If you’ve tried paid ads, you know they’re a lot harder to pull off profitably than some people would have you believe.
And it hurts to lose money and feel incompetent, especially when you thought the campaign would be the turning point for your investing business. It’s easy to say “I don’t get paid traffic” and walk away.
In this episode, you’ll find out the 4 ways you can use to get more clicks from online marketing and how to get those clicks profitably.
Show highlights include:
– Why clicks or views aren’t important—and the one metric that determines your success in online marketing. ([3:00])
– How to write an ad people want to click on (incl. the one headline that usually gets a lot of clicks). ([5:25])
– When to add more keywords to an AdWords campaign. ([15:00])
– How to find out the most profitable area to target so your marketing profitable. ([19:50])
To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group
Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy
You're listening to the REI Marketing Nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of Ad Words Nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: Alright, hello everybody, welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always this is Daniel Barrett here from AdwordsNerds.com. How are you doing? I hope you are having an awesome week. Here in Connecticut it is super cold, super snowy. We got about four inches of snow plus an inch of ice and I had to spend the entire morning shoveling that out. So I am feeling a little sore. [0:01:04.8]
But I went on our Facebook group today. If you're not a member of the Facebook group; it's called REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group. You can get there by going to AdwordsNerds.com/group. A lot of awesome people there and recently I posted in there looking for – "Hey does anyone have any questions? Is there anything that anyone wants me to do a training on? Any problems that people got that you would like me to weigh in on?" Someone from that group, this was Brian Rice who also happens to be a member of the REI Marketing Mastery Coaching program that we have been launching the last couple of weeks. He posted the question, "How do you get more clicks from your online marketing?" Brian's primary problem is volume of clicks. He wants to get more people onto his website. How do you do that? Well, the good news is that although everybody's situation is different. Every market is different. Every investor is different. Everybody has a different balance of marketing channels and preferences and budgets, and everybody is a little bit different. [0:02:07.5] But, there are really only a certain number of things you can actually do to get more clicks from any kind of online marketing. This is really a very limited toolbox that we have. Now limited in number might mean deep in execution, knowing how to do it, but I can actually go through the entire list of ways you can get more clicks right here on the podcast. So that's what we're going to do. This podcast is called, "The Only Ways to Get More Clicks From Your Online Marketing."
So let's get straight to it because this is going to be a really valuable episode if you're doing any kind of online marketing or you're thinking about doing it in the future; this is going to be super valuable to you. Now, let's take a step back real quick and let's talk about clicks because I am a fan of saying that I actually don’t care about clicks. [0:03:01.9] I don't. I don't care about clicks. I don't care about views on a video. I don’t care about impressions on an ad. I do not care about most online marketing stats. What I care about is leads. How many leads did I get and what did those leads cost? Now, that's a nice thing to say, and that's a very online marketing teacher kind of thing to say. But of course to get leads, we need clicks. We need clicks in order to get people to convert and become leads and go into our pipeline and become potentially real estate investing deals. So, we can't skip the click phase. But, I want to be careful to point out that we don’t necessarily want to focus on it either. It's very easy, for example, to general a lot of clicks from, let's say Google Display Network. In fact, that's very, very simple to do. It's very, very cheap. If all you want is clicks, we can go get you a couple thousand clicks for 100 bucks. [0:04:01.1] The problem is most of those clicks will not and do not convert. So, you don't want to ignore clicks. Clicks are obviously very important, but you don't want to lose sight of the ultimate goal which is, of course, getting leads, getting leads into the pipeline and getting deals. So, let's get into this. How do we go about actually generating clicks? Now, there are only a small number of things we can actually do. Okay? We can get more people to click on our ad by improving the quality of the ad itself. We can push up the position of the ad which will drive a higher percentage of viewers to click on it. We can add more keywords to our campaigns in order to have the ad show up more often. That is kind of it. I mean that's kind of it. So, let's get into that. Let's get into those systems and processes and talk about what those actually mean. [0:05:02.7]
