Google Ads for Real Estate: Best Practices

If you’re a real estate business and you’re not using Google Ads, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity.

Advertising through Google means advertising on Google – one of the most visited websites on the internet. Every time a user makes a search, Google ads are shown to them. And, with approximately 5.4 billion Google searches every day, that’s a lot of opportunity for exposure.

The real estate market lends itself really well to Google Ads’ format, as many potential customers begin their real estate journey with a Google search, most times before they have even chosen a real estate company to work with.

With so much competition out there, standing out from the crowd makes all the difference. Get your real estate brand noticed with our top tips for the best Google Ads practices in 2021.

In This Article

We’ll briefly go over the basics of Google Ads before laying out 8 of our top tips – with examples – for creating effective Google Ads for your real estate business so that you can see some amazing growth.

If you’re looking to get more out of your marketing plan in general, we can help here at K6! Check out our Ultimate Real Estate Facebook Ads Playbook and 10 Golden Tips: Instagram Ads For Real Estate for some inspiration to use for your Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns.

You can also reach out to our PPC Agency for help with your ads. Here at K6, we specialize in creating ads that help you reach your brand’s full potential in record time.

The Basics of Google Ads

If you’re new to Google Ads, we’ll give you a quick idea of how to get started, but if you need a more complete rundown, we’ve written The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads to help you out.

Now let’s get started.

First, you’re going to want to take a good look at your real estate business’ website. Here are 8 considerations that Google recommends you think about before launching your ads:

  1. Clear and noticeable website headline
  2. Website loading speed
  3. Clearly state the benefits of using your services and products on your website
  4. Video and image quality
  5. Call-to-action visibly clear
  6. Contact information accessible
  7. Important information (what you want your customers to see first) is noticeable
  8. An online presence beyond (social media, etc.)

Once you’ve made sure your website and landing page is in tip-top shape, you’re ready to set up your first Google Ads.


Your Google Ads will appear in the Google search results of any term or topic that is related to your brand and on any website with content related to your brand.

In other words: Search Network ads and Display Network ads.

For that reason, you’ll need to know what keywords you want to use in your ads. Choosing the right keywords ensures that your ads will be shown with relevant topics and search queries.

Try to think like a potential customer. If they were to come across your brand in a Google search, what keywords do you think they’d be using?

Here are a few examples of potential keywords for real estate:

  • Realtor
  • Homes for sale
  • Land for sale
  • Real estate agent
  • Real estate

These keywords range from 1-10 million searches a month and vary from medium to low competition. You’ll want to choose the keywords that give you the best chance of being discovered. Low and medium competition is a good thing, as you’ll have a better chance of being noticed with less competition. However, that’s not to say that choosing high competition keywords is a bad thing… if you’re successful, you’ll see a big difference in your conversion rates.

Have a look at Google’s Keyword Planner for more inspiration.

google ads for real estate
This search for ‘real estate’ brings up ads that feature the keyword.

After settling on a few great keywords to use and setting up your ads, you’re ready to enter the auction. Your ads will receive a score and enter an auction every time a user searches a topic related to your brand on Google or visits a website containing relevant content.

Here’s a quick explanation of some of the factors that play into this process, so you can work to make your ads more successful.

Google Ad Rank

To determine and assign a score to every Google Ad, Google uses a ranking system called Ad Rank. The score is used to decide your ad’s position and eligibility to be shown. As with most Google systems, it’s based on an algorithm. Ads are typically ranked from the highest scoring to the lowest. While no one can fully explain every factor that goes into the algorithm, Google has said there are 5 main factors to focus on:

  1. Ad extensions: Choosing ad extensions and different formats can affect your score. They give you the ability to add additional information to your ads, such as contact information, geographical locations, links, and much more.
  2. Ad Rank thresholds: For quality purposes, Google Ads have minimum thresholds that need to be met by potential ads before they’re shown.
  3. Landing page and ad quality: Ad Rank also looks at the quality of your landing page and ads when considering your score. This is why it’s such a good idea to make sure your landing page and website are in perfect shape before launching your ads.
  4. Search context: Context is an important part of the ranking process. Geographical location, type of device used, time, other similar ads/search results, and more are all taken into account.
  5. Bid: Finally, you’ll have to bid for certain keywords when you create your ads. This way, you’ll be telling Google what you’re willing to pay per click. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be paying the top end of your bid each time your ad is shown. The actual cost per click will vary every time.

