I’ve heard homebuilders say that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a waste of money. “People don’t read those,” they say, and “It runs up a big bill fast.”
The first comment just isn’t accurate. When done correctly, using strong keywords that are relevant to an organic search, statistics show that people see them and click through to the website. Not only that, but you can expect your brand awareness to increase as much as 63% and your traffic to grow 300%.
Once these prospects click through, it’s up to your website to pull them closer and make the presentation. The ad is the bait, not the closer.
As far as the cost of PPC advertising, it can indeed become costly—if you’re not paying attention. You should set a daily budget and monitor the metrics. Look at the click-thru rate (CTR), unique visitors, and conversion rate of those inquiries. If you’re not seeing encouraging numbers, look at the keywords you’re buying. Maybe you need to be more specific. For example, instead of “new homes in South Carolina”, go for “new homes in Charleston” or even “custom homes in Charleston”. Think about your customers. What are they looking for? The more you can tie your keywords to their interests, the better your return on your PPC investment.
Matt Riley, of Royal Oaks Homes in Raleigh, NC, told me he considers PPC advertising as important as SEO when it comes to online marketing. He likes the flexibility and speed of PPC advertising. “It allows you to instantly turn the faucet on by buying the words.”
In other words, launch a short-term campaign, maybe aligned with opening a new community or promoting a time-sensitive event. Use PPC as a stealth strike on your pinpointed target during a given period. As Matt says, turn the faucet on. Just don’t leaving it running so that you have control of your expense.
And always, always, always measure the results. Monitor your metrics, folks!
PPC should be included in your content marketing strategy. Apply the same approach to your PPC ads as you do with your other online content. For example, if you’re using Facebook, buy PPC ads on that social media site.
Here’s a great article that lists 26 important PPC tools, as recommended by 20 PPC experts—and they’re free (the tools, not the experts)!
What has been your experience with PPC? Do you have advice for other homebuilders? This is an important conversation, so let’s keep it going!