Few real estate agents dispute the need for an effective website. As more and more people turn to the web to help them find an agent or search for property, websites are becoming an indispensable part of many agencies’ marketing plans.
But as important as it is to create a website that looks great and functions well, it is equally important to ensure that your website is actually bringing you business. And to do that, you need a way to track who’s visiting your website, how they’re using it, and whether or not they’re becoming leads.
That’s where Google Analytics comes in.
Google Analytics is a free online tool that provides a wealth of data about how people are using your website. Among other things, Google Analytics can reveal how many people visit your website, how they found your website, which pages they’re visiting, which device they’re using, and what language they speak.
Within all this data lies some valuable indicators of your website’s success. Here are three elements of Google Analytics that you’ll find particularly useful when judging how well your website is performing in the scheme of your wider marketing plan:
1. Audience Overview
After setting up Google Analytics, one of the first screens you’re greeted with is the Audience Overview. This section tracks your visits, unique visits, pageviews, pages per visit, average visit duration, bounce rate, and percentage of new visitors.
Each of these metrics tells you something about your website visitors. For example, the bounce rate indicates which percentage of your visitors bother to visit more than one page of your website. The number of unique visits, on the other hand, allows you to see exactly how many people have visited your website over a particular time period. By tracking this metric, you can measure your website’s popularity over time.
2. Page visits
While the Audience Overview gives you an idea of the popularity of your website, page visits provide a more detailed view into what your website visitors are doing. Visit the Content > Site Content area of Google Analytics to find out which pages of your website are getting the most traffic, and the average time visitors are spending on each page.
Page visits are an indication of whether or not your website is fulfilling its purpose. For example, if the main goal of your website is to encourage potential vendors to request appraisals, use Google Analytics to track whether people are actually visiting your appraisals page. If they aren’t, be prepared to make changes to your website.
If your strategy is to retain clients long-term by positioning your agency as an active part of the local community, you might use the page visits section to judge whether your community-based blog posts are attracting pageviews, and which types of community news are most popular. This information will prove valuable when deciding the direction of future blog posts.
The features above give you an idea of how many people are visiting your website and which pages they’re looking at, but those two things don’t automatically equate to an improvement in your bottom line. If you want to get your website really working for your business, you’ll want to start tracking how many of your website visitors are becoming leads.
The Goals section of Google Analytics is perfect for this. Using Goals, you can measure how many people perform a certain action. For example, you could track how many people submit your appraisal form, or how many people enquire about your property listings. You can even assign a monetary value to each goal, making it simple to estimate just how much money your website is generating for your business.
By using Audience Overview, page visits, and goals to track what’s working and what isn’t, you’ll be well-positioned to make strategic tweaks to your website that will ultimately improve your bottom line.
Google Analytics only takes a few minutes to set up, so contact your webmaster or click here for do-it-yourself instructions.
Do you collect data from your website? How do you ensure your website is giving you bang for your buck? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
Image by Titanas via Flickr.