PPC (pay-per-click) advertising allows Realtors and real estate investors to run a very targeted marketing campaign to get leads. However, as big brands are spending more and more on PPC advertising, it has become very challenging for local real estate agencies to get a good ROI in competitive markets. These big brands already dominate organic Google searches and they are spending a lot of money to get the No#1 position for paid searches as well. It has caused the PPC costs to go up over the past few years. They will continue to be costlier in 2020 and beyond.
In such a scenario, many local real estate brands are wondering: Is PPC advertising still worth it? Well, the answer is absolutely yes. The revenue-per-conversion is thankfully so high in real estate that you would leave a lot of money on the table if you don’t advertise on Google.
In a recent article, I pointed out six mistakes that Realtors make when building out their Google Ads campaign. By avoiding these mistakes, you can bring down your ad cost and get better results. In this guide, I am going to outline some advanced strategies on how to optimize your PPC campaign in 2020 to make it more cost-effective.
Your audience targeting strategy needs to be more focused
Navigating through Google Adwords dashboard is daunting for most real estate professionals. It is despite the fact that Google has made the interface intuitive with the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- Now you don’t need to spend hours determining the perfect bids for your target search terms. Manual bidding is becoming obsolete. Google lets you tap into Smart Bidding backed by machine learning and AI.
- Google’s Search Display Ads automatically generates headlines based on the existing content of your website.
- Performance Planner recommends how to distribute your budget to maximize conversions. It lets you create plans for your advertising spend, and see how changes to campaigns might affect key metrics and overall performance. You can see your campaigns’ projected monthly and quarterly performance.
- Low-performing ads are automatically discontinued.
With these features, Google does most of the heavy-lifting. However, these automation tools in Google Ads can cause you to be a bit sloppy with your PPC strategy.
Now you need to focus even more on:
- Defining your audience,
- Determining the right keyword match type for each keyword,
- Adding negative keywords,
- Regularly analyzing what search terms are driving traffic to your ads and determining if your ads are getting clicks from the right audience.
What it basically means is that you need to pay more attention to reaching the right audience and giving them the right message when using Google ads for real estate advertising.
Pay attention to the quality score of your ad
Your ads quality score can help you evaluate the quality of different aspects of your campaign. For example:
- How well your ad copy is written (according to the clickthrough rate or CTR)
- Is your ad relevant to your audience (it helps you determine whether you are targeting the right audience or your ad copy is relevant to the kind of audience you are targeting? For example, if you are targeting home sellers, there is no point writing a generic ad copy that targets both home buyers and sellers – ‘Best Real Estate Agency in Forth Worth’)
- Is the landing page relevant to the ad copy? For example, if you are advertising homes with a pool, there is no point leading your prospects to a page which is displaying generic listings (all types of homes – condos, townhomes, multifamily etc.)
The best way to optimize your PPC campaign is to ensure that your ad quality score is the highest possible.
Act on recommendations
The use of AI and machine learning have enabled Google to provide real time recommendations to make it easier for advertisers to see how they can improve their ads. It is very advantageous to many real estate professionals who are not so tech-savvy.
By acting on these recommendations, you can reduce CPC (cost-per-click) and also improve clickthrough rate (CTR).
Optimize your PPC ads for voice searches
‘Voice searches’ is the latest buzzword in marketing, and for good reasons. In 2020, half of the searches on Google are going to be voice-based.
Needless to say, you need to optimize your PPC campaigns for voice searches.
Voice searches tend to be longer and more conversational than text searches. It will have a great deal of impact on the keyword match type that you should use and also, what type of landing page you drive traffic to, based on the searcher’s intent.
For example, if the searchers’ intent is to find information (‘what is the closing cost for sellers when selling a home’), you need to create landing page which educate your prospects on this and at the same time, market your real estate business to potential home sellers.
Be prepared for virtual reality in real estate marketing
One of the industries Virtual Reality (VR) is going to have profound impact on is real estate. A growing number of real estate brands are incorporating VR in their overall marketing strategy.
Since VR lets viewers be active participants, they can walk into a home listed on the market and in a more immersive experience can make cosmetic changes such as changing the wall paint color.
Wrapping it up
You will save a lot of time and energy using automation in PPC campaigns. However, you need to be more careful about your PPC strategy and audience segmentation to get better ROI and reduce ad cost. Ensure that you keep a tab on the ad quality and optimization score. Also be prepared for voice searches.
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