How To Maximize Your ROI with Google Pay-Per-Click

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is intimidating to many agents, and it’s not hard to see why. There’s a whole different mindset involved in moving to a paid advertising model, especially when you’ve been relying solely on referrals or working with free online classified services like Craigslist. Return on investment (ROI) suddenly becomes a much bigger consideration.

As a SuccessWebsite® Google AdWords Specialist, I spend a lot of time discussing ROI with agents, and optimizing their accounts to improve it. I recently recorded an interesting call between myself and SuccessWebsite member Keri Shull. Keri has a growing team that is hungry for leads, so it’s imperative that she keeps them coming down the pipeline. As usual, I applied our unique keyword selection and budgeting strategies to help her get the most traffic from her marketing budget. But, in addition to that, while reviewing the landing pages linked to her ads, we also discovered that Keri’s IDX page was actually bleeding potential leads away from her website!

This example points out something very important. While the benefit of PPC is that you get guaranteed traffic to your website, remember that traffic doesn’t necessarily equal leads!

There’s more to this process than just fine-tuning AdWords – your website needs to be optimized as well, to make sure you get the name and contact information from all those visitors. Put more simply, your PPC campaign is bigger than just the search engine it runs on.

I find this point is overlooked by most PPC training. In my opinion, the best resources are the experiences of actual real estate agents, like Keri, who can show you how they’re using PPC in their businesses, and give you ideas on how to do it in yours. That’s why I’m happy to introduce our latest AgentSecrets Video Series entitled “Maximize Your ROI with Google Pay-Per-Click”.

Part 1 of this FREE limited-release goes live tomorrow, Wednesday March 7th, at 2pm EST.
Click here to register.

In the first installment, broadcasting this week, you’ll eavesdrop on my call with Keri, and see exactly how we worked on her AdWords account, and improved the lead capture of her landing pages. Even better, we’ve included the follow-up call, and how the changes we made to Keri’s campaigns improved her results (and ROI).

Then, over the next three weeks, we’ll expand on these PPC tactics, going further into keyword selection, optimizing your ad budget, ad targeting, and tracking your results with Google Analytics. And because Google isn’t the only game in town, we’ll also extend these ideas to other PPC services, Facebook, LinkedIn and Bing.

We had an excellent response to our previous series on Craigslist, and this one is going to be bigger and better! Join us and find out how you can make Pay-Per-Click click for you.

Master the Google AdWords Networks

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Whether you’re just getting started with Google AdWords, or you’re a seasoned veteran,
regular review and optimization of your ad campaigns is important to ensure you’re getting
the most website traffic and highest-quality leads for your budget. Monitoring your ad reports helps you identify key factors that can impact your performance.

One such factor is Google’s Display Network. Many agents don’t realize that Google distributes your ads in two different ways: via the Search Network, which includes the Google search engine and partner websites, and via the Display Network, which presents ads on blogs, merchant sites, and any other sites that subscribe to it. Search ads are presented in response to search terms entered by the user, while Display ads are essentially the same as banner ads, presented at random. And due to its much larger size, most ads generate far more impressions on the Display Network.

Display ads can sometimes be effective, but it’s clear that that Search ads usually drive more and higher-quality traffic to your website. In today’s AgentSecrets video event, we look at this important difference, and show you how to fine-tune your campaign settings to generate more ad impressions on the Search network. If you’ve been less than satisfied with your AdWords performance, this actionable content could give you the boost you’re looking for.

SPECIAL OFFER for a limited time for AgentSecrets members:

Sign up today for the 30 Day Test Drive of the SuccessWebsite® Solution, and we’ll give you a $100 credit towards your first month of advertising on Google. Our AdWords-Certified specialists can help optimize your current campaigns, set up new ones, answer your questions, and get your Pay-Per-Click marketing on the right track. To get started, please contact me at for more information on our Google AdWords Management program.

Maximize Your ROI with Google Pay-Per-Click

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One topic we’ve received a majority of questions about is Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) and the best ways to achieve the maximum ROI from services like Google AdWords. As PPC becomes more competitive among real estate agents, the need for optimized bidding, carefully-selected keywords, and strategic campaign management continues to increase.

