Google AdWords is the most common PPC, or pay per click, advertising platform that real estate agents use. You have two main choices when it comes to Google AdWords: display network or search network. The search network is most useful for real estate agents because it allows you to match your ads to targeted keywords performed by users on Google.
Google Adwords: Target the Right Way
Ultimately, you want to target the right people from the get-go. As we mentioned in our quick guide to PPC advertising for real estate agents, targeting consists of 1) finding the right keywords to target, 2) creating a compelling that is highly relevant or related to the keyword search and 3) ensuring that, once someone clicks, they convert to a solid lead and eventually client.
For the purposes of this post, we are going to explore finding the right keywords to target. This cannot be overstressed as it is the first “line of defense”, you might say, against having your ad land on the wrong page and being clicked by the wrong people (read: wasted ad dollars!).
Ways to Find the Right Keywords
Step 1: Make a List
You know your business better than anyone, so you can start by making a list of potential keywords from scratch. Start with general terms then drill down within each term or phrase to develop more specific keywords that are most relevant to your business. For example:
General: Houston real estate, Houston realtor, Houston homes
More Specific: Houston condos, Houston
Even More Specific: Houston luxury homes, Houston Tanglewood homes for sale, Houston Tanglewood home values
You can bid on keywords that are exactly what you offer as a real estate agent. Another option is to bid on keywords that are related to your services.
For example, you help sell homes. Keywords could be “Houston home sales”, “Houston property sales”
Related terms could include “Houston home value”. This reflects keywords that many potential home sellers, for example, might be using in their Google searches in thinking about selling their homes. For potential home sellers, one of the first questions they might search in Google is “how much does a realtor cost”, “real estate agent fees” or “how much can I rent my house for?”
Step 2: Use a Keyword Tool
Google itself has a wonderful keyword search volume tool call Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help guide your decision on which keywords to bid on and to plan your ad budget accordingly. Note: You must log in to your Google AdWords account or create a new account in order to access it.
On the first page, you can select one of two main ways to find keywords. The first one is “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. This essentially lets you drill down with specific parameters based on the keywords you think will match queries that you can satisfy, your landing page that you’d like to direct people to and/or categories (Housing Market & Real Estate Prices under Real Estate is a good one to start with). Choose your specific city to narrow your options to only searches in that area. As an example, I entered “house values” as the phrase, “Houston” as the city and selected Real Estate > Housing Market & Real Estate Prices for the category.
My search provided a couple ad groups with a couple to a few hundred average searches monthly. The first, ad group “Home Values” turned up 350 average monthly searches in Houston with high competition and a suggested bid of $1.64. The cost is lower than other ad groups of keywords but since competition is high, you’d be fighting with other real estate agents for ad space on those search queris.
The second ad group with the most search volume was “House Prices” at 210 average monthly searches in Houston, medium competition and a suggested bid price of $2.03. This one seems like a good bet since the combination of less competition, relatively high search volume and bid price is likely within most budgets.
Using Ad Groups versus Just Keywords
Ad groups are the best way to structure your PPC campaigns through Google instead of single keywords or phrases. However, avoid the mistake of lumping all of your keywords into one ad group and use a maximum of 20 keywords/phrases. Separate your campaigns into groups that are highly related and then tailor each ad to match that ad group. For example, if you have an ad group for keywords related to “house prices”, your ad should mention that you can address that and to call you to find out the searcher’s home value or house price. If you have an ad group focused on keywords around “sell luxury condos”, then your ad should have copy that mentions how you are the #1 real estate agent in luxury condos in the area and to call or learn more how you do that.
In the next post, we’ll discuss how to match your ad to your ad group keywords and making sure they are compelling enough for people to click.