You sit down at your laptop and type “houses for sale in Atlanta” in your browser’s search bar. Immediately, pages of real estate agencies from Atlanta fill your screen. You click on a local real estate agency’s website and browse a few homes.
Later, you hop back on to read an article someone shared with you. An ad for the local Atlanta real estate business pops up alongside the article with an image of its latest single family home for sale.
You navigate to Facebook to see what your friends have been up to, and as you scroll a post appears for the same real estate agency sharing its “Top 10 reasons to move to Atlanta today!”
Coincidence? Nope! This is what we call inbound marketing. Let’s talk about how inbound marketing works, and why it makes sense for your real estate agency!
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that attracts customers to your website with valuable content or advertising. That content aims to answer a question or solve a problem posed by the customer.
Traditional marketing, or outbound marketing, throws billboards, ads, or radio spots to a broad public hoping to catch someone’s attention.
Instead of you tossing ads into a crowd and hoping someone grabs it, inbound marketing waits for the customer to come to the business.
Examples of inbound marketing strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), and social media advertising.
These methods serve quality content to an audience that needs it. The content positions you as an authority on a topic and helps you to attract potential customers to your site.
Why SEO Works for Real Estate Marketing
Using SEO improves your real estate agency’s search engine ranking to drive more traffic to your site. Creating valuable content will strengthen your brand and show that you are a credible source of information.
So what’s considered valuable content? Serve your audience information that is usable and credible.
Blogging is a great way to provide helpful information and pull people to your site. The point of a blog is to answer a person’s search query as a relevant source of information. It’s important to blog with purpose and use SEO tactics. Consider:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What information do they want from you?
- Have you done keyword research?
- Can you create a catchy title that includes your keywords?
- What related images can you include?
Real estate blogs might cover topics such as “Why should I use a local real estate agent,” “5 home improvements you can make today,” or “How to sell my home in (city/state).”
Real estate keywords are another important way to make SEO work for you. You will draw people to your site by consistently using certain words and phrases that are frequently searched. To determine which keywords to use, it’s important to do keyword research, which means analyzing the words that people type into a search engine. Your real estate keywords should be:
When creating a real estate keyword list, use a combination of short keywords (one-word) and long-tail keywords (short phrase). Avoid overused keywords such as “homes for sale,” “real estate agent,” or “new home.” Instead, localize your keywords for better results, such as “how much is my (city/state) home worth,” or “best (city/state) real estate agents.”
Link building is another SEO strategy that can improve the ranking of your site. When you develop quality content in combination with the right keywords, you provide your audience with authentic, reliable, shareable content.
For example, we linked to HubSpot—an authority on inbound marketing strategies—for a longer explanation of keyword research and link building. You want others to share your valuable real estate content and link back to your site. This builds your credibility, drives traffic to your site, and increases your SEO ranking.
And don’t forget to set up a Google My Business profile! Creating a business profile on Google helps you to manage your real estate business on Google search and Google maps. You provide the information a person will see when searching your business. Google My Business also gives you an opportunity to interact with customers and post photos, which can improve your ranking.
The cost for SEO services varies. If you can accomplish it yourself, the cost is your time! Hiring an SEO freelance specialist can cost $50-$150 an hour or more. The majority of SEO agencies start monthly packages between $2,500 and $5,000. SEO services can climb as high as $20,000!
Pro: SEO content works. Developing quality and credible content will draw more traffic to your site and improve your ranking.
Con: It is a long-term strategy. It takes time to develop and to see results.
Want results faster? Consider PPC.
Why PPC Works for Real Estate Marketing
Have you ever entered a search in Google and the first three results that appear have a bar at the top that says “Ad”? That company paid for that placement, as opposed to earning that placement through SEO.
PPC basically means you pay a fee for your ad every time someone clicks on it, or as Google says, you pay for results.
PPC is a faster way to drive people to your website. It allows you to target your audience with demographic information, meaning you can ensure that your ad is served to the people who should see.
In real estate, for example you might want to create an ad that targets young adults searching for single family homes in Charlottesville.
The cost of Google Ads depends on many factors, including your industry, keywords, quality score, and maximum budget. There are several variables! The cost of PPC services also varies, depending on whether the specialist or agency charges a flat fee, hourly fee, or percentage of advertising. Many agencies charge 10–15% of your ad spend each month.
Pro: PPC provides immediate value. You get results fast.
Con: You have to bid on that ad placement. Google will choose the order of ads on a page based on what you choose to pay, or bid, as your maximum cost for certain keywords.
Why Social Media Marketing Works for Real Estate
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for your real estate business. When used effectively, social media marketing can drive traffic to your site, improve brand recognition, build online engagement, and generate leads and sales.
Facebook advertising is one of the most established channels for social media ads and offers a wide audience. It’s also an excellent place to reach those looking to buy and sell homes.
Just like blogs or keywords, when developing social media ads it’s important to think about your audience, what they want, and how you can provide them with unique content. Facebook offers different types of ads that appeal to different people. You can pay to boost an existing post and increase its visibility with a particular audience, or choose from a range of ads such as single images, videos, carousel ads, polls, and more.
When creating a Facebook ad, you choose your objective, audience, budget, and schedule. You also determine whether to display the ad on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, mobile, stories, etc.
Similar to the cost of Google Ads, the cost of Facebook ads fluctuates. The cost is based on your goal, budget, and how long you want the ad to run. For example, if your goal is to get more people to visit your website and you run an ad on Facebook for a week, they suggest setting an ad budget of $59.
Pro: Facebook provides an extensive audience, plenty of flexibility, and great targeting options when developing an ad.
Con: It takes a little time to figure out the best formula for your business.
What Inbound Marketing Strategy is Best for My Real Estate Business
There are plenty of great inbound marketing strategies to help you promote your real estate business. So which is best?
You might have guessed the answer—it depends! Take time to determine your goals, audience, budget, and available resources. If you need results fast and can pay for them, go with PPC. If you’re looking to build engagement with a targeted audience, try Facebook. Want to be an authority in your field and have the time to build your content? Go with SEO.
The best option is to test a combination of strategies and see how your audience responds.