In this installment, you’ll eavesdrop on an actual Google AdWords consultation call between me and SuccessWebsite® member Keri Shull.

The call provides a valuable real-world insight into Keri’s business, and how she keeps new leads coming down the pipeline to feed her growing team of agents. Even better, you’ll see how her website integrates with her AdWords campaign to convert her ad traffic into leads – valuable information that’s often missing from other PPC educational resources.

What do you think about Pay-Per-Click? Do you have any ideas, tips or success stories to share? Please add your feedback and questions to the comments below!

Are you making a CRITICAL mistake in your Lead Conversion?

The process of turning prospects into new clients isn’t complicated, but it can definitely be tricky. Sometimes agents focus all their attention on generating leads, and while this is of course important, it means that following-up with those leads gets treated as an afterthought.

This is a critical mistake in lead conversion. Without a follow-up strategy in place, leads can go stale, fall through the cracks, or worse – you could actually be driving them away.

Since every lead is a possible source of new business, it seems obvious that we should contact and qualify every single one, yet many agents struggle with this concept. They try to “cherry-pick” leads, only calling those that look best on paper. Or they procrastinate, delaying or putting off calling while the leads quickly cool off. And some hide behind email-only follow-up, hoping that a message in the lead’s inbox will prompt them to call.

The reasons why agents do these things are many and complex – that first direct contact with a lead is something that digs deep into people’s psychology. Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection, something burned into agents during long nights of cold-calling.  For others, it might be a lack of confidence or skill in the phone call. I’ve heard different reasons from all kinds of agents.  But with even a little extra thought and preparation put into the follow-up process, lead conversion
(and profits) can be dramatically improved.

This week, we launched the latest in our AgentSecrets Video Series, this time on the topic of building a follow-up strategy. In this series, we’ll explore the how to make every lead  count and some of the best strategies that we know are working well for our clients.

Don’t let poor follow-up be one of those “silent killers” that holds your business back!

Are You Feeling the Pressure of Social Media?

And I’ll tell you upfront that I’m not going to focus on how to get more likes on your facebook page, more followers on Twitter or more views on YouTube, but how to use these channels to acquire the most valuable commodity – trust. And this is something that is not always easy to gain online.

So how do we do this? How can we use Social Media to build strong relationships and gain trust? We are all under pressure to produce great content, get more followers get more people to like us. It’s like being in high-school again where everything is a popularity contest. We have lost focus on the most valuable component here, and that is benevolence. The desire to help others and provide value. As social creatures, this is what releases those chemicals in our brain that make us feel good.

Let’s explore how and why we need to stay focused on this in all of our online marketing efforts, especially when it comes to social media.

The Four Cornerstones Of Trust

It’s not enough to project a super friendly persona and let everyone know what you are doing at all times. That is not the type of transparency we’re discussing here. Trust can be acquired in multiple ways and is most effective when you identify the key cornerstones.

Expectation. A positive interaction is what people expect when they like your facebook page or comment on your blog post. How do we meet that expectation and better yet exceed it. This is something that takes time and will come from a combination of quality content, being present, responding to feedback and most importantly – being consistent. There is no fast and easy money when it comes to social media, but you are expected to interact in a meaningful way.

Relationships. This positive interaction is what builds relationships. People want to know who you are and what you’re all about. If you stay consistent and make an effort to build relationships your audience will reciprocate.

Benevolence. The tendency to do good, to help, to take that part of your day to show an act of kindness. There are many ways to do this through the free content you provide. The knowledge that you share with others. If we are too focused on guarding our ideas and worrying about being better than the next guy, we loose the ability to be benevolent.

And most importantly, Integrity. By demonstrating all of the above cornerstones of trust, you will display integrity which is one of the most important leadership qualities any individual can possess, and sometimes the hardest to demonstrate.

