What do you (really) need to know for an effective real estate web advertising strategy? This article will clarify your ideas, giving you some interesting ideas for your business!
Real estate was, during the years of the economic crisis, one of the most affected sectors. Fortunately, the data of the Revenue Agency in the 2018 Real Estate Report believe that the sales relating to the last two years in the residential sector are characterized by a positive trend. So you can breathe a slight sigh of relief, but it is definitely not the case to rest on your laurels.
Now the scenario has changed. The tools of new technologies have become part of the everyday life of people, your potential customers. Interpersonal communication is increasingly mediated by smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops and, therefore, by the magical world of the Internet: the massive presence of people online means that the web today looks like a sort of second home, not to mention before. . In an article on our blog, we showed you why it is necessary to implement an efficient email marketing strategy in the real estate sector. Today, we address the issue of online real estate marketing from another point of view, that of advertising: we will focus on the two most effective tools of real estate web advertising: Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords.
And you, what are you waiting for to be found in new (or almost) virtual places with a truly performing real estate web advertising strategy? We will share with you, in a single article, some valuable tips to use for an effective real estate advertising campaign on the web.
Enjoy the reading!
Real estate web adv: the 2 most effective tools
I) Facebook Advertising
Facebook is the social platform par excellence. Millions of users connect to the Internet every day and, among the actions they perform, accessing their Facebook profile is certainly in the first place. Have you ever thought about it? Why do people log into Facebook? We connect to search and find what we need at that moment or, more simply, to exchange information and curiosity.
This is why Facebook is one of the (few) virtual places where your presence is absolutely necessary, not only through a constantly updated Facebook company page but above all through Facebook advertising campaigns aimed at your target, to better promote your property or your service.
5 steps for an effective Facebook advertising campaign
1. Identify your target
First of all, real estate web advertising is effective when it is “customer-oriented”, that is, oriented directly to its interlocutor. In fact, before proceeding with the Facebook advertising campaign, certainly, the very first thing to do is to identify your target: Facebook Business Manager is a fundamental tool that allows you to enter useful information relating to your target, plan campaigns and manage access from a single interface. Obviously, the more information you can gather, the more effective your campaign will be. So here’s a bunch of valuable demographics to consider:
– Type of education
– Websites visited
– General interests
The demographics and behavioral data mentioned certainly offer an overall picture of your prospect very close to reality. A good starting point to better understand what are the main aspects on which to base your next ad.
2. Bring your ad to life
Browsing the web, what immediately stands out is the image: a virtual showcase that caters to the world and consequently also attracts the public interested in what you have to communicate. Even in the context of real estate web advertising, the impact of the ad largely depends on the image you choose. But not only that, here are the three aspects to consider if you want to make a valid announcement:
– Body of the text
Here are some practical suggestions for improving each of these three aspects:
Title: people don’t have the time and desire to read kilometer-long papyri! The title of your ad should be short and concise: the ideal would be to not go beyond 2 – 3 words per sentence. Also, always remember to end the title with an incisive invitation to the user to click on your ad.
Body of the text: by reading a question, the user will be more impressed and involved in answering the question you submit. This means that you will have already caught his attention. So, always be short and concise and favor punctuation, especially the question mark.
Image: Photos that are too professional often have a detrimental effect on social users. Always get natural, clear and clear photos.
3. Define your goals
Once the graphic aspects have been developed, the next step will be to define what your goals are: surely the primary one will be attributable to converting traffic into sales. Don’t make the mistake of driving traffic to your page’s wall: if you want to increase the number of your fans, we recommend that you create a Welcome Tab that invites visitors to click “Like”. Finally, change your page settings so that new visitors land right there.
4. Design your ad
One of the first things Facebook will ask you is to define the destination URL for who will click on your ad. In this case, you have two possibilities:
– External URL
– Facebook page
In the first case, if you intend to direct traffic to an external URL, make sure you already have a landing page with a good percentage of visitors who, once they arrive at the page, perform the action you have chosen for them: subscribe to your newsletter (so you can get direct contact) or, why not, contact you to request information on the property. If, on the other hand, you decide to direct your traffic to a Facebook page, create a welcome page that invites your visitors to register directly within the social network. Testing the two methods is always the best solution!
Once this is done, it will be time to define precisely who you want to convey your ad to.
There are several options to define as specifically as possible the Facebook Ads target that you will find yourself managing:
– By location
– By interests or keyword
– By connections
– By age
Through this type, you can direct each ad to over 25 countries around the world. Location targeting can vary from country, to state, to city, even to a specific neighborhood. One of the biggest advantages of Facebook is related to the very high level of specificity with which you can convey your ad.
