Connect with us
Cloak And Track Your Affiliate Links With Our User-Friendly Link Cloaking Tool, Try It Free

SEO

Tips For Optimizing Google Ads Campaigns

Published

on

Tips For Optimizing Google Ads Campaigns

If you haven’t noticed, organic SEO listings have taken a back seat on the first page of Google.

While Google is constantly testing the SERP layout and personalizing results based on the individual user, if your real estate business isn’t showing up, it can affect your volume of leads.

Even though we’re emphasizing Google search, this aims true for other search engines.

The real estate industry vertical must constantly evolve its SEO strategy to compete.

If you’re noticing an impact on your real estate business, it’s probably time to invest and add PPC to your strategy.

Here are some PPC strategies, tips, and ad formats specifically aimed at the real estate vertical to enhance your visibility.

This will also consider the challenges and nuances specific to real estate.

First, Let’s Talk Challenges

So, what makes paid search for real estate so different?

Real Estate Is An Extremely Local Product

For the most part, the end-user must physically live or plan to live in the location they’re searching for. Investors can certainly be an exception, but they’re still searching for a specific location.

So, for starters, a Google Ads campaign for real estate should target users in a specific location – the location of your property.

Google Ads’ location settings have changed within the last year where you can’t hyper-target to just “People in” your location. They have changed it to “People in, or regularly in.”

That’s fine. You don’t want to exclude people who want to relocate, and people who regularly visit a location (maybe they commute in for work) are also likely to want to live there.

During the pandemic, we’ve seen a massive shift of individuals and companies picking up their roots in other parts of the country.

There could be a play to target these users in different regions, but this can cause problems on a limited budget.

Homeowners Will Not Rent

This challenge is specific to investors running rental properties. If a consumer owns their home, it is highly unlikely they will want to rent.

How do you prevent current homeowners from seeing your advertising?

Renters Are Locked Into Long-Term Leases

While a renter is an ideal candidate for a home builder or seller, the reality is they are tied to six-month and, more often, 12-month leases. This makes their eligibility hit or miss on any given day.

You need to build a longer-term relationship with them, so they think of you when they’re ready.

Not Everyone Is A Candidate For Either A Home Or Apartment

On top of all of this, customers need to be able to afford (and qualify) for the products.

Credit checks disqualify many hopeful candidates for both a new apartment and their dream home.

The good news is that Google Ads is one of the few platforms that can specifically hone in on a qualified real estate shopper, provided the campaigns are set up correctly.

So, let’s start with a plan to optimize a PPC campaign for your real estate business.

Bidding On Your Brand Terms Is Super Important

It’s one of the industry’s favorite debates (or maybe it’s just the client’s favorite debate): whether to bid on brand terms.

The reality is, for real estate, the discovery process is unique and requires a critical investment in branded terms.

Real estate searchers learn about the locations and communities in a wide variety of ways:

  • Physical signs.
  • Craigslist.
  • A co-worker or friend.
  • Apartment guide.
  • Listing aggregate websites.

These sources, however, do not always provide adequate information.

The result is a branded search on Google for more information.

This also means shoppers searching for your specific brand name are likely your hottest leads.

Make sure you capitalize on these lower funnel searchers!

If you elect to not bid on your owned brand keyword terms, it is likely one of the two (if not both) things will happen:

  • If competitors are buying your brand name, they will likely appear above your branded organic listing.
  • Real estate aggregators (both apartments and new homes) who bid broadly on brand terms by name and brand + city/state keywords, will gladly take that top spot. Once a consumer clicks through, they are now only one click away from viewing all of your local competitors.

You aren’t doing real estate SEM correctly if competitors steal your warm leads.

At the very minimum, you should invest in brand terms to protect that coveted top spot on the page.

Geotargeting For The Win

Under Location Options, I like to leverage the recommended setting Presence or interest: People in, regularly in, or who’ve shown interest in your targeted locations and Presence or interest: People in, regularly in, or who’ve shown interest in your excluded locations initially.

Google Ads different location setting options.Screenshot from Google Ads, June 2022

Based on the campaign performance, I may adjust these.

However, these recommended settings help compensate for someone who may be looking for your brand or real estate in your target locations but not physically located in that area.

Next, for city targeting, typically, I start by choosing the largest metro area around the targeted location.

