Google AdWords is a tough marketplace for a lot of different business models, but it’s especially tough for builders. Real estate is one of the most competitive niches in the market, and getting your properties in front of the right people can be a real challenge – and an expensive one at that.
Without the right strategy, you’re likely to end up wasting a lot of time and money showing ads that don’t work to people who aren’t interested in your property.
But with the right strategy, Google AdWords can help you drive qualified traffic to your website – and get potential buyers into the doors of your communities.
But the question is – what is the right strategy? When it comes to AdWords, what are the best practices for builders?
Remarket In The Right Way
Remarketing (also known as retargeting) is the ability to serve targeted ads to people who have already interacted with your brand or visited your website. Remarketing is an incredibly popular strategy right now, and for good reason: when done well, it delivers amazing results.
But the key there is “done well.” If you don’t have the right strategy for your remarketing, you won’t get the results – or the conversions – you’re looking for.
They key to successful remarketing is two-fold:
#1: Customize Your Ads
Remarketing isn’t a “one size fits all” practice. In order to get the best results, you need to customize your ads to fit the audience and target the messaging based on how they interacted with your website and where they fell off.
So, for example, you’d want to have different messaging for a person who visited one of your listing pages than you would a person who filled out a contact form to schedule a tour but then didn’t show up. The more customized your messaging – and the more relevant to the audience its being served to – the more you’ll see your conversions increase.
#2: Activate A Time Delay
Remarketing your audience for months at a time (especially with the same ad) can wear them down – and wear down their interest in your community. In order to avoid this kind of audience fatigue, set up a time-delayed remarketing campaign; that way, you can give your audience a break and continue to switch up all the elements of your ad – design, copy, and messaging – to keep things fresh and engaging.
Think About Keywords You DON’T Want Just As Much As Keywords You Do
Most builders put a lot of thought into the keywords they want to target. And that’s great. But just as important as the keywords you want to target?
The keywords you DON’T want to target.
The best way to figure out the keywords that aren’t working for you is by taking a look at your AdWords Search Terms report.
When you target broad keywords, there’s going to be a lot of searches your ads get served on that have zero to do with your building business. And you’ll see that front and center when you look at your Search Terms report.
So, for example, let’s say one of the keywords you bid on is “house.” While that keyword might pull in some relevant searches, it’s also going to pull in a lot of irrelevant searches, like people searching for “house music” or “what’s the house wine at ABC restaurant?.” When your ad gets shown on irrelevant searches, it ends up costing you money; people will click on your ad who have no interest in looking at or buying property, but you have to pay for their click anyway.
But by excluding irrelevant search terms, you protect yourself from spending money on serving an ad who’s looking for the newest techno album instead of someone looking for a new property.
You can filter out irrelevant keywords that are costing you money by using AdWords’ three negative keyword match types:
  • Negative broad match: Your ads won’t show if ALL of your negative keywords are present in ANY order (if your term was “house music” your ads would show for “house in Los Angeles” but not “music house style Los Angeles”)
  • Negative phrase match: Your ads won’t show if ALL of your negative keywords are present in the order you specify (If your term was “house music” your ads would show for “music house style San Antonio” but not “house music Los Angeles”)
  • Negative exact match: Your ads won’t show for the exact phrase you request; if there are additional words attached to your phrase, the ads will show (Your ads would show for “house music Los Angeles” but not “house music”)
Bid On Your Competitor’s Keywords
If a potential buyer is using Google to search your competitor, you want to make sure they find you, too. And that’s why bidding on competitor’s keywords is such an effective strategy.
AdWords allows you to bid on other companies’ names, so you can place bids on your competitor’s business name, the name of their communities, and long tail keywords that include their business or community names (such as “properties like X community” or “X community alternatives”).
Just keep in mind, even though you’re allowed to bid on competitor names, Google doesn’t allow you to mention that competitor’s name anywhere in the ad; if they see a competitor name anywhere in your copy, they’ll pull the ad.
Go After Competitor’s Audiences Via Gmail
One of the features that Google AdWords offers is the ability to serve Gmail ads to people who visit a specific website or communicate with a specific domain.
People interact with builders because they’re on the market for a new home. So people who are interacting with other builders in your area are definitely people you want to be in touch with. And with this feature of AdWords, you can get in touch with them in a place you KNOW they’re going to check on a regular basis – their email account.
Make a list of all your direct competition and then target the visitors of each of their websites with Gmail ads. Your CPA might be on the high side, but because it’s such a hot lead, it can be a worthwhile investment.
With these best practices, you’ll be well on your way to “building” the most effective AdWords campaign in the business!