Real Estate Pay Per Click (PPC)

It is said that you learn from your mistakes, however, some mistakes can be too costly for a PPC campaign. Apart from wasting your funds, your real estate image can also be affected on account of some mistakes. Hence, to avoid these problems it is important to take a note of the common PPC mistakes and carry out an intensive analysis of what needs to be done to prevent them. But what are those common PPC mistakes that real estate agents make? To answer your question, we’ve listed 9 PPC mistakes that occur frequently.

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1. Incorrect Keyword Selection

Google AdWords uses keywords to display ads to relevant users. The keywords that you use can either make or break your PPC campaign. Therefore, it is important to research thoroughly regarding the keywords that you are going to use. At times, some realtors may use a few keywords. Unless these keywords are very specific and are long-tailed keywords, they are not going to get you clicks. For example, keywords such as “housing property in Westmount Edmonton Alberta” are long-tailed keywords. These keywords are so specific that very few people will search for them. However, these keywords are likely to get you quality leads. Therefore, you need to have more long-tailed keywords in your ad campaign.

Another mistake is using keywords that are useless. It makes sense to use broad match keywords for small search traffic. Google says when you use broad match keywords, the ads automatically run on relevant variations of your keywords irrespective whether those keywords are included in your keywords lists or not. However, if you have a high search volume with a low budget, then you may get low-quality traffic on your real estate website. As a result, you will have high bounce rates. Therefore, choosing the right keywords are very important. To know which keywords phrases are relevant, use Google Keyword Planner which gives you a list of keywords relevant to real estate industry before you start your campaign. In fact, you can even look for keywords that competitors are using and get an idea regarding which keywords you should avoid.

2. Campaign Setting Errors

Another silly error that is errors while creating your PPC campaign. Ensure that you select the correct location targeting, language, ad rotation, bid type and other elements as required by you. For instance, if you want to target clients in Toronto and set your target location as Canada, your ad will be shown to users who are not part of your target audience. Hence, check your campaign setting more than once along with your team members to ensure you do not make such errors.

3. Not Having a Daily Budget Strategy

You need to decide your daily budget strategy that gives you the best results. If you do not set how much to spend each day or what  time of the day your ads should be shown, then they may be depleted even before the day ends. This situation is only acceptable if most of your clicks convert into leads. Therefore, schedule your ad so that it lasts as long as your campaign period. In other words, customize your daily budget according to the specific time of the day you feel that your customers are searching for you. You can either choose to spend a specific amount for each day or decide the maximum number of clicks it receives daily. Also, this strategy is beneficial as you get a better understanding of how the PPC campaign is performing and accordingly make modifications to it. You can add or remove keywords that are not yielding good results and thus, reduce wastage of time and money as well.

4. Not Deleting Non-Performing Keywords

As mentioned in the previous point, you should get rid of keywords that are not performing well. Not doing so is another mistake and often it gets neglected especially, when you use multiple keywords. There are two ways to find non-performing keywords – analyzing your campaign at least once a week, and by identifying your ad performance every time a new keyword is added. Often keywords that are commonly used by competitors perform poorly. As a result, it has a poor click through rate and moreover, a high cost since it has a huge demand. Therefore, check your click through rates for each keyword and eliminate the irrelevant ones.

5. Error in Destination URL

You will lose out on potential clients if they click through your ad but your landing page isn’t working or it directs them to some other webpage. Moreover, your quality score gets affected and as a result, your cost per click will increase even more. Your cost per click is dependent on your quality score. It means that if you get more clicks and your conversion rate is good enough, then your cost per click will be low. Likewise, if your conversion rate is low that means you have a high bounce rate or users are not interested in your ad. Thus your ad becomes irrelevant to them and this affects your quality score. Therefore, before you start your PPC campaign, check your landing page and ensure it is working. In fact, it is recommended that you check it every day to ensure everything is going fine. This way you avoid wasting your money and losing out on potential clients.

6. Wrong Ad Creation

Your ads should be relevant to your audience. Therefore, write your copy to the people you are focusing on. If your target audience includes people looking for a new home, then create an ad copy that directly focuses on them. Likewise, if you are looking to sell properties in Quebec, then focus on people of that region by customizing your location in the setting or by providing Quebec specific information in your ad copy. In fact, you can even include adjacent cities and provinces in your location who may be interested in buying properties in Quebec. Furthermore, mention Quebec in the ad copy instead of having a generic ad copy that says “buy properties in Canada.” It is recommended that you understand your buyer’s intent before you go ahead with the PPC campaign as it will give you a clear understanding of what the clients are looking for and what kind of people you need to target. Customizing your ads will help you in increasing your conversion rate as you will get quality leads from your PPC campaign.

