Optimizing your Home Building PPC Strategy for Local Leads

Optimizing your Home Building PPC Strategy for Local Leads

Pay-per-click ad campaigns are one of the best ways to generate immediate, qualified traffic and leads for home builders. They’re a top outbound marketing method because they’re amazing at getting your name out there, especially for keywords you know your target buyer is searching for. The only problem is, PPC isn’t inherently geared for local sales.

If you bid on the keyword, “quality custom home builder,” it’s likely that your ad shows up in the search results pages of a searcher in Texas, which doesn’t do you much good if you work in Michigan. Many home builders have started to combat this by bidding on keywords that include their location, like “custom home builder Grand Rapids,” but that’s just the start of a quality PPC campaign that targets local leads. To make sure you’re getting the biggest number of qualified, local leads, here are a few tips to optimize your home building PPC strategy:

Pick the right city

If you’re in home building, you know that for many builders, the city they advertise in isn’t always the city they actually build in. For example, we’re centered in Grand Haven, but many of the builders out here advertise themselves as Grand Rapids builders because Grand Rapids is a bigger city with a bigger pool of potential homebuyers. So before you even start your local PPC strategy, you need to decide which city names you want to bid on. It’s a good idea to do some keyword research first, to figure out what people are actually searching, and what your competitors are bidding the most on.

For example, if you specialize in bigger, urban homes, it probably does make sense for you to target those searching for home builders in GR. But if your niche is smaller family homes out in the country, then it might make more sense to advertise your building company in smaller area cities, like Hudsonville, Coopersville, Spring Lake, and Grand Haven. So, do some testing to see which cities get the most qualified traffic for your company, and go with those.

Choose low competition, high search volume keywords

In the same vein, you want to choose keywords that have low competition, but high search volume, as you’ll have to pay less to run those campaigns. If every builder in the area is bidding on general terms like “Builder in Grand Rapids,” you’ll have to pay a lot of money for leads that might not actually be that qualified. Whereas if you pick a long-tail keyword like, “affordable custom homes Spring Lake” you’ll pay for less clicks, but you’ll get more qualified traffic. Sure, less people are going to search for that long tail keyword, but the people who do are going to fit right into your niche clientele, and they’re going to be closer to making a purchasing decision than someone who clicks on a very general, “builder in GR” search result.

Location-based ad extensions

Google, in its infinite wisdom, continues to improve search results in favor of user experience. In their work to make searches turn up the best results for searchers, they’ve implemented location-based ad extensions, so local businesses with Adwords campaigns can display location information like address, business hours, and even how long it will take the searcher to get to your office. By implementing location-based ad extensions in your Adwords campaign, when someone searches “custom home builders near me” or some other location-related keyword you’ve bid on, your search result will come up similar to the one below, one of our own clients in the GR area:

As you can see, below the desktop ad itself, Google has placed the location of the Whitmore Homes office, as well as their phone number and their hours. This extension works even better on mobile, because each piece of information becomes clickable. So, clicking on the address would take users to a map, clicking on the phone number would dial up Whitmore Homes, and clicking on the information button would give a potential client necessary information about when the company is open, and what it is that they do. This is easily one of the best ways to get your company more local traffic from paid searches. Check Google’s site for more info on how to implement location based ad extensions in your PPC campaign.

Make your landing pages mobile-friendly

An insane amount of all internet traffic these days is conducted on mobile devices. If your PPC ads take visitors to a landing page that isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re going to lose money. By optimizing a landing page for mobile, you make it faster, more user-friendly, and better fitted to a smaller screen. This means that mobile users can navigate to, and around, that page easily, ensuring they’re more likely to convert. If your landing pages aren’t optimized, you’re going to lose leads as soon as that page doesn’t load in 10 seconds on their smartphones.

