In the online world, Google is undoubtedly one of the biggest players. Its powerful search engine has become so popular that it is the first place many people look when searching online, – it’s even entered our dictionaries as a common verb. Google's popularity is one big reason why it’s also a hugely powerful ad platform for real estate agents looking to drive traffic, generate leads, and grow their business.
Google ads (formerly Google Adwords) is Google's dedicated online advertising platform. Though it is extremely useful, it can also be daunting for new users who don't have experience in advertising themselves.
In fact, if you approach your Google ads without a plan, you risk wasting money and seeing few results. On the other hand, many agents who know what they are doing swear by Google ads' ability to generate leads and traffic consistently.
In this article, we will cover what you need to know about Google ads as a real estate agent, how to get it set up, and some tips for getting the most out of your campaigns.
Why Google ads for realtors?
There are so many different advertising platforms online – each one offering its own benefits. You may have even used some of these platforms in the past. If you are looking at switching or just starting out in advertising, you may be wondering why a real estate professional should choose Google ads as their advertising platform of choice.
There are many great benefits to using Google ads in the real estate industry:
Highest traffic on the web
For one, you simply can't beat Google's pure traffic figures. The site has consistently ranked as the highest visited site on the web for many years. The site sees over 90 billion users monthly, putting it far ahead of even the second-place ranking. When people want to search for something (like home listing or real estate agents, for example) Google is often the first place they look.
A long history of advertising
Google's popularity is no fad either. The site has only grown in popularity since the early days of the internet and, Google ads have been around nearly as long as the site itself. That means that Google has had years of experience building a platform that provides the best services to its clients. The reason the platform has stuck around so long is simply that it works so well.
Higher quality leads
Another aspect that is important to consider with Google ads is that you aren't simply passively reaching web users. Rather, these people are actively searching for products and services that you can offer them, meaning the leads you can generate are of a higher quality. With targeting, you can even reach very specific groups of people who are more likely to click your ads.
While many businesses use SEO to reach high on Google search pages, this can take a long time and a lot of work to do correctly. With Google ads, you can pay to jump the line in a sense and be one of the first that users see on a search page. Google ads can provide you with much-needed results quickly.
How do Google ads work?
The Google ads platform offers many different forms of ads.
The most basic are text ads. Text ads appear at the top of search result pages above the organic results and provide users with a headline and a brief piece of text describing your offering. Users who click the ad are then brought to a page of your choice and you’ll pay Google for the click. Ads are placed on pages for keywords selected by you and the price per keyword is conducted through a bidding process, meaning the most popular keywords can also be the most expensive. By optimizing your targeted keywords and your ad content, you can get the most for your money out of Google ads.
Through Google Ads, you can also run various types of ads such as more advanced text ads, image ads, video ads, and more. These offer a lot more options but are a bit more advanced for beginners on the platform. Just know that Google offers many different options to tailor your real estate ad campaign exactly to your advertising goals and you should explore these if you aren't seeing the results you want.
What is PPC?
Google ads use what is called a pay-per-click model (PPC). Essentially, PPC means that you only pay when someone actually clicks through to your landing page. This makes Google ads cost-effective as you only need to pay for how much traffic you get. This also makes it easy to tell where your money is going by looking at your cost per click (CPC) which can make budgeting and gauging performance even easier.
Setting up real estate ads on Google ads
Getting started on Google ads is as simple as making a Google ads account and setting up your campaigns. This makes it easy for new real estate agents to start growing their business through advertising. However, it’s important you understand how to properly tailor your real estate marketing strategy in order to get the most from your work.
To begin on Google ads, you will need to organize your account. Google ads offer two levels of organization: campaigns and ad groups. Campaigns can represent larger segments of your business, like buyers or sellers, and an ad group can tailor to more specific profiles such as a buyer looking to buy an investment rental. You will then need to decide how much you want to spend on your Google ads campaign. You can split your ad spend across campaigns in any proportion, depending on what works best for your real estate business. Because of the PPC model and keyword bidding, you can choose to set your budget as high or as low as you would like. This means you’ll also need to choose what keywords you want to target and provide ad content as well as landing pages for your ads to link to. The more specific you can be with your keywords, ads and landing pages, the better your traffic will be. After a few more finishing steps, your real estate ads will be live on Google.
It really is that simple to get started! However, there are even more in-depth tools you can use to make your ads perform better. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to improve your Google ads strategy:
Creating the perfect ad
You are paying Google for the ad traffic they send your way, but they still have a reputation to uphold. That means they don't want to show their users low quality or irrelevant content. Google will apply a quality score to your ad based on how relevant both your ad content and your landing page are to the keywords. A higher quality score can mean your ad gets seen more or you pay less for clicks.
Google offers you the ability to target your ads to a certain geographical area – this is absolutely crucial for a real estate agency. There's no point in advertising to the whole world when you only sell in one city. Geographic targeting can give you higher quality leads that are more likely to convert, lowering your overall marketing costs.
Having a good landing page
You can have the best ad copy in the world, but it needs to be backed up with a solid landing page for those who click through. If your real estate website is hard to navigate, slow to load, incompatible with different devices, or simply irrelevant, you will be paying for clicks that don't turn into business.
Pay attention to your statistics
One of the most powerful benefits to Google ads and digital marketing, in general, is the ability to see the results of your campaigns in real-time. In fact, running campaigns without analyzing how they are performing and making changes in response is simply wasting money and leaving business on the table. Google offers a wide range of statistics for your ads and learning to understand them can help you optimize your advertising cost substantially.
Working with a marketing agency
Anyone can get started in digital marketing with Google ads, but becoming an expert on it is truly a full-time job. If you are already a real estate agent and aren't looking for a career change, then you're in luck. A digital marketing agency can not only save you time by putting your campaigns in the hands of experts, but by optimizing your ad spend and ad performance, you can actually pay less for better leads.
Beyond just the technical aspects of running ads, an agency can also help you with writing copy, creating graphics, and designing appealing landing pages that draw in more traffic.
Our partner Merged Real Estate Marketing has worked with real estate professionals across North America to increase traffic, generate real estate leads, and drive more sales. Beyond just Google ads, Merged has a wide range of experience in digital marketing and can help you to build more effective campaigns from the ground up.
Visit Merged Real Estate Marketing online today to book a free strategy call and learn how they can help you grow your business with digital marketing.