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Additionally, be careful that your ad copy and your landing page convey the same message. If there is any disconnect between the two, it will affect your PPC campaign. For example, if your ad copy states “get a newly furnished house in Toronto” and your landing page displays houses in Edmonton, then you will find a high bounce rate. Additionally, it will enhance your quality score and bring down your cost per click. Therefore, be careful that your ad copy and landing page do not have even the slightest bit of mismatch for best results.

7. Bidding Mistakes

A silly mistake that takes place is forgetting a decimal point while bidding. Instead of bidding for some keywords and typing cents, you may make the mistake of typing dollars. As a result, you end up spending huge amount until you realize your mistake. Hence, it is important that you double check your bid amount before you begin with the PPC campaign. Likewise, if you meant bids for $20 and entered it as $0.20, then you may not get any traffic for the keyword. This mistake can become even more costly if you go on to remove that keyword because it didn’t give you any clicks. Thus, you lose on a keyword that might’ve got you increased traffic only because of the bidding mistake. Ensure that you go through your campaigns every day to catch such bidding mistake and rectify it before it gets out of control.

8. Not Taking Advantage of Negative Keywords

Negative keywords ensure that your ad copy is shown to a specific target alone. At times, you may be too involved in searching the right keywords that you forget about negative keywords. How can negative keywords benefit you? Suppose you want to show your ad to people who are looking for real estate values in Ottawa. Now not all people who search for real estate values in Ottawa would be interested in buying one. Some may even search it for research or educational purposes. Therefore, you may consider adding “research” as a negative keyword. This way if someone types for “real estate values in Ottawa research”, then your ad won’t be shown to that person. As a result, you can be sure that people clicking your ads are quality leads. To find out negative keywords, search for general negative key terms and add words that you think people might search for when it comes to real estate but are not interested in buying properties.

9. Not Following Up

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Follow up with all the leads that you get. Do not take a long time to respond to them. The leads have come to your real estate website and provided their information, therefore, it is significant to value the time they’ve taken to go through your ad and give personal details. At times, you may get too many leads and you may decide to neglect some. Unless and until you are completely sure, do not ignore any leads. Moreover, following up with the leads also gives you an understanding about why people are clicking your ad. You can, therefore, use this information to filter irrelevant keywords or information in your ad copy and provide an enhanced version of your PPC campaign as you move forward. It will help you get quality leads for your real estate business.

These are some common PPC mistakes which should be avoided. If you’ve never done a PPC campaign before, it is recommended that you consult a professional firm to help you with your PPC management. Moreover, the professional firm will ensure that you get the desired result from your PPC campaign in a cost-effective manner.

Real Estate SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

After putting months of efforts in optimizing your real estate website – Are you still struggling to get a good rank on Google? It can be quite frustrating, isn’t it? Either your website needs more time to feature on SERPs or there are some SEO problems that’s preventing the website from getting it ranked. As long as you have these SEO issues, your real estate website will find it difficult to feature on any search query. Moreover, these issues affect your on-going SEO efforts. Hence, it’s critical that you are aware and know how to fix SEO issues. Here’s a list of common SEO problems that may be on your real estate website and the steps to resolve them.

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URL Issues

Your real estate website should have a proper URL structure. Some common URL issues are as follows:

Multiple Version of Homepage

You need to have a standard URL for your homepage. If you have a .NET website, then you may even have a homepage with another URL address like www.realestate.com/default.aspx. You cannot have multiple URLs for your homepage, even with a minor variation. In fact, other platforms also generate URLs like:

www.realestate.com/index.html

www.realestate.com/home

If you have multiple URL addresses, then search engines will consider each of them as a separate website. Hence, avoid duplicate URL addresses for your homepage. Although modern search engines are becoming smarter to recognize it as the same website, it is always better to get rid of this minor issue.

All you need to do is find these webpages with multiple URL addresses. Therefore, do a website crawl and export the crawl into a CSV. Search for the homepage title by filtering the Meta title column. It will show you duplicates of your homepage if any. Once you’ve found it, add a 301 redirect to the duplicate version of the webpage pointing to the original version. Also, another way to rectify this issue is to conduct a website crawl by using tools such as Screaming Frog. It shows internal links pointing to the duplicate webpage. Accordingly, you can edit the duplicate webpages and direct them to the correct URL.