Interest or keyword targeting
This second type of targeting is, in all likelihood, the most effective option for reaching your target audience on Facebook. While you are typing, Facebook will be able to suggest a series of keywords based on what users are looking for the most on social media.
Specifically, keyword targeting is based on common interests and activities, favorite books, TV, movies, or workplaces that users indicate in their profiles. Keyword targeting offers a great tool, useful for advertisers to beat the competitor’s bid over time.
In case you direct traffic to an internal Facebook landing page, connection targeting is certainly the most suitable option. Thanks to this type, you can define as recipients of your ad the users who are connected to pages, events, or groups of which you are an administrator.
In this case, opt for as wide an age range as possible, but be careful not to do this in the same ad, as it would be counterproductive. Make more than one ad for each campaign and select a time frame of at least 5 years for each. In case the number of users is too low, change the time frame and make it wider.
The four different targeting options can be used together or not. Each time you add a new type of targeting, you’ll see the number of people you’re targeting at the bottom of the page. Clearly, the more options you choose to add, the more accurate and effective the ad will be.
CPM OR CPC?
Within every real estate web advertising strategy we always talk about CPM or CPC:
– CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) : it is the cost of 1000 impressions of an ad on a web page, therefore the advertising rate is applied to make your ad appear.
– CPC (Cost Per Click): refers to the cost that you will have to pay for each visitor who is brought to the site by clicking on the ad.
The higher the percentage of people who clicked on your ad (CTR), the lower your CPC will be. To ensure long life and safe effectiveness to your campaign, the main objective to focus on is certainly to reduce the CPC.
If your goal is to create an awareness campaign around your brand or to promote an event, CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) can be an effective bidding system. If, on the other hand, your goal is mainly the growth of conversions, then the CPC (cost per click) is the most suitable choice.
When you start a Facebook advertising campaign you can follow two different working methods:
I) Start with just one ad
Start planning only one ad at a time for your real estate campaign. Include all geographic areas and the age range that interests you. When you reach 100 clicks, open the report that you find in the sidebar to the right of your account. Check which geographic areas, age groups, or interests are the most effective for your customers, and start targeting your ads from there.
II) Start with lots of announcements
Start your campaign with as many ads as your targeting options. Wait two to four hours to find out which ads are performing best and pause all the others.
Both of the above two approaches are valid. To fully understand which one is best for your audience, we recommend that you test both methodologies and draw conclusions later, in relation to the overall success of the campaign.
An ad on Facebook advertising has an average life cycle of about 5-7 days: after this period of time, do not immediately change the ad completely, but start by changing only the title or image, so as to attract the attention of who has ignored the previous version of the ad.
II) Google AdWords real estate
When we talk about real estate web marketing, Google AdWords is certainly another very useful advertising tool. Using Google AdWords, in a few minutes your ad could climb the top of Google by paying a variable budget.
Why should you know Google AdWords to promote your properties?
In Italy, 97% of users use Google to search online. Think about it, you too start from Google to search for anything you can think of, using a specific keyword. Do you need a hotel for your London holiday? Surely you will type “Hotel Londra” and, consequently, Google will immediately suggest you a list of organic results, starting from the paid ones.
Imagine how important your presence in the top positions of Google can be when your potential customers are looking for a property, right in your area of expertise.
AdWords is the web advertising platform created by Google that allows you to appear first through the ad, in the attentive eyes of users who, at that moment, are looking for certain products or services, through the use of simple keywords.
As an example, if you “ask Google” for “Apartments for sale in London” you will notice on the right, or in the first three positions, the advertisements made with Google Adwords. These will certainly be more visible because they are in the top 3 positions (marked with a light yellow color and the wording “ads”) compared to all the advertisements of other websites that offer advertisements on the same theme.
You may have noticed that the advertisements you see when you search on Google are always relevant to what you are looking for; consequently, with the Google AdWords tool, users will be looking for you directly, and not the other way around.
How does Google Adwords work in real estate?
The functionality of Google AdWords is extremely simple. You pay a CPC (Cost per Click) only when the user who has done a Google search sees your ad, is interested in it, and then clicks on it. Subsequently, after the click, the user is directed directly to your website. You decide how much you are willing to spend for each click. In addition to the CPC, you can decide in advance how much you are willing to spend daily, still having the opportunity to change both the cost per click and the daily budget when you want. If you are not satisfied with how your campaign is doing, you can always decide to temporarily “pause” it.