Have multiple landing pages

In addition to having mobile-friendly landing pages, you should have different landing pages corresponding to different PPC ads. Remember that not all of your visitors are going to come to your site ready to buy, so it’s a good idea to have landing pages that address each step of the buyer’s journey. Obviously, you’re looking to find people in the decision making stage, but some of the long-tail keywords you’re bidding on might target visitors who are just in the awareness or consideration stages. Make sure you have landing pages that address each of these visitors as well, so you can capture their contact information, offer them quality content that pulls them through to the decision making stage, and improve the number of leads you’re generating over time.

Landing pages should match ads

In the same vein as the above point, you want to have multiple landing pages, but they have to match the ad they’re put with. You can’t have an ad that promotes a really awesome coupon for local clients, and then lead them to a landing page where they can download an ebook on how to perfect their ideal floorplan. This will only frustrate the visitors who do follow your PPC ads, and deter them from coming back to your site. So, in addition to having multiple landing pages, make triple-sure that each of those landing pages match the ad they’re attached to. You’d be surprised at how often these sorts of mistakes happen, but double-checking is a key way to make sure you’re not accidentally losing potential clients.

Remarketing

Another very successful way to run paid local ads is to implement a remarketing campaign. If you’ve ever gone online shopping and ditched your cart, remarketing is the reason ads keep popping up on Facebook and Google for the exact things you had in your cart when you ditched. For homebuilders, remarketing can also be successful, especially if you link your remarketing campaigns to your “Contact Us” or “Request a Quote” page. This way, whenever a visitor seems ready to convert to a lead, but leaves the page before filling out your contact form, they’ll be reminded later of that decision when your remarketing ad pops up on their social media page.

It’s a great way to keep your company fresh in clients’ minds, and it’s also a good practice for targeting local leads, because it’s likely to be locals who were researching your website in the first place.

If you’ve got more questions about optimizing your home building company’s PPC strategy to generate more local leads, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We specialize in inbound marketing strategies for custom home builders, and would be happy help answer any questions you’ve got. To see how HA Digital Marketing has generated massive results for other home builders, check out the case study below:

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Make your Real Estate Development Stand Out Online

Make your Real Estate Development Stand Out Online

Real estate developments are a bit unique when it comes to digital marketing. The interesting thing about a development’s website is that it doesn’t stay up forever. You get your real estate development set up, you fill lots and sell homes, and once you’re done, so is your website. Compared to most websites out there, a housing development website has a relatively short lifespan, maybe a few years at the most.

As you likely know, you need a website and a solid web presence to sell lots in your development, but because of the short lifespan, you also need to get a website up, get it out there as quickly as possible, and then take it down as soon as you’re done with that particular development. This presents some unique SEO challenges. Since your real estate development website will only exist for so long, here’s how to make the most of your digital marketing efforts by putting out a quality website that attracts the right clients, quickly:

Laying the framework

Before you can get into any serious SEO or technical improvements to your website, you have to actually come up with a website that features quality content. To do that, it’s paramount that you answer the following questions:

What makes your development different?

These days, there are developments popping up on just about every corner. How does yours stand out? Are you offering special, no step floor plans for older residents? Is your development set in a location like no other? We’ve worked with a number of real estate developers, and we’ve always found that the ones with a special niche––sustainable mountain living communities, for example––tend to do better than those that are generic or seem cookie cutter. It’s important to have at least one major selling point that helps you stand out from your competition, whether that’s your quality of building, or the amenities that your housing development offers to residents.

What benefits does your development offer to potential buyers that your competition does not?

It’s easy to get caught up in the awesomeness of your own development. Many real estate development websites fall into the trap of shouting their greatness to the rooftops. While we know you’re great, and we’re certain you’re offering your clients top-of-the-line service and quality, it’s important to focus more on what benefits you’re offering potential buyers, rather than all of the positives of your company. You need to determine what it is exactly that you’re offering to your residents that others are not, and you have to explain how that benefits them.

Maybe that’s a peaceful lifestyle in the mountains, or maybe it’s a sustainable living community where residents work together to curate a community garden or implement backyard farming techniques, but whatever it is, make sure that the benefits to the buyer have more emphasis than your general greatness. Consumers are already wary of the “hard sell”—businesses telling them that they’re the best in the world or the country—so you need to show them exactly why your development is right for them.

