If you’re using Google Ads (previously AdWords) to drive traffic to your communities, then you’ll want to watch this webinar replay. We’ll be sharing the strategies we use for setting up effective campaigns.
Josh Grillo: We have some great information to share on Google Ads that I think will really help you guys out.
Josh Grillo: Everybody’s familiar with this little company called Amazon. But what a lot of you probably don’t know is Amazon was one of the very first big advertisers on Google Ads. They actually built their company on the back of Google Ads, buying one-, two-, three-cent clicks when Google Ads first started in 2000. Obviously, cost-per-click prices have gone up significantly since then, but, what we’re going to talk about today in our 7 Habits of Highly Effective Google Ads is ways that you can actually bring those costs way down.
Josh Grillo: With that said, let me introduce two people. The first one is Brianna Quezada. She heads up all of our digital marketing here at Resident 360. She is an absolute rockstar. She’s been with us now for close to two years and she is somebody to pay attention to. Super sharp, knows what she’s doing.
Josh Grillo: The second person is Lisa Young. She’s our managing director here at Resident 360. Again, she’s been with us now for two years, as well. She runs a lot of the day-to-day operations.
Brianna Quezada: For number one, make it a habit to review your search terms and add negative keywords.
Brianna Quezada: With this, you want to make it a habit, as part of your monthly maintenance, to review your search terms for all search campaigns that you’re running. With this, you gain insight into what people are literally typing in on the Google search bar and you see how closely those searches relate to the ads you have in place. You also get new ideas for keywords that you might’ve never thought for that are converting.
Brianna Quezada: You also want to make it a habit to continually add negative keywords. Negative keywords are words you don’t want your ads to show for. For example, if you’re a community that does not offer all utilities included, you want to make sure that you add that as a negative keyword. That way, you’re not spending your ad dollars on something that you don’t offer.
Lisa Young: For example, we know that we’ve had clients that maybe do not accept, currently, Section 8, or they don’t allow low-income housing, as far as their parameter for leasing. Those are good keywords to be able to add Brianna, do you think?
Brianna Quezada: Of course. As negative keywords. Anything that you do not offer at your community is a great thing to add as a negative keyword, just to make that ad dollar stretch a little more.
Josh Grillo: Are there common words that you see often when you’re optimizing these campaigns that probably should fall in the negative category?
Brianna Quezada: I would say, all bills paid, all utilities included, furnished, short-term leases. That’s another one that pops up a lot. Those are the main terms that show.
Brianna Quezada: Number two. Make it a habit to create all the ad extensions that you can.
Brianna Quezada: Here we have all the ad extensions that work best within the multifamily industry to add for your ads.
Brianna Quezada: The first ad right here, you can see where it says Culver City. That’s a location extension. That helps the consumer find you that much easier.
Josh Grillo: Your first ad that I’m looking at right now that has a little map tag or geo tag, Culver City, 12 locations nearby. What kind of extension is that?
Brianna Quezada: That’s a location extension. To enable that, you have to link up your Google My Business with your Google Ads.
Josh Grillo: This is a really key point. You want to link up your Google My Business listings with your Google Ad Words accounts. Do not forget to do that.
Josh Grillo: And right above Culver City you have Marina Harbor, Anchorage, The Tides, Waters Edge, The Villa, location. What are those Brianna?
Brianna Quezada: Those are site links. Essentially, those link directly to other pages within your website.
Josh Grillo: Got it. Is there a site link extension that you think gets clicked more than something else?
Brianna Quezada: It’s usually the gallery links – people want to see the community, so they go directly to the gallery site link.
Josh Grillo: Guys, prime, prime tip here: If you’re wanting site link extensions on your ads, it’s a good idea to have gallery, or maybe it’s the word “photos,” as one of those site link extensions. I would say someone would want to see what your community looks like. Again, that can help click through rate on your ads.
Lisa Young: I just want to back up for one quick second here. Although we do 100% advocate ensuring that your Google My Business is linked to your Google campaign, just be cognizant that if you have a lot of negative reviews, you have to have a plan of action to clean those up. Linking your Google My Business with your Google Campaign and having a lot of negative reviews can have a negative impact. Right Brianna?
Brianna Quezada: Definitely. Unless you have those positive reviews, I would hold off on linking to Google Ads.
Lisa Young: Or have a plan of action/attack to make that happen.
