The phone no longer rings with real estate leads like 10 years ago because local home sellers and landlords head to Google first. So, why do Google Ads remain a mystery and the greatest untapped advertising tool for many real estate agents?
Buying Google Ads for your real estate website or agent profile page is the easiest way to get your brand name in front of potential sellers and property investors. While some agents are reluctant to pay, there are plenty of reasons why Google Ads should be top of your marketing list.
What’s stopping real estate agents using Google Ads?
Many real estate agents are wary of Google Ads, either because they are concerned about the return on investment or they’re simply cautious about placing ads using an advertising platform that they don’t understand. However, Google Ads is the fastest and most reliable way to ensure your brand appears front and centre when home sellers and property investors are in research mode.
“The most reliable way to appear on the first page of Google search is to pay for a Google ad!”
The Google Ad platform is complicated, yet its the best tool there is for ensuring your name appears for real estate related searches within your local neighbourhood. Fortunately, there’s plenty of help at hand. So, engage a qualified Google Ads experts who specialise in real estate. That way you can leverage the power of Google Ads to drive what I like to call ‘digital foot traffic’ your way.
Here’s why Google Ads makes sense for real estate businesses;
1. Google Ads finds the best digital foot traffic
Most real estate business owners spend a significant amount of time and money building their real estate website yet fail to appreciate that it takes additional time and ad budget to establish a web presence and generate real estate leads.
You need to think of your website as your digital shopfront. In fact, you need to think about your website in a similar vein to your retail shopfront – which is most effective when located where there’s plenty of foot traffic or road traffic to see your signage.
Your website works in pretty much the same way. Only this time the traffic is ‘search traffic’ – people asking Google questions for which Google serves up answers. If your website does not appear on the first page of Google then you will not be seen.
2. Google Ads allow you to rent a competitor’s name
All’s fair in love and Google advertising.
Do you know that it’s possible to show your ads when someone searches for a competing real estate agents name or real estate agency? Sneaky, I know! You may have noticed this when searching for another business (any type of business) online yourself.
Google’s policy is to abide by local trademark laws, which means they will disapprove ads that use a business name that does not belong to them, but they do not stop your competitors (or you) using another person’s name or real estate agency name as a keyword in paid Google ads.
The best strategy to leverage or beat this behaviour is to establish a strong presence with a quality website that has plenty of great content and is SEO friendly – that way your ads have a better chance of showing up first and foremost.
3. Google Ads put you on the map
Do you use Google maps to conduct local business searches? If not, you should.
Google maps, developed in Australia (woohoo!) has been the fastest-growing search tool for several years now. In 2017 it reached over 1 billion users and in 2018 was growing 50% faster than mobile searches.
The best part is that your Google Ads show up in Google maps, which means you can climb your way to the top of the map search results. Try it out for yourself and see if any of your real estate competitors have already worked this Google Ads opportunity out?
4. Google Ads help you target your next client
Google Ads offers demographic targeting, which means you can reach a specific set of potential customers using their age range, gender, parental status, or household income. For instance, if you focus exclusively on baby boomers looking to downsize, demographic targeting could help you be more targeted and optimise your ad dollars, which means you can avoid showing your ads to Generation X or Millennials.
By selecting a target demographic, you can tailor your wording to be more suitable and appealing. You can also customise your ad budget to be higher or lower for a certain demographic group.
5. Google Ads increase your presence across the web
There are seven ad spots available on Google’s search results page, but you may not realise that you can also show up on banner ads spots on popular real estate websites – including the real estate portals such as domain.com.au and realestate.com.au.
Due to their popularity, portals like Domain and realestate.com.au are likely to dominate the search results, as too are referral websites such as Open Agent, Local Agent Finder and Which Real Estate Agent. However, if you extend your advertising across to the Google Display Network, you can show up to potential clients that have not visited your real estate website before or follow people around that have. Your ads will then show up continually to prospective clients as they continue to explore the web.
What’s more, research has shown that people need to see your name or brand at least seven times before they take action. So running Google ads across display networks helps ensure all your brand and marketing activities produce excellent results. I’ve covered this topic previously in my article called introducing attribution and how to make your marketing dollars count.
6. Google Ads help you follow leads around the web
It’s important to understand that Google Ads do not need to point to your real estate website homepage. It’s much smarter to promote your latest marketing report, a landing page or a single property listing that encourage visitors to fill in a form.
That way you’ll leed people to your digital front door! And if they don’t come on through right away i.e. fill in the form, you can track them using what I like to call the marketing sweet spot – cookies and pixels. Which means you can keep showing prospective clients ads about your business and services, or about a particular property that they took an interest in, encouraging them to come back.
The best thing about pay per click advertising (PPC) using Google Adwords is it’s flexible. You don’t have to commit thousands of dollars to a campaign. With the right strategy, you have the potential to bring in hundreds of thousand dollars worth of leads with minimal expense.
7. Google Ads provide consumer insights
Signs and brochures look great and certainly have their place in the real estate marketing mix, but it’s not possible to quantify how many people see them or are influenced to take action. What’s more, once your print materials are printed there’s no opportunity to tweak or improve them without considerable cost.
When you run Google Ads you can see real-time data about how many people have seen your ad and taken action. Set up multiple variations of your ads and you can work out which visuals or copy are more appealing. You can also have Google personalise your ads, on the fly, to include the user’s search words so that your ad looks more relevant.
My recommendation is to monitor your ads weekly and if for some reason they are not working try to tweak the wording or images, or the amount you spend each day, to see if you can improve your results. Data can also show trends like the most popular times of day when people are researching or can alert you to a surge in interest. The best part is that you can leverage these consumer insights across your entire marketing and communication strategy.
Get professional Google Ads help for real estate
If you’d like help getting started with Google Ads for real estate then feel free to reach out to my team at Hoole.co. We run Google ads for real estate clients on an ongoing basis and have several Google certified ad experts available to assist.