Using Google AdWords to run a real estate pay per click campaign can be a highly effective way to generate solid leads. It is important, however, to follow basic steps in the structuring of your pay per click campaign in order to ensure success.
Begin by staying focused on the primary dynamic that is involved with any pay per click campaign. Namely, that you will be paying for each instance that an individual clicks on your Google served ad. This requires you to pre-qualify your potential traffic before they even click on an ad. This involves choosing the appropriate Google display network along with writing effective ad copy and the selection of the all important keywords that will determine who will see your ads.
If you are new to real estate pay per click advertising then some of these steps may at first seem daunting. Breaking them up into manageable pieces will go a long way in helping you to understand and dominate them. Start with the issue of which Google display network to use. It is advisable for real estate related ads to opt for the “search network only” campaigns at first. This will allow you to serve your ads only to people that are using Google search, as opposed to having your ad dispersed throughout the vastness of the Google network. It might sound counter-intuitive to want to limit yourself only to the search network, but think about your target audience. Real estate leads are exponentially more likely to be found from people that are already actively searching for real estate related keyword phrases than from a broader audience. As you begin to analyze the results from your initial search-only ads, you will then be better positioned to determine how and if extending to other areas of the Google display network would benefit you.
Writing effective ad copy is often overlooked as an essential step in having a successful real estate pay per click campaign. After all, how difficult could writing a few lines be, right? Keep in mind that in text based ads it is these few lines of words which will determine who will be clicking on your ads. For real estate lead generation your ad copy should include words relevant to identifying the market area that you serve as well as the type of real estate segments that you specialize in (residential, commercial, etc.). It is equally important to avoid words and phrases that might attract “empty traffic.” Words like “free consultation” or vague terms which broaden your actual scope of operation may generate a higher number of clicks, but the traffic that this will generate will most likely have a much lower conversion rate for lead generation purposes.
In addition to ad copy, when you set up a pay per click campaign with Google you will be required to select the keywords and keyword phrases that will be used for serving your ad. For real estate leads you should avoid broad terms, such as “real estate” and think of more specific keywords. The phrase “real estate agent in (your town)” is a good starting point. Of course, since you will be bidding for these keyword phrases, chances are that your competitors might also be bidding for this same phrase, as such it is wise to come up with several more. Think the way your prospective client would think. Make a list of these phrases. Tools, such as the Google Keyword Planner will help you generate multiple keyword ideas.
Last, but not least, make certain that your paid traffic is being directed to a webpage that is properly setup to capture their lead information. This step is essential, otherwise, no matter how effective your ad copy or how precise your keyword selection, your paid traffic will never convert to leads. Make it simple and intuitive for the visitors to leave their information. Using landing pages prior to proceeding to your main site is an effective way of accomplishing this. See my previous article for this here.
The potential of pay per click advertising for real estate lead generation is tremendous. Just remember that the more focused your preparation and execution is, the more leads that you will get. Leave any questions in the comments!