Home Builder PPC vs. Organic Search: The Best of Both Worlds

July 22, 2022

Home Builder PPC vs. Organic Search: The Best of Both Worlds

The key to effectively marketing new home communities is knowing how your target audience thinks. Some of your buyers want immediate answers and a fast-paced move-in due to relocation or other life stages, while others want to take their time researching their options, like many first-time buyers. Ideally, your home builder and new home community marketing campaigns should accommodate both audiences and enable you to convert those two different personas over time.

According to Power Traffick, the top 3 paid advertising spots on Google receive 46% of the clicks on the page. This statistic alone makes it tempting to focus on pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. However, this strategy often delivers merely short-term — and substantive — results. But HubSpot, one of the top CRMs for small and medium-sized businesses, attests that the return on investment (ROI) of search engine optimization (SEO) efforts accumulates over time as content creators establish authority and visibility.

While focusing on PPC keyword campaigns brings in short-term sales, organic SEO builds long-term momentum. Both strategies deliver a mix of advantages, but ultimately, they both bring builders higher on search engine result pages (SERPs) and that much closer to reaching their targeted audiences.

Luckily, you don't have to choose just one strategy or leave your conversion rate blindly in the hands of a third-party service. You can get the best of both worlds by methodically expanding your strategies that focus on home builder PPC and organic search. In this guide, we'll walk you through what keyword research looks like for both PPC and organic keywords, the benefits and downsides of both strategies and how to optimize your marketing projects around them.

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Creating a Digital Presence

What Is Keyword Research?

Your business' keywords should be based on the words, phrases and search terms your target audience utilizes as they research new home communities. The ideal keywords are the terms buyers use to compare offers and ultimately buy products or services that you and your competitors are selling. Many homebuyers may start by searching "homes for sale in Denver" or "how to find a newly built home in Denver." Building your marketing campaigns around the search terms your target audience most often searches for makes your content and ads more relevant. Incorporating these targeted keywords into your website copy also serves to boost your search engine ranking and subsequently drive greater traffic to your site.

How to Get Started

There are many different marketing strategies and tactics available for your business to use. Keyword and SEO tools like SEMRush can help you gauge the difficulty and monthly search volume of keywords (how often each keyword is searched every month), as well as related keywords to help you branch out your targeted list. You can also research keywords from the perspective of your real estate buyer personas by searching Google and looking through "People Also Ask" or autocomplete suggestions. The point of doing so is to gain insight into the interests and priorities of your buyer to discern how you can better market to them and optimize your content to match their expectations. No matter which strategies you use, the goal is to create a purposeful, focused list of keywords that your target audience cares about. If done well, this list can play a significant role in helping you build a successful online presence.

The Two Sides to Keyword Research

The benefits of keyword research strategies are multifaceted and serve the success of your marketing in several ways. Keyword research is important for both home builder PPC ad campaigns and establishing organic traffic. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC ads are paid advertisements. Examples of PPC ads are the sponsored or “Ad’ links that appear at the top of Google search results. Businesses can build their campaigns around specific keywords: whenever consumers in their targeted groups have a search query that matches or relates to their keywords, the ads appear. Each time prospective buyers visit the link, businesses pay a small fee in other words, a payment for each click).

Benefits of PPC in Paid Search:

  • You don't have to invest time in improving your SEO and domain authority. During your PPC ad campaigns, your ads will appear to consumers right away and receive instant results.
  • Ad campaigns require less upfront work. After campaign completion, your marketing team can also clearly analyze the results and decide what to do next.
  • Running PPC ad campaigns allows you to compete with strong, well-established builders within your market.
  • These ads are more likely to reach bottom-of-the-funnel users who are ready to buy, as opposed to organic keyword marketing which reaches the users solely searching for informational content in the initial stages of decision-making.
Downsides of PPC in Paid Search:
  • PPC ads can be expensive, especially if you're using competitive keywords. These have a higher cost-per-click (CPC) that can quickly use up your budget.
  • PPC campaigns are finite. Once the campaign is over, your site will no longer appear at the top of the results.
  • About 70 to 80 percent of online searchers avoid or ignore paid search results and scroll down to find organic results.

Organic keyword strategies focus on improving home builder SEO. Here, your marketing team spends time building your site's authority and relevance to deliver website content that strategically matches the common searches of your target audience. This is done by incorporating keyword-focused content, audience engagement opportunities and producing highly ranked pages that Google (and other search engines) believes will solve people's needs. When delivering search results, search engines, like Google, direct users to sites that include the terms they’re looking for and also have high traffic levels (indicating its relevance to many other users). Utilizing organic keyword strategies is all about finding phrases that match the searches of targeted buyers and naturally incorporating them into bodies of text on your website to earn the limelight from search engines.