Brianna Quezada: And to share one stat with you on the power of the ad extensions. According to Google, on average, they’ve found that there’s a 10-15% click through rate uplift just by enabling one new ad extension. So, the more ad extensions, the better.
Brianna Quezada: Number three. Make it a habit to create a geotargeting campaign.
Lisa Young: Here’s an example of the geotargeting campaign for clients that maybe have great employer locations within a close proximity of their assets. As you see on the screen here, when you have major employers, you’re able to go ahead and make sure that you’re geotargeting those specific locations.
Lisa Young: Can you elaborate a little bit more on that?
Brianna Quezada: Yeah. With that, you would drop those geocircles one-mile radius around those locations. The great thing about that, you’re getting these at such a low cost per click that when you do get that lead, the cost per conversion is crazy.
Josh Grillo: I got a question on this. What you’re saying is, I’ve got an apartment community and I’m going to target people, in what, a one-mile radius around my community. Is that right?
Brianna Quezada: You would target a one-mile radius around Facebook, around Amazon, Google, all of those major employers that you want to attract those residents from.
Josh Grillo: Oh. Got it. Then what will happen? Google will then serve my ads to these people that work at these places?
Brianna Quezada: Yeah. Then the ad would look similar to this one that we have on the bottom right corner, and those ads would show on many of the sites within the Google network. To further qualify that traffic, you would want to add it in-market audience of people that are actively searching for apartments for rent.
Lisa Young: For example, if you’re new to geotargeting, one of the great things that we’ve been able to have clients do is go back and pull a list of demographics as to where their current residents are working. Sometimes we think that we know where everybody’s working, but there are times where there’s maybe a missed opportunity. So if you pull those employers from your current resident status, you’ll know where people are working to be able to know which ones to actually target for your community.
Josh Grillo: You said this is a really good way to get cheap clicks, or inexpensive clicks. How much are we talking about – what a cost-per-click price is for this?
Brianna Quezada: Depending on the market, it can range from 5 cents a click to 15 and 16, and we keep it in the teens usually, and it really depends on the market.
Josh Grillo: We focus so much on driving the click, but the amount of branding and impressions that go in these campaigns, these geotargeting campaigns, is massive. If you’re sending 10, 20, 30,000 impressions of an ad that has your community on it, it has the logo on it, it has your branding on it, even if they aren’t clicking, they’re getting that top-of-mind awareness. That’s something to think about. That’s why we like to geotargeting so much. The sheer fact that when they do click, it is so cheap.
Brianna Quezada: Number four. Make it a habit to create retargeting campaigns.
Brianna Quezada: With that, you can do it through two ways. Either through your search campaigns, that would be the RLSA campaign. Then, we can do it through display, similar to that geotargeting. You would create remarketing lists based off of different pages on your website. With that, you can get more contextual with those ads.
Brianna Quezada: As an example, here, you’re on weather.com and you see the two communities right here, the ad’s following you everywhere.
Josh Grillo: Yeah, I mean Amazon…we all know Amazon does an amazing job of this. Any product you land on their page, as soon you leave, that product follows you around everywhere you go.
Josh Grillo: The beauty of this, is the list portion of it. You get to actually create retargeting lists, which is super, super cool.
Josh Grillo: We create re-target lists for our different pages on our website. For example, if somebody goes to our website and they land on our website page, for websites, we put them on a website retargeting list. If they land on our 3D floor plans page, we put them on a 3D floor plans retargeting list. What that allows us to then do is actually serve personalized ads up to those people based off of what they just saw.
Josh Grillo: Think about it. If they’re looking at your floor plans page and they leave off your floor plans page, you can re-target them with your floor plans. Same thing with photos. Same thing with amenities. Same thing with the neighborhood. You can create all kinds of different retargeting lists, which then allows your message to be more customized, more personalized, for that specific searcher.
Brianna Quezada: Number five. Make it a habit to check placement of your display ads.
Brianna Quezada: With checking the placements, you can see exactly where your ads are showing, where they appeared, and you can exclude any unqualified placements.
Brianna Quezada: Here’s an example right here. If you’re looking at your placements and you see that your ads are getting clicks and maybe even converting on the Peppa Pig YouTube Channel.
Brianna Quezada: With that, you want to double check and see how qualified the traffic is coming from there and exclude it if you’re wasting your ad dollars there.
Lisa Young: That’s one thing we found when we’ve taken on new accounts is it’s really important to double check and it is a good habit to go back and just make sure, continually, your placements are appropriate.
