Posts Tagged ‘Pay per click’

Outdoor

Outdoor can work. Here’s a great example:

outdoorWhen you want to reach a mass audience with a geographically targeted message, Consider outdoor media.

Now, you may be puzzled why we’re writing about outdoor on an SEO and online marketing blog? Well, first, here are some reasons we love outdoor:

Have a look at the billboard in the photo above. That’s quite a message. It’s in a place where this woman knew her husband would see it. Well, so did another 250,000 people. Let’s call the woman the advertiser and the man her market. Well, she had a very targeted market and she get her message right to them. Imaging your perfect customer. Is there somewhere they go all the time (other than Google). Can you catch them when they’re looking for what you’re selling?

Next, outdoor is highly geographically targeted. Now, with Google adwords, you can pick, in a pretty precise way, the areas where your ads will show up. If you’re doing SEO, and you want to get local, you’re going to need to pick localized terms. The nice thing about this strategy is that the more specific you get, the better your customer will be. Also, these hyper specific terms are easier to rank for and cheaper (if you’re using PPC). They just get fewer searches then some of those marquis terms.

So, here’s why I don’t like Outdoor:

It’s hard to change your message. If you spend $10,000 putting up a billboard, you’re stuck with it. The cost to put up a different billboard is quite prohibitive and it’s going to throw your ROI calculations into the red. By contrast, PPC campaigns can have different language running in about 5 minutes.

Just the other day, i saw a billboard that said BUY MORE CARPET is huge letters. Then, there was some language, in much smaller font, telling you who put up the ad. The problem is, I can’t for the life of me remember whose ad it is. Also, they don’t want you to just buy more carpet. They want you to buy more from them. So, if the ad had said:

BUY MORE CARPET
(from us)

This would have been more effective.

I guess the folks who put up this ad were going for laughs, but all they had to do was work their name into the joke and then they’d get a lot more bang for their buck. Dunking Doughnuts has a good slogan “America Runs On Dunkin.” If they’d made the slogan, “America Runs On Doughnuts” it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective.

I just feel really bad for that carpet company. By the time they figure out that their message isn’t helping their brand, it’ll probably be too expensive to change. Luckily, the woman who bought the billboard in the photo above doesn’t need to change her ad, even if the message never reaches her audience. I don’t think she really cares.

LogicClassroom Session on SEM 101

Thank you to everyone who came to our latest LogicClassroom session on Search Engine Marketing 101!  We explored the basics of SEM, including search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.  We learned how these tactics help you bring traffic to your site from the major search engines.

Don’t worry if you missed this LogicClassroom session, you can view the slides below at your convenience. Enjoy!

Our next LogicClassroom will be on 3/9/10. Learn how agents and brokers can create effective and engaging email marketing. Please email Katrina if you would like to attend.

Direct Mail vs SEO for Real Estate

I almost can’t believe that I wrote that headline?

Yesterday, I spoke with a guy who told me he wanted to run a direct mail campaign to drive traffic to his website and capture leads to “farm” (his word) into clients.

Now, first let me say that farming a cache of leads is a great strategy. You can source your leads lots of ways. We recommend a strong online marketing campaign including strong real etstate seo efforts, ppc, email marketing, and a highly accountable reporting system. direct mail

So, this guy isn’t completely off the mark. Yes, your database of leads and customers is gold. You need to nourish this list and grow it. The more qualified users you can drive to your site, the more leads you will generate. If your site is well built to convert real estate buyers, sellers, and renters into leads, then the more traffic you have the more leads you should have.

As we’ve mentioned many times on this blog, you need to consider the cost of each lead. What did you pay to acquire the lead? If you paid $4000 for 8000 clicks (that’s $0.50 per click or site visitor) on Google Adwords and that generated 400 leads, then you paid $10 per lead. Got it?

Well, let’s think about this direct mail campaign that the guy on the phone wanted to deploy. He’s going to spend money sending those mail pieces upfront. Let’s say he sends our 10,000 pieces at $0.40 each. That’s $4000.

Now, he told me that these mailings were going to direct the users to his website. So, how many of the recipients will actually go to a website on a postcard? Here’s where the plan falls off the tracks.

It’s not likely that many of the recipients will actually go to the website. I don’t know about you, but I toss those mailers in the trash. I pick up my mail on the way into my building and the next thing I do is filter out the junk mail straight into the garbage.

