Unlocking the Power of Google Ads for Reverse Mortgage Leads

by Toby

April 19, 2024

Google Ads for Reverse Mortage Leads

The Unseen Potential of Google Ads for Reverse Mortgages

In the digital era, Google stands as a colossal hub of information, where millions of queries are entered into its search bar every day. 

Among these queries are countless individuals in their golden years or approaching retirement, earnestly seeking financial stability and security. 

They are exploring avenues to maintain their lifestyle, cover medical expenses, or simply enjoy the peace of mind that comes with financial freedom. Herein lies a vast, yet often untapped audience, actively searching for the financial solutions that reverse mortgages can uniquely provide.

This is the unseen potential of Google Ads for reverse mortgages. 

It's not merely about visibility—it's about connecting with people who are actively searching for reverse mortgage information. These searchers are pre-qualified, warm leads. We know they are interested in your products or services because they had to type in reverse mortgage search terms.

But do Google Ads work for reverse mortgages?

Yes, they do - here’s an example.

Success Case Example

The example campaign below targets multiple states and directs traffic to a specially designed landing page we created. Daily conversions, represented by a red line in the chart, include phone calls and form submissions.

Google Ads - Reverse Mortgage Leads Trending

Google Ads - Reverse Mortgage Leads Trending

The Google Ads campaign strategy we utilized was a Search campaign and a Performance Max campaign. I go into more details below about both campaign types. 

However, we did find that the Performance Max (aka, Pmax) campaign in this example also drove conversions for people interested in forward mortgages. This is one of the challenges with Pmax campaigns - you lose a bit of control compared to keyword-focused Search campaigns. 

Your cost per conversion will likely vary somewhere between $50 - $150 per conversion depending on your market, competition, and other factors, including but not limited to interest rates. 

And your conversion rates (how many people take action on your site) will likely vary between 2% - 10% depending on how focused the campaign is, and the success of your landing page, among other variables. 

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How To Set Up Winning Campaigns 

Step one: Landing Pages

It’s crucial to create a custom landing page for the Google Ads traffic for the following reasons:

  • Focused Message: A landing page allows you to tailor your content and calls to action specifically for the search terms your Google Ads campaign is targeting. Unlike a generic website homepage, there are no distractions for potential borrowers
  • Higher Conversion Rate: Unlike a general website, landing pages reduce distractions, guiding visitors down the path of taking the desired action (calling or filling out a form). This streamlined focus leads to higher conversion rates compared to directing traffic to your full website
  • Quality Score Improvement: Google Ads considers the relevance of your landing page to your ad. A well-aligned landing page can significantly boost your Quality Score (a scale from 1 to 10 Google uses to evaluate the relevance of a keyword), which in turn lowers your cost-per-click and improves ad position (see chart below)
  • Campaign Tracking: Landing pages let you precisely track the success of your Google Ads campaign. You can see how well your ads convert visitors into leads, allowing for data-driven optimization to improve results over time
  • Testing and Optimization: With a dedicated landing page, you can easily perform A/B testing to experiment with different designs, content, and calls-to-action (CTAs) to see which elements most effectively increase conversions
Quality Score and Cost per Click Relationship

Quality Score (QS) is a Google Ads metric used in Search campaigns that ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being high. QS is used to assess the relevancy of a keyword in your campaign. Google rewards keywords with high QS scores with better ad positions and lower costs.

Core Components of a Successful Landing Page

  • Clear and Compelling Headline: The headline should instantly convey the value of your offer and match the phrasing or promise of the ad that brought the visitor to the page
  • Concise, Persuasive Copy: The content should be direct and to the point, providing essential information about the benefits of the product or service. For reverse mortgages, it’s important to address common questions and concerns to build trust
  • Strong Call-to-Action (CTA): The CTA is vital; it should be bold and clear, telling visitors exactly what action you want them to take. Phrases like "Call Now for a Free Consultation" or "Submit Your Application Today" are direct and create a sense of urgency
  • Form or Contact Number: Make sure the form is simple and not overly intrusive, asking only for essential information. The contact number should be prominently displayed, ideally with an encouragement to call for a direct conversation
  • Testing and Optimization: With a dedicated landing page, you can easily perform A/B testing to experiment with different designs, content, and calls-to-action (CTAs) to see which elements most effectively increase conversions
  • Visuals That Connect: Use images or videos that resonate with the target audience, such as visuals of happy, secure seniors which can appeal to those considering reverse mortgages
  • Trust Signals: Include testimonials, reviews, accreditations, and security badges to reassure visitors of the credibility and safety of dealing with your company
  • Responsive Design: Ensure the landing page is mobile-friendly. A significant amount of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and a responsive design ensures a positive experience for all users
  • Offers: Do you have an offer? For example, an appraisal offer? Offers can further incentivize people to take action. You don’t necessarily need an offer, and we see results without, but best to test the results if you do have an offer

Step two: Google Ads Campaign Strategy

There are two core campaigns that we use that drive results - Search and Performance Max campaigns. Sometimes, we run them simultaneously, and sometimes, we run Search only. Below, I go into more detail about considerations for running both or just one. 

How Do Search Campaigns Work?

Let’s use a fishing analogy.

