Have you read Google’s latest report on new home and custom home search trends?
No? That’s ok, because we distilled all the dry data and charts into three powerful takeaways that should convince any home builder that PPC campaigns are key to an effective and competitive marketing strategy.
“New Home” and “Custom Home” Google searches are up 12% from Q1 last year.
The number of people relying on Google to find their next home is consistently growing by double digits. Great to know, but here’s the rub – showing up on Google isn’t nearly as important as WHERE you show up on Google.
Clients often ask why they should invest in paid search ads if their site shows high in the free organic results. It’s a great question and here’s why relying on organic is not enough:
When it comes to Google search results it isn’t lonely at the top… it’s quite crowded.
Take a look at Google’s search results for the popular query, new homes in atlanta ga.
What do you see?
Four ads for home builders and new home communities in Atlanta. No organic results show at the top of page but plenty of highly relevant paid results.
Remember folks, Google does two things VERY well – improving what is already known as the gold standard in search engines and making a hefty profit.
When ads are clicked, Google gets paid. Accordingly, over the last 18 months they have implemented significant updates to the search results page and ad formats that allow PPC ads to dominate and push the free organics down the page and out of sight.
Clicks on New Home ads increased by 42% since last year.
If more shoppers use Google to assist in new home research, it’s a no-brainer that more ads are showing. What is notable however is how frequently these ads are clicked.
The recent results page updates we just pointed out surely contributed to this surge in ad engagement, but it also indicates strong consumer trust in Google. They are underscoring their confidence that Google will deliver highly relevant results and no longer hesitate clicking on a paid ad.
Nearly 50% of new home searches are conducted on a mobile device.
It goes without saying that we have developed attachments to our smart phones. We use our phones to talk, text, pay bills, listen to music, read the daily news, find soulmates and search for our next home.
We now live in a “mobile first” world and if your website doesn’t accommodate the small screen, we strongly recommend investing in an upgraded responsive site. This is a topic that deserves its own post, but today we’ll zero in on two important reasons:
People are short on attention span and shorter on patience. When conducting a mobile search home shoppers expect fast and accessible information. They DO NOT want to pinch and zoom to read community details or browse floor plans. They will rarely stick around to fill out a lengthy contact form. Websites that do not take the mobile user’s experience into consideration will generate more frustration than leads. The mobile user will bounce off your site and on to the competitor’s, who may not offer a better product, but a better online experience.
Google knows this and “rewards” websites providing a high quality mobile experience with higher paid and organic positions in the search results. Landing page experience is an important factor that determines how much an advertiser pays per click and the ad position. Regarding organic, Google is transitioning to an index that’s tailored and optimized to the mobile search user – if your site isn’t responsive you will sink in the organic results too.
So what does all this mean? It means if you’re relying on traditional marketing to connect with home shoppers, you’re missing out on huge opportunities, leads and home sales.
If you’re spending big bucks on print ads splashed across the real estate page of the Sunday newspaper or on flashy billboards and glossy mailers, begin questioning their true impact and whether they are effectively grabbing the attention of the right people at the right the time.