So let’s start building our social empire of trust. It may be discouraging when you feel like no one is listening and your efforts are in vain, but Rome was not built in a day. And we are fortunate to have tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Yelp, Twitter and all of the sites that encourage connections and inspire us to share we have to offer to the world. If you keep the following points in mind, especially when it comes to Social Media, you’ll do just fine:

  • Be Present
  • Be Authentic
  • Be Responsive
  • Be Consistent
  • Be Friendly
  • Be Professional

To View This Week’s Agent Secrets Video On How To Build Trust Online Click Here

It’s LIVE NOW, ThursdayApril 26th, and will only be available to the public for the next 24 hours.

See you online!


Your Best Social Marketing Strategy is You!

I may be preaching to the converted, but who here often finds themselves floundering when it comes to getting results from Social Media?

Despite all the positive benefits of developing a Social Media presence, many agents continue to resist blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. The reason I hear the most is “I don’t have enough time”, but I think secretly they fear they won’t know what to write about. I say this because, in fact, that’s the second most common reason I hear!

This seems odd, since talking to people and giving opinions on real estate matters is basically the successful agent’s job description. Yet it’s amazing how such personable and outgoing folks become wallflowers when it comes to getting social online.

I recently interviewed real estate broker, coach, and longtime SuccessWebsite member Danny Griffin on this topic, and together we came up with a list of the top blog entries every agent should post to get started on the right track. Though there are many other topics you could write about, strictly for their SEO benefits, these are important to introduce you, set a friendly tone, and demonstrate your expertise. Here are the top three on our list:

1. About You:  Who you are, why you got into real estate, your service philosophy, etc. When people visit your blog, they want to identify with you. Show them what you’re all about.

2. Answer the most common question(s) you are asked by your clients: This will begin to establish you as an authority and trusted adviser. Ask for your audience to participate and post more questions or comments for you to respond to.

3. Warn people about the most common mistake(s) you see in real estate: How can you save someone from making the same mistakes by reading your blog. Share stories to illustrate how these mistakes could have been averted. This type of sharing makes you more personable and will make it easier for your audience to connect with you.

Seems simple enough, and you probably could have figured them out by yourself, but where do you go after this?

Today, we’re releasing our latest no-cost-or-obligation edition of our Video Series titled “Top Social Marketing Strategies for Real Estate”. The first installment is the interview with Danny, and it’s the most exciting and inspirational talk I’ve heard on these topics in a very long time. Danny talks about connecting with your passions, the very things that you love most about your career, to find an endless stream of topics to write about, as well as the energy to keep going when it feels like no one’s listening.

There’s lots of practical information in this interview. Danny lays out simple strategies for getting started with your blog, including shooting and posting video entries. And we give you more of those top blog posts every agent should write, along with reasons why they are so effective.

So get out there and join the social media party! The benefits to your business are well worth the effort.

Got The Right Personality for Online Success?

After reading an article by Steve W. Martin from the HBR Network on the “Seven Personality Traits of Top Sales People”, it struck me why some people are almost born to sell. They garner trust and authority by having the right mix of modesty, knowledge and confidence.  And because I specialize in helping real estate agents market their services online, I’ve devised an online strategy that will assist you in using those personality traits to gain trust and influence from your online audience

1. Modesty. Contrary to conventional stereotypes that successful salespeople are pushy and egotistical, 91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility. “

I can’t tell you how many real estate sites I see every day that have “John Smith Realtor – #1 In Sales Worldwide!” plastered right across the top of their homepage.  Yes, it took a lot of blood, sweat the tears to get that distinction, but does it need to be the first thing people see when they visit your site?  This kind of accolade is best suited for an awards page or a page that is specifically about you that people can visit if they wish.

2. Conscientiousness. “Eighty-five percent of top salespeople had high levels of conscientiousness, whereby they could be described as having a strong sense of duty and being responsible and reliable.”

When leads come through your website follow-up!  Call them back and send follow-up emails.  In a perfect world, everyone would pick up the phone and call you to let you know that you’re the one for the job. But that’s not realty.  Every time you get a lead through your website, especially if there is a valid phone number, there is no better way to show you are a responsible and reliable individual than to follow up and provide more information to the prospect.  In fact, over 75% of home buyers and sellers end up working with the first agent they speak too.

