How much does Google Search Advertising Cost for Real Estate Agents?
The answer to this question isn’t as simple as it seems. Google advertising or AdWords involve many different factors that ultimately determine the cost of your search engine advertising. In this guide I will attempt to break down the cost to make it easier to understand for beginners and real estate agent who are interested in using Google marketing as a channel to get leads and sales from potential clients searching for real estate Google.
If you don’t understand how Google search advertising works, you can refer to our guide on How Google Search Works for Real Estate. Google search advertising is a form of pull marketing, which means instead of showing ads to people who have no interest in your services, it is only display to people who are actually searching for your services, and have an intention of making a purchase. This means that leads from Google search advertising are much more qualified than other channels.
So how does costing for Google search marketing work?
Firstly, when a Google campaign is setup, there is a daily budget that needs to be confirmed before the campaign can go live. This is the maximum budget you are willing to spend per day, although Google does have a small buffer of 20% in-case you end up going over budget. So for example if your daily budget is RM22, this means your monthly budget will be approximately RM668.
Your daily budget will be spent on the number of clicks your Google search ad listing receives. The cost per click varies dependent on many factors and is calculated in real time. But you can specify how much you are willing to pay per click, and Google will hold an auction on the keywords. (Google will usually specify the minimum cost per click to appear on the 1st page of results, these recommendations aren’t always accurate).
The cost per click is determined by a variety of factors including:
– Auction competition
– Keyword bid
– Quality score
– Target country
– Target device
Out of all the factors that determine the cost and rank of an ad listing, the most important is the “Quality Score”, this is a score that Google assigns to your ads & campaign. The quality score can decide whether you get a better rank for a keyword search, and how much you end up paying. For example, if your quality score is higher than your competitors, and both of you bid the same price for a keyword, your ad will out rank theirs and your cost per click may also be cheaper. In order to get a good quality score, your ads and campaigns must be continually optimized. That’s is why it is a good idea to get a digital marketing expert to help manage your Google search campaigns. Digital marketing experts can continually optimize your ads for a better quality score.
This is a simple illustration of how the bidding process works for Adwords, and how a higher quality score benefits advertisers.
As mentioned some keywords are more expensive than others depending on many factors. The main factor is competition. The more competition an industry has for Google ads, the more expensive the click costs will be. Below is an illustration of the most expensive keywords/ industries for 2016. Thankfully for now the real estate industry is still relatively cheap in terms of keyword costs especially in Malaysia. But this will change as competition increases, so best to get in early before the keyword prices start rising.
What is a good marketing budget for Google search advertising?
Depending on the industry its different, large MNCs spend millions annually on just Google search ads, while smaller businesses usually spend in the thousands. There is no real benchmark, but Google search marketing budgets needs to be sufficient at the start of the campaign, else there won’t be enough clicks and traffic to your website. For example, if the average cost per click is rm3, and you have a rm10 budget per day, then you will only get a maximum of 3 clicks a day, which is quite insignificant. The more clicks you get per day the higher chance of you generating more leads and sales. So a proper investment into Google search marketing is required to generate quality leads on going.
What other cost is there?
While some negotiators may want to run Google search ads themselves, it’s always advisable to get the digital marketing experts to manage the SEM campaigns for you. The reason being, campaigns need to be heavily monitored and optimized in order to ensure high rankings and cheaper costs per click. This is really a full time job, and most companies have dedicated digital teams that are fully focused on doing just that.
Agencies that specialize in SEM, will also be able to setup campaigns very quickly and optimize for the best results. The cost for hiring an agency varies, but they usually charge a percentage of the advertising media spend, for managing the campaigns, but will only work on campaigns that have a significant budget to justify the time and effort spent on the campaign.
What will digital agencies do for you?
Digital agencies will have a lot of experience with optimizing ads and campaigns for the best performance. They use strategies that have worked from their multiple AdWords experiments that have run over the years. Other tasks they will help you with include: keyword research, campaign registration and setup, keyword optimization, ad optimization, managing bids, improving quality score, improving campaign performance, and regular reporting. But make sure to find a digital marketing expert or agency, that is well versed in the property or real estate industry.
There may be other cost such a design costs for display advertising, but these are different products from Google, and will be discussed in the next article in this series.
Why use AdWords in Malaysia for Real Estate Marketing?
Currently in Malaysia the digital marketing in real estate is still quite young, thus there isn’t that much competition as compared to countries like Australia, and USA, which have a more mature digital market in real estate. So the cost per click in Malaysia is almost 10 – 20 times cheaper compared to these more mature markets. Hence it’s the perfect time for real estate agents to embrace Google search marketing, and take advantage of the cheaper clicks before they rise in price.
Please keep in mind this guide only covers Google search marketing, there are many more types of marketing channels from Google including Display, Gmail, SEO & Google places, to name a few. The other advertising types will be covered in the next articles in this series.
Stay tuned with the realestatemy.com/blog for more up-to-date tips and guides for real estate marketing professionals.