Paid search marketing - also called search engine marketing, pay-per-click, and cost-per-impression advertising - is incredibly important for real estate agents.
But why, and how do you use it to make money?
What is Paid Search Advertising?
There are several forms of paid search advertising, including pay-per-click, cost-per-thousand-impressions, and fixed-cost.
In PPC advertising, the advertiser is charged everytime a user clicks on an ad.
In CPM advertising, the advertiser is charged when people see the ad.
Advertisers can pay a fixed amount of money for an ad to appear over a set period of time.
How Paid Search Works
An advertiser (in this case, a real estate agent) chooses keywords and phrases that will trigger your ad to display. You pay for the ads in an auction (although it's all automated, so you don't have to actively bid).
When a user types in those keywords or phrases, your ad appears. If he or she clicks, you pay for it.
Typically, you can limit your spending on paid search so you don't find yourself thousands of dollars in debt to Google or another online advertising company.
Do Real Estate Agents Need Paid Search?
Data from the National Association of REALTORS® says that the vast majority of buyers are searching for homes online, and that's true.
So do you need to run ads?
It depends on your goals.
Are you trying to get people to click through to your site and take a specific action, like calling you for information on a house? Do you want to gather email addresses?
Can you wait for leads to grow into clients by spending now and reaping the benefits later?
If you answered yes to at least one of those, you might consider running ads on Google or another provider.
What Else Can You Do?
If paid search isn't for you, it's okay - you can take the time to focus on your offline marketing efforts, instead. (Eventually you'll want to revisit the paid search idea, though.)
You can invest in:
- Real estate calendars
- Real estate magnets
- Real estate postcards
- Branded sports schedules
- Magnetic notepads and pens
- Personalized business stationery
How Do You Advertise?