The 3 most common mistakes that put your AdWords campaign at risk
Have you tried the approach to Google AdWords but found no benefit? Perhaps you have made one of these 3 mistakes, which involve:
– Generic keywords
– Wrong page
– Unmeasured results
Do not bet too much on too generic keywords, such as “real estate agency”: they could create gigantic black holes in your budget, producing negligible results compared to what you have invested. Your market has a very specific location and your goal is to be found (clicked) exclusively by users potentially interested in your real estate agency.
A classic example can be traced back to the “home page” of the site which, very often, is not the best answer to offer to the user who is expressing a specific need when he types his keyword.
A big advantage of Google AdWords is related to the measurement of results. This tool allows you to measure exactly how much you spend to get a click and how much each conversion costs you. Conversion is the action you have set yourself as a goal: the completion of a form by the user, for example. Without such a setup, you will never know if your financial sacrifices produce results or not.
How to distinguish effective keywords from harmful ones?
As you may have noticed, the choice of keywords is essential for creating a winning AdWords campaign. You could try to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and start doing a little brainstorming with all the words that come to your mind. Create a full-bodied list of keywords, then divide it into product categories, giving it a sense of logic and belonging. Furthermore, one of the fundamental things to do is to know how to link the keyword to the precise place where the property is located, to avoid having the ad displayed to those who are not interested.
Once you have finished the list of keywords, use the tools that Google provides you, such as:
– Google Instant
– Keyword Planner
Google Instant is the tool that suggests the results while you are typing the keyword in the search bar. Keyword Planner is another tool that you can find in your AdWords account, which allows you to know the number of monthly searches on a given keyword and similar words.
In addition, AdWords allows you to filter “bad” traffic through the use of matches: it is a fundamental operation to be found only by potentially interested people. Matches allow for careful selection of the target to attack and save you from spending money unnecessarily.
A match can be of five types:
– Modified generic
Using matches correctly improves the performance of your AdWords campaigns.
For example, if you don’t want your ads to appear when the user uses the word “rent”, you can avoid this with negative matching. If you don’t want to exclude the display of your main keyword (example: London houses), when the user adds words, using the phrase match will make it possible (therefore: I’m looking for London houses). With a broad match, your ads are automatically associated with relevant keyword variations, even if those terms differ slightly from the keyword you set. (eg singular/plural, spelling errors, etc …). Broad match is the most dangerous and, if used incorrectly, it risks making you spend a lot of money due to the strong competition that exists on generic keywords. The exact match, on the other hand, is the one that filters the traffic most of all, because it forces Google to display the ad with the keywords you entered without any variation.
How does Google AdWords rank the real estate ad?
AdWords decides positions on the basis of a “Quality Score” which it individually assigns to the various ads which, in turn, are linked to a group of keywords.
Basically, the factors that most determine the position are:
– CTR: The click-through rate, ( ” Click-through rate ” in Italian) is a rate that measures the effectiveness of an online advertising campaign.
– CPC: the cost-per-click, which we have already defined above.
In a nutshell, the ads that receive more clicks (therefore those of higher quality) get a better position at a lower cost per click (CPC) than competitors with a lower quality score. The advertiser in the first position may pay less than the advertiser in the fifth position because it has a higher quality score.
Facebook ads or Google AdWords: which one to choose for effective real estate web advertising?
Google AdWords ads appear as sponsored search engine results when the user is looking for something specific, for example, a product. On the contrary, with Facebook Ads your promotional messages appear on the social network among the news and posts of friends with a targeting logic that does not have to do with a specific search of the user, but with his demographic characteristics, of interest and behavioral.
Adopt Facebook Ads when you want to stimulate potential customers in the phase of getting to know your real estate agency, users who are therefore not yet at an advanced point in the purchase decision-making process: you can show your brand and your real estate proposals to an audience that, if you have been good at defining the target, he is potentially interested in it, and perhaps he does not even know he needs it yet.
Instead, it carries out campaigns on Google AdWords to intercept the potential customer in the “consideration” phase, that is, that crucial point in which the user has already determined what interests him and is actively seeking solutions to complete his purchase objective.
Both tools are therefore useful for your real estate web advertising campaigns: precisely because with different objectives and results, they help to complete the supervision of the entire purchase process. Google AdWords expresses its best when aiming for immediate sales, while Facebook Advertising is terrific if you aim to improve your visibility or optimize your lead generation processes.