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This guide will help you get started with Google Ads for real estate. Google Ads, formally known as Google AdWords, is one way for real estate agents to generate leads online.
To get started, head over to ads.google.com/ and set up your account.
Table of contents
- Setting Up Your First Campaign
Setting Up Your First Campaign
- From the desktop Google Ads account dashboard, find campaign
- Click the Blue Plus sign. +
- Choose New Campaign
- Select the Goal of your Ad.
Pay Per Click Services
Pay per click is a way to connect with your ideal audience at the moment they are searching for your specific products and services.
Choosing a goal helps select the right type of advertising for your goal.
Google has become so much more than the original ten blue links on a search engine results page (SERP).
Now, they feature shopping items, maps, videos, and so much more.
Let’s use the goal Leads.
In most cases, real estate agents don’t have direct sales. We don’t want to attract traffic simply. Pass on that goal and the others for brand awareness.
Real Estate Agents want leads.
Within the LEADS goal, there are several campaign types to choose from. For this example, we will choose Search.
These ads appear on search engines in response to a visitor search (query).
For this part of the tutorial, choose this goal to continue placing an ad.
Select the ways you’d like to reach your goal.
Website visits: Ideal for websites with lead capture such as IDX Forced registration, home value offers (such as the landing page through listings to leads), and free guides.
Most real estate agents are using this option when placing ads on Google.
You’ll have different campaigns for different goals and ads. You might have general buyer ads, neighborhood ads, retargeting ads, specific listing ads, home value ads, and so forth.
Each would generally be an individual campaign.
Name your campaign.
Choose the Network
You have two options here. It’s worth testing both.
Displays your ad on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) based on a visitors search.
Display Network runs your ad on other websites and apps. Your ads are displayed as the users listen to music, scroll news feeds, etc. rather than based on search intent.
For this tutorial, choose the Search Network. Focusing on searchers’ intent can bring in higher conversions.
Start and End Date
Choose a specific date for which your campaign will begin. If you also choose an end date, your ad will stop running at that time regardless of the budget remaining.
If you choose no end date, your campaign will continue to run as long as you have a budget remaining.
Choose a Location
When choosing a location for your google search ad campaign, it’s best to get as hyperlocal as possible.
Similar to physical geographic farming, the more times you can be seen in a neighborhood, the better.
The size of your town will also make a difference when targeting an audience.
Go as small as your budget fits.
Meaning, if you don’t have the money to spend to reach 4+ million people each time (that’s what the greater Las Vegas area has where I am, for example), then narrow it down.
Imagine if your pay per click campaign costs you $2.00 each time someone clicks on the ad.
If you have $100 per month to spend on ads, that will equate to 50 clicks.
You would only need a tiny audience for that campaign. So the smaller and more targeted, the better.
In addition, the better your ad performs with your audience, the higher your quality score. And when your quality score increases, your cost per click decreases.
If I type Las Vegas into the location, the top estimated reach (the number of people the ad COULD appear for) is 4,860,000.
I could now exclude areas or remove this and narrow it down further by choosing a smaller area. The drop-down menu will show me more options.
You can also type in keywords such as a neighborhood name, city, or zip codes.
In Vegas, when I type in a neighborhood, it suggests the zip code that the neighborhood would be part of.
When I choose Summerlin South, a neighborhood that Google Ads had included, my potential reach now drops to 135,000.
Summerlin South is in the 89135 zip code. I could select 89135, but then I would be including parts of the Las Vegas Valley in the zip code 89135 but are not part of the Summerlin South area.
Since Summerlin South is already listed as a neighborhood and has clear boundaries, this would be a better choice for my ad.
I would rather have multiple ads appearing in this area of town, creating brand awareness rather than trying to be “here and there” all over the Las Vegas Valley.
I always teach that it’s better to go small and work your way broader as your budget, time, and leverage grow.
The exception to this geographic farming strategy would be when you are targeting a specific listing.