The first and most and most common way that people will attack a problem of how do I get more clicks is by working on the ad itself. This is essentially a copywriting problem although there are some particularities with online advertising or whatever, but basically it's a matter of how do I write an ad that people want to click on. There's a couple of different ways to think about this. One is to really think about it from the point of view of your potential client. This is a motivated seller in the investing space. What does a motivated seller really want? What do they really care about? What are they going to respond to? If you look at most real estate investor ads, they typically are going to hit on a couple of basic points. It's going to be, "Hey, do you need to sell your house fast? Do you want to get cash for your house? Do you want to do this without paying realtor fees? Do you want to do this without having any paperwork?" These are really major pain points for people selling their homes and investors provide a lot of value. [0:06:03.4] If I've worked with an investor, I get cash. That's pretty huge for a lot of people. If I work with an investor, I can sell quickly. That's pretty huge for a lot of people. I don't have to do the paperwork. I don't have to work with a realtor. I don't have to do the repairs. These are all pretty major things. So, writing very specifically to not talk about what you do, not talk about what makes you great, but talk about the benefit to the seller. A lot of times, that's going to drive more clicks. Now, when we get into the online marketing space, we also have to think about, what did they search for when they saw the ad. If I search for "sell my house fast," I'm going to generally react to different things than if somebody typed in "how to get out of preforeclosure." These are different searchers, different searches, different sets of needs, different set of desires, and different things are going to trigger those people in order to take the action we need which is to click. [0:07:02.0] So, we've got to think about not just writing an ad that's great for motivated sellers because we have to do that, but we also have to write an ad that's great for the specific kind of motivated seller that's searching for the keyword that I'm targeting. This is one of the reasons that I'm a big fan of AdWords, typically just having one ad group and one keyword in that ad group because then I know what those people are searching for and I can write an ad about it. If you have 100 keywords in your ad group and you have a couple of ads, well a lot of those ads are going to be irrelevant to the people that see them. So, it's all about really trying to narrow down, really trying to understand what the people are searching for, and writing an ad that specifically talks to that thing. I'll give you a really handy little hack here which is that almost always, not always, but a lot of the time, the best headline for an ad that you can use is exactly what the person searched for. [0:08:03.0] So, if you're targeting the keyword "sell my house fast," guess what headline works really well? "Sell my house fast." It works really well for a variety of reasons that we don't have to get into, but a lot of times what my default ad will be for a keyword is just the headline is that keyword and then I use the keyword again in the body, and I'm really, pretty straightforward about it, and then I try to test sort of different, more artsy variations of it and see if I can beat it. So, writing something that's relevant for the keyword is absolutely super critical.
Now, when we talk about AdWords specifically, there are additional things we can think of. There are ad extensions for example. Putting your phone number in the ad, adding a link to a couple of different web pages in the ad, connecting the ad account to a Google Maps account so that a Google Maps little icon shows up. These are things that make the ad physically larger. It takes up more space in AdWords and because of that, they become more likely to attract a click and you're more likely to get clicks from it, but we can pretty quickly go down a technical rabbit hole there, so I'm going to leave that to the side for now. [0:09:11.8] Just know that ad extensions, things like that exist. Mostly it's about copywriting for the specific keyword for the specific motivated seller that you are targeting.