Most often, people will move within the same city or suburb.

You want to avoid missing someone who is moving or relocating from one Florida suburb to the other, for example.

Pro Tip: Use city targeting with nested bid adjustments for a bigger win!

Nested Location BidsScreenshot from Google Ads, June 2022

The idea is simple. Incrementally bid down the further out from your target location and, theoretically, as the quality of the lead decreases.

I found that Google defaults to the closest identifiable location to determine the bid adjustment.

This provides an added layer of control when using a more advanced geotargeting strategy.

Local Service Ads Are A Game-Changer

Google rolled out this campaign type nationally in 2019, with additional services added in 2020.

This campaign type is one you must test, especially if you’re bidding on terms like “real estate agents near me.”

In this example, I searched specifically for real estate agents in Cape Coral. The first half of my mobile screen was Local Service ads.

Local Services Ads example in Google search.Screenshot from search for [cape coral real estate agents], Google, June 2022

You’ll have to go through a setup process to get started and be eligible for Local Service Ads. You will also have to go through a background and license check in order to be Google Screened.

Negative Keywords Will Be Your Best Friend

Negative keywords are search criteria preventing your ad from showing up.

For instance, let’s say you have no interest in dealing with certain properties or home types.

You would list those as your negative keywords, and every time someone initiated a search using those terms, it would prevent your ad from showing.

Prevent Other City Keyword Matches

Not many city names are unique.

Unfortunately, not many community brand names are unique either.

The challenge is removing clicks generated by these different city searches.

A simple strategy here?

Set up a separate negative keyword list specifically for State and State abbreviations.

This will weed out many of these duplicate (and untargeted) searches.

State NegativesScreenshot from Google Ads, June 2022

Important: Don’t forget to remove the state and state abbreviation of your target location before applying the list.

Removing Low-Intent Searchers

As Google has become more and more liberal with its keyword matching (even for “Exact Match”), preventing a wide variety of keyword matching has become even more challenging.

Over the years, I’ve developed a default list of negatives (which you can download here).

For each new campaign, applying this list to campaigns along with the state negatives is part of the process.

These negatives include everything from “craigslist,” “home depot,” and “tiny” (as in ‘tiny homes’) to “zillow,” “resume,” and  “section 8.”

Should you elect to download the list, be sure to scrub the list to make sure you won’t be removing anything you actually want to serve.

Don’t Forget The Demographics

Detailed demographic targeting is a powerful tool – not just for Search Ads!

Over the past few years, Google has rolled out additional ways to reach your target users in the real estate space by adding categories around:

  • Detailed demographics: Homeowners or renters.
  • In-Market: Residential properties.
  • Life events: Purchasing a home or recently purchased a home.

It’s important to note that with these audience segments, you can either target, observe, or exclude them.

Let’s also not forget the power of combination.

For example, if your goal is to target renters who are looking to purchase a home, you could create a combined audience that includes “Detailed demographics: Renters” and also must include “Life events: Purchasing a home” or “In-Market: Residential properties.” That example would look something like this:

Custom real estate audience to target first time home buyers in Google.Screenshot from Google Ads, June 2022

It’s also important to understand the nuances of these targeting options.

Some are only available in Display or YouTube campaigns, while other targeting options above can be used in Search campaigns.

Specifically for real estate, you can use the following for Search, Display, and YouTube:

  • Detailed demographics: Homeowners or renters.
  • In-Market: Residential Properties, Moving, and Relocation.

For Display and YouTube only, you can target by:

  • Detailed demographics: Homeowners or renters.
  • In-Market: Residential Properties, Moving, and Relocation.
  • Life events: Purchasing a Home Soon, Moving Soon.

These targeting options are invaluable to your real estate strategy, especially if you are on a budget.

Try layering on the targeting criteria above for your Search campaigns to ensure you’re reaching the most relevant users.

ALL The Ad Extensions

Google released an Ad Rank formula update that now factors in ad extensions.

So, aside from their value for real estate, it’s a good practice to leverage a minimum of three ad extensions per ad.

Location Extensions

A no-brainer in general for a local business, for nearby searchers, location extensions help provide the user:

  • The distance to your location, and its city (mobile).
  • The location’s street address (computer).
  • A clickable “Call” button.
  • Tappable or clickable access to a details page for the location – with information such as hours, phone number, photos, customer ratings, and directions.

