PPC VS SEO for Real Estate Investors – Which Is Best?

ppc vs seo for real estate investors
by Don Phelps

by Don Phelps

Don Phelps is an entrepreneur who focuses on digital marketing and more specifically "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO) for real estate investors. He is also a full-time real estate investor and focuses specifically on single-family rehabs and rental property.

One of the major challenges real estate investors face while starting out is deciding on whether to go with SEO or PPC or Both. In this post I will be showing you why you should go with one and not the other based on some factors.

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In this post, we will be talking about PPC vs SEO for real estate investors, what they are and which one would profit your business more so as not to end up investing time and money to the wrong one.

I have one goal for this post and that is to help you understand more about the search engine marketing options (which are PPC and SEO) that best suit your business right now and which one will provide a better ROI depending on your experience, budget, and some other factors.

We will be going through most of the basic things you need to know concerning PPC and SEO for Real Estate Investors and help you to decide on the one that will work best at your level, make sure you stick to the end!

Before we dive into discussing which one you should focus on, let’s first talk about the meaning of those terms

The word “SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization which is a process whereby you focus on ranking high for a search term (in most cases called “keywords”) in the organic search engine result pages.

Here you don’t pay money to search engines like Google whenever someone makes a search, found your website page, and clicks on it.

On the other hand, “PPC” which stands for Pay-Per-Click is a process where you pay to display your web page alongside organic listings when a specific or similar search query is made on Google.

Just as the name implies, you only pay when someone clicks on your link.

Now, here is the thing…

Both can drive high-quality traffic to your website and help you grow your business, but just like every other thing in life, they also have their pros and cons.

To help you read and understand this post with ease, we will go through SEO at first, how it works, the pros and cons, and why you should or not be using the strategy right now in your real estate investing business, same goes to PPC.

Having said that, let’s dive in…

SEO for Real Estate Investors

Now I’m not going to bore you again with the definition because I believe you already know that from the previous explanation.

SEO is Free traffic you receive from search engines like Google. It has proven to be the best form of traffic to generate high-quality seller and buyer leads as most people tend to click on the organic listings more than the paid marketing options presented by Google such as PPC.

People trust Google to present them with the best results when they make a search using their search engine, and the same trust will be allocated to you when Google presents your website to be among the ones showing up on the first page. 

How Does SEO for Real Estate Investors Work?

When people want to sell their house, what they normally do aside from calling an investor they already know is to visit Google and make a search to find real estate investors looking to buy or help them sell their home fast.

Sell my house fast Dallas, TX

Google’s main goal is to present the best possible results to what a searcher is looking for and that’s why they have to claw thousands of real estate investor’s websites and present the websites they believed will fulfill the searcher’s intent.

Google must trust a website before it can rank it organically.

This is basically how Google builds trust and have more web users coming to find more answers using their search engines.

If you want to learn more about what Google looks for to decide on the best websites to show, and how their search algorithms work, here is a post from Google that explains that.

Advantages of SEO for Real Estate Investors

Now that you have a good understanding of how SEO work specifically for real estate investors, let’s go a bit deeper and show some of the amazing advantages and opportunities it presents for your business. 

  • Higher ROI
    Due to the fact that you don’t pay for the clicks you get from your organic listings, this tends to generate more leads to you at no extra cost.
    This is why we can boldly say that SEO provides a higher ROI in the long run than any other online marketing campaigns like PPC.
  • Cost-effective
    Unlike other paid marketing methods, you can basically start working towards increasing your organic listing without spending much money.
    All it requires is putting in the work and staying in compliance with what Google is looking for to increase your rankings.
  • Builds Trust
    People trust Google to present them with the best possible results when they make a search and you will benefit from that same trust when your website is listed on page #1 for the search term.
    This could be regarded as getting a recommendation from Google as one of the best real estate investors in your city.

    To back up what I said, a recent study by Unbounce shows that 86% of web searchers trust organic listings on Google rather than the PPC listings.
  • Higher Quality Leads
    SEO generates higher quality leads with better CTR (CTR stands for click-through-rate, a ratio showing how often people who see your website/ ad end up clicking it)

    Numerous studies have shown that 67.60% of all clicks go to the first 5 organic listings, 3.73% clicks go to the 6 to 10 organic listings. And only 15% of clicks go to the paid listings(PPC).
    *Note: other clicks go to Page 2, 3, and click around made by web searchers.
  • Increased Conversion Rate
    SEO leads have a  higher conversion rate than their paid counterparts. 
    This is as a result of the trust web searchers have for the organic listings on Google.

Disadvantages of SEO for Real Estate Investors

While SEO has been an amazing source of traffic for real estate investors, there are some cons that come with it, and that’s what we shared with you below to help you make a better decision.