You might want to use the advanced search option and choose a radius around that listing.
- Choose Advanced Search
- Choose Radius
- Choose the Mile Radius to include
Or you may want to run a new listing ad targeting out of town buyers using a location that frequently brings buyers to your area.
Pin Mode will allow you to place a pin in a specific location on the map and add the radius from there.
Now, depending on your campaign, choose one of the following:
- People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations (recommended)
- People in or regularly in your targeted location
- People searching for your targeted locations
In most cases, real estate agents use ‘people in’ this location when advertising to locals.
These would be your move up/move down, first time home buyers, homeowners, and investors.
If you want to run a campaign that targets people who frequently visit the area, that would be the 2nd option.
Your Google Ads account will allow you to run unlimited campaigns with different goals and strategies.
Don’t try to accomplish more than one goal with a single campaign.
The 3rd option will display your ads for people that are using the area name in their search. This option would include a mix of locals and non-locals. It’s less targeted and broader.
This option might change how you create your display ad as well.
But if they don’t live in Vegas, but they visit often, I’m going to use the word las Vegas in the ad intentionally.
You also can exclude one of these audience types.
Next, choose the language your customers speak. Be sure that your ad and landing page are in this language.
In-Market audiences are ideal for real estate ads. These include audiences that are in the market for real estate based on internet data.
- In the Market (New Houses)
- In the Market (Residential Properties)
- In the Market (Real Estate)
You can also select homeowners, which would be ideal for home value ads.
(If you don’t have an instant home value calculator, take a free trial of the software I use called Listings to Leads.)
You can choose whichever audiences are appropriate to this specific campaign.
In the blank field provided, add-in how much you are willing to spend per day for that Google Ad campaign.
While it won’t be an exact match each day, Google will work to create the average for you.
Since you don’t have a specific product for sale on your website, choosing clicks to focus on is a more popular focus for real estate ads.
You can choose a dollar amount for the maximum click or allow Google to bid up and down for you.
If you allow Google to use its algorithm and Ai, you may have better results in the long run.
You may also spend your maximum daily budget on 1-2 clicks if no maximum is set.
Site Link Extensions
These links allow you to add additional page links to your ad.
For example: If I’m running an ad for homes for sale in Summerlin South, I could add site link extensions for the various price ranges or features such as:
- Homes Under 500K
- Homes with a Pool
- 55+ Homes
Call Out Extensions
A Call Out extension points out offers or benefits that the visitor will receive when they click or call.
The Call Extension will allow you to enter a phone number so they can click to call.
In each campaign, you will have ad groups.
You can use multiple ads in each ad group. Each Ad Group will use one set of keywords.
When you are using a new keyword that you know is specific to a particular group and needs its own ad, it’s time to create a new ad group.
Generally, ad groups are added to better segment the audience and ad messaging.
These ad groups will run based on keywords you assign to the group.
When you enter your URL, Google will make some beginning suggestions for you. You can choose these if appropriate or continue your research.
Types of Keywords
Broad match keywords will bring in much more traffic, but it’s not always relative traffic.
Generally, I start with phrase matches.
When you choose to bid on a phrase match keyword, you’ll put quotes on each side of the phrase. This keyword type instructs Google only to run your ad when the query is very similar to the phrase (in any order).
When you bid on an exact match keyword, which is identified by placing the phrase in brackets [for example], instructs Google only to show your ad if the phrase you have mentioned is as close as possible to the keyword.
See Examples on the Google Website
Choose a selection of keywords that match your ad intent and then create the ad.
It’s a Best practice to capitalize the first letter of each word in the headline and description.
In the display URL, simply include keywords that a visitor might expect to see in a URL such as gosummerlin.com/ (now is the path) – summerlin south / homes
The URL you enter for the ad landing page will still be the page they are directed to.
These are simple static ads that don’t change. Typically, new advertisers running real estate ads start with static ads.