Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a powerful tool that can target motivated sellers. However, many real estate investors are still intimidated and even scared of using this tool because it can be expensive and it requires extensive knowledge of digital marketing.
To start using PPC as a real estate investor, you should understand how Google Ads works. Specifically, quality score and AdRanks, target area identification, keywords match types, keywords research, ad headlines and descriptions, as well as ad extensions. Learning about Google Ads bid strategies is also crucial.
If you're new to PPC and all the terms we mentioned above sound strange to you, don't fret! Here we'll discuss everything you need to know about PPC campaigns and how you can effectively use them to find motivated seller leads from the real estate industry.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is a lead generation method that real estate investors can utilize to grow their businesses.
As its name suggests, you only pay a fee when someone clicks your ad in this marketing strategy. In other words, PPC is a means to buy website visits rather than gaining them organically through SEO.
In a nutshell, PPC online advertising works by bidding on keywords. For example, if you bid on the keyword "sell my house fast" on the PPC auction and you won, your ad would secure a spot on top of the Search Engine Page Result (SERP) every time someone types the keyword "sell my house fast."
When your Google search ads are clicked, the searcher will be redirected to your website's landing page, where you have more control over the actions you want them to take.
For a real estate investor, the ideal visitor's action after clicking their PPC campaigns may be filling out a form to get a cash offer or sending further questions regarding how the investor can help them in selling their house. To make this possible, they use PPC management services for a fee.
There are a number of reasons why giant real estate companies spend millions on PPC advertising and PPC management services. Here are some of them!
PPC campaigns can get you increased web traffic for your website. This translates to more leads and successful deals.
You can get leads immediately by using PPC campaigns if your website is already set up (you have good landing pages tailored for the visitor's intent), you are running the right ad, and you are targetting the correct traffic.
Unlike other lead-generating methods, you would be able to determine your return on investment (ROI) after a month or two if you use PPC campaigns. This is especially true if you hire someone for PPC services.
You'll get an estimate of how much you are spending per lead through PPC and how many of those leads are converting.
This will help you decide if you should double down on your investment in Google ads campaigns or if you should cut your budget.
Even if you are a novice in Pay-Per-Click advertising, you'll be able to understand how your ads are doing on most PPC platforms because they will provide useful data to analyze.
For example, Google has a visual breakdown of how many people have seen your PPC ads, how much each click costs, etc. This will also be available if you hire PPC services or PPC management.
Since you'll get data on how your ads are doing, what headlines or landing page layouts lead to conversion, etc., you'll be able to make your ads more efficient.
PPC advertising allows you to tweak your ad content, budget, target audience, marketing campaign, landing pages, etc., that you otherwise won't bother to impro ve if you are not receiving statistical feedback from PPC services.
Just like any other means of lead generation, Pay-Per-Click for real estate investors also has its disadvantages. Check them out below.
There is no doubt that real estate investing can be competitive, which means running a PPC campaign, especially in a challenging market, can be very expensive.
Expect some keywords to cost you more than $100 per click and we're not even kidding.
A brand new PPC campaign takes around two weeks to learn the search audience. This period is also the most expensive.
It can take time for your PPC campaign to learn through interaction, optimization, and conversion, and only after this time will you see a decrease in costs and an increase in results.
Volume and quality make a successful PPC for real estate investors' strategy. That means you have bid on a lot of keywords that are high-quality.
If money is out of the question, it won't be a problem. However, if you're running on a tight budget, you would only be able to secure a PPC campaign spot on mid-range quality keywords.
PPC for real estate investors generates extremely motivated sellers. While this can be a good thing, it can also pose a challenge since many real estate investors would be aiming to sign with them first.
If you are doing Pay-Per-Click advertising on your own and cannot process leads promptly, you'll end up missing these deals.
Google Ads is one of the many online advertising platforms where you can run your PPC ads. Many advertisers bid on Google Ads to display advertisements, product listings, service offerings, and video ads.
Google Ads can place your real estate investment-related ad not only on SERPs but also on non-search websites, videos, and mobile apps.
According to Wordstream, businesses typically make a $2 revenue for every $1 they pay for a PPC campaign. Real estate investors convert 1% to 5% from running their Google ads campaigns.
The Google ads landscape has been continuously evolving, and recently, we have seen many real estate investors being pushed toward automation.
Here are the types of ads you need to know as an investor, from the very basic ones to what Google recommends.
Call only ads are only designed to appear on mobile searches, unlike the other two types of ads in this list. The main goal of a call only ads is not to lead users to your website but to encourage them to call you.
This type of ad features your number and a blue call icon beside it that they can click to be redirected to their phone's call interface.