Google Ads For Real Estate

Google Ads offers 6 types of ad campaigns that you can choose from:

  1. Universal app
  2. Video
  3. Shopping
  4. Search Network (Display Select)
  5. Search Network only
  6. Display Network

Google Ads is a particularly good platform to use for real estate businesses because it’s a great way for your ads to reach buyers in specific geographical locations. There are a few different ways that you can target specific locations – we’ll go over that soon.

google ads real estate example
This Google search for ‘Toronto homes for sale’ brings up 4 ads that show up before the search results appear – a perfect chance for a potential client to discover your real estate business.

It’s a highly effective way to get your brand noticed by a targeted group of people. If you use Google Ads to their full potential, you’ll be sure to generate tons of new leads.

Let’s get into some of the best Google Ads practices for real estate brands.

1. Ad Copy

If you’re going with text ads, don’t underestimate the importance of amazing ad copy. Even if your ads aren’t all text-based ads, it’s still important to give proper attention to any copy that appears in your ad – regardless of its format.

google ads for real estate
The title of this ad is helpful for users who want new listings everyday.

You’ll want to create ad copy that includes the most relevant keywords possible. This needs to be mixed into creative and helpful copy that makes potential customers believe that going with your real estate business is the right choice. Consider problems and issues that customers searching for a real estate business may have and write your copy in a way that suggests a solution.

You can also appeal to customers’ emotional sides in your ad copy and connect with your audience by using friendly ad copy. Try asking a question in your ad copy.

google ads example real estate
Appeal to users looking for their dream home by using emotional ad copy.

2. Ad Extensions for Google Ads

Ad extensions are a really great way to supplement your Google Ads. You can include essential information through extensions that can make the difference between someone simply seeing your ad and someone choosing to visit your website.

google ads real estate uses sitelink and price extensions to elevate their real estate ads.

For real estate brands, there are some really smart extensions that will help you stand out. Here are a few great ones:

  • Phone number: Use a call extension to include your phone number in your ads. This makes it much easier for customers to find your company. Potential customers won’t need to go to your contact page to find a phone number if you offer it in the ad, giving customers the option to call you immediately for more information.
  • Message: Allow potential customers to send you a text. This extension, while it’s only available on mobile, is a great way to entice users to get more information about your business quickly and easily.
  • Location: Potentially one of the most important extensions you can use for your brand, the location extension helps customers see where your office is located. It also helps to define your area so that customers know the general location that you serve. Users are redirected to Google Maps for directions when the location link is clicked.
  • Sitelink: This extension gives you an opportunity to include any other links you’d like to have featured on your ad. For example, you can link to other pages on your website that offer additional information on your services, business, or listings.
  • Price: Add an extension that features pricing information.
google ads real estate
The price extension allows you to include up to 8 price cards, directly in your search ad.

3. Create a Landing Page

Creating a proper landing page is one of the best ways to maximize your conversions. When a potential customer clicks on your ad, it’s critically important that you keep them on your website.

You’ll want to send any traffic that comes from your ads to a landing page optimized for maximum conversions instead of simply sending them to your website’s home page.

google ads real estate
Nobul’s landing page is optimized for conversions by bringing users who click their ads to a page that is targeted by their location. Users searching for a realtor in Halifax are brought directly to a page that helps solve their problem, instead of their generic homepage.

A specialized landing page will help users find solutions to their queries much quicker. You’re handing them the answers that they need instead of hoping that they’ll search your website to find them themselves.

4. Remarketing Campaign

There’s a common misconception that Google display ads are more expensive for brands, especially smaller brands. This is not really the case. Google display ads are seen by more people – with over 90% of internet users across over 2 million websites. If you’re not tapping into this, you’re missing out.

For a relatively small spend on Google display ads, you can reach tons more people. Additionally, click through rates for Google display ads average out at 0.35%. Compare that to 1.19% for search ads. That’s not bad. From display ads, you’ll get lots of additional free impressions and you can save money by cutting back your budget for other media ads (you won’t need them if you invest enough into Google display ads).

The great thing about Google display ads is that you can remarket them to customers who have already seen you ad once.

real estate google ads
This real estate webinar ad appeared on a real estate blog.

For example, if you’re thinking about choosing a real estate company to work with and you’re looking through a real estate blog, you’ll see some real estate ads. Chances are, you probably won’t click on the first ad you see. However, if the ad is remarketed, you might see it again. Over time, the more you see the ad, the more likely you are to click the ad.

It really works, and it’s one of the best ways to keep customers thinking about your business.

