Google when it comes to searching the web, but there are alternatives, such as Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and even Social Media that can help increase visibility and attract potential business.

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By Luke Fleming
How PPC can grow your Estate Agency

PPC is a highly engaging way to promote your Estate Agent Business and drive traffic to your website.  PPC adverts show in search results and you only pay when someone clicks on the link to go to the website.  You also have full control over how much you are willing to spend and can set budgets to ensure you do not overspend.

According to both Wordstream and Search Engine land, approximately 65% of all clicks made by users are to paid advertising.   The Estate industry typically ranges from between £0.02p per click (own brand name) and £0.97per click (high competition keywords).  However, if the account is looked after and monitored closely it is possible to get the Cost Per Click substantially lower.

Even if your ad does not get clicked on it can increase brand awareness free of charge.

By implementing the tips and techniques illustrated below you will find that you can drive people to your Real Estate Website instantly.  Once your campaigns are set up, you can generate traffic from people clicking on the ads to make their way to your website. It is a quick way to get your company visible at the top of search results.

Interesting Facts:

  • 75% of people say paid search ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for on a website or search engine. One-third of people (33%) click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query. (Search Engine Land, 2019)
  • 49% of people said they click on text ads; 31% on Shopping ads; and 16% on video ads. (Search Engine Land, 2019)
  • Google Ads results receive 65% of the clicks that started with buying keywords, while organic results (SEO) only receive 35%. (Craig McConnel)
  • 65% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn paid ads. (HubSpot)
  • One company increased their PPC ROI by 2.5 times with Facebook remarketing. (AdRoll)
  • Search ads can increase brand awareness by 80%. (Google)
  • Display advertising has proven to increase traffic to websites by 300%. (Visually)

The Google Search Network

The Google Search Network is probably what people are more familiar with.  When a user types a query into the search box, the results are displayed based on several hundred calculations and algorithms by Google to ensure the most relevant results are shown at the top of the page.  The first two or three search results are usually paid ads, followed by a series of organic search results, with often some further paid ads towards the bottom of the page.

How Search Results work

Let’s assume the number one position for the keyword ‘Property in Marbella’ is £0.50p, and you have a bid of £0.40p you will not get the top spot, but your ad may show in second or third.  You could increase the bid to £0.51 to achieve top spot, however, this will drive costs up. It’s a better idea to look at the keyword and see if the ad can be changed to incorporate the search term or look to advertise this specific ad at times when the Cost Per Click is lower.  This will increase Googles (or other search engines) trust in the keyword and reward you with a lower Cost per Click.

There are several other factors to be taken into account when determining if you will show in the 1st position and that’s why it is important to have regular maintenance and optimisations.

The Google Display Network

The Display network differs in that search results are often shown on other web pages.  You may have noticed then when you are looking at a website and you see a banner or advert showing up (usually at the top) on the page.  The benefits of this are that the ads can be targeted to the audience and specific websites. It is also much cheaper to advertise on the search network.

Real Estate Sector has a conversion rate of 0.53% on the Display Network and 4.23% on the Search Network.  Conversion rates are usually lower for the Display Network because they are often used for brand awareness or to offer promotions, however, this does not mean they are any less important.

Getting the PPC basics right

PPC (Pay Per Click) is a service offered by Google (and other search engines) to promote your website and show it to the people who are interested in visiting your real estate website. Due to the wide array of competitors in this market, it is important that campaigns are created with the user in mind and keywords are specific to what the customer actually requires. If someone types in ‘Marbella property for sale‘ and this fits your market then you know you have a potential customer.  

Also, it is important that your Website Design is structured correctly in a way that all text adverts are directed to relevant landing pages where the content reflects what the customer is expecting.

With PPC you know that you are delivering results to the targeted people at the exact moment they are showing interest.  Also, you are advertising to someone who is probably at the first stage of their journey, so this is the ideal opportunity to gain trust, confidence and help them most.  By doing this you are far more likely to achieve success and generate a conversion.

