Whether you’re in need of new clients or want to retain your current ones – more and more real estate agents (and agencies) are turning to paid marketing campaigns in newspapers, television, social media and the search engines. Vying for a few seconds of a potential buyer’s attention.
More often than not… this strategies doesn’t end well. Not always – there are many real estate agents who have a knack for self-promotion and are very capable of building an ultra-organic clientele.
Moreover, when it comes to drawing in new clients – wouldn’t it make more sense to take the approach that has the highest return on your investment? Let’s break this down…
The Average Facebook Ads Campaign
When you’re talking about a Facebook ads campaign – the one number you really want to pay close attention to is the ‘CVR’ or Conversion Rate. This is the average of people who were exposed to your ad campaign that opted in. (Opting in could be scheduling a meeting, inquiring about a house, just browsing etc….)
For the average real estate based Facebook ad campaign – you’re looking at a likely CVR of 10.68% (according to WordStream) This means that if your campaign is optimized, targeting the perfect users and is allocated the right daily budget – you’re going to see around 10.68% conversion rate.
If you’re advertising a specific address – and say, 100 people see your campaign per day you’re going to get right around 10-11 conversions. (Depending which way you round)
It goes without saying that various factors come into play when it comes to the success of your campaign. And you definitely need to consider these factors when considering your campaign’s planning. Always ensure you’re optimizing for CONVERSIONS. Not for views. It doesn’t necessarily matter how many people see your ads – if they aren’t the right people you’re not going to get anything from your campaign.
The Average Google Adwords Campaign
An AdWords (or Google Ads) campaign has long been the go-to when it comes to driving highly targeted traffic to your listings / booking page. The reason being – they’re on a search engine. What better way to get to know someone than by reading their search history?
While you’re not actually able to read their search history – you are able to tap into Google’s incomprehensibly massive database of users.
Ultra-targeted users whom you’re able to massively leverage with the right mix of targeting and campaign budget. Take the real estate industry (as a whole) for example.
In a 2019 benchmark, the real estate industry received a staggering 3.71% CTR (or click through rate). That’s a dramatic difference from the 10.68% of most Facebook Ad campaigns.
What’s the difference?
Remember when we discussed Facebook ads and the metric that we really wanted to focus on? That’s right – CONVERSIONS. We’re not necessarily worried about how many people see our ad – rather the quality (and qualification) of the people seeing our campaigns.
A CTR, or Click Through Rate is the metric derived from the total number of people who were exposed to your campaign and the total number of people who simply clicked your ad. Not necessarily scheduled an appointment or inquired about a listing – they simply visited your offer page.
*This isn’t such a big deal if you’re just trying to get people to say, visit your Facebook page. But that’s not a realistic objective for something like an AdWords campaign.
Physical Advertising & Television
While not entirely out-dated, in some respects physical and television advertising is the only plausible path to consumers. However in the real estate industry – buying pricey ad campaigns in the local paper and taking out television spots likely isn’t the best way to achieve your objective.
Things change so frequently that it’d be next to impossible to keep up with the flow.
Listings go from available to pending in an instant – home buyers are often very impatient when it comes to going to see a potential home etc… (The hustle and bustle alone could be quite overwhelming.)
When you consider that; on average – newspaper ads tend to start around $2700 for a full page ad and up to $12 per square in of black and white space. This would put a 4 inch by 10 inch ad at right around $480. Then, you need to consider the circulation of the paper – and if your target audience would even be consuming information using that media.
|NEWSPAPER||CIRCULATION||PRICE FOR FULL PAGE AD|
|Milwaukee Journal Sentinel||153,207||$23,688|
|Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Bozeman, MT)||14,069||$2,772|
Ask yourself, “are my ideal clients looking for listings / realtors in the local paper?”
If the answer is yes, by all means deploy as many newspaper ads as you can fiscally manage. But the most common answer is that they are getting their main source of content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Google.
This means that you need to deploy a measurable strategy of hooking their attention and pulling in potential clients. One great way to do this is by hyper-focusing your marketing efforts to a specific segment of your industry.
This is often referred to as ‘niching down’ because you’re deploying an ultra-focused marketing approach to a very specific segment of your market. An example of this could be targeting first time home buyers. Another could be families looking for extra space – perhaps growing families etc…
We’ll use a handy free tool called Ubersuggest to find some potential target segments.
We’re going to start with a pretty common segment in the buyer’s market. First time home buyers. These are a great opportunity to become an authority in your industry and definitely have great driving potential in terms of conversions. (We’ll explain this in the coming section)
Now this keyword has a pretty high search volume, right around 74,000 monthly searches. (That’s a decent number for starters) – next the SEO difficulty. While not insanely high, 50 out of 100. Paid difficulty is high (but that doesn’t necessarily matter here) – the CPC (cost per click) mainly relates to ad campaigns (so this is what you’d expect to pay for ads targeting this keyword).
For this example; we’re going to go with this keyword. But you can certainly research more intricately targeted terms.
