Most home builders don’t need to be convinced of the effectiveness and importance of PPC advertising when it comes to lead generation.  But, when it comes time to view the results of their PPC campaigns, many builders are left wondering if they could be doing better.

Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of PPC campaigns, and 9 times out of 10  there are common mistakes being made that hinder their ability to perform at maximum potential.  The mistakes being made take place at the highest level of the campaign, and weave their way through the rest of the campaign as well.

Curious what these mistakes are?


1) Bad Settings


The common mistakes I see being made in the campaign settings are as follows:

  • Your campaign is targeting both the search and display network
  • You’re targeting isn’t granular (i.e. you’re targeting all of California instead of individual cities)
  • You’re not excluding areas from being targeted
  • You’re not in complete control over bidding (at either the location, or the keyword level)
  • You haven’t implemented day-parting (again, you’re not in control of bidding)
  • Your campaign is being optimized for clicks (why?)
  • You’re not correctly tracking conversions

When your settings are bad you’re going to waste a whole lot of money on bad traffic. The amount of quality leads you generate are going to be low, and the cost per lead generated is going to be high.


2) Horrible Campaign Structure

Your campaign structure is very important, and most accounts I see have it all wrong.  Here’s one example:

  • There is one campaign with a single ad-group targeting every keyword know to man
  • Every one of those keywords in broad matched
  • There not one….not even one negative keyword added to the campaign
  • Your ad-copy isn’t being tested
  • The only ad-extension being used is the phone extension
  • All of your ads are using your home page as a landing page

Yikes. The crazy thing is your campaign can still do OK set up as above, as long as the campaign settings are correct.  However, I can guarantee you that there is a better way!


3) Boring Ad-Copy

The keywords of an ad-group trigger the ads of your ad-groups.  Many campaigns don’t lack in having the right triggers, the issue lies in the ads that follow.  Here are some common issues I see with ads:

  • The ad doesn’t include the keyword of the search anywhere in the ad-copy (this also falls under the campaign structure no no’s)
  • The ad-copy only uses the keyword of the search, rendering it bland and non-enticing.  (i.e. New Homes for Sale – Buy New Homes). Some people will click on this type of ad, but, your click-through rates are most likely going to be low which affects things like cost-per-click, which affects cost-per-lead, etc.
  • There’s no call-to-action in the ad
  • Ad extensions are underutilized which means your ads take up less space and are less likely to be interacted with


4) Low Converting Landing Pages

Low converting landing pages

Sometimes, when auditing an account you’ll notice that the settings are OK, the campaign structure isn’t horrible, and the ads have decent click-through-rates (CTR).  So, the question is: “Why isn’t any of that traffic turning into any leads?” Here’s why:

  • Your landing pages don’t match with the users intent
  • Your landing pages do match with the users intent, but, it’s not clear what they should do next. Should they fill out a form? Should they call a representative? Are they supposed to just show up to your sales office?
  • Your landing pages are just plain ugly, and don’t properly represent the quality of your homes…sorry, but it’s the truth



Hopefully it’s clear from the problems listed above that you need professional help.  There are people out there (hint, hint) that can help you turn your online advertising ship around so that it maximizes leads for your company.  Call a PPC professional today, and sell more of your amazing homes.

Michael Johnson on Linkedin
Michael Johnson
William "Michael" Johnson is a digital marketer and founder of Crown Listings. He's also a contributor to Inman News, where he teaches real estate agents digital marketing tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>