Real estate companies with the right paid search strategies can see a higher ROI, growing client base, and more wins over the competition.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why paid search marketing is key for real estate companies
  • Pro tips for optimizing your campaigns
  • What to keep in mind when crafting landing pages
  • How video offers an edge over competitors

Spring 2022 is likely to go down in history as one of the hottest house buying seasons.

That’s one of the key reasons why real estate companies should be taking advantage of all the resources at their disposal, particularly when it comes to marketing efforts.

While search engine optimization (SEO) is a big part of any marketing strategy, only a limited number of companies end up on the first page of Google. That’s where paid search (or pay-per-click/PPC) marketing comes in.

Making PPC marketing a part of your real estate marketing strategy can be hugely beneficial to your company, especially right now. 

hawksem: real estate paid search blog

Many real estate agencies avoid taking full advantage of branded keywords for the fear of not getting enough ROI. (Image: Unsplash)

Why real estate paid search marketing makes sense

When it comes to digital marketing, many companies start with SEO. That entails things like a speedy, well-designed website, quality content marketing, and an updated Google Business Profile (GDP). 

Optimizing your marketing efforts to get high spots on the search engine results page (SERP) is great. However, when you work with an extremely specific, localized product like real estate services, adding in paid search strategies can be the secret sauce to help you truly stand out from competitors.

Real estate paid search marketing gives you the opportunity to focus on your local target audience. It also aids in differentiating between renters and buyers, potential and current homeowners, and much more.

This approach allows you to place your ad in front of potential clients, even if they submit search queries using key phrases similar to unqualified searchers.

Other benefits for real estate companies who leverage paid search include:

  • Quick lead generation results
  • The ability to do clear budget planning
  • Access to detailed analytics
  • Enhanced brand awareness

Pro tip: Housing ads come with certain targeting restrictions in an attempt to avoid discrimination by companies online — here’s what marketers should know about housing ad restrictions.

1. Capitalize on branded searchers

The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) searchers are your highest-potential clients. These are the people who are serious about purchasing a property. 

However, many real estate agencies avoid taking full advantage of branded keywords for the fear of not getting enough ROI.

Branded search terms are for those people who have heard something about a real estate agency in your area and tend to add a brand name to the general key phrases.  

If you aren’t using branded keywords, your competitors could be taking advantage of them and luring away your hot leads. If you’re just starting out and haven’t raised much brand awareness yet, you could pivot and use this strategy to redirect the competition’s audience to your doorstep.

To make sure that all your qualified prospects stay yours, you should be taking full advantage of the branded keywords. Don’t leave them out for the competition to grab.

2. Explore geo-targeting

A real estate business is generally local, though of course there are national brands with local branches. Either way, when it comes to real estate purchases, location is everything. 

After all, people searching for real estate options almost always know exactly where they want to buy, sell, or rent a property. That’s why geo-targeting is one of the biggest benefits when it comes to paid search for real estate companies.

Google Ads lets you adjust your ads to appear to clients in certain locations or a set of locations. Not only does this feature help you to narrow down the search options, it can also cut your PPC costs.

Pro tip: Google Ads geo-targeting also lets you to set up negative locations. This feature can be especially key for real estate marketing. It allows you to exclude locations you don’t need from your PPC campaign, like a same-named city in a different state.

3. Create optimized, dedicated landing pages

Your paid search marketing campaign’s success relies heavily on your landing pages. As users click the ad, they should arrive at a high-quality page that answers their questions, feels tailored to them, and has a clear call to action (CTA) to lead them to that next step.

Pointing the traffic to a generic web page (like your homepage) often increases bounce rates and raises the cost per click (CPC). 

Besides being more targeted and actionable, landing pages should provide a seamless user experience and gently guide the visitor down the marketing funnel.

PPC landing pages for real estate businesses should contain:

  • Eye-catching, well-written copy
  • Strong contextual media
  • A single, strong CTA
  • Clear features and benefits of the offer from your ad
  • Testimonials or other proof points to support your claims

Pro tip: Google Ads rewards campaigns with high-quality landing pages by boosting the Quality Score and lowering the CPC.

view standing in front of a white house with red roof

Besides being more targeted and actionable, landing pages should provide a seamless user experience and gently guide the visitor down the marketing funnel. (Image: Unsplash)

4. Run consistent A/B tests

A single element in your paid search ad — the image, headline, or anything in between — can affect its success. That’s why A/B testing is crucial to figuring out how to best optimize your ads. 

You may consider adjusting headlines, images, text, layout, and other factors to see how it affects the ad’s performance. Then you can channel your budget toward the higher-performing ads.

Avoid split testing completely different ads — the tweaks should be minor. Otherwise, you won’t be able to figure out what exactly makes one ad better than the other.

5. Study the competition

As long as you don’t plan to copy your competitors exactly (which isn’t ethical or a good look for your business), it’s wise to keep an eye on the tactics and tools they’re using in their real estate paid search.

Check out what works for your competition, and see how you can potentially leverage their strategies for your own gain. 

Type your target key phrase into Google search and see which ads come up. From there, you can use tools like SpyFu, SERPstat, and Keyword Gap to see which keywords your competitors are aiming for. You can also check out their landing pages and see how they stack up against your own.

6. Focus on ad extensions

Ad extensions don’t just give your ad more real estate on the SERPs. They also provide valuable and catchy information to the potential buyer or client.

Adding a new ad extension can improve your CTR by 10-15%, and they don’t cost extra to include.

Extensions to pay attention to are:

  • Call extension – shows your phone number next to the ad
  • Message extension – allows the searcher to send you a message directly from the SERP
  • Location extension – lets searchers know your exact location

Another important extension is the price extension, since price is often the first thing real estate clients want to know. You can use this extension to promote specific listings.

7. Create a video ad campaign

Images and videos can play an important role in the success of your real estate PPC campaign. Since real estate products are highly visual, this can be a great opportunity to demonstrate all that a property has to offer via short video ads.

Reports show more than 70% of homeowners are more likely to hire a real estate agency that uses videos. The agencies that invest in video marketing know it can bring significant return on ad spend (ROAS).

Plus, by creating a paid video campaign, you’re targeting potential clients while sharing extensive details about your listings in a way that’s eye-catching and unique.

The takeaway

There’s no reason for real estate companies to not take full advantage of paid search marketing. It generates fast results, allows for clear budget planning, offers a variety of ways to target a specific audience, and more.

For the real estate business, paid search ads aren’t just a nice addition. They can become the driving force behind your digital marketing program and bring you serious ROI. 

This article has been updated and was originally published in July 2020.

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