  • Time Consuming 
    Based on the competition of your market, It can take you weeks, months, or years to start seeing positive results from your SEO efforts.
  • Advanced Knowledge 
    To truly outrank your competition, you need to have a better strategy with the technical know-how on what Google needs to rank you on the first page.
    There are things you need to know like on-page SEO, writing search engine optimized content, building backlinks, and more.

    This is not something most real estate investors want to learn about, which discourages them from doing SEO. 
    But instead of running away from it (after seeing the awesome benefits), I will advise you to hire an affordable SEO company for real estate investors to get you going.

PPC for Real Estate Investors

Unlike SEO where you pay nothing for the clicks you get, PPC is the direct opposite of that.

In most cases, Google shows the PPC listings before displaying the organic listings, this is a way for them to draw more attention to them and as well, make money for themselves as they charge for each click on the Paid listings.

How Does PPC for Real Estate Investors Work?

When a web searcher makes a search on Google for a particular keyword, Google returns a list of paid and organic listings that best matches the search term used by the user.

Let’s take a look at the search term “sell my house fast in Dallas TX”

ppc for real estate investors

The listings with Ad attached before their website URL shows that it is a paid listing. 

Whenever someone makes such searches and clicks on any of them, Google charges the advertiser based on each click.

After the first Ad, you see there is a second one. When I made this search they were up to 4 Ads before the organic listings.

And here is how Google decides which Ad to show first.

Google uses an automated algorithm to determine the position of each ad and these factors include things like quality score, bidding, search term, location of the searcher, and others.

Advantages of PPC for Real Estate Investors

  • Quick results
    Unlike the case of SEO where you have to wait weeks, months, or years to reap from your efforts. PPC presents instant results as you will start getting more traffic and leads to your business.
  • Targeted Traffic
    Depending on the keyword format you are using for your targeting (exact match keyword format or broad match keyword format), you will get a laser targeted audience based on what you want.

    Exact match keyword format is the Google keyword match type that allows you to show your ad when a searcher enters the exact words or phrase you are bidding on while the broad match allows you to show your ad when a searcher types in the keyword you are bidding on, variations of it, as well as other related keywords.

Disadvantages of PPC for Real Estate Investors

  • High cost
    Because of the high competition in the real estate investing market where everyone is trying to outbid the other the CPC (cost-per-click) has skyrocketed in most keywords making it difficult for beginners or those that don’t have enough cash to compete.

    Here is what it cost to bid on most real estate investors keywords.
    please note that this data is liable to change as of the time you might be reading this as Google’s data changes continually…
    real estate investors keyword cost

    PPC is the easiest way to burn your cash if you don’t know what you’re doing or have a conversion-optimized process to turn each click into a lead and from a lead to a Client.
  • Advanced Knowledge
    Just like SEO, you also need to understand what you’re doing to increase your chances of getting a paid listing to be shown on top when someone makes a search.
    Just as the sole aim of Google is not just to collect money from Advertisers but to present its users with the best possible results to their searches.

    There is a lot that goes into getting a PPC campaign right, this involves your landing page setup, copy and so on.
    You really have to understand what you are doing or hire a PPC agency for real estate investors to help you get things right.

SEO or PPC – Which one should I go for?

This is the first question most real estate investors have after seeing the huge benefit that lies within each of them, likewise the cons.

And I guess that same question will be going through your head right now, and you don’t have to worry as I will help you figure out which one is good for you.

Just pay attention.

Most people after learning all they need to know about each method want to go all in and start implementing both immediately which is good but not the smartest thing to do and here is why…

You have to understand the competition in your market, how much cash is needed, the time you’re willing to invest in each, and generally your marketing strategy.

To help you make a better decision, here is the simplest way for you to make a decision you can stick by to see your ROI.

If you don’t have much money and experience in search engine marketing, start with SEO.

It takes time and requires some effort, but its actually one of the major ways to build yourself as an authority in your market and generate high-quality leads.

The ROI in SEO is also very high in the long-term so you got nothing to lose by starting it early.

All you have to do is to be patient enough and trust the process, it will be well worth it.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out PPC while starting out but you need to know what you’re doing and have a better strategy than the big spenders in your market in order not to light your cash on fire. You can speak to an SEO expert for real estate investors to find out which strategy will work specifically for you.

If you have much money to spend on your marketing, then go ahead with PPC to start driving targeted traffic to your business and couple it with SEO for the long term purpose.

To get things right from the onset, you can hire an SEO Agency that understands the real estate investors market to help you achieve optimal results.


Like I said earlier, these two methods are fantastic towards driving high-quality traffic to your website and growing your business, but understanding which one to go for requires some work and experience in this field – as you have seen the pros and cons.

One thing I do recommend if you’re still feeling confused right now and don’t know which one to go for is to reach out to an SEO agency for real estate investors, so that they can access your business level and use their wealth of experience to explain which one will work best for you as a real estate investor.

Let me know if you find this post resourceful and share it with your friends and partners who are into real estate investing.

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