What Google Analytics can tell you about your lead gen problems

If you aren’t getting leads, the wrong types of visitors may be coming to your website

Big plans for business in 2018?
Give yourself the tools to own the new year at Connect SF, July 17-20, 2018

This spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your listings business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at matthew@inman.com.

Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how agents and brokerages can all move Faster, Better, Together this July at Inman Connect San Francisco. Not got your ticket yet? Buy it here, and remember that Select members get a $100 discount. Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.

Save My Seat for ICSF Now

Do you want more real estate leads from Google? Looking for real estate lead generation ideas? Then, you’re in the right place. Your website can be a gold mine for free leads if you know how to bring them in.

First you have to know if people are finding your website. And if they are, who are they? What pages do they take time to read and what pages do they hit the back button on?

If you can’t answer the questions above, keep reading. I’ll walk you through the basics of understanding your Google Analytics data so you can find out how your website is performing.

Here’s the gist of it

From the moment you add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website, Google starts tracking your web traffic.

After a day or two, you’ll have access to various reports and key insights into visitor behaviors within the Google Analytics Home tab (or within the Dashboards tab if you want to create a custom dashboard).

In the default Home tab, you can see how many visitors you’re getting within a specified range of dates, how long they’re staying on your website, which pages are the most popular and more.

How you interpret the data and implement changes is up to your personal business goals — do you want to grow your mailing list, increase website traffic or get more phone calls?

Let’s break down some of the basic reports, so we can execute our real estate marketing efforts accordingly.

Who are your website visitors?

Having more web traffic doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have more leads. If you aren’t getting leads, the wrong types of visitors may be coming to your website.

The Audience Overview report will give you excellent high-level insight about the what kind of traffic you’re getting.

Here’s the reports you should look for:

  • Users: This shows the total number of users who visited your website over the specified range of dates.
  • Sessions: A session measures a period of interactions that happen from a single user on your website. The user could be browsing through your blog posts or searching for homes; either way, an increase in sessions over time could indicate that your visitors are returning more frequently or that you’re getting more traffic.
  • Bounce rate: When someone visits your website and then leaves without clicking on another page, the person has “bounced.” The lower the bounce rate the better — if you have an 80 percent bounce rate, eight out of 10 visitors who come to your site leave after only viewing the page they entered on. A high bounce rate could indicate that your visitors were expecting something more relevant or different than what they saw or read. You can use this metric to find and improve low performing pages or weed out poor-quality traffic sources.

If you want to dive a bit deeper, open the Demographics, Interests and Geo reports. You can see what languages your visitors speak, what regions they reside in, what age and gender they are and more.

For example, if your Pasadena, California, real estate website is getting 90 percent of its traffic from Pasadena, Texas, it might be time to revamp your website’s content to funnel in California visitors instead.

Where is my web traffic coming from?

Do you know where your traffic is coming from? If you’re getting a majority of your traffic from social media, it may be time to consider spending time creating blog posts, planning out marketing emails and adding rich content to your website.

You might be thinking: “But shouldn’t I tweet more?”

Yes, keep tweeting. But bringing in new traffic from different areas will allow you to see which sources of traffic are converting to solid leads. And you may have to take a different marketing approach to bring these people in.

Here’s what Google’s Acquisition report breaks down as your sources of traffic, referred to as “Channel Groupings”:

Direct 

Direct traffic can be from people typing in your website URL or from traffic sources that are unknown to Google Analytics.

Example: Someone types in “www.ExampleRealEstateSite.com” into their web browser and visits your site.

Organic search

These traffic sources can be from anywhere as long as the traffic was “organic,” and not from a paid search advertisement.

Example: Someone searches Google for “best places to live in Los Angeles” and clicks on your search result to your blog article about living in L.A.

Social

Traffic from social media pages and posts will show up here.

Example: Someone clicks on a link to your new listing in a Facebook post you shared.

Email

If you get traffic to your website from anyone you email, whether in a newsletter marketing campaign or a personal conversation, it will show up here. 

Example: Someone clicks on a link in your email newsletter to read your newest monthly market report on your website.

Affiliates

You can setup specific events or triggers that track when certain links are clicked. Your affiliate marketing data will show up here.

Example: Someone clicks on the Amazon affiliate link you included in your blog post.

Referral

Referral traffic counts as visits that came from sources outside of Google’s search engine.

Example: Someone is watching a Instagram video of your new listing, goes to your profile and clicks on your website link to find the listing.

Paid search

These traffic sources can be from anywhere, like LinkedIn, Yahoo or Facebook, as long as the traffic was from a paid search advertisement.

Example: Someone searches Google for “Realtor in Phoenix AZ” and clicks on your ad at the top of the search results.

Other advertising

This includes traffic from other sources of advertising, such as cost-per-action (CPA) and cost-per-view (CPV) video advertising.

Example: Someone clicks on your ad about homes in San Diego displayed in their Gmail inbox.

Display

Display traffic comes from Google’s Display Ads network.

Example: Someone is on a forum reading about neighborhoods in your area and clicks on your banner ad that takes them to your neighborhood information page.

When you become aware of the kind of traffic you’re getting, you can make changes to implement new inbound marketing campaigns.

Which web pages are performing the best?

Your most-viewed page may not be your home page.

That St. Patrick’s Day article you wrote three years ago is bringing in steady traffic every March, while you’re “Homes with a pool” page might outperform the rest of your website from May to August.

You can find this information within the Behavior tab — expand the Site Content tab to find the All Pages report.

This is where understanding the Users, Sessions and Bounce Rate metrics can really make a difference.

For example: You created a landing page where users can sign-up to receive your free market report at “example.com/sign-up,” but it has a 100 percent bounce rate.

Is that bad?

For this page, no. If the purpose of your page is to get users to enter, perform an action and then leave, then they don’t need to visit the rest of your website for your page to be effective.

Now let’s say you house your free market report on another URL, “example.com/report.” You notice that the average time on page is only 10 seconds for your 1,800-word report you spent all week creating.

This could be an indicator that your report was not what the visitor expected to see or that you weren’t able to draw them in. You can use these insights to A/B test different page copy, layouts and images to see if it keeps them interested a bit longer.

How do I measure improvement over time?

It’s important to remember that most of these efforts do require some time to take effect. Your numbers won’t spike overnight.

Exporting these Google Analytics reports monthly will help you to see smaller — but significant — jumps in traffic throughout the year. Depending on the size of your website and age of your domain, you may see significant increase in traffic and leads over a shorter period.

Using this free analytics tool to your advantage will help you find ways to bring in new leads and figure out what’s not working. And Google offers a free Analytics Academy, which means you can dive into basic or advanced concepts at your own pace.

Brennan Flentge is a marketing specialist and writer at BrennanFlentge.com in Phoenix. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.