Who are the right buyers?

To be able to highlight your benefits effectively, you need to know who your ideal buyers are. That doesn’t just mean knowing what price point they’re willing to pay, or whether they’re male or female. While those are important considerations, it’s more prudent to have a comprehensive idea of exactly who your real estate development is targeted to. Are you looking for younger families who want to move into a long term home? Or is your development more geared towards older, empty nesters who want a housing community that’s a bit quieter, but near a city where they can take in arts and culture at their own leisure?

Once you determine exactly who your ideal, target buyers are, and what they’re looking for in a home or community, you can create content that addresses their specific questions and concerns, and you can begin to put together ad campaigns that are directed towards that unique demographic. This ensures that your marketing techniques are created and implemented with purpose, and towards someone specific. In the long run, this will help earn more qualified leads, and fill up your real estate development faster.

Boosting your online presence

After asking those three positioning questions and determining your answers, you’re ready to put that information into your real estate development’s website. You’ll want to ensure that your website addresses those questions mentioned above: talk about how your development sets itself apart from your competition, and make sure you highlight the benefits that your specific, target buyer is likely to appreciate. And once you’ve got those three questions written into your site content, begin to optimize the site as a whole, and boost your web presence with these four major SEO methods:

High quality imagery

real estate development imagery

You have a beautiful housing development, show it off! You want to give potential buyers the ability to truly picture themselves living within your unique community. High resolution photos that clearly show the development, as well as some of your already completed homes, offer that possibility. What’s more, studies have shown that site viewers are more likely to stay on a webpage longer if it has multiple relevant, high quality images. The longer site viewers remain on a page, the better your search engine rankings, and the more likely those viewers are to contact you regarding that development.

So, invest in a reputable development photographer who can capture the essence of your real estate development, both outdoors and indoors. The more images you have, the better. If you’re not sure where to put some images, create a gallery. Then, site viewers can scroll through to get a better idea of what their life would look like if they chose a home in your development. You’ll keep them on the site longer, and you’ll entice them to come looking for more information.

Keyword rich pages

keywords real estate development

If you know anything about digital marketing, you know that keywords are a big deal. Keywords are the number one way that search engines like Google and Yahoo categorize and rank web pages when a user searches for something. A good way to ensure that your site is ranking for keywords that will boost your site’s visibility is to determine what your clients are searching for. Is it “real estate development in North Carolina”, or is it “new home, Grand Haven MI”? Do a bit of keyword research to see what you need to be ranking for, and where your website is currently falling on search engine results pages for the keywords you find are most relevant to your industry.

Then, implement that extensive keyword research into your website’s pages. While you don’t want to keyword stuff, by putting one word in a web page 20 or more times, you do want to make sure you’re using relevant keywords and their synonyms organically and in a way that sounds normal to your potential buyers. Sprinkle those important keywords into your content naturally. Soon, you’ll begin to see your site pop up higher in search engine results pages in no time.

Regular blog posts

blog real estate development

Another way to boost your online presence is to regularly create blog posts that address the questions and concerns of your potential buyer. For example, if you were selling lots on a development that emphasized a “sustainable community” you might offer some blogs on the benefits of sustainable living, or how to successfully grow a community garden. These are topics that your target buyer is certain to be interested in, and that are also highly shareable. Though their topics may not be directly related to the process of selling homes and lots, these blogs are sure to draw in viewers who are interested in living in the type of development that you’re providing. Once they read one of your blogs, they’re likely to read more. By addressing these target buyer’s interests, questions, and concerns on a regular basis, you’re more likely to draw them in, and get them interested in your real estate development.

What’s more, when you’re blogging regularly about topics relevant to your target buyer, using some of those researched keywords you implemented into the rest of your site’s page content, you’ll begin to see more improvements on search engines. Websites like Google prefer sites who regularly update, refresh, and put out new content, especially content that is keyword rich and useful to their searchers. The more regularly you blog, the more of an online boost you’ll begin to see.