Now, the second way that we can address click problems and try to get more clicks is by driving up our average position. So, you think about AdWords. AdWords is essentially four spaces up at the top of the Google search results, and then you've got all the normal Google search results, the organic ones, the ones that nobody paid for, and then at the bottom, you've got four more. Now generally the ones at the bottom get very few clicks. So, if your ad is down at the bottom where most people don't even get to. Most people don't even scroll all the way down to the bottom of the first page of Google. You usually find what you're looking for before that. [0:10:02.8] So, if your ad is all the way down at the bottom, bumping it up so it's in the top four is going to mean a massive, a massive increase in the amount of people that click that ad. In general that holds true. The higher up that you go, that kind of ranking's ladder, that position ladder. So, your ad goes from position four to position three to position two and finally to position one. Generally the higher up you go, the more people click on it. The higher the percentage of people that see the ad and are clicking on it. We call this number the click through rate. And it's really, really important. For most really, well-targeted keywords for real estate investor, I want a click through rate of around 2% to 3%. That's pretty normal. If I can get higher than that, awesome. If I'm lower than that, I probably need to work on it. The number one thing that affects your click through rate, obviously, ad copywriting and all that stuff that definitely does it. [0:11:03.5 ] You can write a terrible ad that nobody clicks no matter where it is. But once you have some pretty decent copywriting, the biggest influencer on how many clicks you get is not the copy; it's the position of the ad. Where were you when the person searched? Were you all the way down at the bottom or were you at the top? Now, the thing to keep in mind here is that this does not mean that we always want the top spot no matter what because AdWords is an auction, and it actually costs us more if we're at the top than it does if we're number two or three and a lot of people click every ad. They just click the top four. So, it's not always the case that being at the top is going to be the best, but it is almost always the case that being at the top is going to get you the most clicks. And understanding when you start to lose benefits of that like when you can get more clicks but you're actually losing money because of it. That's where managing our ad account, understanding how your keywords are performing, understanding how the ad is performing. [0:12:06.9] That's where all that stuff comes into play. But generally understanding, they're like, "Hey, if I need more clicks," a big part of that is going to be bumping your position up so that you get a higher percentage of people that see the ad to click on. Okay, so, that's number two.
Let's see. So, we talked about copywriting, making the ad match the keyword. We talked about making the ad position higher and pushing it up. What was the third one? I had a third one, and I can't even remember it now. Let me think about it. Oh, of course, adding keywords. I almost forgot. So, adding keywords is another way we can get more clicks. So, up till now when we talked about changing the ad copy, we talked about changing the ad position. We're talking about getting more clicks from an individual keyword, an individual ad, and individual ad group. We're talking about improving the performance of stuff that’s in our account. [0:13:03.1]
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Dan: The other way that we can get more clicks from our campaigns is simply by expanding the campaigns. And there are going to be certain markets where there just aren't a lot of searches. I mean you may think that there are millions and millions of people on Google every single minute, and that's true across all of Google, but there aren't a lot of people searching for alpaca wool, sewing kit, band camp, or whatever every minute. [0:14:05.9] It depends on the keywords that you're targeting how many clicks you're going to able to pull from that keyword. And so if you are in a market where, "Hey, my keywords aren't getting a lot of clicks. I'm not seeing a lot of searches. I'm not seeing a lot of impressions in the account. My volume is low." You can absolutely raise the position; improve the copy that's going to get you more clicks. But, a higher leverage way to do this might be expanding your target. You could do that by adding in more keywords. So you could say "If I have 100 keywords and I'm getting 100 clicks a month," theoretically, I mean it's not always going to be the case, but let's assume if I double the amount of keywords I might double the amount of clicks that I get. So, getting more keywords into the campaign is usually going to bring in more impressions, that's going to bring in more clicks, it's going to bring in more volume, it's going to bring in more leads. Now, is it going to cost you more? Yes, of course. Whenever you get more clicks, you are spending more. [0:15:02.7] But, if you're not able to hit your budget routinely, if you're just over and over and over again, you're like, "Hey, I'm not spending what I'm allocating to this campaign," growing keywords makes a lot of sense. Now the challenge here is that you need to keep it on point because, of course, you could really rapidly grow the amount of clicks that you get by adding the