Like any business, Residential Settlements wants a continuous stream of clients, so advertising our services to potential new clients is essential. To get maximum exposure for a minimum amount of money, we are building a marketing campaign using Google AdWords, Google’s advertising service.
Google AdWords allows you to place advertisements next to its search results by bidding money on certain words and phrases (called ‘keywords’). When a search is made that includes one or more of your keywords, your advertisement is likely to appear. You are charged for each click that your advertisement gets, up to a pre-specified amount (your ‘daily spend’).
Google AdWords is one of the best ways to advertise online. Why? Because when you advertise next to Google searches, you are advertising to an audience that may already be looking for the service your offer.
Other advertising platforms offer only the opportunity to broadcast your message to a wide range of people, and just hope that someone who wants your service will see it. Even Facebook ads, which allow you to choose the gender, age, and interests of the people who see your ads, can’t know if and when those people are in need of the service you offer – but Google can. Google is the place where people go for answers (I know I do, regularly!), and your Google ad may be the thing to provide that answer.
How to get started:
Before we create and start paying for our ad to appear, I’ve pinpointed three important things we need to decide on:
1. The audience
2. The keywords
3. The landing page
1. The audience
Who do you want to get business from? For many, the answer is “everyone!”. However, it’s difficult to run an effective targeted advertising campaign unless you narrow your audience. As a settlement agency, we have narrowed our audience into three different groups, with different needs: buyers, sellers, and first home buyers.
Don’t try to target absolutely every group. For example, we are not targeting real estate agents at all with this campaign (even though Residential Settlements rely on agent referalls for a large chunk of our business) because agents are unlikely to be using Google to find settlement agents to refer to. Think about which sectors of your potential clients are likely to be using Google to find your service, and target those groups.
2. The keywords
Your campaign is only as good as your keywords, so these are important. If we place our advertisements next to searches for ‘cars for sale’, we’ve missed the boat. Instead, we need to think like a customer, and pinpoint words and phrases that potential customers will use while searching for the service we provide.
Some keywords that come to mind are ‘settlement agent Perth’, and ‘Perth conveyancer’, but there are a couple of ways to pinpoint keywords without just guessing:
1. Google analytics – sign up for Google analytics (it’s easy), put their tracking code on your website, and start watching your ‘traffic sources’. This will tell you what people are searching for the most when they find your website. For us, it’s phrases like ‘settlement agents perth’ and ‘residential settlements maddington’, as well as more loosely linked searches like ‘jargon titles’ – which leads people to our Jargon Buster page.
2. Keyword tool – Once you’ve got some keywords that you know people associate with your site, you can find similar ones using Google’s keywords tool. These similar words could be untapped sources of potential that you might want to target with your campaign.
3. The landing page
Every ad on Google needs to link back to a webpage. Instead of just linking to your homepage, it makes sense to link to a certain page on your website that suits both your target audience and the content of the ad they just clicked on.
For example, when we run an ad aimed at buyers that says something like “Buying a home? Contact us for a settlement quote today”, we will be directing people who click on that ad to a specially-made page on our website that summarises our services in a way appealing to buyers, and then provides an email form allowing the potential client to “Contact us for a settlement quote today”.
It’s important that the page they land on is relevant, because searchers want instant gratification. If someone clicks on an ad promising a certain thing, and isn’t offered that thing straight away, chances are they will leave your site and find another.
These three things – audience, keywords, and landing pages – are likely to make or break an AdWords campaign. We’re still working on them and will launch our campaign soon – I’ll keep you updated.
Note: We also need to decide on the actual content of the advertisement (which takes the format of a title and two lines of text), but I haven’t started that, yet. However, the content you should write is directly related to your audience and keywords, so once you have those downpat, the content should almost write itself – hopefully 😉