Sitelink Extensions

An example of a Google Ads search with sitelink extensions.Screenshot from search for [cape coral homes for sale], Google, June 2022

There are many, many ways to leverage sitelinks in the ad copy. For real estate specifically, floor plan pages are an ideal application.

Not every consumer is the same. Some may be looking for a studio vs. a one-bedroom apartment or a one-story home vs. one with four bedrooms.

Getting a consumer directly to the page they are interested in is half the battle and can drive very high CTRs – which, in turn, can lead to improved quality scores.

Price Extensions

Real Estate PPC: Tips For Optimizing Google Ads CampaignsScreenshot from search for [apartments in new york], Google, June 2022

First launched in 2017, the price extension is available for both mobile and desktop devices.

If you prefer to reserve your sitelinks for the standard “Contact Us,” “About Us,” etc. this is a viable alternative and, arguably, a more visually appealing application of floor plans.

Up to eight price “cards” can be added and, once clicked, will direct users to the floor plan or model that they are most interested in on your site.

These cards also expand your ads’ real estate (especially on mobile), which helps block out your competition.

Call Extensions

Mobile call extension example on Google search.Screenshot from search for [seattle real estate listings phone number], Google, June 2022

With the explosion of mobile combined with the influx of advertiser investment in the Google Ads platform, being able to speak to the potential lead directly is a gold mine.

A call extension or a call-only Google Ads campaign is the ideal implementation for this effort.

Tip: Make sure you align your call extension with your business hours. There’s nothing worse than sending a potential lead to a phone number that keeps ringing or gets picked up by voicemail.

The Bottom Line

The real estate market is unpredictable. Whether you’re a single agent team or working for a large-scale broker, every qualified lead counts.

Narrow your Google Ads real estate campaigns to exclude as much unqualified traffic as possible to generate more qualified leads. You can do this by following the tips and strategies above.

If you’re new to PPC, it may take some time to find the right mix of campaigns, audiences, and extensions that work best for you. When in doubt, test. And then test again.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

In-post Image #1: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Google To Upgrade All Retailers To New Merchant Center By September

Published

on

By

Google To Upgrade All Retailers To New Merchant Center By September

Google has announced plans to transition all retailers to its updated Merchant Center platform by September.

This move will affect e-commerce businesses globally and comes ahead of the holiday shopping season.

The Merchant Center is a tool for online retailers to manage how their products appear across Google’s shopping services.

Key Changes & Features

The new Merchant Center includes several significant updates.

Product Studio

An AI-powered tool for content creation. Google reports that 80% of current users view it as improving efficiency.

This feature allows retailers to generate tailored product assets, animate still images, and modify existing product images to match brand aesthetics.

It also simplifies tasks like background removal and image resolution enhancement.

Centralized Analytics

A new tab consolidating various business insights, including pricing data and competitive analysis tools.

Retailers can access pricing recommendations, competitive visibility reports, and retail-specific search trends, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and capitalize on popular product categories.

Redesigned Navigation

Google claims the new interface is more intuitive and cites increased setup success rates for new merchants.

The platform now offers simplified website verification processes and can pre-populate product information during setup.

Initial User Response

According to Google, early adopters have shown increased engagement with the platform.

The company reports a 25% increase in omnichannel merchants adding product offers in the new system. However, these figures have yet to be independently verified.

Jeff Harrell, Google’s Senior Director of Merchant Shopping, states in an announcement:

“We’ve seen a significant increase in retention and engagement among existing online merchants who have moved to the new Merchant Center.”

Potential Challenges and Support

While Google emphasizes the upgrade’s benefits, some retailers, particularly those comfortable with the current version, may face challenges adapting to the new system.

The upgrade’s mandatory nature could raise concerns among users who prefer the existing interface or have integrated workflows based on the current system.

To address these concerns, Google has stated that it will provide resources and support to help with the transition. This includes tutorial videos, detailed documentation, and access to customer support teams for troubleshooting.

Industry Context

This update comes as e-commerce platforms evolve, with major players like Amazon and Shopify enhancing their seller tools. Google’s move is part of broader efforts to maintain competitiveness in the e-commerce services sector.

The upgrade could impact consumers by improving product listings and providing more accurate information across Google’s shopping services.