In the ‘Content Ideas’ section of Ubersuggest – we can quickly see the highest performing / ranked content based on this keyword. (Don’t be surprised if you see some big names here – Zillow, Realtor, Forbes etc….)
The best performing piece is based around mortgage questions. Specifically, 6 commonly embarrassing questions that first time home buyers are afraid to ask. This is a great piece and a shining example of why this real estate SEO strategy works.
Within the main keyword, well… phrase – ‘first time home buyers’ they’ve identified a sub-category that allows them to create laser-targeted content based on that segment’s needs. In this case, mortgages for first time home buyers. Even though they didn’t target ‘Mortgages for first time home buyers’ they are still targeting that segment by diving into a very specific topic.
In the case of first time home buyers – we’re going to take this same approach by creating a super high quality piece of content that is based on a popular sub-segment. Similar to ’embarrassing questions’ etc..
We’re going to go straight for first time home buyer financing – because it’s something that a lot of first time home buyers are very curious and often confused about. So the point of our content is to make the process easier and more crystal clear for the first time home buyer. Now; what should we write about?
A little topical magic
This is a commonly overlooked method of finding what people are searching for – but it’s incredibly powerful nevertheless. Navigate to Google (or YouTube if you’re up for creating some great quality video content) and start typing ‘first time home buyer’ Take note of the first few suggestions that you see.
At the time of writing this, the second suggestion – after the initial keyword / phrase is ‘first time home buyer tax credit’.
This was on Google – the results on YouTube were a little different. Although they are under the same roof (and are both search engines in and of themselves) they tend to show different content for the same searches. The reason behind this is that we digest different types of information better in different mediums.
What can be quickly explained in a short 1-2 minute video on YouTube might need an extensive blog post to rank in Google.
For example, when typing ‘first time home buyer’ into the YouTube search we get a second suggestion of ‘first time home buyer tips and advice’.
So why does all this matter? Well, to be frank – these are the topics that first time home buyers are searching most. Both search engines work to put forward the most accurate prediction of what it ‘thinks’ you’re looking for.
How do they find this? The cream of the crop is their algorithm.
I have not the faintest idea of what’s actually inside of it. No one does. The people who work at these companies never see the whole framework at once. It’s instead pieced together through the collective efforts of thousands of engineers and developers.
Our Real Estate SEO Plan of Attack
When we first started this journey our objective was simple. Get more of your ideal clients. In this case; first time home buyers. Our objective is to make their journey of buying a home both enjoyable and unique.
You can fill in the unique variable with whatever you’d like. Quick, hassle-free etc…
To do this we need to establish a value association between us and the market. Namely, our segmented piece of the market. We need to find a way to be relevant but without spending bags of cash on expensive marketing campaigns. So we’re going to take the informative approach.
The Informative Approach relies upon thee idea that when we create relevant, targeted content that is specific to these target keywords for our segmented audience – we can create sustainable search engine ranking progress for these keywords. Since these keywords aren’t the largest, most highly searched keywords – we can classify them as ‘low hanging fruits’.
These ‘low hanging fruits’ are a great strategy to get your website ranking for very specific terms.
In this example; we’re going to go for a dual content approach to this strategy. This means we’re going to create 2 pieces of content based around the same keyword / term that we can interlink with one another. A blog post on our website and a video on our YouTube channel. Then, once we’ve created these two pieces of content, we can add a link to the blog post within the description of the video (in addition to a card annotation)
Following that we can add an embed of the video within the blog post. Similar to what we’ve done with this blog post.
|Keyword Phrases||Search Volume||SEO Difficulty||Paid Difficulty||Cost Per Click||Report|
|5 First Time Home Buyer Financing Tips||90||32||88||$12.08||Ubersuggest Report|
|First Time Home Buyer Loan||27,000||39||85||$9.58||Ubersuggest Report|
|How First Time Home Buyers Can Pay Zero Down||210||28||74||$8.15||Ubersuggest Report|
|First Time Home Buyer No Down Payment||2,400||29||78||$7.66||Ubersuggest Report|
We’re going to start by creating a blog post – generally you don’t want to limit yourself to how many words your content is. However, it’s always a good idea to stick within the 500-10,000 word range. (Content below 300 tends to perform very poorly)
With the keywords above – you could formulate a strategy to create 1 blog post and 1 video on each topic each week. Meaning you have an entire month’s worth of content listed above. (Which are actual statistics – check the Ubersuggest Reports beside each keyword) – feel free to target these keywords for yourself!
SEO for Real Estate
The search engine optimization strategy that works best is different for every situation. You simply have to try to find what works best for your audience and your website / business.
SEO can and does work for real estate agents, agencies and firms. It’s all a matter of applying the right amount of effort powered by accurate research. Throughout this post, we’ve listed a free software that you can use to find keyword data (at least from a topical standpoint) – if you’re wanting something more in-depth, Ahrefs and tools similar can be a great addition to your SEO tool-belt.
These types of software allow you the ability to explore further into keyword metrics and search engine data. But they are absolutely NOT necessary when you’re first starting your SEO implementation.
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