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The Ups and Downs of Google Adwords for Realtors

By Ben Shepardson | December 12, 2016

Using Google Adwords can be a powerful tool for Realtors, but like skill with any tool, it requires careful handling, practice, and precision.

What is Google Adwords?

Google is well-known as one of the biggest search engines on the Internet, and it has several associated products, one of which is Google Adwords. Through this program, users generate highly-targeted advertising based on selected keywords; participants can also view statistics about their ad campaigns and modify ad campaigns and budgets in real-time. The Adwords program has extensive online documentation to walk new users through setting up their accounts, creating ads, viewing statistics, and setting budgets.

Realtors have the ability to create a focused ad campaign and reach only those folks within a particular geographic area or radius, or with a specific interest, and they’re charged only when an ad is clicked on. Because there’s no contract involved, it’s a flexible advertising choice where campaigns can be started, stopped or modified as desired.

Choosing Keywords

Realtors wield a lot of power to choose their own keywords and to implement those keywords in ad copy. The Adwords program recommends that users have more than one ad group, and then create 5-20 keywords for that ad group based around a common theme.

This gives Realtors a good opportunity to develop several robust ad campaigns around more than one aspect of their business, such as being a seller’s or buyer’s agent, or selling/leasing residential or commercial properties. Google's Keyword Planner tool is available for users to research relevant keywords; historical and predictive information about keywords is also available in order to help users make informed choices.

Some keywords or phrases can very expensive to implement. And some keyword combinations can be tough to work into ad copy for maximum effectiveness. The number of choices open to Realtors can be overwhelming; the program applies to a variety of ad types, like search results-oriented text ads, graphic ads, YouTube video ads, and in-app mobile ads. Users also write their own copy and stay on top of performance measurements to self-assess what works and what doesn't.

A successful ad campaign requires that Realtors invest time, both for guided self-teaching and actually monitoring the campaign effectiveness.

Variable Costs

Users incur charges only when prospective customers click on their ad, and for that reason, tying the cost-per-click to conversions is crucial, otherwise, users are spending money to get traffic but then not benefitting from that traffic in any way. So for Realtors, the conversion could be building a mailing list, developing sales leads or engaging with new clients via an online form.

Google Adwords payments can be made manually, but there’s also an automatic payments option that charges users after 30 days or once a minimum charge is reached; the threshold is increased automatically if warranted by a user’s Google Adwords performance. The Maximize Clicks option automates the process for folks who can't or don't want to stay on top of frequent monitoring and making adjustments on the fly. There’s also an option for folks who simply want to set a maximum budget, instead of trying to anticipate cost increases or decreases. The versatility can be useful for power users but overwhelming to novices.

The Keys to Success

Web traffic can be unpredictable, and in turn, so can the performance of various keywords and related cost-per-click charges. In order to be successful with a Google Adwords program, Realtors need to have the fortitude to withstand the ebb and flow of customer clicks and their related costs. While some of the program can be automated, those Realtors who take an active role in developing, testing, assessing, and modifying ad campaigns may benefit the most.

Photo Credit: Simon via pixabay

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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