For the e-commerce industry as a whole, it signals a continued push towards AI-driven tools and data-centric decision-making.

Transition Timeline

Google states that retailers will be automatically upgraded by September if they still need to transition.

The company advises users to familiarize themselves with the new features before the busy holiday shopping period.


Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Meta AI Introduces AI-Generated Photos to All Platforms

Published

on

By

Meta AI Adds AI-Generated Images to Social and Messaging Platforms and Expands Availability to More Languages and Countries

Meta just released multiple updates to Meta AI which brings advanced image generation and editing capabilities directly to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp feeds, plus availability in more countries and languages.

New Meta AI Creative Tools

Meta AI is bringing AI generated and AI Edited photography that can be generated at the moment a user is making a post or sending a message with a new tool called Imagine Me.

Imagine Me is a prompt that can be used to transform an uploaded image that can be shared. This new feature is first rolling out as a beta in the United States.

Meta explains:

“Imagine yourself creates images based on a photo of you and a prompt like ‘Imagine me surfing’ or ‘Imagine me on a beach vacation’ using our new state-of-the-art personalization model. Simply type “Imagine me” in your Meta AI chat to get started, and then you can add a prompt like “Imagine me as royalty” or “Imagine me in a surrealist painting.” From there, you can share the images with friends and family, giving you the perfect response or funny sidebar to entertain your group chat.”

New Editing Features

Meta products like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram now have advanced editing capabilities that allow users to add or remove objects from images, to change them in virtually any manner, such as their example of turning a cat in an image into a dog. A new Edit With AI button is forthcoming in a month that will unlock even more AI editing power.

Adding AI generated images to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp within feed, posts, stories, comments and messages is rolling out this week in English and coming later to other languages.

Screenshot of a Facebook user adding an AI generated image into their post

Meta AI In More Countries And Languages

Meta AI is now available in seven additional countries, bringing the total countries to to 22. It is also available in seven more languages.

List of Seven Additional Countries:

  1. Argentina
  2. Cameroon
  3. Chile
  4. Colombia
  5. Ecuador
  6. Mexico
  7. Peru

Meta AI is now also available in the following seven additional languages:

  1. French
  2. German
  3. Hindi
  4. Hindi-Romanized Script
  5. Italian
  6. Portuguese
  7. Spanish

Advanced Math And Coding

Meta AI is making their most advanced model, Llama 405B, available for users to take advantage of its advanced reasoning abilities that can answer complex answers and excells at math and coding.

Meta AI writes:

“You can get help on your math homework with step-by-step explanations and feedback, write code faster with debugging support and optimization suggestions, and master complex technical and scientific concepts with expert instruction.”

Read the official announcement:

Meta AI Is Now Multilingual, More Creative and Smarter

Featured Image by Shutterstock/QubixStudio

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

System Builders – How AI Changes The Work Of SEO

Published

on

By

Kevin Indig's Growth Memo for SEJ

AI is terraforming tech. The content and SEO ecosystem is undergoing a massive structural change.

Human-written content gains value faster for LLM training than for end consumers as the pure profit licensing deals between LLM developers and publishers show.

Publishers struggle to survive from digital subscriptions but get millions that go straight to their bottom line for providing training data.

Content platforms, social networks, SaaS companies and consumer apps coat their products with AI. A few examples:

  • Spotify DJ (AI-generated playlist).
  • AI Overview (AI answers in Google Search).
  • Instagram AI personas (celebrity AI chatbots).
  • Ebay’s magical listing (turn a photo into a listing).
  • Redfin Redesign (try interior designs on real house pictures).
Image Credit: Kevin Indig

The quality of machine-generated content (MGC) challenges human-generated content (HGC). I ran an experiment with my Twitter and LinkedIn followers: I asked them to choose which of two articles was written by a human and which by a machine – and they had to explain their answer.

Only a handful of people figured out that AI wrote both pieces. I intentionally framed the question in a leading way to see if people would challenge the setting or believe that one piece was written by a human if told so.

  • Not an isolated experiment: A survey of 1,900 Americans found that 63.5% of people can’t distinguish between AI content and human content.1
  • People seek help: Google search demand for [ai checker] has reached 100,000 in May 2024 (Glimpse).
  • Dark side: scammers use MGC to make money, as 77% of AI scam victims lost money.2
Search demand for AI checkerImage Credit: Kevin Indig

The quality level of LLMs pushes SEO work towards automating workflows and learning with AI, while writers will take content from good to great instead of zero to one.