Location Targeting

The first thing to consider is location targeting.  With Pay Per Click you can target your ads to specific geographical locations.  This is extremely useful because one of the most common search terms includes the phrase “near me”.  By having a Google My Business account also linked it is possible that the search results will show a map of your location.

Location targeting allows your ads to appear in the geographic locations that you choose: countries, cities, towns, or places of interest (beach, local amenities etc).

Focus and bid more on specific locations in your targeted area, and incrementally bid lower the further from the specified target location, as the quality of the lead will be decreasing.

Promoting your company

As the Real Estate agency becomes more and more competitive it is important to ensure your brand is as prominent as possible.  Real estate searchers learn about the brands in a multitude of ways but the most common method is a search for the company name on Google or another search engine (branded search).  

Potential customers searching for your company are far more likely to be your hottest leads, so it is important that you are bidding on your own name (you can be assured that your competitors will be doing the same to you).  Bidding on your own brand name is also significantly cheaper than generic keywords where competition may be much higher.

Using Sitelinks

When using

 it is also worth using the Sitelinks feature Google Ads (and other search engines). The example below uses sitelinks to promote that they can be contacted 24 hours a day.  Sitelinks offer a real bonus for the Real Estate Industry as they can be used to promote opening hours, floorspace, number of bedrooms etc.  Sitelinks offer a real bonus for the Real Estate Industry as they can be used to promote opening hours, floorspace, number of bedrooms etc.

using sitelink ppc

A relatively new extension that will certainly help gain extra visibility (and also block out competitors) is the pricelink extension.  Google allows up to 8 ‘price cards’ and significantly expands the ad filling more of the screen – especially on mobile devices.

In order to promote confidence is it also useful to have call extensions.  These allow you to add phone numbers to the text ads which can significantly increase your Click Through Rate (CTR) as they indicate to customers that you are available and ready to assist if there are any questions or concerns. The more customer engagement with your ads means the higher the chances of conversion success.

Know your Competitors

Are there any new competitors in the Real Estate industry? Be sure to keep ahead of the competition and bid on their brand keywords.  If you can dominate the search results page you are well on your way to getting high traffic to your website. Make sure that your landing page is relevant to the search query and addresses the customers requirements.

Follow Up

Once a visitor has clicked your ad and has ended up on your website, the next step is to gain their trust and confidence.  The end goal is to encourage them to submit some contact information via a call to action. This changes them from a ‘query’ to a ‘prospect’.  Once you have this information it is all about keeping engagement with them regarding real estate in your market area. Failure to do this will result in them searching elsewhere on other sites, and your competitors getting the conversion.  Using forms and drip emails for real estate follow-ups will also create customer engagement.

Use display ads for brand awareness

Whilst the conversion rates for these is significantly less than for Google search, they still play an important part in brand awareness.  Remarketing is a very useful method that can be used for brand exposure and instilling a sense of trust in a company. The more the customer sees an ad, the more it becomes trusted.  Websites use cookies which store your browsing history and show ads based on your interests, location and search history. By creating quality graphical content Real Estate Agents can be one step ahead in the customer journey.

Be aware of other Platforms

As PPC becomes more and more popular, it is no surprise that new methods and strategies are being introduced on a regular basis.  Below is a list of alternative PPC methods.

  • Adroll Specialises in retargeting across Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Social Media Advertising  Used for Remarketing, Brand Awareness, and Lead Generation
  • LinkedIn Advertising Used to specifically target industries
  • Bing Ads An alternative to Google Ads
  • Email Marketing – Ideal for Remarketing and gaining trust
  • Content Marketing – Used for Blogging, infographs, videos, quizzes etc to gain visibility.

Summary.

The benefits of PPC for Estate Agents are summarised below

  • Speed –  Once the campaigns are created and approved you are eligible to show up instantly within the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
  • Budget Control – You control how much you spend on each campaign, adgroup, and keyword.
  • Targeting – You have the ability to target specific locations, time of the day, day of the week, and even adjust bids for different devices, giving you full control of your ad visibility.
  • Blocking Competitors – By showing ads in the top positions you are effectively blocking a competitor’s ad from showing.
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