Targeted Facebook and Adwords campaigns

The final, perhaps most effective SEO tool for any real estate development is paid ad campaigns. Like we mentioned before, your site goes up quickly, and it comes down just as soon as you fill your lots. That means it’s important to get the word out about your development as quickly as possible. There’s no more effective way to target your ideal buyer than through Facebook and Adwords campaigns. These advertisers have the most advanced demographic targeting software, and can get you a very high number of qualified leads in a very short amount of time.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

One of the best ways to get your new site out in front of target buyers is through Facebook ads. Facebook has the power to group users according to age, gender, geographic location, personal likes, and even professional position. That makes it a powerful tool on which to market your real estate development. You can create ads that link to your new website or blog full of helpful content, and put them out to only the people who genuinely care about the information. This increases the number of qualified leads you’re getting, ensuring you’re only spending ad money on legitimate potential clients.

Adwords Campaigns

Google Adwords

Adwords works much the same, though it targets based on keywords rather than user demographic. You can create adwords campaigns around the extensive keyword research that you’ve already done. These campaigns ensure that your site shows up at the top of the list when someone searches, “new homes for sale in Spring Lake, MI”. By creating highly targeted ad campaigns, you’re only spending money on web users who are likely to convert to leads. This seriously increases your ROI, and boosts your web visibility in a way that’s cost effective.

Real estate development websites can be tricky to market. They need to be aesthetically pleasing and relevant to target customers, but they need to generate a ton of visibility right off the bat. If you’re having trouble getting eyes on your real estate development’s website, get in touch with the crew at HA Digital Marketing. We’ve successfully worked with a number of real estate developers across the country, and we’d be happy to help. For a look at how we generated 41 unit sales for developer Sovereign Oaks in just 12 months, check out the case study below:

real estate lead generation case study

6 Benefits of Keyword Research for Home Builders

6 Benefits of Keyword Research for Home Builders

If you’ve started developing any kind of digital marketing strategy, keyword research probably isn’t a new term for you. The term is pretty self-explanatory—it’s conducting research to see what keywords will be most effective for your company to increase search engine rankings and conversions. But how many of us actually do the keyword research? As a home building professional, you already have a busy schedule, and wading through lists of keywords probably sounds like the last thing you want to do. Though keyword research can be a bit of a hassle upfront, the payoff from just a few hours of research can be massive.

When you know what your target audience is looking for, it’s very easy to serve that up to them on a silver platter of engaging content. You simply have to write content and develop ad campaigns that center around those keywords. The key though, is doing the research. A lot of us are guilty of just assuming that what we think consumers are looking for is what they’re actually searching. But as a home builder, there are likely a lot of industry specific terms that you use every day that the typical consumer doesn’t know, and isn’t going to search for.

That’s what makes research so important. A little bit of research can show you a wealth of terms that are easy to rank for, and that will get more eyes on your site. But if you’re still not convinced about the benefits of keyword research, here are six specific reasons why keyword research can immensely improve your home building marketing strategy:

Attract an audience that cares

One of the biggest benefits of keyword research is your ability to target an audience that genuinely cares about what you have to say. When you research keywords, you’re looking for words and phrases that consumers are searching regularly, which means when your website pops up for one of those searches, that consumer is already interested in what you have to say. There’s no convincing, and it’s much easier to get them to stay on your page, because you’re providing information about exactly what they were looking for in the first place.

This is one reason why blogging around those keywords you researched is a great thing to do—it gives that target audience content they care about and want to engage with, which keeps them coming back for more.

Increased conversion rates

Keyword research does a lot more than get people to your website. It makes sure the right people are coming to your site. And when you have the right people coming to your site, who legitimately need your home building services, that means more conversions. More conversions mean more money and a bump in ROI. The more strategically you implement keyword research into your website and marketing content, the more qualified traffic you’re going to get.

Consumer behavior insight

The obvious benefits of keyword research have to do with your ability to draw in qualified leads. But what is perhaps a more subtle benefit of keyword research is that it gives you insight into consumer behaviors and trends. When you’re working to see what your target audience is searching for, it’s easier to see what types of content they like, what they’re likely to click on, what’s important to them, and what sorts of content are popular in that target group. With all of this information, it’s a lot easier to stay ahead of consumer trends, and make sure you’re keeping relevant to that target audience.