keyword "cellphone" to your campaign. But if you don't buy cellphones, if you're looking to buy homes instead, then that traffic is not worth anything to you. You are effectively going to spend money for nothing. So, the keywords that you add in have to be on point and the challenge in the investing space when you start to pull in the keywords that have a lot more volume. So let's say "sell house" or "buy house." Keywords that have a lot more volume generally in the search ecosystem. You generally are going to drive down the value of the leads that you generate. Why? Because they're less targeted. [0:16:01.1] "Sell house" is less targeted than "sell house fast." It's just the way that it is. So generally the traffic is going to be lower quality. So, you've got balance this all the time. We're always trying to maximize the amount of volume that our keywords are bringing in while making sure that we're also maximizing the quality of the traffic that we're bringing in. And those two things are kind of on opposite sides of a spectrum. On one side of the spectrum all the way over on the left, we've got keywords to generate leads and clicks that are the most motivated. These are people that have, they're 100% equity. They're ready to sell their house at 50 cents on the dollar. They need to sell tomorrow. They don't care who they sell to. It's the perfect lead. There's one of this person. There's one of this person in every market. Frank. We'll call him Frank. Frank is ready to go. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have, I'm just getting everybody that searches in Google for anything. So, they're not targeted at all. They're not motivated at all. Most of them don't even have any houses. [0:17:02.2] And I've got a lot of these people, and I've only got one of Frank. And what we're trying to do is find the spot in the middle of that spectrum where we are maximizing the volume of leads that we're getting but we're also making sure they are as much like Frank as we can get them. And that's the challenge with keyword selection. Now in AdWords, you also have keyword match type. So, I could target, for example, "sell house fast" as a broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, or exact match keyword variation, and each of those variations is going to bring in different volumes of people, different makeups of leads, different quality, all that stuff. We won't get into that now, but if we start to get into the technicalities of how you do AdWords, and I want to try to keep this at least a little bit general so it's applicable in lots of different places. But in any advertising channel that you do, any advertising channel, direct mail, Facebook, anything, anything, anything, you are always splitting the difference between volume and the amount to which you have focused and targeted your leads correctly, and find that sweet middle ground, that intersecting point where you're getting as many of them as possible and the highest quality as possible, that is the hard part. [0:18:16.7] That's the hard part. That's the part that you do over time by testing your keywords, testing your ads, talking to leads, figuring it out.
Alright, so we've talked about expanding our reach by adding more keywords. We added that to improving the position of our ads usually by bidding more and we talked about improving the copywriting on our ads. But, we can also add areas to our targeting. So, for example, if I'm targeting one town in Connecticut and that's my town, but I don't have enough traffic there, I could expand into a radius around that area and get more and more of the suburbs or I could get a different city altogether, or I could go into another state. A lot of people ask me this. A lot of people say, "You know Dan, where's a good market to invest? Tell me what AdWords tells you." [0:19:03.5] The tricky part about this is there are investors making a killing in every single market in the United States. I guarantee it. There's somebody making a lot of money investing everywhere you go. Okay, so it's always doable. Now, how it doable is what changes. You've got a different strategy in Orange County than you have in Austin than you have in Middletown, Connecticut, than you have in like whatever it is, Twin Peaks, different strategies. So that always changes, but it is always possible. When people ask me "Should I add zip codes to my targeting? Am I targeting enough zip codes? Am I targeting enough cities? Am I targeting a big enough area?" So, here's the thing, it's almost impossible to know because the size of the area doesn't matter. You could target a two block radius in Manhattan and have very different results than someone just targeting the entire state of North Dakota. [0:20:04.3] So, it's not so much the amount of the area that you're targeting, it's the volume of searches inside that area, and there is really, and I'm honest about this, no way to tell what that is going to be before you start to run some ads. Running ads is the only and the most accurate way of getting regional search data in the world. Google has made it so that when you use their, for example, keyword "research tools" or use any SEO tool that's out there. Getting an accurate local volume is almost impossible. But when you run ads, you will get a very, very, very accurate picture of how many searches there are. So, I'm a big fan of saying, "Hey, when you are trying to make the decision of how much area do I want to target, which areas do I want to target, which cities, which counties, which zip codes, whatever?"