3. Achievement Orientation. Eighty-four percent of the top performers tested scored very high in achievement orientation. They are fixated on achieving goals and continuously measure their performance in comparison to their goals. “

When developing a web marketing strategy, the first step is to set your goals.  Most of you may just want a website that magically generates leads with little effort or cost.  Some of you would even ask if we could do the follow-up calls! However, I do have quite a few clients that are genuinely interested in learning more about how to market their website to generate more leads and are very diligent about making sure they learn what is required to meet their own personal goals.  These clients end up being the best ones because they make a personal choice to take the time to learn and always benefit from their achievement.  Always set goals and devise an action plan that will help you meet them.

4. Curiosity. Curiosity can be described as a person’s hunger for knowledge and information. Eighty-two percent of top salespeople scored extremely high curiosity levels. “

One of the things I love most about Realtors is they’re hunger for knowledge. The fact that there are probably more coaches and training in real estate than any other profession is a good indicator of that.  You love to soak up information and learn more and more until you feel your head will explode.  This is great if it’s coupled with action.  If all you do is learn and never act, you’re at a standstill.  I always encourage my clients to learn new things and then put them into action right away.

5. Lack of Gregariousness. “One of the most surprising differences between top salespeople and those ranking in the bottom one-third of performance is their level of gregariousness (preference for being with people and friendliness).”

This is an interesting one.  You are in the people business right? You should be the most friendly, personable mover and shaker around.  Wrong.  Top salespeople acquire a level of dominance that encourages obedience.  If you are too friendly with your clients you are at risk of loosing that. This becomes a real issue when it comes to things like facebook and twitter.  It is extremely important to use these social media platforms to establish your position and share your knowledge and expertise. Therefore, when the time comes to represent them, you will already be in a position of authority and power.

6. Lack of Discouragement. Less than 10 percent of top salespeople were classified as having high levels of discouragement and being frequently overwhelmed with sadness. Conversely, 90 percent were categorized as experiencing infrequent or only occasional sadness.”

The power of positivity can go a long way.  Yes, there will be days when you make phone calls and people  don’t want to talk to you.  Having a follow-up plan and sticking to it is your best strategy for remaining positive.  Using an effective follow-up script can get you through those tough calls and give you that extra boost of confidence. I like to provide my clients wit a follow-up script that is designed specifically for web leads and getting them to the next level.

7. Lack of Self-Consciousness. Self-consciousness is the measurement of how easily someone is embarrassed. The byproduct of a high level of self-consciousness is bashfulness and inhibition. Less than five percent of top performers had high levels of self-consciousness.”

Most of the top performers that I work with are not afraid to ask for things or tell people about their business. You have to be willing to go out and ask for those testimonials, hand out those “Just Listed” cards, tell people about your website and how great it is.  If you wholeheartedly believe that what you have to offer is valuable and unique, it will be much easier to sell.

Put The LOVE Back Into Your Craigslist Relationship

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the perfect day for me to share with you my LOVE of Internet Marketing and some useful information that could help you capture a lot more leads.

Craigslist is a great (and FREE!) service for promoting listings and special programs, but it can be quite tricky to get quality leads from your ad posts resulting in a LOVE/HATE relationship for many real estate agents. You’re not only competing for eyeballs with a huge number of advertisers, but you also have to struggle with Craigslist’s mysterious enforcement policies, which can lead to your ads being “flagged” or “ghosted”. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I am going to change that paradigm and show you how to put the LOVE back into your Craigslist relationship.

To this end, we must first understand that it IS possible to generate good quality leads and website traffic using Craigslist, if you stick with it and are consistent. The key is to develop a strategy that works for your market. Of course, Internet Marketing Specialists like my colleagues and I can help you with this, but wouldn’t it also be great to talk to other agents who are doing well on Craigslist, and find out what they do? How much time, trial-and-error and effort do you think their experience would save you?