So, if our friendly realtor is lucky, he’ll get maybe 5 or 10% of the recipients visiting his site. If the site was fantastic and converted leads at 10% (which is pretty high) he’d have 10000 x 0.1 x 0.1 = 100 leads. That’s $40/lead. Honestly, the cost would likely be even higher.

Bottom line – For real estate marketing campaigns, SEM, SEO and PPC are far better investments than direct mail. And please don’t be fooled and think that you can generate web traffic efficiently using traditional marketing like direct mail.

Hopefully, we just saved you some time and money.

Back to Basics: PPC 101

I frequently am asked how to optimize a Google AdWords campaign. So here are some simple basic tips on things to follow and look out for:

Google AdWords PPC Pick up a book or do a Google online training on using AdWords (AdWords for Dummies is great…and no one will call you a dummy, I promise…knowledge is power), it will help you to get to know the lingo

  1. Sign up for the standard edition, not the starter edition
  2. Use the new user interface
  3. Keep your content network in a separate campaign
  4. Have a lot of ad groups, each with very targeted keywords
  5. If you have real estate in different towns do a separate ad group for each town. If you have separate buildings, or building types then do a new ad group for each
  6. Have at least two different ad variations for each ad group
  7. Set up conversion tracking
  8. Integrate Google Analytics and your AdWords account
  9. Check your campaign(s) every day and edit bids continuously

PPC is a worthwhile expenditure if managed well. For branding campaigns especially PPC is great in coordination with SEO. If you have questions on managing or starting your AdWords account, Boston Logic can be of help.

What are some of the key practices you have employed that have resulted in successful PPC campaigns?

Photo credit: videovoo.com
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The right real estate seo investment

How much should I be spending? We get asked this question all of the time, in one way or another.

  • How much do I need to spend in order to be successful?
  • What budget do I need to allocate for SEO?
  • How much should I spend per day on PPC?
  • What does it cost to get onto page 1?

It all boils down to the same question: What does it cost to run a successful search engine marketing campaign?

I’m sure that you won’t be surprised to know that there isn’t just one answer to this question. First of all, it depends on who is asking the question. Next, you need to understand the marketing you’re in. Then, you need to do a little math.

Let’s examine one case:

If you’re a broker and you’re looking to invest in real estate seo in order to provide your office with leads (Real Estate brokers asks us this question most often) then the answer starts with another question: How many leads/week do you want to give to each of your agents? 7 leads? 10 leads? 20? These are all fine answers. If you said 3, then I don’t think I want to work for you and your agents are about to leave you for the broker across the street or across town who actually tries to help his agents succeed by leveraging the web. If that sounded a little harsh, well, I’ve seen it happen a number of times and I’m watching it happen in our clients’ favor every day.

Anyway, I digress.

If you know how many leads you want to give each agent/week or per month, then you have the first number you need in determining your SEM budget. Let’s assume that you have 10 real estate agents working for you (this is the average size of a real estate office in the US).

Now, it’s time to think about your market. How much does it cost to source a real estate buyer or seller lead online in your market? Well, this is where guys like us SEO consultants come in. We can help answer questions like this. A mature real estate SEO campaign in a market of medium competition will generate leads at approximately $4 – $7/lead. If you’ve been SEOing for a while, then you can do even better than that. If you’re in a metropolitan real estate market and there are lots of firms competing for search engine placement, then this cost can climb significantly. For the purposes of this example, let’s use $5 per lead.

So, if you have 10 real estate agents working for you and you want to give them each 7 leads/week that’s 300 leads per month. At $5/lead, you should allocate a budget of  at least $1500/month.

Ok, now, if you go looking for a real estate seo provider out there and someone tells you that they can provide seo services and they don’t talk to you about your business goals in a way similar to how I just did, then you know that they don’t understand the business that you are in. They don’t know the real estate market and they don’t know how to generate real estate buyer and seller leads.

One last point here. Frequest readers of this blog know that we talk about the fact that SEO is an investment. You’ll notice that earlier in this post I referred to “Mature” SEO campaigns. If you’re asking how much to invest, you should remember that investing in real estate SEO, like investing in real estate, is not going to bring you returns over night. Superior performance takes time and consistent investment. Proper planning, strategy, and implementation will maximize your investment in real estate seo. Just don’t expect it to make you a millionaire tomorrow.

That’ll take at least a week.  :o )  Thanks for reading.

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