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Introduction to Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Real Estate: A Beginner’s Guide

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 Intro to PPC for Real EstateIn 2018, PPC was the second highest lead generation medium for our members.

Trying to rank on page one of Google can be a daunting task for some. It takes time and resources to invest in a full, all-out SEO strategy. Even then it could take months to notice.

What can you do in the meantime?

Well, many of our members make use of both PPC and SEO — using the former to generate short-term traffic and the latter to generate longterm traffic.

In this intro to PPC for Real Estate, we run down what you need to understand if you’re considering this route. Including:

  • What is PPC for Real Estate?
  • How does PPC work?
  • What are the benefits of using PPC advertising for Real Estate?
  • Who should use PPC?
  • How to get started with PPC?

Introduction To PPC For Real Estate

What Is PPC For Real Estate?

pay per click real estate advertising

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PPC is a broad term used for various cost-per-click platforms real estate professionals use to get in front of their target audience. These include Google Ads (AdWords), Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and numerous retargeting options.

Overall, PPC is a digital marketing strategy in which you advertise within a search engine’s sponsored results by bidding for the keywords, ad sets, and/or retargeting list connected to your real estate niche.

Pay-per-click is exactly that… you pay each time your ad is clicked. Although, there are times you can be charged for impressions (number of times your ads are shown).

Google Ads (Adwords) still reigns as PPC king for generating motivated seller leads. Facebook ads can also be an effective way to generate motivated sellers as well as buyer leads.

Facebook cost-per-click is also considered a lesser amount compared to AdWords. It’s important that you understand where your leads are coming from and the value of your cost per lead to fully understand which platform works best for you.

How Does PPC Work?

Starting with the basics. When a motivated seller types a search query into Google, the search engines provide two sets of results: pay-per-click ads (sponsored) and organic results.

As seen in the picture below, the first three results on top are sponsored ads (indicated by the green square around the word “Ad”).

Google ads motivated seller search

The other results below the ads are organic results. More than likely, the organic website results have climbed the rankings by executing a solid SEO strategy.

With PPC, when the searcher clicks on one of the ads, you (the advertiser) is charged for that click.

The price of that click will vary per the competition for that specific keyword as well as your target location(s).

You can use specific tools to find keyword traffic estimates as well as the competition and cost-per-click estimates. Tools such as:

What Are The Benefits Of Real Estate PPC?

google adwords business infographic

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Advertising with PPC ads can have many benefits. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider using PPC as part of your online marketing strategy.

1. You Have the Opportunity to Control Your Position on Page One of the Search Results

PPC advertising allows you to gain the most valuable ad space on whichever PPC platform you choose to use. If that’s Google, then you have the ability to get on top of the first-page search results without having to dedicate the time and resources for SEO.

Claiming ad space where most eyes will see them will increase your odds of getting solid lead generation and return on your investment.

2. Place Your Ads in Front of YOUR Audience

This is two-fold.

First, you can use specific keywords in your PPC ads. This will allow you to reach a specific target audience based on your location. For example, using keywords such as…

  • “Sell my house fast in Baltimore”
  • “Sell my house in Chicago”
  • “We buy houses fast in Boston”

This allows you to reach the local audience by choosing keywords that are targeting your audience location.

Second, you have the ability to use geo-targeting to limit who can see your ads based on locations. For example, if you are searching for motivated sellers in Baltimore, it wouldn’t be smart to allow searchers in D.C to see your ads.

You’d be would wasting your budget to allow searches from outside of your target areas to see and click on your ads.

3. Control Your Budget

Adverting with PPC ads offers you ultimate control of your money. You set your desired ad spend. If your budget runs low, platforms such as Google Ads will notify you that your budget is limited. This allows you to reassess your current PPC strategy and make the necessary adjustments to optimize your accounts.

