Covid-19 and Google Ads for Real Estate Investors: March/April 2020 Update
First off, I hope that everybody is staying safe during this pandemic. This has been an extremely interesting time in our country’s history, and It’ll be interesting to see what the lasting impacts are as a result of Covid-19.
Real estate investing has seen an interesting shift in metrics and quality over the last month and a half, with even more changes still to come. This seems like as good of a time as any to go over what some of those changes have looked like overall, and what I’ve been working on to help both investors and motivated sellers alike.
Traffic as impressions have dropped overall by 23.75% from March 1 to April 15, as compared to the previous month and a half. This is important to note because historically the winter months see less overall traffic than any other time of the year. So for the beginning of the traditional selling season to see lower overall traffic than the January and February months means it is definitely slow when it comes to motivated searches.
Why wouldn’t traffic be going up overall? Well, it’s complicated. At the time of writing this, over 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Thousands of people are looking to refinance their homes to save money monthly, and many homeowners are delaying their mortgage payments all together.
You’d think there would be more motivation now to get cash for your house than there ever has been, but there are two sides to that coin. There seem to be 2 types of sellers based on what I’m seeing in search terms, and in talking to investors directly:
Individuals that want the security of 4 walls around them, and will sell at a later date
Individuals that are still motivated to sell right now, and are willing to be negotiable, BECAUSE of the pandemic
This leads me to believe that the searches that ARE being done are either truly motivated, or right on the cusp of being truly motivated. Crafting a message (or messages) that address true motivation, and sells the people on the cusp, is a must for all marketing types, not just Google Ads. Ensure people that you still buy houses, that you will do what it takes to get the deal done, and that you’re there to serve the community as a local investor as best you can. Real estate is a people business, and companies can benefit from being extremely human in their messaging across the board right now.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
Click through rate is my go-to indicator of how well a keyword and ad set are doing. CTR is the number of clicks that you get compared to your total impressions. This number is represented as a percentage.
I won’t go down the CTR rabbit hole, but you can learn more about it here.
CTR has increased significantly over the last month and a half. Why? This goes back to my theory on traffic. If there are fewer searches being done, but nothing else changes, then you would expect the same CTR numbers because CTR operates proportional to traffic and quality of that traffic.
High CTR = Great Quality Traffic + Great Ad Text
The right kind of traffic will click on the right kind of ad. The following equations represent an extremely general representation of low CTR.
Low CTR = Bad Traffic + Great Ad Text or Low CTR = Great Traffic + Trash Ad Text
What I believe is happening is that the searches being done are by hot and warm traffic, and the messages in the ad text in Lead Farmers PPC campaigns are doing their job of conveying a meaningful message that gets them onto customer sites.
Better traffic. Better CTR. Higher conversion rates. Lead Farmers PPC accounts have seen an overall increase in conversion rates throughout the last month and a half.
How? How have we seen a 9.66% increase in conversion rates through all this? It comes down to the quality of the site that traffic is being sent to. More importantly, it has to do with how that page is set up. Your site needs to convey just as solid a message as your ads do. What you do, why you’re different, what sour process is, and how to get started are all important parts of that.
Consider checking out this blog with conversion recommendations based on some of the Lead Farmers PPC accounts that are converting above 20%.
I have seen a 2.33% drop in the overall number of conversions generated in the time period that we’ve been covering, but that is a relatively small drop compared to other reports that I’ve seen online recently.
While Covid-19 has affected real estate investing in some pretty big ways, Google Ads is still a pretty low cost, surgical way to market to motivated sellers who are looking for you to be the hero in their home selling situations.
These are uncertain times, but what is certain is that we, as real estate investors, entrepreneurs, problem solvers, and humans, can continue to make a difference in whatever ways we can. Whether it is educating local homeowners on what their options are for selling, providing virtual walkthroughs for making offers, or just following up with dead leads to see how they’re doing and asking what you can do for them, we can try to make small differences every day that will impact our communities and our businesses all for the better.