More agents turning to Google Ads to win instructions

Our company tracks estate agency rankings across paid and organic results on Google and there have been a number of significant demand shifts at the start of 2022. In our latest advice video for Property Industry Eye, we’ve taken a deep dive into Google ranking changes withing the Estate Agents Leaderboards in Q1.

At the core of our findings, the market has tightened. Between January to April of this year we have seen an increase of 30% more agents turning on Google Ads to compensate. This shift is especially visible in greater London, where the market is more competitive, and online marketers are more established, performance marketing focused and hence the trend is more pronounced.

Watch the Video on Google Trends:

Agents interested in understanding their local market across Google can get a free benchmark report from Homeflow. See your agencies ranking within your county / area by signing up for a free benchmarketing tracking report, like the Haart example covered in the video.

Google advertising allows estate agents to appear in the top positions on Google, above the usual organic positions and google my business listings. However, these adverts cost on a pay per click basis which is managed via a bidding auction in Google.

Competitive keywords such as local estate agent or estate agent near me have seen bidding prices increase by 16% in little over 6 months. The cost for a click on Google for these terms can now cost an average of £1.54, up from £1.30 in June 2021. Currently, in London, Google suggests for the search term “estate agent near me” the top advert can cost as high as £8 for a click!

Page 1 on Google has never been such a fierce battleground for agents!


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Ooooh! A very slippery slope indeed

    Let’s say an agent in your high street decides to give it a whirl and everyone can see it has a bit of an effect.

    Or, more likely, it doesn’t have a real effect on income, but does increase enquiries.

    Other agent’s nearby suddenly have screaming FOMO and jump on the advertising bandwagon.

    Suddenly, Google has your entire neighbourhood locked into a perpetual cycle of the agents trying to out-advertise each other.

    And everything returns to the original status quo, except Google is making a fortune out of it all.

    Might I recommend instead spending the money on good quality content for your website?

    A few recommendations:

    Do NOT (under an circumstances) start each listing with “A & B Estate Agents are proud to bring to the market…”  Buyers don’t care.  And from a their perspective it sounds very self-congratulatory (go on, pat yourself on the back for getting something on the market).  It’s also rubbish for SEO. Be inventive, let your inner wordsmith free. It’s more engaging for the general public and lots of different intros will make Google pay more attention to your website as a whole.

    Update the basic design of your website to leverage address tags, etcetera. Then make sure that property listings on your website  include “Road Name, Area Name, Town Name and Postcode”.  Why? SEO of course.  The more pages on your website that are specifically dedicated to Road Name or Area Name or Town Name or Postcode will generate something called Authority in Google’s ranking system.  Plus if someone searches for “Acacia Avenue” they may just land directly on the details for the property without going through Rightmove.

    Also good to remember – you are an estate agent and think of things like an estate agent. You are not a buyer.  They think about buying things in a completely different way and use entirely different language to you. Put yourself in their shoes when choosing how to describe a property and what they might type into Google.

    Make sure that your listings are properly updated when sensible but as often as possible.  Google pays more attention to the latest content.  Minor changes to text, etc are often disregarded but things like a change in tag (i.e. going from “For Sale” to “Under Offer” to “Sold”) are likely to push the Authority of your website up.

    Include video – a fresh one per property preferably located on Youtube.  Google aren’t supposed to favour themselves in search results, but I’m sure that a link from your website to a virtual walk around of the property will be noticed by the search engine – again an Authority thing.

    Google reviews. Google reviews. Google reviews.  It’s 2022 – surely by now you know this…?

    Finally, social media.  The more links you have driving traffic to your website the better. So it makes sense to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etcetera to drive customers to your website.

    If it truly costs £8 per click (which does not actually guarantee any income) in some areas then it would seem that NOT using Google advertising is actually a major benefit.


  2. Malcolm Egerton

    The most interesting business here is Winkworth: high up the natural listings and low down on Google ad spend. Just shows if you give Google what they want in terms of SEO you don’t need to spend a fortune on Google ads. Just do a search on any successful Winkworth branch and you’ll see – take Winkworth Blackheath: top of the natural listings and top of the 3-pack with the likes of Chestertons, Hamptons and KFH (the latter two 9th and 10th respectively on page 1 and Chestertons not featuring) paying for ads.


    On major difference in their website? HelpHound reviews showing – Google loves reviews.


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