Agent Insights - In this edition of Agent Insights, Shawn Cunningham, co-founder and director of sales at Cunningham Group Real Estate, shares the key differences between SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) marketing.
Some people use PPC and SEO interchangeably, but they are actually different methods of getting traffic to your website. The easiest way to explain it would be SEO is your website's ability to organically drive traffic to your website and PPC is paying for clicks to your website. While SEO is great, it can take time, and PPC allows you to be more selective in the type of traffic you are trying to drive to the website. Now that I have you confused, let's jump into the differences and break down what each of them can really do for you.
Pay Per Click (PPC) is internet advertising used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser (you) pays when the ad is clicked. For example, you can advertise on Google using Google Adwords and you would pay Google per click every time someone clicks on your ad to go to the website you direct them towards. Since you are paying for the keywords, that means you'll appear above the rest of the results, regardless of what they are since you paid to be there.
The difference between an ad (PPC) and organic search results (SEO - next section).
As easy as it sounds, it can actually be a fairly complex process when you set up your ad. Not only do you have to set up the ad, but you select the keywords you want to trigger the ad and negative keywords that it will avoid. So if you have "Las Vegas First Time Home Buyers", then anytime someone searches for that, your ad will appear. The cost per click will depend on how many other people are bidding to use the same keywords as well. That keyword may cost $3 per click, where "Las Vegas Real Estate" could cost $10 per click. I won't get into too much detail, but there are additional types of match types where you can use exact keyword match, broad keyword match, modified broad keyword match, and phrase keyword match.
I used Google for my example, but you can also use Bing (Bing Ads), as well as social media. I've used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to run ads. I have found the most success has been with Facebook, so that is where I spend a larger portion of the budget.
Social media is similar and different than Google and Bing. It is similar because you are still paying for an ad for people to click through to a website, but it is different because it is able to focus more on demographics versus just keywords. So you can target married couples in Las Vegas, NV who make between 75K-150K and are currently renting. As a user, it is weird to think that Facebook can figure out that much information about you based on your profile information, habits, and searches. But, as a marketer can it be helpful.
Side Note- Next time you search for something and then visit Facebook, look at the sponsored ads on the right side, look familiar? It's probably something you recently searched for.
PPC can be very time consuming and I would highly recommend having an understanding of it, but find a company who can assist you with running your campaigns, if you are wanting to seriously use PPC. I will get more into how I use PPC and the success I've seen with it next week. A company helps me with my campaigns and currently our cost per lead is about $10, which is great. But, more to come next week!
Hopefully that helps give you a better understanding of PPC and maybe sparked your interest to learn more about it. But, let's move on to SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results. This happens anytime one of your website pages shows up in the results organically (meaning you didn't pay for it). Search engines are smart, but they still need help. The major engines are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return better results to users. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas the right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and increased attention, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal.
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those who perform SEO will have an advantage in visitors.
So what do you need to do? First, make sure you have meta tags (keywords) set up on each webpage on your website. This will help the search engines find your pages easier. Next, the search engines are looking for thought leaders for different topics so by keeping your content fresh, you can show Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc that you know about the industry and can provide people content they are looking for when searching.
Another tip to help increase your ranking is to drive traffic to the page. For example, if you create a webpage that has the top 10 restaurants to try in your city and then drive traffic to it by sending out an e-newsletter with a link to the page so your clients click on it, the search engines will recognize the traffic and move it up in the rankings. So when other search for similar keywords, your page will be one of the first ones they see. How cool is that!
So SEO will take an investment of time, but it is something you can work towards. PPC will be a decision you make whether you want to do it or not since it costs. But, hopefully I've been able to help answer questions about SEO and PPC and how it can work for you.
If you have any additional questions, just leave a comment!
For more from Shawn, check out his real estate website here: http://www.cgvegas.com/