A home is a big purchase and most consumers research extensively online before even contacting an agent.
It?s very important that you?re present when people are searching.
One of the best ways to do this is with PPC advertising such as Google Adwords.
As with any type of marketing or advertising there are a few best practices that you should always follow.
1) Optimize Your Website First
Your website needs to be welcoming, easy to use and look great.
There?s no point paying money on PPC ads to send people to a website if they just end up leaving.
The first step you make should always be to optimize your website first.
Make sure the navigation is simple and there are calls-to-action that explain exactly what you want your visitors to do.
It also needs to be very easy for people to contact you if they have any questions.
A great way to get feedback for your website is to set up a laptop in a place like Starbucks. Offer to buy coffee for the people in line in exchange for feedback.
Give them specific goals for your site. For example ask them to find a 3 bedroom house in a certain neighbourhood or ask them to contact you by email.
See how they make out. If they?re having a difficult time then you know exactly what areas you need to improve.
Your website also absolutely needs to be mobile friendly. Over 50% of searches are now done on a mobile device. The real estate industry is no exception.
If your site doesn?t work properly on a smartphone your visitors will simply leave.
2) Write Strong Copy for Your Ads
The first thing searchers will see is your text ads and they need to capture attention.
Take a bit of time to research some basic copywriting on the Internet.
The major mistakes people make with copywriting that you want to avoid are:
- Not writing to and for the psyche of the customer
- Writing factually instead of emotionally and with enthusiasm
- Being too timid or bland with your claims
- Having too much copy
When crafting your ads always make them about the customer, not about you.
Instead of talking about how great you are instead think about what you can do to help them solve their problems.
Make your ads full of emotion and enthusiasm. People don?t usually respond logically and are instead ruled by emotions.
Your advertising should always aim to get an emotional response.
When it comes to claims in your advertising there?s no level of confidence that?s too much.
Simply saying something like ?this is a nice home? is nowhere near as effective as saying ?this is the best home we?ve ever seen in this area!?
Finally make sure your messages are short and sweet and only include the most important information.
You?re already quite limited with how much space you get in search engine advertising so don?t waste any of it.
All these points apply to the copy on your landing pages as well which brings us to our next point.
3) Create Optimized and Relevant Landing Pages
Don?t just point all your ads to your homepage. Instead you should have optimized landing pages for each of your campaigns.
Say you?re running ads on keywords for homes in a certain neighbourhood.
These ads should point to a special landing page all about that neighbourhood and the homes available there.
If someone searches for homes in a specific neighbourhood and they end up on a page about why you?re such a great agent they?ll leave.
They didn?t find what they searched for.
You?ve lost an opportunity for a client and you were charged for the click.
Not only does optimizing your landing pages greatly increase your chances of converting the visitor to a lead but it also improves your quality score with services like Google Adwords.
A higher quality score means your ads get shown more often and at a lower cost per click (CPC).
4) Use Ad Extensions
Services like Bing Ads and Google Adwords let you use ad extensions. These let you add additional information to your text ads such as a phone number or extra links to pages on your website.
The more information you include with your ad the higher the chance of getting traffic.
At the very least you should be using a phone number so people can call you directly from the ad itself.
5) Use Conversion Tracking
One of the best features of PPC advertising is the ability to track everything.
Not only can you track the number of clicks, where they came from or what ads got the most but you can also track your conversions.
Use tracking phone numbers in your ads so you can see exactly how many phone calls the ads received.
Pretty much every PPC service comes with a conversion tracking code as well.
This tracking code can be embedded into the contact forms on your website so you can see exactly how many emails your received from your ads.
Installing the code is very easy. In many cases you can do it yourself. It’s simply a master of copying and pasting a few lines of code into your website.
Any website vendor should be able to set it up quickly for you too if you need help.
6) Split Test Your Ads
PPC advertising makes it very easy to split test your ads. What this means is that you can run more than one ad at once to see which one performs better.
You can use different copy or a different call-to-action to find which works better.
What we recommend doing is running two ads for each campaign at a time.
At the end of every month review your analytics to see which one performed the best.
Keep the best performing one and write new copy for the other one.
Then run everything again for another month.
Not only does this keep your advertising fresh but it helps you continually optimize your ads over time.
You should be able to greatly increase the success of your PPC advertising just by following these best practices.
Optimizing your website is by far the most important thing.
All your advertising is essentially aimed at bringing people to your website where they can contact you by phone or email and view your listings.
By focusing on optimizing your website first you can essentially multiply the effectiveness of all your advertising.
Plus you have full control over the content there as well.
If you?re choosing a PPC vendor ask about their process. Make sure they?re following these best practices and optimize your website before you spend any money on PPC.