Getting to the Top: More Search Engine Basics

In this post, real estate advertising and e-marketing expert Tom Nelson shares more on how website searches are used by prospective homebuyers and how you can make sure your website is as close to the top of their list as possible.

Last time, we talked about the fundamentals of making sure your website is as close to the top of the list as possible for prospect internet searches. Implementing those changes is critical, but the process takes time. And since we know that time is money, and that we have sales goals to meet every month and quarter, let’s discuss what you can do while you’re working on improving your search rankings. If you can’t get to the top of the list organically (that is, without paying for it, by relying on the fundamentals of your website’s content for search engine optimization), you can buy your way to the top, often for a very competitive price, and even with small and limited budget.

One very effective form of internet advertising, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), is flexible, measurable, and highly effective. Providing the campaign is professionally managed PPC advertising can provide an excellent return on investment, enabling you to reach potential customers at the right time, right place, and right cost.

What is "Pay-Per-Click"? When you search for something on, you’ll see both a list of websites in the main column, as well as narrow column of "paid-for" websites in the right-hand column. These are essentially ads for your website that appear based on specific keyword searches. You determine which keywords or keyword phrases are appropriate for your prospects and your property, for example "Waterfront lots in Charles County" or "St. Louis Townhomes."

While it may appear that this approach could be costly, "Pay-Per-Click" is really "Pay-Per-Performance" because you only pay when a user clicks through to your website, rather than paying for each time your ad is displayed. This is a vast improvement over traditional print advertising which relies on the reader actually remembering what she or he read to use later, and cannot prove its effectiveness. Better still, with Pay-Per-Click, you get to actually bid on these search terms or phrases rather than just paying a set fee, and you can control when your ads will appear, as well as control your total budget, you determine how much you will spend in a given time period.

And, because this is interactive advertising, you can now truly see what works, and what doesn’t, so that you can fine-tune your approach over time to maximize your online advertising investment. Then, if your website has a clear and compelling message, the probability of conversion (an online registration) is high, and an in-person visit from the prospect is now much more likely, giving your sales team the opportunity to make personal contact with the prospect.

Stay tuned for the second half of this article for more new home sales insights from real estate e-marketing expert Tom Nelson.

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