Welcome to part 3 of our 4 part series on digital marketing for property and real estate! This week we’ll be talking about how best to utilise Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) for real estate both as it pertains to your broader real estate marketing strategy and in and of itself. So far in the series we’ve covered off SEO & Social Media and those platforms will show up here again as we connect the dots while also showing direct lead strategy for Google’s advertising platform. So let’s jump straight in!
HOW DO GOOGLE ADS CONNECT TO THE BIGGER PICTURE?
This is a section we’ve included in each of these blogs so far. The reason for this is that real estate marketing strategy (and especially larger property developments) are not a “quick sale” industry as we’re sure you’re aware. It can take a very long time to produce a sale and so counting on one particular platform (such as Google Ads) to provide you leads via a straight up lead generation campaign is not the way to go. There are lots of things for your customers to consider as we’re sure you’re aware and for this reason you need to be able to follow them around online (in a non-creepy way) to stay at the front of their minds and remind them of what you’re offering.
Without repeating those last two blogs too much, it’s a fact in this industry that a lot of leads won’t convert on the first try. They might see you on Facebook, find you in organic search results via your SEO efforts or end up on your website via offline marketing materials. This first visit is the most important not because you can then reach out to them through one of these platforms, but because you are now able to get them into a sales funnel that spans multiple advertising platforms whether they’re scrolling through their newsfeed casually or looking for related information online.
And while SEO is great to help move a potential buyer or renter further down the sales funnel, it’s not anywhere near as agile as Google Ads. It’s a crass way of putting it, but being able to pay to be on the front page of Google for search terms almost immediately allows the kind of freedom and quick thinking that SEO can’t provide. Let’s say that they first see you via a billboard and then visit your website by Googling you or a good reliable industry term that you’ve done your due diligence with for SEO which puts your website in front of them. This will allow you to activate a number of remarketing options, but let’s run with a likely scenario where they visit the site, don’t convert, but end up with a cookie on their device and then see you later on Facebook via remarketing.
An interesting trend we’ve already seen is that people will often not click directly on a Facebook ad, but Google that business or the terminology within the ads creative instead. While you may rank organically for a good number of terms, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have thought of everything because ranking for every plausible keyword organically is just not realistic over any small amount of time. And then in steps Google Ads! With great, targeted creative that is self aware with regards to the fact that this person has already interacted with you at least once, you have a very agile online property with which to reach out to them again as you further sell them on your offering.
However it’s not just remarketing where this can work. At many of the various stages we just outlined a potential buyer or renter could still Google keywords that you don’t yet (or haven’t yet considered) ranking for organically. Yet another avenue through which they can find you.
BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER OUTSIDE OF WHERE GOOGLE ADS SIT IN YOUR STRATEGY.
We could be here forever if we were to write a definitive how-to on the subject, but here are a few key tips that will put you in good stead.
- Landing Pages – We’ll have a blog coming up soon on this, but to explain why you need a great landing page for your AdWords campaigns very simply, Google Ads have an extensive list of requirements (which you can find a definition of here) that help you both to increase chances of conversion and reduce your CPC (Cost Per Click) given that they will charge you more to send traffic to a page that they deem to be of a lesser quality. The reason they do this (aside from being able to still make money off those who don’t consider these things properly) is that it’s a well proved and data backed fact that Google Ads campaigns just work better with a purpose-built landing page than when you’re sending traffic to a generic product or home page.
- Consider China – The Chinese market is a great thing to consider using online property listings portals supported by a Chinese website. Additionally, WeChat engagement (something we can absolutely help with and communication strategy is key as part of a broader strategy in that sense. Given the rising popularity of Australian property to the Chinese market it should be considered strongly wherever possible.
- Experimentation – You may come across some great strategies while advertising on this platform, but that’s no reason to become complacent! Always have at least a small part of your budget dedicated to trying new things because two great strategies are always better than one.
- Get Local – You’re likely already aware that Geo-targeting exists, but these days that element of Google Ads goes much deeper than you might realise whether it’s having your ads show at a particular time of day that you’re aware your demographic is more likely to be online in that area, areas of interest (a great one to utilise if implemented correctly), tiered demographics and much more!
- New Features – Google never sit on their laurels when it comes to trying new things. They are always introducing new features to the platform and it’s important to make sure you keep up to date with them as they release to see if it would be a good tool for your campaigns.
SO HOW DO YOU TRACK ALL OF THIS?
Our last blog in this series will be specifically about this so we won’t get too spoilery, but as always we would absolutely recommend installing both Google Analytics and Tag Manager. The latter in particular will allow you to track all of these activities across all platforms over the whole sales funnel so it’s super important to have as a part of your strategy.
Again we’ll get much deeper into this with the next blog, but if we were to point out anything of note we’d say the following:
- Phone tracking – Seriously, you have the option there. Do it. Google offers deep integration into Analytics and Google Ads that allows you to track calls from Ads and website sources and even know the length of the call. Too many businesses across all industries are measuring the success of their online campaigns only via online enquiries, which is not an honest representation of success. However, with that said…
- Don’t push too hard, have enquiry forms – As we’ve stated before, we’ve got a lot of experience working with this industry and a common objection we come across is that because of the nature of the sales process and the level of information a potential buyer or renter needs, an online enquiry form isn’t a good way to obtain leads. This is demonstrably false and is still a valid way to have these customers enter the sales funnel. In an increasingly digital world it makes no sense not to rely on online enquiries to being a conversation with these people. There is also a whole other conversation we could have around how to track that internally within the company via software but that will definitely require another blog unto itself.
That’s it from us today. We hope we’ve managed to provide a few avenues to explore but as always if you’d like to know more and explore your options then please feel free to get in touch!