One of the most effective ways to generate leads for your real estate business is through PPC campaigns or making use of search engine results to capture the contact information of prospective homebuyers or sellers interested in your services achieving those ends.
PPC Ads Defined
PPC is an acronym for “pay-per-click,” which means you pay for your ad based on how many clicks your ad gets.
PPC ads may appear in search engines and on social media platforms and websites, although, when most people refer to PPC ads, they’re typically referring to Google Ads, which will be the focus here.
To display a PPC ad, you bid on particular keywords. Ad placement is then based on who among you and your competitors for that keyword bids the highest. How much a keyword cost is based on its popularity.
How Does PPC Lead Gen Work?
Google PPC lead generation, or lead gen, is the process of using Google search to collect contact information from interested, prospective customers. After you create your Google search campaign and build the ads for that campaign based on your chosen keywords, you pay each time a lead clicks on the ad. When that happens, the user is brought to a landing page that offers a lead magnet in exchange for providing their contact information.
Types of PPC Ads
There are three main types of PPC ads.
Text-based search ads, also known for our purposes here as Google Search are paid search results that appear as the text above the organic search results, or Google search engine results page (SERP) with the word “Ad.” They may contain a link in the headline to your site or more than one link to various sections of your website. Beneath the main link is one or two lines of ad copy to compel readers to click over to your site.
As text-based search ads are the most common PPC ads, they will comprise the focus for the rest of this article.
The other two types of PPC ads are image-based shopping ads and banner display ads. In brief, image-based shopping ads appear in a carousel with other similar results and contain a product image and its price along with a link to the landing page where the user can purchase the product; banner display ads appear as large, graphical banners across the page. As a real estate agent, you most likely won’t have use for shopping ads, but you may explore banner ads for your real estate business.
5 Steps for Generating PPC Leads
Here are the five easy steps for giving your target audience relevant, high-value PPC ads that deliver you as many of the same quality of real estate leads as possible.
1. Define the Target Audience
What does a quality lead look like to you? Create your ideal buyer persona, including psychographic and demographic information, such as:
The more specific and broad you make this profile, the more potential value you can get from each click.
2. Create Your PPC Lead Funnel
What is the incentive, or lead magnet, you’ll offer in exchange for that contact info It may be:
- An ebook download on home-buying or selling tips
- A newsletter or whitepaper on the latest trends in local real estate
- A discount on services
- A webinar on how to stage your home
- Quizzes or polls
You’ll want to create a lead magnet your target audience will find relevant and compelling. Once you decide on it, you’ll determine the host destination for it. In most cases, you’ll create a landing page to present it and promote your real estate business.
You’ll determine how you’ll collect information in exchange for the lead magnet, called a lead capture tool, such as web form, live chat service or chatbot. Finally, you’ll determine how you’ll deliver the lead magnet once a visitor has provided you with the requested info and create a thank-you page that confirms their information and delivers the lead magnet.
3. Select Relevant Keywords
Choose the keywords your target audience members are most likely to enter to seek what you’re offering. The more popular the keyword, the more expensive it will be. Tools like Google Trends can help you explore and analyze possible keywords to use. It can provide you with search volume for any given keyword, including regional breakdowns and related searches.
4. Create Your Campaign and Ad
On the Google Ads homepage, you’ll answer a few questions to create your account. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll return here to create your first and all future campaigns.
This will include stating your campaign goal, which, in the case of lead generation, is “Leads.” Next, you can choose what type of campaign to create, which, for our purposes here, will be “Search.” Next, you’ll identify your target audience by location and language among other criteria. The more criteria you define and the better you refine it, the more successful your campaign is likely to be.
After that, you’ll set the budget for your campaign and set how you’d like to bid on keywords, such as by the number of views of the ad or clicks on the ad. One powerful technique for how to scale your lead generation is to set your budget to fit your pace, such as how many leads you’d like to generate over how much time or over how much time you’d like your campaign to run with the budget allotted.
Here, you can select ad extensions to add to your campaign, such as:
- Sitelink extensions that appear beneath text ads that lead to particular pages
- Callout extensions that let you enter additional text
- Call extensions displaying your phone number
Now, you form your ad group by associating specific ads with specific sets of keywords. Google offers a free tool called Keyword Planner that can help you optimize your ad groups.
Next, complete your ad content with your landing page URL, anchor text for the link (or “display path,”) and ad headline and description. As you write your ad copy, use marketing info related to your target audience’s interests and needs, and use actionable phrasing that leads to a clear and strong CTA.
Finally, enter your payment info and launch your campaign.
5. Capture Leads
The key from here is to monitor your campaign closely. Make sure your lead magnets are delivered as promised. And, regularly revisit your keywords and other ad and campaign parameters to optimize results. Remember, you can create multiple campaigns with the same basic objectives to experiment with different ideas and see which works the best.