Boost your skills with Growth Memo’s weekly expert insights. Subscribe for free!

How AI Changes The Work Of SEOImage Credit: Lyna ™

System Builders

Clients, podcasters and panel hosts often ask me what skills SEOs need to build for the AI future. For a long time, my answer was to learn, stay open-minded and gain as much practical experience with AI as possible.

Now, my answer is SEOs should learn how to build AI agents and workflows that automate tasks. AI changes the way search works but also the way SEOs work.

AI + No-code Allows SEOs To Automate Workflows

A few examples:

1/ Cannibalization

  • Old world: SEOs download search console data and create pivot tables to spot keyword cannibalization.
  • New world: SEOs build an AI workflow that sends alters, identifies true keyword cannibalization, makes content suggestions to fix the problem, and monitors the improvement.

2/ Site Crawling

  • Old world: SEOs crawl websites to find inefficiencies in internal linking, status code errors, duplicate content, etc.
  • New world: SEOs build an AI agent that regularly crawls the site and automatically suggests new internal links that are shipped after human approval, fixes broken canonical tags and excludes soft 404 errors in the robots.txt.

3/ Content Creation

  • Old world: SEOs do keyword research and write content briefs. Writers create the content.
  • New world: SEOs automate keyword research with AI and create hundreds of relevant articles as a foundation for writers to build on.

All of this is already possible today with AI workflow tools like AirOps or Apify, which chain agents and LLMs together to scrape, analyze, transform data or create content.

Moving forward, we’ll spend much more time building automated systems instead of wasting time on point analyses and catalogs of recommendations. The SEO work will be defining logic, setting rules, prompting and coding.

building automated systems Building workflows with AirOps (Image Credit: Kevin Indig)

You Can Learn (Almost) Anything With AI

I never made the time to really learn Python or R, but with the help of Chat GPT and Gemini in Colab, I can write any script with natural language prompts.

When the script doesn’t work, I can paste a screenshot into Chat GPT and describe the issue to get a solution. AI helps with Regex, Google Sheets/Excel, R, Python, etc. Nothing is off-limits.

Being able to write scripts can solve problems like data analysis, a/b testing and using APIs. As an SEO, I’m no longer dependent on engineers, data scientists or writers to perform certain tasks. I can act faster and on my own account.

I’m not the only one to figure this out. People are learning to code, write and many other skills with AI. We can learn to build AI workflows by asking AI to teach us.

Search demand for coding with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig
Search demand for write with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig
Search demand for learn with AI is explodingImage Credit: Kevin Indig

When you can learn almost anything, the only limit is time.

The Work Of Writers Changes

Against common belief, writers won’t be crossed out of this equation but will play the critical role of editing, directing and curating.

In any automated process, humans QA the output. Think of car assembling lines. Even though AI content leaps in quality, spot checks reduce the risk of errors. Caught issues, such as wrong facts, weird phrasing or off-brand wording, will be critical feedback to fine-tune models to improve their output.

Instead of leg work like writing drafts, writers will bring AI content from good to great. In the concept of information gain, writers will spend most of their time making a piece outstanding.

The rising quality work spans from blog content to programmatic content, where writers will add curated content when searches have a desire for human experience, such as in travel.

A mini guide to Los AngelesTripadvisor’s attraction pages feature human-curated sections. (Image Credit: Kevin Indig)

Unfair Advantage

As often with new technology, a few first-mover people and companies get exponential value until the rest catch up. My worry is that a few fast-moving companies will grab massive land with AI.

And yet, this jump in progress will allow newcomers to challenge incumbents and get a fair chance to compete on the field.

AI might be a bigger game changer for SEOs than for Google. The raw power of AI might help us overcome challenges from AI Overviews and machine learning-driven algorithm updates.

But the biggest win might be that SEOs can finally make something instead of delivering recommendations. The whole value contribution of SEOs changes because my output can drive results faster.

Survey: ChatGPT and AI Content – Can people tell the difference?

Artificial Intelligence Voice Scams on the Rise with 1 in 4 Adults Impacted


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending