Hey everyone, welcome to episode five of our #TrafficIsKey series! Our Marketing & Media Director Nick Ossey, with our COO and Co Founder Nick Reis, are taking an in depth look at Pay-Per-Click advertising and Search Engine marketing.. Stay tuned each and every Tuesday for a new episode!


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, also know as cost-per-click (CPC), are one of the most cost-effective forms of lead generation in real estate. Today we’re going to be going over what exactly these types of ads are and why they can be very useful to you and your business.

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What is Pay-Per-Click?

Essentially, PPC ads are you paying per person  for clicks on your ads. Typically these are the ads that show up at the top of search engine results. These are also known as search ads. Typically they are the first 3-4 websites on the top of the search engines. Sometimes they will say “sponsored” or “ad” next to them, very subtly.

What is happening with PPC is you are bidding on certain keywords or direct phrases such as, San Diego Homes For Sale, or San Diego Real Estate.

Everytime someone clicks on your ad, you are going to pay a small fee, that fee will depend on the phrase you are targeting and could cost anywhere from a dollar to ten dollars a click. The more popular a phrase is, the more you are going to pay per click. 

What is SEM?

SEM stands for search engine marketing, and it often times means the same thing as PPC. SEM includes but is not limited to Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads all combined. More and more providers are changing their terminology to SEM because PPC has been used so much in the past.

Why is PPC important?

If done correctly, PPC is a great way to boost your traffic and exposure. It can be very effective at driving active users right to you site. Active searchers are always going to be better Leads.

While every form of advertising has its unique benefits, there’s no guarantee in regards to the leads you’ll generate. This is something every agent talks about. Everyone is more concerned with the leads being pre-qualified, or just ready to close on the spot. While they do not focus on the long term benefits behind what it is they are doing.

With PPC, you are targeting people in the exact moment they’re searching for homes.

Real estate agents are keenly aware that in order to be successful, their skill-set can’t be limited to selling a property. In fact the ability to generate leads through captivating marketing campaigns is even more critical to achieving success in the competitive real estate industry. How can you sell a house if you have no one to sell it to?

Gone are the days of simply networking around town, marketing in magazines, newspapers, door knocking and calling through the yellow pages. Why limit yourself?

PPC Give us the ability to come up for these direct phrases that Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and all the other big name real estate companies are coming up for Organically.

As the advertiser, you can create PPC search ads that show up in several different places, including:

  • The top of the search engine results
  • The bottom of the search engine results
  • Banner ads on participating third party websites

The most common place for PPC ads to show up is at the top of the search results. Other than being marked with a green “Ad” label, they typically look very similar to organic, unpaid search results.

Google AdWords

Every time someone performs a Google search, your ad enters into a formal auction process.

The ad system begins by filtering out any ads that don’t meet the specific criteria, like those targeting users in other countries.

Next, Google looks at AdRank, which is a combination of these elements:

  • Maximum Bid
  • Quality Score

The Quality Score is on a per-ad basis, it’s determined by the expected click through rate of your ad, the user’s search, and your site’s landing page experience.

The most important takeaway from the bidding process is this: even if your competitor has a higher bid for an ad, you can still win the placement at a lower cost by having a higher Quality Score.

You get a higher Quality Score by having landing pages that are relevant to the ads you are targeting, and making sure your website provides a phenomenal user experience.

If a consumer does a search for San Diego Condos For Sale, you want to make sure they are landing on a page that will give them the info they searched for right away, otherwise you will have a high bounce rate.


In real estate, the PPC conversion rate is the percentage of visitors from ad clicks that fill out a lead form on your site. 

Now there are some factors that can affect your conversion rate. 

Registration settings, user experience, number of listings available, market competition, and real estate niche. Certain property types also have higher conversion rates than others and things always change with the seasons and holidays. Because of this long list of factors, even campaigns within the same market can experience wildly different lead counts and conversions.

The Bottom Line

It’s our job, as the provider, to know what works. To know how to manage and maintain your campaigns. It’s your job, as the agent, to understand that in order to grow, in order to funnel traffic, in order to gain exposure, that PPC can play a very crucial part in your overall marketing plan. If done correctly, it can be very effective. Just keep in mind, no matter where you go, or who you have creating and managing these things for you, nobody can control the “quality of a lead”.

If you have absolutely any questions at all, or are interested in joining our network of countless realtors and brokers, then do not hesitate to contact us at (866) 808-7711 or send us an email at [email protected].

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