When most people write ad copy for real estate, they usually think of their product. They might be trying to sell or rent an apartment or a house. It’s tempting to write your Google Ads about the properties themselves but often this will be the wrong approach. In this blog post, I’ll go over some tips and techniques that I use in Google Ads copy for real estate clients. I hope it helps you get more leads and conversions with Google Ads.
“People don’t want quarter-inch drill bits. They want quarter-inch holes”
Professor Theodore Levitt
It’s a bit of a mind shift, but if you zoom out from your need to sell a space with four walls you could just tap into your customer’s psyche. There are huge opportunities for touching on the benefits and evoking emotions with real estate ad copy. The more you can tap into your audience’s emotions, the higher you could elevate your product from price or competition.
Going back to the quarter-inch drill bits example, let’s take it further. Maybe they actually want to have a nice picture or a shelf hung in their living room. Maybe they want to impress their friends and guests with a nicely decorated home. Maybe they are DIY buffs and actually care about the gear. You could write a different ad for each one of them.
Let’s use a typical real estate example. Let’s say we’re advertising apartments for sale in a London suburb. I’m not going to be strict on Google Ads’ formatting and character limits here as I want to focus on the main message.
2-3 bedroom apartments in Finchley
Renovated to a high standard and close to the tube and shops.
Own a Home in London
Starting £xxx,xxx. 2-3 bed apartments in the heart of _____.
Last apartments left
2-3 Bed homes selling quick. Early viewings recommended.
Impressive 2-3 dedroom apartments in North London's new luxury complex
Viewings by appointment. Find out more.
In reality, you’d probably want to mix and match the above examples. You should give details and specifications while also aligning the text to emotions and desires.
Using numbers in ads usually has a positive effect. If you can add some prices or exact figures this will usually help your ads stand out more. Giving specific figures serves a double purpose. If your starting price is too high, you’d be better off filtering prospects who don’t have the fund and saving your ad budget for those who do. Numbers and stats in ads can help you qualify the clicks and generally increase click through rates.
Keep in mind that it’s easy to overuse numbers and create cold and generic ads that don’t resonate much. Also, if your competitors are all filling their text with numbers and stats, try a different approach and make your ads stand out.
Regardless of your niche or industry, Google search ads are very limiting. You can only use 30 characters in headlines and 90 in the description. You’re also limited with punctuation and symbols. You’re also likely to get better performance if you use the keywords you’re targeting in the headlines. If you choose to use keywords in the text, your message will be partially shaped already. It’s really important to focus on the key points you want to make, and leave the rest of the messaging to the landing page.
The relationship between ad copy and landing pages is really important. You should aim to align the content so that users get a consistent experience. With the landing page, you can use design and longer format text to enhance and build upon your ad message. Good landing pages will have low bounce rates and high conversion rates.
One reason Google Ads work well for real estate companies is that you can make decisions based on actual performance data. You might have crafted an ingenious ad message but if your least favourite ad is performing better, your prospects have spoken. It’s time to leave the ego and assumptions behind and listen to your audience.
Depending on your budget and volumes you should have between 2 to 4 ads in each ad group. Keep in mind that more impressions, clicks and conversions mean more performance data. So if you have low volumes, I recommend only having 2 ads. This way, you’ll be able to find a clear winner sooner.
The principle of optimising ads is quite simple. If you let your ads run for a while, high click-through rates will show you the ads that have the most engagement. These are usually the ads you want to keep while pausing the others. You should also consider your conversion rates, as an ad might get lots of clicks but few conversions.
Every time you find a clear winner, pause the rest and clone the winner making one small adjustment or improvement.
It’s really important to make decisions based on enough data. This usually means looking at a date range of at least 30 days. As a general guide, you shouldn’t usually declare a winner if ads have less than 500 impressions.
Google has recently decided to sunset expanded text ads. Their successor, the RSA (responsive search ads) offer up to 15 headlines and 5 descriptions. Left to their own devices RSAs will rotate headlines and descriptions to find the best combination. In effect, this limits the need for several ads as each ad will have many different variations. Sounds good, right?
There are several problems with RSAs that you should take into account.
The best way to use RSA is to keep them focused on the original message you had in mind. You don’t have to use all headlines or descriptions and you can also pin headlines and descriptions to a certain position.
Conclusion: Writing Google Ad Copy for Real Estate
There are several factors to juggle when you sit down to write search ads for your real estate business.
There’s no absolute wrong or right. I do recommend starting out by thinking about your prospects and putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself what would they find appealing. Then craft a message that aligns with your brand and send it out to the world. It’s often good to try different approaches and let the data decide which one is the winner.
Writing Google search ads for real estate is part art, part science. You’ll need to think creatively but also put your ego aside and let the impressions and clicks vote on the winner.
We're a marketing agency specialising in real estate. We work with estate agents, landlords, property investors and hotels. Our PPC campaigns generate thousands of leads for clients every month. We're also a nice bunch of people (at least we think so) who work really hard for our clients.
Odi Caspi - Founder and PPC Marketer