If you're new to Google Ads, you might want to try this out to see if it'll work for you. However, it may not lead to better results since users want to know more about the investor first instead of calling them. As discussed, clicking a call only ads immediately calls you.
Expanded text ads are the ones you'll see on top of SERPs. They're the OG Google ads, so most people think they're the only ad type that exists.
Expanded text ads are text-based and there's an allowed number of characters that Google sets for this ad type. Ultimately, expanded text ads give a high level of control over a copy and also more opportunity for split testing.
However, in June 2022, Google did no longer make expanded text ads available to encourage every one of a new ad type.
Although responsive search ads have the same fundamental elements as expanded text ads, it requires more elements that Google can mix and match based on what they think will work on a particular search.
In theory, this is actually great. However, since real estate investing has a lower search volume market when you focus on motivated sellers, your search volume will be very low, and responsive search ads will be less efficient.
There are a couple of campaign types that Google currently offers. To better understand Google Ads, here are the most common types of campaigns that real estate investors can use.
Search Ads are text-based ads that appear when a user searches on the web. This campaign is great for getting traffic to your website since your ad appears based on a specific keyword.
The greatest benefit of search ad campaigns is that they are displayed where most users look for information. The ad format of a search ad campaign is also similar to other search results, which makes more users click on them.
Display ad campaigns appear on millions of websites, Google-owned properties, and apps. If a user visits your site and leaves without making any actions, tracking cookies will target them with your personalized ads.
Display ads are ideal if you want to expand your reach and you want to be remembered by users even though they're not using Google search exactly.
Video ads are PPC ads that appear on YouTube and other sites. They are mostly displayed before or after a YouTube video. Some video ads are meant to drive conversions, while there are also ads that boost brand awareness.
Similar to display ads, video ad campaigns help you expand your reach because users get aware of who you are not only through Google Search.
While Google Ads can be intimidating for many, it isn't some ancient code that is impossible to decipher.
Once you understand every aspect, starting on Pay-Per-Click advertising will be very easy. With that in mind, here are the basics of Google Ads so you can kick off your campaign.
As mentioned earlier, Ad Rank is a metric that determines whether your ads will be shown and what their placement will be.
According to Google, here's what affects an Ad Rank:
Generally, Ad Rank will help you assess how well your ad is doing compared to campaigns of other real estate investors and advertisers. The Ad Rank score is between 1 and 10.
Those with High Quality Score means their ad and landing page are super relevant to what people are searching and a lot of people have, in fact, clicked the ad.
The Quality Score in Ad Rank can be used to identify points of improvement for keyword selection, ads, and landing pages.
Your location settings will also impact the placement of your Google Ad. This is one of the very first steps when setting up a campaign, so you won't overlook it.
If you plan to buy houses in a specific town, your target area should be within a reasonable radius of that town. Meanwhile, if you purchase houses in multiple countries, the location for your ads should be set for all those countries.
For example, if you buy houses in New York and you set your target area to only that city, people who are searching for house buyers in New York but aren't in that area won't see your ad in the search results.
There are different match types in Google Ads that can help you select specific keywords. Match types for PPC keywords for real estate investors tell Google whether you want your ad to appear on a specific search query or on queries that are somehow related.
All keywords are assigned to the broad match type since it is the default choice. In this match type, you don't have to specify another keyword match type, including the other two on this list, since it already has a wide range.
When a broad match keyword is assigned, your ad will appear on all searches related to your chosen keywords, even those that do not contain the exact keyword term.
For example, if you chose the keyword "sell house fast," your ads may show on searches for fast home sale, quick sale, 3 bedroom houses near me, etc.
Broach match keywords are best used to generate volume, even though there may be some randomness in the results. Your ad will be seen by a wider audience, but there will also be off-topic matches.
A phrase match keyword is right in the middle in terms of the level of focus and the size of the generated audience. Phrase match shows your ads on searches that include the meaning of the keywords you chose. The meaning can be implied and the user search may be a part of the meaning.
Unlike a broad match, your ad won't appear on searches that are irrelevant to your service.
For example, the keyword "sell house fast" may show on the search for best sell my house fast company, sell house for cash fast companies, and sell house fast in Colorado.
When you use phrase match, you are also telling Google that the words included in your keyword should be on the search term where they'll decide to show your ad.
In the example "sell house fast," the words sell, house, and fast appear on all the search terms given but some other terms are inserted in between.
Important note: Close variants of the keywords are considered by Google as similar. For instance, sell/sale, my/I, house/home, etc.
Phrase match will result in a lower search volume. But the results are better targeted.
Exact match keywords are the exact opposite of broad match. This match type will give you the best level of focus and the smallest audience volume.
You have the most control over who sees your Google ad if you use an exact match keyword.
