Google Ads strategies for real estate agencies

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For realtors, agents, and other professionals in the real estate industry, Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is a great long-term marketing option. Here are some essential guidelines to get you started.

Understand what you pay

Marketers in all industries favor Google Ads because of their broad reach. For example, real estate agents might use them to promote ads on Google search, YouTube, and other sites on the web. However, you should understand Google’s pricing strategy for advertisers before you begin.

Because you need to think long term when you start advertising with Google Ads, you need to budget for this part of your marketing strategy. Start with a three-month trial and set a monthly budget cap for your ads. So ask yourself: how much am I willing to pay each month for Google Ads?

The three-month trial will serve you to analyze your results and get a clear idea of ​​what works and what doesn’t.

You only pay for results: Don’t worry about going over your monthly budget cap or overspending, because you pay per click (when people click on your ad to go to your website or a landing page) and pay per action (when users call your business).

You can adjust your monthly budget as needed. Google will show you estimated results based on your advertising budget before creating your campaign. Additionally, you can pause your ads whenever you want and Google will stop charging you.

Suppose you sometimes need your Google Ads budget for something else. In this case, you can pause your ads for as long as needed and resume them when you’re ready again.

Now that the budgeting is clear, you can start creating your campaigns. You will see how it works on the official Google Ads website. If you want expert help with identifying your marketing goals or for advanced campaigns that include sales, leads, brand awareness, and more, you can get help directly from marketing experts at Google.

Choose the right keywords

The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a great keyword research tool, the foundation of any pay-per-click campaign. Of course, you can use many other keyword research tools, but the Google one will suffice to start with. There are best practices for your keywords, basically: think about what users want and align your keywords with your business goals.

Keyword research is a kind of art. It will help you organize keywords into groups based on brands, competition, match phrases, and related terms.

  • Mark: identify keyword phrases containing a trademark and/or registered trademark.
  • Competitor: keyword phrases containing the brand names of your direct competitors or other competitors in your niche.
  • Generic: terms that relate generically to your business (e.g. real estate, houses for sale).
  • Related: other terms an internet user might use to find your business online.

Google Ads Keyword Planner offers many filters to help you identify the keyword phrases that best suit your real estate agency and your advertising objective. Use it to get keyword ideas and see average monthly searches, competition, top-of-page bid prices, and other filters that will help you understand how that term will fit into your advertising budget.

Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Use the Google Ads Keyword Map Tool to research and refine keyword phrases relevant to your marketing goals.

Use the refine tool to make sense of the hundreds of results the Keyword Planner will serve for any query: brand or not, service (real estate for sale or real estate for rent), professional (real estate agent, realtor, real estate broker), property (houses, luxury homes, other), information (property for sale, property for rent), transaction (rent, buy), and others.

Save the most relevant keywords: those that best match your goals. Don’t choose terms that are too general because they’re likely to generate irrelevant clicks that won’t always convert to leads or sales.

You have three options for your keyword match types in Google Ads:

  • Broad match: corresponds to misspellings, synonyms, related searches, close variants. However, broad match often results in poor quality traffic.
  • Expression Match: matches include the keyword phrase without the stop words such as “a”, “the”, “is”, “are” and others or a close variant: real estate, local real estate.
  • Exact match: it will match your exact keyword without variations.

So, if you want to show your ads for leads and calls to your business, use Phrase Match or Exact Match to avoid irrelevant clicks and unnecessary traffic to your site.

Create responsive search ads

With Google Ads for Real Estate, you can create as many ad campaigns as you need to meet your marketing goals. For example, you can have 7-10 ad groups per campaign (or less), 20 keyword phrases per ad group (or less), and a recommendation of three ads per ad group. But you don’t need to create three ads, especially since starting June 30, 2022, you won’t be able to create or edit expanded text ads.

Instead, create a responsive Search Network ad by ad group. With this ad type, you eliminate the need for multiple text ads. Google will automatically combine titles and descriptions in ads. You can have up to 15 titles and four descriptions. Additionally, you can include a site URL, at least two sitelink extensions, and a phone number where customers can reach you.

Google Ads ad preview.
Titles and descriptions should make sense individually or in combination.

Make your titles memorable, unique and compelling. You should keep each less than 30 characters, while descriptions are 90 characters each.

You can further enrich a contact form extension to get qualified leads for your real estate business directly from your ads. You can also opt for other extensions, such as site snippets, app extensions, promotion extensions, and pricing extensions. And finally, location extensions are only useful when you want people to visit your business. So, the lead form extension and call extensions should suffice for ads.

Reach the right buyers with placements

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with Google’s policy regarding real estate listing sites, single-family homes for sale or rent, and real estate services. You’ll notice that you can no longer target audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or zip code. You have locations instead.

When planning your Google Ads campaign, who do you want to reach? Where are your buyers? The geo-targeting feature of the Google Ads platform will help you advertise only to people in those locations.

Google Ads geo-targeting.
Areas highlighted in red are excluded from this fictional ad campaign in Google Ads geo-targeting.

For example, you can only target the city to reach shoppers in Memphis. Or, you can expand to the greater Tennessee area if you think people from other cities in the state would be interested in buying property in Memphis.

If you think people living in other places do not want to move, you can exclude those places.

You can set bid adjustments for targeted locations to increase the bid when searches are closer to the city you want to target. You can also use location extensions to entice users to call or visit your locations. For example, when people search for nearby businesses on Google.com or Google Maps (“realtor near me”), they may see local search ads that feature your business locations.

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