Let’s assume for a minute that you have a website- please say that you do.
Do you know who is visiting your site? Where they are from? What pages they are viewing and how they are interacting with your content? Depending on the type of website you have, you are likely able view to stats and insights from the back-end of your site. Though this information provides an overview of important metrics such as visitor numbers and page views, almost all of them lack the in-depth insight needed to fully understand your web traffic and make proper decisions and optimizations based on this data.
This is where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics is simple and straight-forward to set up, and will give you the detailed information about your website performance at a quick glance.
Setting up Google Analytics
If you don’t have a Google Analytics account you will need to create one, a Google account is required for this. Setting up a Google Analytics account takes under 5 minutes and is easy to do.
Once an account has been created the next step is to set up a property which represents the website, and apply the Analytics tracking code to your website (read full steps here).
Now that your website is connected to Google Analytics you have access to a wonderful world of data that can reshape how you target and connect with potential customers online, ultimately converting more online leads into sales.
So where to start? The quality and range of information found in Google Analytics is rich and detailed. Here are five actions every real estate agent should be able to perform on GA, to get insight into their website’s performance and who is interested in their website.
- Who is visiting your website?
Understanding who your visitors are will help you determine the quality of your web traffic and where to focus your marketing efforts.
By looking at the Audience Overview and selecting city you will see where visitors from your website are coming from. In this same screen you can also tell the country, language, browser, operating system and more.
You may be surprised to learn of web visitors from a particular city or country. By knowing who is visiting your site you can decide to shift marketing efforts to particular regions, or investigate traffic from irrelevant locations which could be falsely inflating your traffic numbers.
- How are you acquiring them?
Do you know how people are finding your website? Are your social media efforts paying off? Are people finding your organically?
Google Analytics can tell you how you are acquiring your web users whether organically, from social, from paid search, directly or through referral sites.
You can gain insights into how many web sessions are achieved from each source, users behaviour from each source on your website and how often conversions are performed.
- What pages are they viewing?
Google Analytics can help real estate agents figure out which pages on their website are getting the most views.
You may think your homepage receives the most traffic but many agents are surprised to learn about subordinate pages which generate ongoing traffic, one form of this is through evergreen content. Once pages like this are identified, they can be optimized to generate leads or filter people through to other pages on the website.
- How long are they staying on your site?
The longer people stay on your website the better. By assessing a few simple metrics you can determine if your page is successfully retaining users or not.
To determine how long people are staying on your website you can check out the average session duration. Bounce rate will let you know how many people viewed only one page before leaving your site and pages per session shows how many pages were viewed on average.
- How is your website performing compared to this time last year?
Looking at your website analytics over a certain period is insightful however comparing it to another period gives an even greater perspective on performance.
By selecting a date range and comparing it to the previous period or previous year you can understand whether your website is performing better or worse then the year or period before and why. How does your web traffic look compared to this time last year? Are you acquiring more web traffic from social media this year compared to last? Is your organic traffic going up or down?
- BONUS: Are they performing specific actions that you would like them to?
To gain further insight into your website and to track goals or conversions that are meaningful to you, you can set up conversion goals. A goal could be achieved whenever someone submits a contact form, views five pages on your website or performs a specific series of actions (called a goal funnel).
Once goals are set up you can determine goal conversion rates, goal completions and assign values for goals. By setting up goals on your Google Analytics you can clearly determine how effective your website is at generating and converting leads.
Whether you manage your own online presence or are hiring someone to do it for you it’s important to know your way around Google Analytics at a basic level. Reviewing the five actions above takes less than five minutes and gives agents a snapshot of who is visiting their website, where they are coming from, what pages they are viewing and their behaviour on the site.
The insights gained from Google Analytics can be used to further optimize a website and its contents, target new markets and create better user experiences online. There is a goldmine of information available to you regarding your potential clients and their behaviour online, Google Analytics it the tool to extract and interpret this information and optimize it in a way to grow your business and ultimately make more sales.