Would your real estate agency love to get more bang for your buck with your online marketing efforts?
The average first-time visitor to your website may only hang around briefly before clicking away. Often they don’t come back again, but wouldn’t it be great to have an effective way of putting your firm in front of them again?
This is where retargeting comes in. After all that work you put into driving traffic to your website in the first place, retargeting allows you to “follow them around” with your ad campaigns appearing in various places they browse on the internet.
You’ve probably seen this in action already, whether or not you realized what was going on. Say you checked out a certain new laptop on a website, then suddenly find that you see it everywhere else online. It’s in your Facebook newsfeed, in ads in the middle of articles, and on sidebar ads. This is retargeting. When you landed on that website the first time and checked out the laptop, this triggered a retargeting pixel to follow you around the internet.
How Does Retargeting Work?
Retargeting works by placing a small piece of code (or a pixel) on your website. This means that visitors come to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie on them. When those visitors browse the web, they will be served up your ads based on their previous activity visiting your website.
The pixel won’t be noticed by your visitors (though those in the know will realize when they see your ads popping up) and doesn’t affect your website performance.
To give a real estate example, say someone landed on your firm’s website because they did a Google search for “houses for sale in (name of your city/town).” They might browse around a bit, perhaps even show interest in particular neighborhoods.
Depending on how you set up your retargeting campaign, once they click away and browse elsewhere, they might come across your ad for a “neighborhood open house” in a neighborhood which they showed interest in when they were browsing your website.
If you’re using Google Display Network or any others similar, they only get paid when someone clicks on your ad. This means they have a vested interest in being targeted and presenting specific ads to people who have been identified as showing an interest in the product or service. This means they get more clicks the better they do at finding an appropriate audience.
Setting Up Retargeting Campaigns
There are a few things to set up when you’re putting together a retargeting campaign:
There are a couple of different ways to determine an audience for your retargeting:
- Build your own list consisting of people who have visited your website.
- Create a “preset” audience, determined by their browsing habits and preferences. For example, if you were selling in a rural area, you might target people with an interest in organic farming or horses.
Out of these two methods, the first one tends to be the way to get a better target audience. This way you already know they have an interest because they’ve been to your website before. You can also have an idea of specific types of properties they are interested in based on their previous behavior.
With the second method, you’re trying to take an educated guess as to the types of people who will be interested, so it’s not usually going to work out as well-targeted as your own list.
A key to success is going to be having a variety of ads available in different formats, based on what you know of your target audience and what will be likely to appeal to them. When you think about it, if you see the same ad repeatedly but haven’t clicked on it yet, how likely are you to do so in the future?
Consider the different formats available and ensuring that you have created images which are sized correctly for each:
Text Ads — These are basically what you see at the top of the page and in the right sidebar when you do a Google search. They usually consist of a headline, two lines of text and a URL directing people. Your headline and copy are going to be the key for enticing people to click, though it’s worth testing. You may find you get better results with Image Ads.
Image Ads — You can have the headline and text as per text ads, but also a relevant image. You might also have customized layouts or background colors.
Rich Media Ads — These are image ads which can have interactive elements, such as changing depending on who’s viewing the ad or having animation.
Video Ads — YouTube is part of the Google Display Network stable so create an ad and embed a video which plays in it, or use AdWords to place your ad near YouTube videos. (Alongside a popular local channel might be a good idea).
You’re going to have to decide where to send anyone who clicks on your ad. You might be tempted to lead them to the homepage of your website, but research shows that landing pages are a more effective option. For example, this presentation by Matthew Everitt shows that Dell increased conversions by up to 300% when testing landing pages against regular web pages.
Part of the reason that landing pages do well is because they specifically steer the user toward a certain action. If people land on your homepage, they probably have multiple options of what to do and where to go; the best landing pages limit navigation and are clear about what they want the user to do.
When Does Retargeting Work Best?
Retargeting doesn’t work on its own. Hopefully, you will have been doing some kind of work to get visitors to your website in the first place as well. Here are a few things to consider for getting optimum results from retargeting:
- You should have a wider digital strategy, including content marketing and other inbound or outbound marketing efforts.
- You need to be using other tools to drive traffic to your website. For example, you might use Facebook advertising or AdWords.
- Ads should be placed on relevant sites. Someone shopping for cosmetics online is probably not interested in real estate at that moment.
- Have strong calls to action, headlines and benefits in your ad copy.
- Take the user directly to a relevant page. If your ad promised a tour of X neighborhood, don’t send them to your homepage and make them look for it.
Here are some tools you could consider for your retargeting efforts:
- Google Display Network — has access to a wide range of display ad options.
- Adwerx — Retargeting specifically for real estate. Adwerx has access to a range of websites for display ad options.
- Facebook — Put a Facebook pixel on your website and retarget using Ad Manager.
- Instagram — Also uses Facebook’s ad manager.
Retargeting can be a powerful strategy for your real estate agency to get more bang out of online marketing. If you’re already paying to drive traffic to your website, it makes sense to be able to retarget those visitors with your ads.
To get the best results from retargeting, aim to build your audience from people who have already visited your site first, as you already know they have some interest. It could still be worth choosing groups to target based on preferences though, just test it out.
Retargeting works best in conjunction with other online marketing efforts, so make sure you use it along with an integrated digital marketing plan.
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GrowthHouse is where ambitious agents and teams come to learn strategies and tactics to grow their real estate businesses.
The team behind GrowthHouse also runs Follow Up Boss, a sales driven CRM dedicated to helping agents and teams focus and follow up for more appointments and sales. Click here to learn more about how Follow Up Boss can help you accelerate your growth.
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