Organize your time

Keyword research helps you identify what areas of your marketing strategy are improving your bottom line, and what areas of your company consumers are most interested in. Are you getting more conversions from people searching “best homebuilder Grand Rapids” or do you see better results from “how to design your dream home in GR?” When you know which keywords are working the best for your company, you can develop more content that functions alongside those words, because you know they work. This means you’re spending less time developing content you hope will work, and more time creating content that’s guaranteed to get you those conversions.

Spend money wisely

Along the same lines, when you know which keywords are more effective for your homebuilding company, you can save money on your PPC campaign. Paid ads can be cheap, but only if you’re bidding strategically. If you’re bidding on expensive short-tail keywords, like “custom homebuilder,” or “new home” you’ll be paying a lot of money for words that probably won’t get you the traffic you want.  By conducting a bit of keyword research, it’s easier to see what longer-tail keywords draw in the most conversions.

For example, “Grand Rapids custom home builder,” and “custom built Grand Haven lakehouse” will cost less per click, and might have a lower search volume, but the people who click on those likes are more likely to convert. After a bit of keyword research, you’re better able to pool more of your PPC budget to those less expensive words guaranteed to get you a better conversion rate. When you go into your paid ad campaigns armed with some solid keyword research, you’re sure to bump your PPC ROI.

Better organic ranking

The final benefit of strategic keyword research comes in those all-important Google search rankings. You’ve always wanted first page results, right? Well, keyword research is just one of the ways to get your website up there. When you implement those strategic keywords into your website, Google’s search bots will recognize them and categorize your website accordingly. The more relevant keywords you have, the better your organic search ranking is going to be. For homebuilders, it’s most important to make sure you have appropriate local keywords incorporated into your website. Keywords like “West MI Homebuilder,” “custom home builder Grand Rapids,” and “Lake Michigan custom homes” indicate to Google both what you do, and where you are. When your site makes that clear, you’ll begin to rank better in those local search rankings, which gets more eyes on your homebuilding website overall.

Check out these three tools:

If you want to implement more keyword research into your home building company’s marketing strategy, but aren’t quite sure how, check out these three free tools that make it pretty easy:

Google Keyword Planner

Google is kind of the main authority when it comes to SEO, so it’s no surprise that their keyword tool is at the top of our list. Super handy for anyone working with a PPC budget, or even if you’re just getting into keyword research, Google Keyword Planner is very user friendly, and easily links to your gmail or Google+ business profile. It’s a free Adwords tool that makes planning your paid ad campaigns a breeze.

SERPs.com

If you’re looking for a few more research options for free, SERPs has just about everything you can imagine. Their free tools allow you to drill down on results based on location or domain, and even suggests possible keyword alternatives if you get stuck. This is a great one for developing a content strategy because you can see the top 250 search results for any keyword you select, and you can save your research to your desktop in case you want to return to it later.

Keywordtool.io

This is another great free tool, but know that if you want in depth statistics, like search volume or CPC, you’ll have to upgrade the Pro version. Even if you don’t upgrade though, Keyword Tool lets you research keywords on all of the big four search engines, and generates results for both short tail and long tail keywords: which isn’t as common as you’d think. For basic level keyword research, this can be a very convenient free tool.

Now that it’s clear why thorough keyword research is so important, it’s time to get working! Implement those keywords into your website, and you’ll start to see an increase in qualified organic and directed traffic in no time. And if you’re looking for more ways to improve your home building website’s SEO, check out this handy SEO checklist specifically for home service professionals. In it, you’ll find all the steps to getting your site on that first page of Google search results:
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Download: SEO Checklist for B2B Manufacturers

Download: SEO Checklist for B2B Manufacturers

SEO: we’re sure you’ve heard of it, because it seems to be all that anyone’s talking about when it comes to digital marketing or website optimization. And there’s good reason for that, since SEO is one of the singular most effective ways to increase both traffic to your B2B manufacturing site, and qualified leads converting from your site.

