Appearing at the top of Google’s results for popular local search terms is a surefire way to generate loads of website traffic and leads. But in competitive markets, top search engine placement doesn’t happen overnight, and your organic leads may not come as quickly as you need to stay busy. Fortunately, there are many other options for lead generation if you’re willing to reserve some of your income for advertising. Knowing where to spend your advertising dollars is the key to long-term success.
The most popular digital advertising solution for most businesses is Google Adwords. Being listed at the top of Google’s organic search results is great, but you can always appear higher with paid placement. Adwords allows you to control exactly which search terms your ads appear for, and it gives you greater control of your website’s title and descriptive text in search results. You can also target people by their location. If you work in an area that sees a lot of vacationers from a specific region or state, use the location targeting option to show up in those areas, too.
Tip: Take the time to create a list of possible keywords and terms as well as locations. Use the information from your website’s Google Analytics data to see what people already use to find you.
Text ads in Google’s search results are great, but what if you want to advertise with a bit more style and flair? Google Display Network ads are typically image-based ads that appear on a variety of sites across the web. Narrow your target audience by designating specific websites or types of pages where you want your ads to show, or try “remarketing” to encourage past website visitors to return.
Tip: If you would rather not be associated with a controversial website or a potential competitor, you can easily prevent your ads from showing on those specific sites.
Advertising on Facebook gives you more options than you might realize. You can use an ad to get more likes to your business page, boost something you posted on Facebook, get eyes on a new listing, and even bring more people to your website. The Facebook advertising system lets you set a specific amount of money to spend per day or over the course of a set period of time. You can also set a budget and bid on a per click or per 1000 impressions basis. Even better, you can also run multiple ad campaigns at the same time.
Tip: Each ad can target different demographics and locations. Determine who your target audience will be before you set up your campaign. Make a list of their traits, likes, dislikes, ideal income levels, and where they live – similar to a buyer persona. This will make setting up your ad campaign a little easier.
Adwerx is an advertising solution designed with REALTORS® in mind. Similar to Google Display Network, Adwerx uses the criteria you select – either your listing or a set of zip codes – and matches it with people online. How do they figure out who these people are? They use anonymous online data to find people who are searching for homes, trying mortgage calculators, and taking other actions that indicate they make be interested in real estate. Once you sign up to have your ad displayed, your ad shows up on the websites these “prospects” are using.
Tip: You don’t have to create your own banner display ad. Once you enter the information Adwerx needs, their system can build the display ad for you. Customization of that ad is also available.
Becoming a Zillow Premier Agent is free option to help buyers and sellers learn more about you. When you sign up, you can create a profile, highlight your experience and specialties, and feature past sales and client reviews. To stand out from the other 1000 REALTORS® doing the same thing in your area, consider their Premier Agent Advertising option. Your profile will show up for buyers and sellers who are actively looking in your target zip codes. Instead of seeing you by chance, you’ll have more eyes on you and more leads as a result.
Tip: As a Zillow Premier Agent, you’re the only agent promoted on your listing, instead of being listed with other agents. If you don’t have any listings, you also show up on listings by non-Zillow Premier Agents as a potential buyer’s agent.
The opportunities to spend your money on advertising solutions are almost limitless. Make sure that whichever option you choose gives you control over the ad and gets your information in front of enough people to justify the cost. Advertising is a fact of life in the real estate business. Spend your money wisely to generate the best quality leads.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.