Long term real estate success is dependent on a consistent flow of leads, and while content marketing and social media should absolutely be part of your strategy, Google Ads enable you to get in front of people who are actively looking for your services.
Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) is a quick way to increase your searchability on google and over the years it has become much easier to set up and manage.
In this blog, we run through step by step how to set up, manage and track the success of effective Google Ads for your real estate business.
1. Set up a new campaign
Use your existing Google account or set up a new account
Turn off search and display network so you only pay for the exact search terms you want to use
Optimise your campaign for lead generation. This tells Google that your goal is to convert traffic to leads and helps google serve your ads to those most likely to fill out a form on your website
Add your website in so google can track if the goal of leads is achieved. If you have a specific goal success page, use that instead of your home page.
2. Create campaigns by postcode
It’s a good idea to run your campaigns by postcode. This enables you to focus on your local market and not waste money serving ads to those outside of your area.
3. Set a budget
There is no right or wrong answer for this. Depending on the size or competition for your audience, leads could cost anywhere between $10-$100.
Your sweet spot for the budget is a bit of a trial and error process. To measure success, track how much you’re spending vs how many of those leads are leading to sales for you.
If you see lots of click-throughs to your conversion page but not many conversions are taking place, you should be looking at how to tweak your landing page to convert as many visitors as possible.
Extensions contain the information you see underneath your ad headline. You should create all of the following extensions but know that Google will only use one extension at a time. Google automatically determines which extension to run based on which one improves conversion of your ad.
Sitelink extensions – This is a must-use. It shows up below your actual ad and is clickable. Break down the postcodes or market you’re using into smaller sub-markets. Typically, these receive more traffic and better results than the actual ad itself.
Callout extensions – Similar to a site link extension in that it shows up below your ad but it’s not clickable. These give the user more information about your services and helps increase the traffic of your main ad.
Call extensions – This provides the ability for users to one-click call you. Typically, this is the least effective as people usually want to do some research before they call, but it can be an effective way to get high quality leads to reach out to you quickly.
5. Set up Ad Groups
Ad groups are groups of ads you want to categorise together. A common strategy is to set up an ad group for each postcode. Within that ad group, you can create one or more ads with different headlines and descriptions so you can test what works best in your market.
6. Choose keywords
Start with specific keywords like ‘real estate agent + postcode’ or ‘homes for sale + postcode’.
The plus sign ensures the postcode is used exactly as you’ve written it and only potential leads interested in your specific area will be served your ads.
7. Creating the Ad
Remember these are text-only ads, so your headline and description need to be compelling enough to get users to click through to your landing page. Your headline should also include the keywords you’re using so it matches the keywords the user has entered.
Make sure you’re sending them to a page directly related to your headline and description and not a generic home page where you can easily lose them if they don’t see exactly what they expect with that one click.
8. Landing Page
This page should be optimised for conversion. Ensure the headline on the page matches your ad and that the page has an inbuilt form for the user to fill in.
9. Track Results
Click through rates – Google Ads will tell you exactly what your click-through rate (CTR) is. Anything above 10% is great and 5% is average. Anything under 5% and you may want to reconsider your headline and description.
Traffic to lead ratio – Determine how much traffic is required to generate 1 lead. For example, 270 clicks that generate 12 leads is a 4.4% ratio which is a decent result. Anything lower than this and you may want to look at how you can better optimise your landing page for conversion.
Lead to client ratio – Be sure to track your conversion from lead all the way to a closed deal. This is ultimately the most important metric. If you don’t track this long-term, you can’t measure your return on your google ads spend. Just be aware it can take up to 6 months before you have any meaningful data on this, so don’t throw in the towel too early.
While you may see some quick and early results from your Google Ads, the general rule of thumb for online lead generation is that it should be viewed as a long-term strategy.
It can take time and experimentation to hone your Google Ads success, but it’s best to dive in and start optimising quickly rather than waiting until you think you’ve mastered Google Ads.
Be sure to give your ads enough time to gather meaningful data and allow you to measure the real impact. If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to building another channel that can reward you with high quality, consistent lead generation at a cost-effective price point.