That’s why we developed this SEO checklist specifically for B2B Manufacturers.

If you’re looking to boost traffic to your site, increase the amount of qualified leads your site generates, and increase your overall ROI, SEO is the way to go. Our comprehensive SEO Checklist for B2B Manufacturers covers just about everything you can do to your website to improve your rankings, and generate more leads. Check it out to optimize your site for the biggest ROI!

Still don’t believe us about the effectiveness of SEO?

Well here’s just a few of the benefits you’ll see once you properly implement the best practices listed in our SEO checklist:

Traffic Boost

First and foremost, SEO best practices function to draw more people to your website. The fundamental point of SEO is to bump your rankings on search engine results pages, putting you closer to the top of that first page on Google, and boosting your site’s visibility along the way.

Help People Find You

Naturally, when you’re at the top of a Google search results page, you’re more likely to be clicked on. In addition to that, if you’re ranking highly for keywords related to your B2B manufacturing company, it will be easier for people to find you. Say someone didn’t remember your company name, proper SEO practices would ensure that when they typed in “B2B Manufacturer in [your area]” your company would come up first.

Attract Relevant Customers

SEO is very targeted. You can control and see the results of every minor change you make to your website, and you can gain insight as to what terms people in your market are searching for. By ranking well for exactly what your ideal client is searching for, you’ll be attracting more relevant traffic: people who can then be converted into qualified leads.

Build Trust and Credibility

SEO goes a long way in generating authority for your company. Most SEO best practices serve dual functions as in addition to boosting your traffic, they also help you build trust with the visitors that do end up on your site. The more people trust you and see you as an authority in your manufacturing field, the more likely they are to purchase from you.

Increase ROI

The cost of implementing most SEO practices is very minimal, especially when compared with the relevant traffic and qualified leads that it generates. SEO is an investment, rather than an expense, and it provides a huge return. The best part is that the results are measurable, so you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re doing right, and what needs work.

Beat Paid Searches

Studies have shown time and time again that internet users are more inclined to click on organic results than paid search results. That means that when your website pops up on the first page of organic results, under the ad results, you’ll get more clicks than your paid ad would, for less money! And what puts you on that first page? Yup, SEO.

If you’re looking for any of the above benefits, SEO is the way to go. For a complete list of SEO practices to implement for the best results, check out our SEO Checklist for B2B Manufacturers:


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Case Study: Custom Home Builder Website and Lead Generation

Case Study: Custom Home Builder Website and Lead Generation

David C. Bos Homes designs and builds luxury custom homes for primary residences and second homes along the West Michigan lakeshore and throughout West Michigan. In addition to developing residential communities, Bos Homes also builds on Lake Michigan and other stand-alone sites.

When David C. Bos Homes came to us, they were working with a large, expensive and unproductive agency in Grand Rapids. They had a website that was not mobile-responsive and did not provide any search engine exposure. To make matters worse, the existing website did not display their projects and developments well.

In order to ensure that the Bos Homes website was receiving the online visibility that they wanted, they first needed a website that adequately conveyed the beauty and luxury of the custom homes they were building. With our complete website overhaul and the addition of quality professional photos, the new website now accurately reflects the quality of work they do when designing and building a custom home.  

After the website overhaul, our digital marketing team was able to implement a comprehensive search engine strategy to improve Bos Homes’ standing in both paid and organic search results. Our website redesign, combined with our intuitive digital marketing best practices, converted website viewers to potential leads, and those leads converted into sales.

These new marketing strategies have transformed marketing and sales for this client. This is best represented by the significant amount of sales leads that we have generated and by the 175% growth rate the company saw as a result of our strategies.

The great thing about our digital marketing strategy? It’s proven. The results show that our practices, our SEO tactics, and our comprehensive optimization strategy really work. For custom home builders and residential developers looking to increase website traffic, sales leads and overall revenue, HA Digital Marketing has the marketing solution guaranteed to produce results.

 

case study: home builder sales leads