This week, SuccessWebsite® Video Seminar Series is launching “Craigslist Ad Secrets Revealed”, a new part of our AgentSecrets program. In these live events, I interview some of our top-producing members about how to advertise effectively on Craigslist. These agents are getting stunning results with their lead generation, despite many of them being fairly new to Internet Marketing. They’re ordinary people who have discovered what’s working, and are eager to share how they achieved their success because they wish this information had been around when they were starting out.

And it’s about more than just Craigslist too, because most of these strategies can be applied to ANY online classified ad service, including eBay/Kijiji, Backpage, OLX, and even Facebook Marketplace. You’ll get new ideas on using these other services to drive more traffic and capture more leads.

I’m excited to get started with this new series, and I know it will help you learn to LOVE Craigslist!

The 10 Most Common Mistakes Real Estate Professionals Are Making On Facebook

One of the hottest topics today amongst real estate professionals is facebook and how to generate quality leads from it. Many of you are using facebook for your business, but are missing the mark when it comes to providing the right type of content for your target audience. Here are the 10 Most Common Mistakes I see Realtors make when marketing their services on the “Social Network”:

1. Failing to be on Facebook at all.

Facebook is a game-changing opportunity to reach new leads on the Internet. With over 500 million active users, half of which access the site daily, and weekly traffic numbers that match or exceed Google’s, it’s no longer a marketing resource you can afford to ignore.

2. Not using a Facebook Business Page.

Before the development of Business Pages, organizations used customized profiles, or their personal profile, to promote their business. The Business Page is no longer an option – it’s how your potential clients are looking for you on Facebook.

3. Sticking with the standard Business Page.

The standard Business Page provided by Facebook offers very little opportunity to attract and pre-qualify leads using direct response marketing. Plus, it does nothing to help you stand out from your competition.

4. Working without a System.

Without an integrated Internet marketing system, you are failing to capitalize on Facebook’s ability to generate leads for your business. But succeeding on Facebook requires more than just setting up a business page. You need an optimized Facebook presence that ties into your overall Internet marketing system, combining a powerful branding solution with cutting-edge lead generation tools and property listing information.

5. Failing to engage and keep users within the Facebook environment.

Many businesses treat their Business Page as a redirect point to their website. But redirecting users out of the Facebook environment decreases their engagement with your message. Facebook users will spend more time and interact with you more if they remain inside Facebook.

6. Failing to encourage “Likes”.

When users “Like” your page, that activity is published on their profile, with a link back to your Business Page. This is free promotion as well as an implied testimonial to that user’s network of friends. Also, the “Like” button establishes a connection between you and the user, giving you the ability to publish updates to them, which keeps them in the loop and maintains your relationship with them. If you fail to encourage “Likes”, you lose contact with your visitors after they leave.

7. Failing to leverage the lead-generation power of listings.

Property listings, Open House Schedules, Virtual Tours, IDX search, and Single Property Websites can all be integrated into your Facebook page, increasing your engagement with visitors and encouraging them to contact you.

8. Failing to keep personal profiles separate from business profiles.

Many an agent has found their professional status torpedoed by tagged photos of them at a wild party. If you maintain a personal profile on Facebook, it has to be completely separate from your business presence. You’re allowed a personal life, but you don’t want it to interfere with your business.

Anatomy of a Facebook Business Page – The 4 “Must-Haves”

Get more “Likes” with a “Fan Gate” page

We will setup your business page with a “Fan Gate”, prompting users to click the “Like” button to access listings and content on the page. When visitors like your page, it will then show up on their profile. This extends your reach to new prospects by acting as an endorsement to that user’s friends who may be looking for real estate information. Thus, the Fan Gate becomes a very effective lead-generation tool.

We also provide customized side bar graphics to complement the look of your framed website and get your page to stand out. Since the side bar graphics can’t be set to link to your website, they can include a QR code to provide prospects with your mobile business card, SMS requests, or a link through their cell phone’s mobile browser.

