So you’ve just started a real estate website and want to start generating leads right away. As you know, search engine optimization is a long-term process that will boost your site’s authority over time, but not immediately. So what’s the best way to start getting an initial return on your web investment? The answer for most real estate agents is, without a doubt, pay-per-click advertising.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a web-based marketing strategy that is used to direct incoming traffic straight to your website using keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant and relate specifically to your target market.
The most common pay-per-click providers are the major search engines—Goolge, Yahoo!, and Bing—but PPC is also now accessible through Facebook and other popular social media outlets. When searching anything using Google, for example, several web links will always appear at the top of the results page in a highlighted box with websites relating to your search. How and why are these websites there? Simple-The owners of these websites have setup a pay-per-click campaign that allows their website to populate when users and potential customers type in a search that matches the keywords they input into their PPC account.
Pay-per-click users with a real estate website understand that half the battle is getting clients to their site. The more traffic you can attract to your site, the likelihood of generating more possible sales leads from your site shoots through the roof. And while PPC may sound like a pretty smooth transition, it’s often the most misused web marketing tool by real estate agents trying to capitalize on its potential. Researching keywords, keyword phrases, and the local competition is critical for maximizing your pay-per-click campaign and getting the desired results you need to make it worthwhile.
The best advice for real estate professionals considering pay-per-click advertising is to spend adequate time researching how it’s used and how to setup a campaign that works for you. If you don’t have time to learn or manage your PPC accounts, hire a web marketing firm to do it for you. The cost you’d spend to have professionals set it up right will almost always be lower than the money you’d waste by not targeting the right keywords that will get you the best return.
There’s no doubt PPC will help jump start your website traffic. But savvy real estate agents will still understand that budgeting money for additional SEO is almost always a better long-term strategy. Without a high organic search ranking, your website disappears from page 1 on Google when the PPC is turned off. However, once you finally achieve that high ranking, the need for PPC is now gone while the web traffic continues to flow—at no cost.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working as a Market Research Associate and writing published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing/SEO Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.