Creating the Best Campaigns for Online Real Estate Advertising

Education & Training with Property Investment Wise

Online real estate advertising has become the dominant method for creating interest and increasing sales. While many local clients may walk into a real estate office for direct assistance, many of them have already looked it up on the Internet. In the case of long-distance clients who are considering to moving to the area where your real estate is located, it would be difficult or impossible to effectively advertise to these prospects without online real estate ad campaigns

Why Many of the Best Real Estate Advertising Campaigns Use AdWords
Google AdWords for Real Estate

AdWords for real estate is one of the most effective ways to conduct real estate advertising campaigns. For those unfamiliar with the process, it may take a little "initiation," but the reward far outweighs the investment of time and effort. In most cases, the financial reward will also outweigh the advertising dollars spent, but to maximize return on investment (ROI), your real estate AdWords campaign must be pursued in a strategic manner. If you are unfamiliar with AdWords, allow this article to explain what it is, and how it works.

The Value of Google Adwords is evident from a number of basic facts. First, it is the reason that Google is willing to offer its search-engine services free of charge. Google makes upwards of $40 billion per year through its Adwords program. Second, 90 percent of home buyers searched for their new home online. Third, Google is far and away the most popular way to search the Internet. The conclusion to draw from the three above-given facts is that using AdWords for real estate advertising campaigns is a very wise move.

Search Ads
Inspiration Copy Writing

High-quality real estate ad copy is always crucial, and Google Adwords offers a variety of ad types to choose among. In reality, you should keep your strategy broad-based and select them all.

The most basic Adwords ad is a search ad. These are the ads, or other content, that come up in long, ranked lists whenever Internet browsers run a Google search. You will need to use the best real estate keywords to obtain search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and other Web-searchable content. Choosing the most-searched-for keywords will lift your site higher in the search rankings. Other factors, especially uniqueness and relevance of content, are used in determining rank, but using the top real estate keywords is crucial. Finally, you can also pay to have Google place your site high in the search results.

It should be understood that real estate keywords for ads are not strictly single words, but they can be short phrases as well. Also understand that to maximize your chances of a high ranking, you will need to "bid" on common keywords like geographical locations and basic product and service descriptions. A bidding war ensues, and those who outbid their competition increase their odds of success. 

Aiming for "geos" of major cities, hyper-specific localities, and "long-tail keywords" is often a good strategy. Long-tail keywords are those that have a core keyword as well as two or more modifiers that make it very specific in meaning. That is, searchers who know exactly what they are shopping for are likely to use these long-tail keywords.

Not only Google's top-secret "relevance algorithm" and real estate pay per click investment, but also the amount of money still left on your account can affect search outcomes. Even if you are within budget, but near the edge, Google will diminish the frequency of your real estate keyword search results. 

Several important elements that also are used by Google to determine how high real estate ads are ranked include the following:
  • Whether or not an offer to "view homes for sale" is made
  • Whether or not the landing page actually transports home searchers to an assemblage of local listings
  • Whether or not your ads have passed through Google's editorial process without any disapproval

Mobile Ads
Mobile Real Estate Listings

A second important type of real estate AdWords ads are those designed for mobile devices. Since more people now search the Web via mobile than with laptops or desktops, you cannot afford to ignore this venue. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that 89 percent of home shoppers are using mobile devices in the searches. 

These ads will either consist of text or of running banners. You will bid for the best real estate keywords as with search ads, but be aware that the results will differ. You will want to monitor the performance of your mobile ads separately and bid accordingly. Trulia even has it's own special kind of advertising for real estate agents.

Display Text and Banner Ads

Whether or not for a mobile audience, you will need to consider using some display text and banner ads. These are not search-engine based but are based on what people are viewing at the moment. They are placed alongside the website or other webpages where users are "located." In effect, you are following Web browsers with your ads, and you will want to optimize placement based on the type of content you wish to follow. Best practice is to opt for following closely related content since the viewer of such content will be more likely to be interested in yours as well.

Display text and banner ads are known together as the Google Adwords "display network," while search ads constitute the "search network." The Adwords default setting is to have both networks up and running, but it is often best to begin with the search network only and add the display network later. The reason for this is that the display network has a bigger learning curve and is best treated as "the next level." Once you are operating in both networks, remember to monitor the separately. Also, don't expect as high of a click rate in the display network. After all, your ads are only coming alongside the main interest of the Web browser at the time.

Video Ads
YouTube Advertising

The audio-visual medium can sometimes be particularly effective, and a over 50 percent of online home seekers are now using YouTube as part of their search strategy. These videos should generally be kept as short clips since many users have limited attention spans. Also, keep in mind that you only have to pay per view of your video if the Web-user watches 30 seconds of it or, for clips shorter than 30 seconds, the entire video.

First of all, you have the option of using video ads just like banner ads rather than on YouTube. Such ads are part of the display network and simply follow the browser with video content instead of still-life images.

Your second video option is "in-stream ads." These are the ads that auto-run on YouTube before the video the viewer originally clicked to see. After 15 seconds, or sometimes less, the viewer can opt to skip your ad, so it is best to keep them rather short.

The final video ad option is the "in-search" variety, which refers to content that appears on-screen along with YouTube search results. It is just like banner ads except that it is within the confines of YouTube. These ads are typically best made of an informational nature, such as tours of neighborhoods or instructional seminars on how to sell or buy a home. 


Using AdWords for real estate marketing campaigns is an excellent tool for generating new leads. Remember, however, that you have paid for each one of those leads and should be willing to pay a little more to follow up on them. You will want to use email campaigns that target those who have visited your site. You should attempt to customize the emails based on what pages of your website they viewed and any demographic data you can acquire on them through on-site surveys, free newsletters, or by other means. After all, you are not after clicks but after clients. Take the time to try to "convert" site visitants into real paying customers.
Posted by

Joe McCord works at REAA.

Comments (2)

Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Joe McCord Excellent information presented in a very easy format to absorb. We have used Google Adwords on numerous instances with moderate success. Thanks!

Aug 15, 2015 09:38 PM
Joe McCord
Property Investment Wise - Las Vegas, NV
Making It Rain On The Regular

Thanks Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI . I hope you both are able to take it from a moderate success to a smashing success in the future.

Aug 16, 2015 01:11 PM