Some people think that once you get your website, your done!Â You spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars getting your site built and then you don't do anything with it.Â But having a fancy shmancy website isn't all their is to it when it comes to online advertising.Â So what do you do to get that brand new site on the road?
There is always much debate on whether it is more efficient to run an ad campaign through google or work on your organic placement.Â I am sure we've all heard and some of us have even said things along the lines of:Â Â
Â Â Â Â "Who clicks on the sponsered links anyways?"Â
Â Â Â "I always ignore the ones thatÂ I know people are paying for".Â
So I am here to offer up some pros and cons on the subject.Â But before we even get into the debate over organic vsÂ ads,Â Â Â I believe the more pertinent question to be asked is: Why Google?
Everyone knows google,Â it's a household name and over the years it's become a verb (i.e. just "google" me).Â Â Sure, there are other search engines out there. Everything from big names, thatÂ seem to beÂ on the rise (*cough cough* Bing), to very small engines such as dogpile.com. Even big names that have been around for a while likeÂ yahoo and msn play in the background of googleÂ as secondary, third and fourthÂ player.Â
Food for Thought:
The biggest controversy in google advertisingÂ being whether or not you post yourself on the first page organically; via metatags, blogging and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or you run an ad campaign. A lot of times people may think that running an ad campaign is less effective. The arguement being that not many people click on the sponsered links. While this may seem logical and true let's look at a few things...
Did you know that 83% of all people doing a search never leave the first page?
This means that obviously the first page of google is where you want to be. Now google is constantly changing and updating their algorythms and the means in which they determine relevance. So let's talk about SEO, or organic placement. Because of the ever changing nature of google you have to be in the know and practically a web specialist to figure out how to get yourself on that first page. Not to mention the amount of time it takes for your site to actually appear and move up through the google ranks. It could take up to six months after having your site worked on and optimized for it to actually appear on the first page. Countless hours and dollars willl go by before you even start to see yourself on the second page or fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, tenth....you get the point.Â
Let us not forgetÂ all ofÂ our competition that is also fighting, spending dollars and countless hours blogging and downloading wordpress plugins onto their own sites to get themselves up there as well. And in the real estate game, you're not only competeing with other agents to get onto google, but huge companies, like trulia, realtor.com, homes.com, zillow, etc.Â These companiesÂ have theÂ resources it takes to get and keep themselves up there.Â And the computer geniuses it takes to keep their site updated.Â But you or I don't exactly have the means to make that happen on our own.Â You could hire an outside company to do it for you. You could spend thousands of dollars, on top of what you already spent building your site,Â having your website worked on to get the right metatags and updates made to have your site appear organically. And even then, there is no gauruntee that you will stay on that first page. All it would take is for google to make a change in their algorythms and then your site would become obsolete and irrelevent to that search.
So what else is there? Running your own ad campaign is a good alternative. Some may argue, though, that being in the sponsered links is not the best place to be. But as far as exposure goes...isn't it?Â When you do a searchÂ on google, the sponsered resultsÂ are usually the most relevant to your search, and often they are the most credible.Â Â Â
Go onto to google and do a search for "business cards for realtors".Â Take a look at the options, which of the companies offer the best deals? Seem the most legitimate?Â More often than not, it's the companies found within the sponsered links.
Of courseÂ this is a matter of opinion but these ads also provide a positiveÂ phsycological effect. As a consumer, you trust those companies to be legitimate, and popular. Typically when you do a real estate related search on google what you find in the sponsered results are major corps. For example: Coldwell Banker Corprate, Remax, Agent Machine. Not only are they right in front of your face (and let's face it, the average consumer today is kind ofÂ lazy) but it says something.Â It saysÂ that, these companies not only canÂ afford to but have the wherewithal to put themselves there in the paid ad's section.Â Now, imagine you as an individual, running along side these big companies.
Now putting yoursef in the "pay per click" section can get costly. Some times, depending on how competetive a certain "search phrase" is you could pay up to $12 dollars per click! And even then there is no gauruntee that you will remain on the first page 24/7. And it doesn't really do you any good to pop on and off the page because there is no telling when "peak" search hours are. That and you never know when that one buyer or seller, who is ready to talk to an agent, is looking at that page. And you don't want to not be on there. But who really wants spendÂ hundreds of dollars on clicks whenÂ realistically not every click will result in evenÂ an email.Â SometimesÂ people just click your link and don't even really look over your site. But there is no way to control that. There are however, ways to help with cost while still getting the right exposure.
For one, try running a campaign on a phrase that's not so popular.Â The less competition you have in the bidding war, the better chance you have at paying less per click. Even though you may want to get up on the number one search phrase available it's not going to be very conducive to your business when you consider the cost you'll end upÂ paying per click to stay up on the first page.Â But like organic placement, if you are doing it yourself, first page palcementÂ is kind of like a babysitting job and if you want the best results it's going to take time and of course money.
Hire a company that specializes in running "adwords campaigns".Â Most of the time they can get you better rates because they they funnel so much business through google that they pay less per click which means they can charge you less, which means, YOU SAVE MONEY!Â And definitely do make sure they are an accredited company, even if they are out of state.Â Sometimes it feels good to work with an individual, someone who's local, but you are not going to get the same benefits youÂ would working with a larger company.Â Â It's kind of like buying in bulk.Â Restaurants will always get a better deal on buying food in bulk than you or I would, even if we shopped at costco.Â Same concept.
Check Them OutÂ Â Â
Look around online for some companies that specialize in google ad placement.Â A few accredited companies I know of are Worldwide Media Group and Netbiz.Â I would recommend the first because they specializeÂ soley in the real estate industry.Â They are specialists in not only google advertising, but in real estate agent advertising.Â Check out their website www.wwmediaonline.com and get an idea for yourself on their process.Â If you are just getting started they also offer free real estate websites to their clients.Â So it's a good place to get a two for one kind of a deal.Â Just be sure that if you are going to go through a company,Â they have the above shown "certified partner" stamp from google.Â That's a good indication of aÂ company who really knows what they're doing.
HappyÂ placement hunting!Â Â