Welcome and Engage Your Visitors

With the SuccessWebsite app for facebook, you will welcome your fans with a complete web portal designed to engage and capture leads. The Welcome page will showcase your most popular campaigns with an animated slide show and additional buttons.

You only have seconds to make an impression on your visitor and it is important to project your brand in a polished and professional way. By focusing on the valuable content and services you have to offer, your page will give your visitors the right impression and provide value to those who are fans of your page.

Leverage Your Listings

The SuccessWebsite Facebook App allows you to showcase property listings from your SuccessWebsite within your business page. Providing this information within Facebook increases your engagement with prospects rather than redirecting them to a different location.

From this section the visitor can view details of the property, Open House Schedules and Virtual Tours. They can also request information, send the listing to a friend or call you directly through the SuccessWebsite InstaCall feature – all without leaving Facebook!

Generating Leads On Facebook

With the new SuccessWebsite Facebook Business Page app, you are now able to keep your visitors within Facebook & capture their information without taking them out of the facebook environment.

We have added the most popular campaigns to the app by default – Disstress and Foreclosure Property Hotlists, Free Online Home Evaluation, VIP Buyer and the How To Stop Renting campaign page. If you would like to incorporate another campaign page into the app, this can be done through the control panel as well.

The Ghosts of Craigslist Past

For the past 3 years or so, I have been helping my clients post ads for their listings and real estate services on Craigslist, and in the beginning it was a lovely service to offer.  They were getting great leads without having to pay a dime.  Sure, it took some time to put together and post the ads, but it was great to be able to tell a client that I can get them leads without additional ad costs.  It was also the perfect opportunity for companies like ours to develop products to help clients post ads more effectively on Craigslist.

And that’s just what we did.  We spent months developing a product that would combine online listing flyers with USP (unique selling proposition)  ads to generate the maximum amount of traffic to the website.  It was wonderfully complex and would surly be the most innovative thing to hit the market.

After a stellar launch, there was more interest in it than any other product we had put out before. Our clients were extremely excited about it and new business was coming in as a result.  And then………. the ghosts came (insert scary music here).

Ghosting is when your ad appears to be accepted by Craigslist, but is not actually posted to the list of ads.  You will receive a confirmation email from Craigslist saying your ad was accepted, and the link will direct you to what looks like a successfully posted ad online, but if you search for it on the list it wont show up.  The ad is there, but can’t be seen by anyone. It is a “ghost”.

I still think there are benefits to posting ads on Craiglist simply because it gets a massive amount of traffic on a daily basis.  Should you build your business around it?  Definitely not. And it is always dangerous to rely on one method of advertising (especially when it’s free).It can be very easy to get sucked into trying to “game the system” when your time could be better used elsewhere.

But, there are still some great ways for real estate agents to advertise on Craigslist.

Just yesterday I recorded a webinar specifically on this and what you can do to avoid the ghosting issues.  Click here to access the Craigslist webinar video.

I also recommend the following quick tips to those who want to successfully post on Craigslist:

  1. Make sure you have a strong headline. The most effective headlines within Craigslist contain the geographic Area, unique type of home (fixer upper, foreclosure/Distress, luxury etc.) and the type of prospect (first time buyer, investor, home seller etc.)
  2. If you plan to post more than once a day, create multiple accounts.  You will also need multiple phone numbers for verification purposes
  3. Use images for your ads instead of .html.
  4. Try posting in the “Real Estate Services” category rather than “Real Estate For Sale”, especially if you are offering a free list of homes, real estate reports or an online home evaluation.

The bottom line: Blocking, ghosting and flagging are not unique to real estate advertisers. They are problems that have become widespread among all Craigslist users, whether they are spammers, legitimate businesses or innocent individuals. It can be even more frustrating because the conditions that cause these problems are not consistent from city to city.  And Craigslist seems to be firm in its refusal to openly deal with the matter.

In the end, the most I can do is try to address the Craigslist needs of our members and remain committed to helping them succeed. And as Ray Parker once sang in that mildly popular 80’s tune “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts”.

Kristie Filion

1-800-361-9527 ext. 1100

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