Your Fishing Gear

  • Keywords: These are the bait. You pick the words and phrases people are likely to search for when they're looking for a reverse mortgage, like "reverse mortgage lender" or "how does a reverse mortgage work." There are dozens of variations.
  • Ads: These are your fishing lines. You write short, attention-grabbing ads that show up at the top of Google search results when someone types in your keywords.
  • Landing Page: This is your fishing boat. It's a dedicated web page where people "land" after clicking your ad. It's got all the important stuff: how reverse mortgages help, why you're a great lender, and an easy way for people to get in touch

How the Fishing Works

  1. 1
    You Cast Your Lines: You set up your Google Ads campaign, choosing your bait (keywords) and writing your lines (ads)
  2. 2
    Fish See the Bait: Someone searches for something related to reverse mortgages, and Google shows your ad right there at the top of the results
  3. 3
    Interested Fish Bite: If your ad sounds appealing, they click! This is where you pay Google a small fee—it's like paying for each fish that bites your line
  4. 4
    Reel 'Em In: They land on your fishing boat (your landing page). Your goal is to convince them you're the best catch, so they'll fill out your contact form or give you a call

Why This is Smart Fishing

  • Targeted Catch: You're only attracting fish interested in your type of bait (people actively searching for reverse mortgages)
  • Pay-Per-Bite: You only pay when someone actually clicks your ad, showing genuine interest
  • Track Your Success: Google gives you tools to see how well your fishing lines are working, so you can adjust and catch even more leads!
Toby Danylchuk

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What is a Performance Max campaign:

Think of a Google Ads Performance Max campaign as an "all-terrain marketing vehicle" compared to the precision fishing rod of a Search campaign. Performance Max show ads across all of Google's available inventory.

Where Performance Max Ads Show in Google Ads

Where Performance Max Ads Show in Google Ads

Here's the breakdown:

  • One Powerful Tool: Instead of just focusing on Google Search results, Performance Max casts a wider net across YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and other Google-owned platforms (Discover as the mobile app)
  • AI-Powered: It uses Google's machine learning smarts to figure out the best places and times to show your ads, and who's most likely to be interested in your reverse mortgages
  • Goal-Focused: You tell it what matters most (getting new leads, phone calls, etc.), and it works to maximize that specific goal

How Performance Max DIFFERS from a Search campaign:

Comparing Search vs Performance Max Features

Comparing Search Campaign to Performance Max Features

So Which Campaign Should You Use?

Every market is unique, and the key to finding the right campaign lies in testing for your specific situation. This approach allows you to tailor your strategy to your market's needs, ensuring the best possible results. 

Running both Search and Pmax campaigns in tandem can be a powerful strategy. This approach combines the control and specificity of keywords in Search with the broader reach and machine learning leverage of Pmax, giving you a comprehensive marketing approach. 

The cost per conversion with Pmax is quite a bit lower compared to Search because Pmax has access to a more extensive and diverse ad inventory.

However, with Pmax, keep in mind that you will get mixed conversions with some leads searching for forward mortgages or other mortgage companies rather than reverse mortgages.  

Your Digital Plumbing Is Essential to Success

Critical to your campaign success is setting up your digital plumbing. 

It’s essential to capture the conversion actions on your landing page and then pass that information back to Google Ads to act on. You want to know when someone clicks-to-call or submits a form. Without these data, Google Ads is flying blind, and your campaign performance will be lower. 

Your digital plumbing is set up using Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and possibly Google Analytics (GA4). You can read more details about this here (https://www.39celsius.com/unlock-the-maximum-profit-potential-hidden-inside-your-google-facebook-campaigns/). This step is best left to an experienced digital marketer. 

Setting Google Ad Budgets - What's Ideal?

Arriving at an ideal budget depends on a couple of factors. Every market has a cost to acquire a customer and it's this cost we used to back into an ad spend that aligns with your goals. 

Arriving at a budget based on your new customer goals

You can back into your spending based on how many new customers you want.

Based on the cost per conversion estimate and your conversion rate from lead to customer, you can arrive at an approximate monthly spend to achieve your goal. 

Let's look at an example - suppose your goal was ten new customers per month. This is how that might break down to arrive at a budget:

Estimating Google Ads Budget Based On Customer Goals

Estimating Google Ads Budget Based On Customer Goals

Budget Variables

Cost per Conversion Variable

For the cost per conversion, I am basing that number on the ranges we see across many different campaigns. The range is from $50 to $150 and depends on many variables. You can play around with different numbers to get a budget range.

Conversion Rate from Lead to Customer

Now, your conversion rate from a lead to an actual customer is a unique number based on your sales process and sales skills, not the campaign - this can vary greatly, so estimate different closing percentages based on your own personal historical number. 

So, based on this example cost-per-conversion value of $70 and your lead-to-customer conversion rate of 30%, you need to budget approximately $2,300 per month in ad spend to achieve ten new customers. 

Your Next Steps

The time is now to harness the power of Google Ads to reach this unique and motivated audience. Don't miss out on connecting with those actively seeking the benefits reverse mortgages offer. Remember, leads from Google are pre-qualified, warm leads - we just need to get them to take action.

Let's discuss how we can design a customized and results-driven Google Ads strategy tailored to your business goals. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation and see how we can transform those searches into successful closings.

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

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