This is the 3rd blog in my Lead Generation with Online Ads series. If you haven't read the first two, you may want to read them.
In the first two blogs I talked about Ad Networks, Types of Ads, Understanding the Conversion Funnel. This blog we are going to talk about the importance of the CTA (Call To Action) and the Landing Page.
There are lot of companies in the Real Estate space that sell this as a product. They place your ads on popular websites (facebook) and search engines (Google) and provide a "campaign" which drives people to a landing page they have pre-built. The most popular type of campaign is the "How much is your home worth?". Where a user clicks on the ad, hits a landing page
It typically looks like this:
You can see that it's a fairly simple landing page. The primary reason it is so simple is to force the user into a mindset of focusing on the value and not "browsing a website". This is the importance of a landing page - to put the user into a user experience that engages them to fill out a form and drive them down a path where they are trading information for perceived (or real) value.
Unlike a website, a landing page doesn't have a lot of content. Everything the user needs is typically "above the fold" on one page, and with minimal text and distractions, lures the user into the process of simply filling out a form.
This is the most important goal. Collecting the user's information is critical in delivering a lead. Without an email, phone or even a name - you can't follow up.
In the real estate industry there are many companies that offer a plug-n-play system for deploying online ad campaigns, but here is what they probably won't tell you:
- Conversion is low. No matter how good your ad, call to action or landing page is - conversion on real estate campaigns is very low (compared to most other products). Why? First - less than 5% of people are looking to sell or buy at any one time. Which means your ad needs to be shown a lot of times to ensure you catch the buyer/seller at the right time. Your conversion rate on a visit to your website will be around 2%. (so if you are paying $2 a click, then a lead will costs you (50 clicks) $100. If your click costs $6 (because multiple agents are advertising which drives up cost per click) than your lead will cost $300. (Realize this is what is called a Middle of Funnel Lead - they may not convert into a customer).
- Branding and Repetition Matters. Even though you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, repetition and branding matters (getting people to see your ad). However, when 95% of the people who view your ad are not looking to buy or sell - your branding isn't working, and your ad won't be seen by the right people multiple times. Google and Facebook are programmed to show your ad only a few times to the same person (unless you tell them to - which most providers don't because they don't leverage Smart Data to create custom audiences). So to really have an effective ad on both the branding side (hitting homeowners multiple times with ad) and conversion side - you should build custom audiences (targeted homeowners looking to sell). (of course, this is what we do at offrs.com)
- You need to spend money to make money. Another fact of the "Online Ad" world is that you can't just spend $100 a month and expect results. The math doesn't add up. $100 will get you a lot of impressions and branding, but no conversions. It doesn't drive enough clicks to meet the 2% threshhold. Typical clicks on Google of Facebook can cost between $2 to $10. So unless you are advertising in a region where there is zero competitive advertisers your chance of getting qualify traffic to hit your website will depend on your ad placement and call to action. Remember, it's not just Real Estate Agents advertising with the same keywords (see below) - it's people with much bigger ad budgets (banks, mortgage, national brands)
So as you look at deploying online ad campaigns, make sure you understand the dynamics of how it works and the budget commitment necessary to see real results. Google Ads and Facebook Ads can work, but you need to commit long term, with a competitive budget and a solid way to measure results, so you know there is a path to ROI.