My general advice is start with the smallest possible area that you are happy to invest in. [0:21:03.2] So, if you're saying this is one zip code where I get a big profit margin, the deal values are really good, it's close to my house. Start with that. Just start with that and see what happens because as I am also very fond of saying, "You can't unspend money." And so it is a lot easier to start small and say, "Hey, I have to grow my budget. Hey, I have to grow my area," than it is to go too big and get overwhelmed and spend all your money and not be able to get it back. We want to be biased towards action but we don't want to be reckless especially when you're talking about your money. I don't know about you, but I hate spending money on stuff that doesn't pay off. So, I want to be careful with that. So, generally what I'm going to do is I'm going to start with the minimum viable area of me as an investor. I'm not thinking about AdWords or online marketing here. I'm thinking as an investor, where would I be happy if I really dominated this area, this smallest possible area I'd be happy with, and I'd start there. [0:22:03.4] And I'd see how many searches did it get? How many clicks? What's my conversion rate like? Is it enough? Is it not enough? And if I decide after that point, "Cool, I need to expand." I can start adding zip codes and I generally add very gradually. I add a zip code at a time, a city at a time. If you're doing a radius, keep adding a mile to the radius or whatever, and you take it slow, and you see at each point how your volume changes, how your clicks change, how your cost changes, how your ROI changes, and you find the sweet spot for you. There is no universal "This is what you do," because if there was, everyone would do it and it would become too expensive and it wouldn't work.
So the challenge in online marketing and people ask me this all the time. They say "Well, Dan, you know, all we do is marketing for motivated sellers. We've worked with hundreds of investors. We've been in every market in the United States, and some not in the United States. We've got millions of data points at this point, thousands of leads, hundreds of deals. Hundreds, millions of dollars generated in profit." [0:23:06.7] And people will say, "Don’t you know what I should do? or What's the answer? You should know the answer. You're the do. And the problem is, it's just what I said. If there was an answer, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't be the answer anymore. The challenge with online marketing is not about finding some mystery keyword or some magic thing that nobody knows but you, and that's where all the money is. That stuff doesn't exist. It just doesn't exist. Any advantage you get disappears over time. It's just the way that it is. The challenge is about dialing it in for you, for your type of followup, your type of deal, your market, your budget, your tolerance for risk. How much work can you handle? Both in the management of the leads and the advertising account and in working the leads and getting the deals. What is right for you, your ads, your keywords, your bids? [0:24:05.5] What makes sense for you in this instance? Because it changes over time. We all do. What makes sense for you in that moment? That is the secret to doing this well. Not worrying about what is somebody else doing or what's working for them but asking what will work for you, in your market, for your deals? So no matter how many times we do this, I think there's nobody better in this industry at what we do than we are. I honestly believe that. We are constantly working to up our game. But I know that every time we work with another investor, it's going to be different, and that's what I want you to realize too because you can look back and say, "Look, there's only four ways that Dan talked about to get more clicks. I can raise my position. I can improve my copy. I can add more keywords. I can add more zip codes." That's it. That's it. [0:25:02.5] But some of those are going to make sense for you and some of them aren't. It's figuring that out. That's where the money is.
Hey listen, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the REI Marketing Nerds Podcast. I had a blast recording this. Look, if you want to check out our past episodes, get show notes, and all that good stuff, you can go to AdWordsNerds.com/podcast. We're on Stitcher. We're on I-Tunes. If you got value out of this, I'd love a like or comment or review or whatever helps other people find the show, and hey, this podcast episode was actually broadcast live in the REI Marketing Nerds Facebook group. If you haven't gotten in there, you need to get in there. It's at AdWordsNerds.com/group. That's AdWordsNerds.com/group. Thank you as always. I will see you guys next week, and get out there and get those deals. Cheers.
When you look at experts in any field, it looks like everything they touch turns into gold. And it might even make you feel inferior when you’re not getting the same results they’re getting. The truth is that even experts in their fields are wrong. The difference lies in how they deal with being wrong.
When you live in a smaller town, you might envy big investors in Houston, Los Angeles or Dallas. After all, they’ve got more potential deals, right? It might feel like there are no deals for you and that your market is too small to become a successful investor. Today’s guest Blaine Dartez will show you