5. Google Ads Location Targeting

As a real estate business, location is crucially important. Google Ads gives you the ability to set parameters for your specific location. Your ads are only shown in that location this way.

google ads real estate
A search of ‘real estate’ in Canada brings up Canadian real estate listings from

Use Google Ads’ location targeting to have your ads, by default, be shown in your area. For example, if you’ve got a real estate business in Vancouver, you’ll want your ads shown in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Setting up location targeting ensures that that’s where they’ll be shown.

This works great for local areas and smaller cities/towns – and it also can be set up to include an entire country or territory.

To set up location targeting, choose your selected location when setting up your campaign type. Under the Exclude section, you’ll have the option to select a country, areas within a country, or a radius around a specific location. Additionally, you can select your Google My Business locations or have Google Ads suggest locations related to your business.

Equally as important as selection locations to have your ads shown, you can select locations where you don’t want your ads to be shown. For example, a Canadian real estate brand may not want their ads to appear for American searches, so they can exclude the United States in location targeting settings.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to set location bid adjustments while you’re here. Increase your bid the closer a search gets to your intended location and decrease it for locations that are far away.

6. Bid On Your Own Brand

When you’re placing bids on keywords, your own brand name is most likely among the least expensive to bid on. This is because you’re probably the only one who’d be using that keyword.

When you’ve bid on your own brand and a potential customer conducts a branded search (in other words, they enter your brand into the search bar), the likelihood of a conversion is extremely high. A customer searching for your brand in particular is searching with a high intent to use your real estate brand’s services.

google ads real estate
A branded search for Royal LePage brings up their ad as the first result, making it easy for users to find their website.

7. Negative Keywords Matter

In the same way that you can identify the keywords that you want your ads to appear for, you can also identify the ones that you don’t want your ads associated with. This is the best way to prevent your ads from being shown in unwanted ways.

Here’s an example: you’re a real estate company in Toronto. You don’t want your ads to be shown to people in Auckland… that’s an entirely different country. Similar to how you can select and identify the locations that you want your ads shown, you can pick and choose the keywords that you want your ads to appear for. This way, you ensure that your ads are shown to people who will care more about them and actually be able/want to use your services.

Another example for your Google ads would be targeting people searching for apartments but not for moving costs. If someone is looking for moving costs, they might already have their apartment so it’s a wasted click. As you can see, you always need to think deeper about your keyword selection.

Also, if you’re a real estate business that deals exclusively in apartments, and you don’t want to target people who are looking to buy a home, you can select homes for sale as a negative keyword.

Have a think about the words that you know you don’t want your ads to appear around. Once you have them, go to your campaigns, next select Ad Groups, and finally choose Keywords. Add your selected keywords to the negative keyword list to make sure they won’t be shown. Additionally, you can set your negative keywords for one ad in particular (instead of all of them), a specific group, campaign, or the whole account.

8. Google Ads Video

An excellent way to get noticed is by using video ads. According to Ipsos and Google, over half of online shoppers say that they use videos to help decide whether or not to purchase a product.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to create effective video ads for real estate.

First, to set up your video campaign, you’ll have to choose Product and Brand Consideration ad your campaign goal. Then, you’ll select Video as a campaign type. This ensures that your ads will work towards your goal.

Next, you’ll have to create some great videos to use in your ads. According to Google Ads, the recommended length of your video is no longer than 20 seconds. After approximately 20 seconds, users tend to move on.

You can use more than one video, if you’d like. A great way to do this is to use video sequencing. On a potential customer’s journey to using your services, you can reach them more than once this way. As we’ve already mentioned above, reaching customers more than once is a sure fire way to keep them thinking about your brand.

Google Ads has several video sequencing templates to choose from:

  1. Engage and differentiate: 4 short ads.
  2. Attract and direct: 1 short ad, 1 long ad, 1 short ad.
  3. Prompt and inspire: 1 short ad, 1 long ad.
  4. Introduce and reinforce: 1 long ad, 1 short ad.

A short ad is typically less than 30 seconds and a long ad is over 30 seconds long.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve got all the tools and tips you need to create and promote some amazing Google Ads, give it a try! Our 8 top tips are sure to help you level up your marketing strategy in no time.

A huge factor in your real estate business’ success is an effective marketing plan. Gaining leads and conversions that will lead to customers is that main goal, and Google Ads can help you do that.

As one of the best platforms to advertise your real estate brand on, Google Ads is a must in any successful marketing strategy.

As always, our Google Ads Agency is here to help you out with anything you need along the way… we’re experts in setting up Google Ads campaigns and we’d be more than happy to help you out.

For more information about online ads in general, check out our article Google Ads Vs. Facebook Ads: Which Platform Is Best? to see how Google Ads compares to other platforms.

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