Benefits of Organic Keyword Marketing

  • This is a long-term solution. Permanent content on your site can attract audiences one day, six months and years after its initial publication date. The effort you put into raising your site's authority and rankings in SERPs will last long after you make each improvement.
  • If done correctly, SEO and organic keyword marketing are affordable. Your content efforts also have a higher ROI because they can draw in hundreds or thousands of leads without charging you for each click.
  • Organic keyword marketing is more likely to produce strong, high-quality leads as users are more likely to find content that closely matches what they are looking for on your site.
  • Organic marketing increases your brand credibility with buyers. When your business successfully appears at the topic of organic search results, this makes a positive first impression. However, companies with PPC ads may appear less credible and avoided by users in preference of organic search results.

Downsides of Organic Keyword Marketing

  • Organic keyword marketing takes a lot of strategic preparation and time. The results are also less immediate than PPC campaigns, substantial results may take months or years to see.
  • It's a lot of work. Creating good organic content takes effort, time and commitment to a consistent posting schedule. It’s crucial to continually optimize your site to maximize the business’ visibility in search results.
  • Only utilizing organic keyword marketing can make it challenging to effectively compete in major markets and rank high on SERPs.

The Best of Both Worlds

While both PPC and organic search campaigns use different strategies, they both start from a common point: the terms your ideal customers are searching for to get the answers and services they need. Both strategies also provide mutual advantages that cannot be disregarded – greater brand awareness, actionable data, supports for other marketing channels and impressive ROIs.

Due to this shared foundation, your team can easily adopt both PPC and organic strategies to make sure you're investing in short-term and long-term success. Utilizing the unique benefits of each strategy ultimately will allow your company to achieve different overarching goals. Read through these steps to start building your own dual strategy.

1. Identify keywords that work in both types of marketing.

Some keywords only resonate with consumers that are willing to click on ads, while other keywords are only useful for building content. However, a significant cross-section of keywords fulfills both purposes. Use keyword analytics from your own past campaigns or suggestions from search engine tools to find these keywords. Both PPC and organic keywords should be relevant to your buyers’ needs and have a high search volume per month (average number of times the keyword is searched every month). Ranking on the first page of search results won’t matter much if not enough buyers are actually searching for the terms you’ve targeted.

Good PPC keywords have:

  • A low cost-per-click value – Choosing keywords with the best value is all about weighing the cost-per-click alongside the monthly search volume. The most strategic choice is often to create a healthy balance of low-cost keywords as well as keywords with higher search volume that may have a higher cost for their benefits.

Good organic keywords have:

  • A low difficulty – Keyword difficulty refers to the level of effort required for content to rank on the first page of SERPs. The higher the difficulty of a keyword, the more time and effort it will take to see results.

So look for keywords that are low-difficulty, low-cost and highly searched.

2. Create content around those keywords.

Once you’ve found valuable keywords, putting them to use can have tremendous impacts on your website traffic if utilized well. Create original content that focuses heavily on each of the keywords on your list. Rather than stuffing keywords in your content randomly and as often as possible, we recommend making efforts to create high-quality content your targeted buyers will want to read that naturally incorporates the SEO-optimized keywords.

This will help attract buyer attention and drive buyers to your site who are more likely to convert to leads. Some types of content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Landing pages
  • Digital brochures
  • Ebooks
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Videos
  • Social media posts

Create a consistent publishing schedule to build up your site's authority and traffic.

3. Map pathways to relevant landing pages

Next, you’ll want to consider where you’d like your links and ads to direct buyers by mapping ads and content to relevant landing pages. Ideally, these pages should be keyword-heavy and optimized for converting visitors to leads. The more keywords these pages have, the more relevant they will appear and the more likely they will be to appear toward the top of search engine page results.

4. Invest in PPC campaigns.

While you are creating and publishing content, start running PPC ad campaigns. This sends traffic straight to your new landing pages and service pages. Ads can also "boost" your new articles by artificially creating traffic, encouraging shares and giving the content more organic views over time.

Get the Best of Both Worlds With Milesbrand

Excellent marketing should focus on both short-term sales and long-term brand growth. With the right keyword strategies, you can build momentum without sacrificing short-term revenue. Utilizing both organic keyword marketing and PPC campaigns will allow you to effectively leverage your content to reach the right audiences at the right time.

Milesbrand is here to help you manage your home builder PPC campaigns, as well as all of your branding and marketing initiatives. Contact us today to start getting a better ROI on the right keywords for your business!

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