Google Ads has a bad reputation amongst a lot of mortgage brokers. Many of them seem to prefer using Facebook Ads to generate mortgage leads, even though Google Ads might actually produce a better return on investment.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Facebook Ads shouldn’t be part of your marketing strategy for mortgages. But, from past experience, I do think that you’re likely to get warmer prospects and better quality mortgage leads from Google Ads.
The biggest weakness of Facebook Ads is that it is a form of outbound marketing. In other words, it’s the modern day version of a TV commercial.
Let me explain.
If you paid for an advert for your business to be shown in the middle of a popular TV programme like Coronation Street, that would be outbound marketing. Your ad would certainly reach a lot of people. But how many of them would be interested in getting a mortgage at that moment in time?
Probably not many.
And that’s the problem with outbound marketing. It’s a scattergun approach. You’re putting your message in front of a large number of people and hoping that, for a few of them, the timing will be right and they'll be interested in what you're promoting and that they will therefore respond to your ad.
Admittedly, Facebook Ads are a bit more sophisticated than TV commercials, because you have more control over the demographics and interests of the people who get to see your ads. If, for example, you want to show your ads only to middle aged men who like cricket, have children, and work in marketing then you can do that quite easily with Facebook.
But it is still outbound marketing. And that means that even if you’re targeting exactly the right people, you’re still interrupting them when they’re in the middle of doing something else – i.e. browsing through Facebook to see what their friends are up to. And that’s obviously not ideal.
Google Ads, on the other hand, is a form of inbound marketing. This means that instead of shouting your marketing message from the rooftops, you stay quietly hidden in the shadows. You wait for someone to indicate they are interested in what you sell (in this case mortgages) and then you respond to them by popping out and showing them your advert.
The beauty of this is that, so long as you’ve picked the right keywords for your campaign, the only people who will see your ads are people who have typed something into Google which indicates they are looking for a mortgage. So, in terms of targeting, your audience are self-selecting.
Not only that, but the timing is clearly right for them too.
Unlike people who see ads on Facebook, the people who find you via Google Ads aren’t being interrupted by you while they’re doing something else.
They want to know about mortgages right now because they’ve taken the trouble to open up Google and start researching the subject without any external prompting.
Of course, all of this comes with a caveat. Google Ads will only work effectively if you set it up correctly and keep it properly maintained and optimised.
Here are ten things you should do to maximise the quality and quantity of the mortgage leads you get from Google Ads.
Before you even start running any Google Ads campaigns you need to define your target audience. If you try to advertise to anyone and everyone who is looking for a mortgage you won’t be nearly as successful as if you niche into specific types of mortgages.
The cost per click for a niche keyword such as “mortgages for doctors” is likely to be lower than for something more generic such as “mortgage advice”. Plus you’ll usually find that the more specific someone’s search term is and the further down the keyword funnel they are, the more likely they are to submit an online enquiry.
When you choose keywords to bid on in Google Ads you have the option of specifying a keyword match type for each one. This has a big impact on how precise your targeting will be.
Using the wrong match type can cause you to show your ads to the wrong kind of people and waste money on clicks that have no chance of converting into leads.
Your advert is going to appear on the Google search results with up to six other ads. So you need to make sure that your ad is more appealing and noticeable than the others. That way, you increase the chances of the searcher clicking on your ad rather than on one of your competitors’ ads.
To make your ad more enticing, think about what makes you different from your competitors and what your value proposition is.
And make sure you have more than one advert in each ad group so as you can split-test to find the best one. You’d be surprised how small changes to your ad copy can make a big difference to how many visitors it drives to your website.
Find out how to write eye-catching ads that jump off the page and which will get you more clicks.
Download this free guide:
Top 10 Tips for Writing Better Google Ads
Don’t get dragged into a bidding war with your competitors. There are plenty of keywords that won’t cost you a fortune. And there’s no point paying over the odds to be at the top of the search results if that means you end up making a loss on each mortgage you arrange.
Make sure you set a sensible daily budget and remember that, although Google may spend more than that amount in a single day, you won’t be charged more than 30.4 times your daily budget in any single month.
Google Ads is not intended to be a set-it-and-forget-it marketing tool. For best results you need to regularly review and adjust your bids, add new keywords, and test out new ad copy.
This will help ensure you stay ahead of your competitors and are always taking steps to get the best return on your advertising investment.
It’s no good just sending all your Google Ads traffic to your home page. You need to have specific pages tailored to specific keywords.
That way, if someone searches for mortgages for doctors you can send them to a page that is specifically about the mortgage options available to doctors. Whilst someone who searches for mortgages for self-build houses can be sent to a page all about those types of mortgages.
Using different landing pages for different keywords will mean the page is always relevant to the visitor and that will mean they are more likely to “feel at home” on your site and submit an enquiry.
A few simple tweaks to your landing pages can have a big impact on how well they convert – i.e. what percentage of visitors they turn into leads. At the very least, every landing page should have:
A lot of the people who visit your site via Google Ads will be ready to call you or submit an enquiry form straightaway. But what about those who aren't - the ones who are still “just looking”?
Often people let these visitors just leave the website without doing anything. If you want to get the best value from your advertising budget you should at least capture the email addresses of these non-converting visitors so as you can send them follow-up marketing.
The best way to do this is to use a lead magnet. This is something which visitors can download or get access to in return for giving you their name and email address.
A good lead magnet will help position you as an expert in your field and build credibility with your prospects so as they are more likely to trust you to sort out their mortgage requirements.
And once you’ve got your visitor’s email address you can send them follow-up emails which serve to keep you at the front of their mind until such time as they are ready to take action.
Remarketing ads are text, image or video ads which appear all over the internet. They are also known as retargeting ads.
The idea of these ads is to encourage someone to return to a website that they have previously visited. The theory behind this is that if they didn't convert on their first visit to that site then they might do so if they return for a subsequent visit.
If you set up remarketing ads in your Google Ads account you can have a second chance at getting an enquiry from someone who didn’t convert on their first visit.
Facebook also provides a retargeting facility. And you can take advantage of it even if you don’t use Facebook Ads for anything else.
A good way to make use of Facebook retargeting is to drive traffic to your website using Google Ads and then, by making sure the Facebook pixel is on your site, you can create an audience list in Facebook consisting of people who visited your website but didn’t submit an enquiry.
These people in your Facebook audience can then be shown ads within Facebook to encourage them to return to your site and complete their enquiry.
Have you tried using Google Ads to generate mortgage leads? How did it go?
Please use the comments box below to let us know.
You can also submit any questions you’ve got about the best ways for mortgage brokers to use Google Ads.
As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.
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