As mentioned above, the majority of your PPC campaigns will follow the model that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

4. PPC is Immediate

There’s no wait time! Unlike SEO, PPC is live the moment you decide to turn your campaigns live. If increasing your buyer list for your real estate website is your goal, PPC ads allow you to get in front of your target audience NOW rather than waiting the span of time it takes for an SEO campaign.

5. Testing

PPC ads are an excellent way to split test your website, ad copy, or images that resonate with your target audience.

Using the A/B testing approach, you can test your ads and landing pages to see what form, color scheme, design… etc., are generating the best results. Once you gather enough date, you can use this information to make strategic moves to your campaigns to maximize your PPC ROI.

6. Track Your Results to Maximize ROI

Proving ROI is a major part of being a marketer today. Luckily, PPC ads allow you to track every aspect of your ad campaign to connect your efforts to your results.

You can see how each keyword is performing. You can see how each ad is performing. And, you can see exactly where and when your leads are reaching you.

You want to prove the worth of your PPC campaign. You’ll want to be sure your conversion tracking is linked to your website and for most of you, you’ll also want to be sure your lead source is relaying to your CRM.

Then you’ll be able to track from click to deal to see your profits that have come from your PPC strategy.

Who Should Use PPC?

Google has more than 5 billion searches per day.

Imagine how much traffic you’re missing out on!

Plus, PPC website visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors (i.e. they’re more motivated).

So, who should use PPC? Those who have the ability to plan, have patience, and are willing to spend money to get results.

If you make well-informed decisions from the time you launch a PPC campaign, you will be able to increase traffic and leads to your website.

However, PPC usually isn’t best suited for those who are looking to dabble. You need to have a mindset that provides enough strategy to sustain months and sometimes years. Those who have similar “go-get-em” attitudes have fared especially well with PPC advertising.

Real estate also has a bigger advantage over other industries who utilize PPC. Profit margins can more than justify the costs associated with PPC.

How To Get Started With PPC Advertising

ppc advertising

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If you are looking for a simplified answer of how to get started with PPC advertising, it can be summed up into a relatively easy process.

Here’s a simple look at how to plan your own PPC for real estate strategy:

1. Conduct a competitor analysis.

Identify the competitors who might be outranking you in your market. Analyze their search terms and search volumes using tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest as listed above.

2. Choose the real estate keywords you want to advertise for.

Conduct keyword research to learn how your target audience is searching for your real estate niche. If you’re looking for buyers for your agent website, then use such terms as, “new homes for sale” or “homes for sale in”.

3. Create ads based on thorough research.

Develop ad copy that will resonate with your target audience. Looking for motivated sellers? Use ad copy such as “We Buy House in Any Condition” or “Sell Your House As-Is Fast”.

4. Split test ad copy and/or landing pages to compare how different aspects of your PPC campaigns perform.

For ad copy testing, track metrics like click-through rate and cost per click. For landing page testing, track metrics such as conversion rates to determine the success of your PPC campaign.

You’ll also need to continuously manage keyword bids based your results. This will help you get the most ROI from your efforts.

5. Optimizing beyond your ads.

Real estate PPC campaigns are created from many parts beyond keyword bids and the ad copy. It’s important to think beyond the landing page and start to think about optimizing other pages that will help build credibility and connection with the searchers.

Three important pages to consider optimizing are your “Our company”, “Testimonials”, and the “How it works” pages.

This heat map from specific PPC traffic, confirms the need to optimize these pages. PPC traffic is looking for confirmation.


Don’t feel overwhelmed by this PPC intro. By having a sound strategy, educating yourself and putting in some time, you’ll be off and running with a successful PPC account. Or, consider hiring a third-party to consult or manage your account.

Overall, PPC can provide immediate results and be a lucrative piece of your online real estate marketing strategy.

Be sure to hit us up with questions in the comments section below. Also, if you’re a Carrot member, join us on our weekly Coaching Calls where we cover many PPC topics as well as SEO, lead generation, website design, and much, much more!

Not a Carrot member? Whatcha waiting for! Check out our plans and get started today!

Brendan Holmes

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