For example, if your keyword is "need to sell my house fast," your ad will match searches where the exact keyword is included.
Similar to phrase match keywords, this also allows close variants. Google can switch "need" for "want" or "sell" for "sale." It isn't really clear how Google decides what a close match is but based on the examples, the intent of the words are closely similar.
Given the sample earlier which is "need to sell my house fast," your ad may also appear when people search want to sell my home fast, what I need to sell my house fast, sell my homes fast, etc.
The exact match type is suggested for a real estate investor who is starting out. This keyword match can help identify which searches yield the greatest results.
However, there is also a downside to this match type. Since it has a higher click-through rate, the average cost per lead is also higher than the other match types.
Once you have identified which keyword match type you'll be using, your next step will be to research your market, competition, and intent keywords.
Here are some of the key steps you should keep in mind when doing keyword research:
Research keywords may eat up your budget for real estate investing if you do not know how to differentiate them from intent keywords. To put it simply, intent keywords are better at targeting motivated sellers.
For example, if someone searches "how to sell my house fast," we can assume that the user is looking for tips on how they can sell their home at the fastest time possible.
Meanwhile, if a user types "how to sell my house fast in New York," we can assume that they aren't looking for tips but for precise ways to sell their house in New York (ex. getting a cash offer or selling with an agent).
Given the samples above, there are three general rules that can help you figure out a user's intent:
Some intention clues of motivated sellers are the words now, fast, cash, and an exact location.
Now, does this mean that you should only focus on highly motivated keywords that you have identified based on intent? Not really.
Remember that your keyword selection for your online advertising campaign will affect the volume of leads you'll get, so you have to consistently make a tradeoff between volume and focus as a real estate investor.
If you only use highly focused keywords, you will get motivated leads, but there will only be a few of them. Meanwhile, if you use broad keywords, you'll get more volume and more opportunities.
How do you identify which one is right for you? Research your market. For metro and highly populated urban areas, you can get away with highly focused keywords since there are a lot of people and the volume won't be extremely low. However, lead prices may be at an absurd level.
For less populated areas, it may be wise to go for broadly focused keywords to get a decent volume.
Important note: Each market is different. You have to do intensive research to come up with the appropriate targeting approach.
Writing a great ad copy makes all the difference in your clickthrough rate. Ideally, your ad copy should match the intent of the searcher, be aligned with the keywords you are targeting as a real estate investor, and gives a solution to the pain points of the searcher.
Aside from writing a headline and description that matches your goals and the user's intent, your offer should also be very persuasive. So, how do you come up with an offer that can lead to your campaign's success?
Analyze what your competitors have written on their ads, but use the content of your website to create your own. Some examples would be no agents, no closing fees, no hidden fees, offers in 24 hours, and close in 7 days.
You may also want to mention your offer structure, such as free quotes, guarantees, and all-cash offers, plus your targeted locations, reasons you are making the offer, etc.
Many real estate investors leverage their unique selling proposition (USP) in making PPC ads. USP is the unique advantage you have that compels clients to contact you.
To identify your USP, you should ask yourself this very simple question: Why should the seller work with you instead of other real estate investors?
Your USP may be a process you've developed from years of experience. It may also be your credibility as a real estate investor.
Ad extensions are also crucial if you are running Google ads. These are free and they give users more details about you which can lead to ad interaction.
Here are some of the most common extension categories for real estate investors:
When you're done setting up your ad campaigns, you should identify your bidding strategy. The amount of your bid is primarily based on your goals and budget. But before you input a random bid, here are a few settings and strategies you should know of.
Automated bidding means you are allowing Google to take the reins. You can still set a maximum amount, but Google will adjust your bid based on other real estate investors or competitors.
Here are some automated bidding strategies you can make use of:
Manual bidding means you can adjust your bid amounts for your keywords and ad groups. A benefit of this is that you can reduce your budget for your ad group that performs poorly.
Branded terms are terms used by your company or another real estate investor. While some people think it is unethical to bid on the branded terms of a competitor, it can also be considered part of the game. After all, your competitors can bid on your keywords, too.
Aside from learning how Google Ads works, there are some extra tips you should know about to ensure a high-ROI campaign!
To manually set bids, you can use Google ads bid estimation. Your daily budget should be calculated by dividing your monthly budget by 30.4.
Before creating an ad copy and choosing the correct settings, you should first set realistic expectations and have the right mindset.
To start with, you should have an expected number of leads that is realistic. For example, 10 leads per month in Florida.
Understanding the potential of your target market is crucial as it will be the basis of your maximum monthly budget. If your budget is smaller, say $1,000/month, you should expect lower AdWords motivated seller leads compared to when your budget is $10,000.
