Local search ads for real estate agents account for almost half (49.6%) of all local PPC (pay-per-click) ads in a sample of ten U.S. cities. This is the amazing finding of a report published by Borrell Associates which also reports the share of real estate ads amongst all local search ads has jumped by 32.1% compared to just 18 months ago.
With local pay-per-click advertising expected to grow to $987 million this year and to $4 billion in 2010, search advertising expenditure of the real estate section is expected to grow explosively. No wonder – research released last year by the National Association of Realtors stated that almost 80% of consumers begin researching real estate online. According to another prediction by Borrell Associates, online advertising will account for over one third of the entire real estate industry’s advertising budget in only four years’ time, leaving classifieds in newspapers and other print publications behind.
Paid search advertising like Google AdWords and other online marketing expenditure, including organic search engine optimization and display advertising, is paying off for real estate agents in term of lead generation and sales.
The vast number of searches conducted on real estate related terms is mind-boggling. For example, during February 2006 the following numbers of searches were conducted on the Yahoo! network for the top 10 real estate related terms:
||Number of Searches Feb 2006
|real estate agent
|travel real estate career
|real estate appraisal
|real estate developer home builder
|charlotte north carolina real estate
|florida real estate
|real estate listing
|las vegas real estate
|century 21 real estate
How Can You Stay Ahead of the Real Estate Pack Online?
Firstly, there are no easy solutions, and a short article like this is not able to cover the components of an outstanding online presence in depth. The quality and user-friendliness of your website cannot be emphasized enough – apart from making sure its search engine optimization is flawless (including keyword-rich copy with lots of local search terms, easy-to-follow navigation, meta tag optimization and inbound links), the property search function and the quality of your listing information and photos is critical. You can not only display the relevant facts and photos about an individual property, but you can also add information about important lifestyle factors – what schools are in the area, what recreational and shopping facilities are nearby, how long does it take to get into the city center and so on.
In attracting visitors to your site, you probably can’t afford to ignore paid search advertising, even if you have good organic rankings. However, the real estate sector is notorious as an industry with very high P4P click prices – so how can you ensure you get a positive return? When considering your paid search budget, you need to estimate the quality of the leads you generate. You might find that certain local keyword terms attract different types of visitors who are more or less likely to be a valuable lead. Once you know what type of traffic is more valuable, you can adjust the keyword bids within your paid search campaign to ensure you maximize your return on investment, or go for “the tail of search” – bid on longer keyword terms that do not have the large search volume that more generic search terms have, but that provide you with better qualified visitors at a cheaper price. For example, instead of bidding on “Florida Real Estate”, bid on a more specific term like “real estate for sale in Orlando Florida”.
To ensure you get the most out of any potential leads, also make sure that you have systems in place to follow up on leads in real time and continue to communicate with leads over a period of time (for example using email) if you have permission to do so.
For more specific discussions on a broad range of online real estate related topics, visit
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