Improper URLs

CMS and other blog platforms are responsible for creating some weird URLs for new content. For example, your URL address may end with “index.php?p=308423.” Such URLs affect your credibility as both users and search engines would suspect the quality of the information on the webpage. In other words, URLs addresses should end with what content your webpage includes. For example, if your blog post is about “houses with open spaces around”, then your URL can be www.realestate.com/blogs/houses-with-open-space-around. Plus, you can add a keyword in your URL to boost your SEO for your real estate website. In this case, “houses with open space” could be a keyword phrase that people are searching for. This also makes it easy for visitors to get a fair idea about what the post is about on seeing the URL. Hence, keep a clean URL so that it is convenient for both visitors and the search engines to index your webpage.

Link Issues

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While adding links to your content, ensure they are relevant and add value. Be careful that they are not spam-like or any black hat practices just to improve your real estate website’s ranking. The same is the case when you get backlinks to your website. Getting high-quality websites to link to your webpages indicates to search engines that the website has highly valuable content. However, if you have backlinks or broken links, then it signals low quality or poor links to your website. All of this affects your SEO rank. Hence, be careful that all your links are working properly.

You can identify broken links by allowing an SEO audit software to crawl your website. If you find broken links, then either remove or update them with updated resources. Also, ensure that you do not have excess links on webpages as they all look cluttered. Plus, it creates a bad experience for users. Thus, have relevant and natural links and get rid of links that don’t provide any value to users.

Duplicate Content

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Creation of duplicate content is a serious SEO problem especially when you use multiple websites to show your content. If your real estate content is featured on other websites, then it’s not good news for you. Especially, dynamically created websites may create lots of pages and URLs that contains the same content everywhere. Also, the use of both plain and secure protocol URLs such as HTTP and HTTPS are sources of duplicate content along with syndicated RSS feeds and blog tags.

So how do you solve this issue? Although Google tries to rank the most authoritative version of the webpage, cleaning up duplicate content can increase your ranking on SERPs. You need to find if there’s any duplicate content by crawling through the website. You can even use “robots.txt” to prevent Google from crawling through specific folders or directories. The use of a rel=canonical link is another method of telling Google which URLs to prefer for indexing. For this purpose, you need to apply rel=canonical link to the preferred URL. Set rel=canonical links to your content to prevent it from being viewed by Google as duplicate content.

Image Issues

Images form an important part of real estate websites. People expect to see pictures of properties and its surrounding environment before they go ahead with purchasing one. Hence, you need to make sure that all your images are working perfectly fine. Moreover, your images need to be optimized since visitors may visit your website while searching for an image. For example, a person looking for images of homes in Montreal may click on an image and visit your real estate website. Also, focus on broken images and the ones which are missing alt tag. Alt tags enable search engines to decipher what the image is about and therefore, it will show the image in search results when you add a relevant alt tag. You can add an image of a house location in Ottawa and add the alt tag as “house in Ottawa.” So when a person searches for houses in Ottawa in the image section, your image shows up in the search results.

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To identify broken images, run an SEO audit. Once you identify broken images, either replace with new images or delete them. Don’t forget to add the alt tag for new images. One way to avoid the problem of broken images is to host images within your media library instead of a third party image host.

301 Redirect Issues

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect and the search engines pass the link equity to the new webpage. If your website needs to be moved to a different URL, then 301 redirect is the ideal way to ensure that visitors are redirected to the correct webpage permanently. A 301 redirect error occurs when your website uses a 302 redirect instead. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect and search engines do not pass link equity because the original webpage will be restored back. Thus, if you work on a webpage which needs to be temporarily shut, then you use a 302 redirect. So to prevent a 302 redirect instead of a 301 redirect, first, you need to crawl through your website and figure out if this issue is happening. Then you need to filter by 302s and check if they should be a temporary redirect or a permanent one (301 redirect). Ask your web developer to change the redirect wherever required.

Sitemap Issues

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Some XML sitemaps are generated only once and become outdated quickly. Thus, they contain broken links or no new URLs. To fix this issue, you need to update your sitemaps often so that broken URLs are removed and new ones are added to your real estate website. This is a critical process for large websites like a real estate website as you often add new webpages. To solve this issue, conduct an audit of your current sitemap to detect any broken links. Ask your web developers to make a dynamic XML sitemap that updates regularly. However, there will still be some time consumed in website development. Get in touch with a professional website designer to help you in this process.

Now that you are aware of how to fix SEO issues, conduct a crawl for your real estate website to identify any of these issues. Apart from the above-mentioned SEO issues, errors with robots.txt file, navigation problems, misconfigured servers, 404 errors, meta description errors also form a part of SEO issues. In order to keep a track of all your SEO efforts and spot these common issues, it’s best that you contact an expert SEO firm. The expert firm will ensure that SEO errors are fixed and your real estate website is able to generate quality leads for your business.