Moreover, Google Ads for real estate investors need several months to know your PPC ad's potential. Right after these months, you'll see Google Ads giving you quite a number of leads which means scaling is a great option.
Always revisit your campaign plans to check for your ROI. You don't want to make unnecessary spending in the process. Here are some points to look into:
If you aren't tracking your ad conversions, you're just wasting money. Make sure to track the sales funnel from your keywords to leads in order to maximize your Google Ads.
The first thing you need to do is install Google AdWords conversion tracking. Through this, you'll be able to track your KPIs, including the deals and leads per campaign, your deal conversion rate, and your gross and net profit per click on your Google Ads.
If you plan to direct your Google ad on your home page or landing page, make sure to optimize it to decrease your cost per click and increase your conversion rates. Optimization of search engines is essential if you want better results for this digital marketing strategy in real estate.
Here are some tips to make your landing page high-converting:
Many sellers are also looking for ways to sell their homes using their phones. So you also have to optimize your landing page for real estate investing for mobile devices.
If you do not make your landing page or your whole website mobile-friendly, you're probably losing thousands of dollars annually in leads.
Truth be told, doing PPC management for real estate investors can be a really daunting marketing strategy. This direct marketing strategy can drain your budget in a short period of time. If you need help understanding how PPC works, you can always seek the help of real estate investor PPC services.
The professionals from these PPC companies who will help you are experts in PPC management services, including Google AdWords, Yahoo Ads, Bing Ads, Linkedin Ads, etc. If you are willing to pay a fee for these PPC services for real estate investors, you need not lift a finger to find leads online.
Alternatively, you may also enroll in an online advertising academy since they have courses that teach PPC keywords for real estate investors, banner ads, and other aspects of PPC marketing.
There are two Google PPC for real estate investors strategies that sum up everything we discussed in this blog. They're the focus and broad campaigns.
Essentially, they are based on how you'll choose the best keywords, but there are also a lot of elements at play, so you really have to run some tests to see what will work for you.
As the name suggests, focus campaigns on digital marketing are focused on producing the best leads. This can be achieved by paying a premium for only a few leads that are highly motivated. Adwords Nerds reveal that investors have 1 out of 10 or 1 out of 6 closing rates using this strategy.
Some of the core characteristics of a focus campaign are its usage of exact match keywords, tight segmentation, and usage of manual CPC bidding.
Focus campaigns are ideal for PPC and Google Ad newbies since there are only a few elements involved.
However, this doesn't mean that focus campaigns on digital marketing don't need to be actively managed. Every mistake is costly in this PPC for real estate investors strategy since the CPC for a particular keyword is quite high.
All elements of a focused campaign should be optimized in order for you to acquire leads. You have to pay attention to lead tracking and conversions especially.
Focus campaigns also generate data very slowly. This involves data on clicks, leads, impressions, etc. If you are doing a page split testing, it would take a long time to finish it.
What does this mean for you? You might lose track of your campaigns or the performance improvements won't bring you anything.
Broad campaigns strike a balance between closing percentage and lead volume. This is done through target broadening and using Google's automated tools. Generally, broad campaigns gather more leads and lower cost per lead. However, there's also a lower close rate.
Phrase match and broad match keywords are typically used for broad campaigns since they generate more impression volume. The target markets and areas are also larger and the bidding strategies are automated.
One great thing about broad campaigns is that the CPC is much lower. In other words, the penalty for split tests that aren't successful is decreased.
If your target area is larger, this also works best since you'll be feeding the system more data and it will become more efficient.
The downside is, since it generates a higher volume of data, much of the leads you'll get are off-base. In other words, they won't really convert.
Another issue with broad campaigns is that it may be hard to improve lead quality at some point.
If you are still unsure if broad or focus campaigns would work for you, your next move would be to do some tests.
There's no magic formula for PPC for real estate investors so you have to fine-tune your Google ads campaign by testing various ad copies, images, target customer options, and keyword match types, and ad groups.
As mentioned earlier, you may also want to hire PPC management services since they are more knowledgeable on PPC platforms, Google Search ads, Bing ads, Yahoo ads, remarketing ads, banner ads, search engines, etc.
Without a doubt, PPC for real estate investors is an effective way to increase website traffic and generate leads. However, this digital marketing strategy requires extreme patience and focus since it's not the easiest method of lead generation. It is also very tricky, especially for beginners.
If, after reading this comprehensive blog, you're still doubtful about PPC, maybe you're better off with other methods of online lead generation. A better alternative would be to buy leads from pay-per-lead platforms!
Here at Property Leads, we use SEO to generate the highest-converting seller leads. Our leads are as good as the leads you'll get if you use phrase match and exact match in PPC! We might even have better leads because ours have less competition.
If you're interested to get motivated seller leads from us, fill out our form below!