Brianna Quezada: Number six. Make it a habit to set up conversion tracking.
Brianna Quezada: The best way to do that is through Google Tag Manager. It’s a great way to set up those conversion tags without having to go to your web developer every time you want to set up a new tag.
Brianna Quezada: Tracking calls and email leads are really the top two that you want to make sure that you’re tracking, and this gives you the full picture of what’s working and what’s not.
Lisa Young: It’s really important to be able to tie back, not only what you’re doing here, what we’re talking about through all these slides, but also making sure we’re tracking, again, those calls and those emails on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, and confirming which ones are actually converting. Back to what Josh said earlier, where we’re targeting based on certain pages within your website and so forth. This is just a better opportunity to be able to go back and look at your analytics and ensuring that you’re getting a great return on your investment.
Brianna Quezada: Number seven. Make it a habit to review the ad itself.
Brianna Quezada: You need to review and keep an eye out for ad copy that converts. That’s usually what we’ve been seeing; trends, ad copy that has location descriptions, that are clear and specific, really have a call to action, and use great imagery for those display ads.
Lisa Young: Making sure that there’s no spelling errors, that the picture is clear and very easy to read.
Brianna Quezada: Here are a couple of examples of ads that clearly stated where they’re located and they’re starting prices. Starting prices is a great thing to have in your ads because that helps pre-qualify that traffic before they click through to your website.
Lisa Young: Ensure that they have a starting price, so that you’re driving qualified traffic. You don’t want clicks or calls for potential prospects that are not actually going to be qualified, based on price.
Lisa Young: We all want everything right now and it’s disrespectful if we’re not putting price out there, let’s give them what they want very quickly.
Brianna Quezada: To recap, here are the seven habits. Make it a habit to review your search terms and add negative keywords. Make it a habit to create all the ad extensions that you can. Create those geotargeting campaigns and retargeting campaigns, whether through search or display. Check the placement of the ads. Set up conversion tracking, and review the ad itself.
Josh Grillo: Also, we have a brand-new book coming out, within next week. We actually wrote the book in conjunction with Google, “Google Ads for Apartments.”
Josh Grillo: We have a question here from David. Would you recommend having the price listed in the headline versus a price extension? Brianna?
Brianna Quezada: I would recommend having it listed in the headlines because the price extensions don’t always show. Google rotates the extensions based off of what they think is going to provide the best results, so they don’t always show.
Josh Grillo: Salvatore, go ahead. How can geotargeting work for a property management company? Good question.
Lisa Young: Depending on the types of management company that you are, whether you’re fee managed, owner managed. The main thing to remember is who your target audience is. That’s more of a lengthy conversation. Email me directly and we can jump on a call. We have very specific strategies and ideas, and truly proven methods for property management companies. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Grillo: Okay, we got another question from Jacob. Do we know the average click rate percentage of a retargeting campaign, similar to the one like searching through weather.com? I’m hesitant to click these personally, but curious if there’s some average percentage of clicks on this?
Josh Grillo: Basically, Brianna, ads that are showing on these, the Google display network sites like weather.com, what type of click percentages are we seeing? I think it’s pretty low, right?
Brianna Quezada: It’s pretty low. Typically, with a display network you see between 1 and 2% click through rate.
Josh Grillo: The cost is very minimal, right?
Brianna Quezada: Very minimal.
Josh Grillo: That’s the beauty of it. You are showing the ad, you are getting that branding, and if they do click, it’s just minimal cost. We have to remember, wherever we’re sending these ads to, if it’s a landing page or if it’s to our own website, the website needs to be set up properly. You need to have your phone number on there. You need to have forms on there where people can actually reach out to you. And when they do reach out to you, you’ve got to answer the phone or respond back by email as fast as possible.
Josh Grillo: Here we go. Kim. What companies offer ad extensions? Well, basically ad extensions, that’s part of Google. Basically, if you have a company that’s managing your Google Ad Campaigns, or if you’re doing it yourself, it’s basically a feature within Google Ads. If you’re running any type of Google Ads, whoever your person is that’s managing that for you, you can ask them to set that up. It’s just a feature, again, inside Google Ads.
Josh Grillo: Thank you so much. If there’s anything we can do to help you out, reach out to Brianna, Lisa or myself, and we look forward to talking with you in the future.
Josh Grillo is a #1 Best Selling Author, Speaker and Co-Founder of Resident360.