Defining Your Pay Per Click Strategies
When developing a pay per click campaign it's best to first decide if you want to go after primary keywords, secondary keywords, or an inclusive campaign that targets all real estate keywords in your service area. There are pluses and minuses for both tactics.
Targeting Primary Keywords
In any market the most coveted search phrase will be 'your city + real estate' (i.e. Orlando real estate). Of course, every other Realtor in your market knows that, so competition for that phrase is fierce. Add to that the "ego factor" of some real estate agents and there's likely to be an all out bidding war for that phrase. In most markets the cost per click of that phrase will be in the neighborhood of $3.00 to $5.00, but it's not unheard of for the cost per click to be $10.00 or more. See the sidebar on the right side of this page to determine PPC costs in your market.
Targeting Secondary Keywords
There are some keywords that are not as popular as the primary keywords, but they can still bring traffic and potential buyers to your web site. On their own they may not bring much traffic, but when you combine a dozen or more secondary phrases their numbers can be significant. Examples of secondary keywords might be proper names of individual residential communities or phrases like 'your city + oceanfront homes'. One way to estimate traffic is to use the Google Keyword Tool or the Google Traffic Estimator tool listed in the right column of this page.
Pay Per Click Services: Level Playing Field or David vs. Goliath?
Before you invest any amount of money in a pay-per-click campaign, first think of how many times that you have used a search engine and clicked on a paid link instead of the organic search engine results. Chances are the times that you have clicked on a paid advertisement are much less than clicking on organic results. Ignoring the pay for placement results is typical of most web surfers. It usually takes very competitive keywords on multiple search engines to drive substantial pay per click traffic and sales.
Pay per click services cost you money each time your link is clicked - whether or not the web surfer makes a purchase. A properly targeted and positioned PPC advertising campaign can be an excellent short-term marketing campaign, but can prove to be very costly in the long run. While your bid may initially bring traffic (and hopefully leads and sales) to your real estate web site, your competitors will soon adjust their bids in an effort to bring traffic back to their own web sites. Suddenly, you find that your monthly PPC budget is running short halfway through the month instead of carrying you through the entire budget period.
Competitors with deep pockets can be tough to compete against, especially for a new real estate agent with limited cash flow.
Winning Pay Per Click Strategies
You can drive incremental profits with pay per click services, you just need to be shrewd in targeting your keywords. Use the tools listed on this page or WordTracker to find the best keywords to target. Keep in mind that you may not want to bid on the most popular keywords. Instead, look at the possibility of targeting secondary, specific phrases such as local private communities and developments. A very successful pay per click campaign typically converts only 1.5%-2% of all clicks into actual web site visitors.