August is Listings Tech theme month at Inman. All month, we’re digging into listing technology, a conversation which spans portals to single-listing sites, landing pages, 3-D tours, photography, videos, promotion and more.
If you have a website, you’ve probably heard of Google Analytics. The question is — are you using it? If you’re like many real estate professionals, your website has a Google Analytics account, but you probably check it a couple times a year. And when you do log in, you’re not sure what to look for, so there’s not much you can do with the data that’s there.
However, if you know what to look for, Google Analytics is a great tool that can help you understand your audience and spot places where you can improve your website. Here are the top three Google Analytics stats you should pay attention to and how to use them.
1. Audience demographics
The audience demographics section is where you can build a profile of who is visiting your website. Look at what cities and states your website visitors are coming from, and keep an eye out for surprises or any holes.
For example, if you know that a significant number of buyers in your area are coming from California, but you have very little website traffic coming in from that state, that might be an opportunity for you to develop website content to draw in those particular buyers.
On the other hand, you may get some insights about your local real estate market that you didn’t know before. For example, when COVID-19 hit, we started to notice spikes in traffic from places that weren’t on our radar before.
Our typical buyers were coming from Utah, Washington and California, but all of a sudden, we saw a big spike in traffic from Texas and New York. That data gave us great insight into where our real estate market was headed, and it allowed us to adjust our marketing accordingly.
The acquisition section of Google Analytics allows you to see how people are finding your website. The ultimate goal here is to have a strong amount of organic traffic, but if your website is new or you are just starting to think about ways to improve your traffic, you will probably see higher numbers for direct traffic, social media referrals or paid search engine traffic.
Looking at these numbers allows you to evaluate whether or not your existing marketing efforts are working. For example, if you post a lot on social media, but there is very little traffic coming to your website from social networks, take a look at how your social media posts are structured and whether or not they include clear call to actions that direct people back to your website.
Alternatively, if the majority of your website traffic is coming from paid ads, you could start to develop a content strategy to improve your organic traffic so that you are able to bring visitors to your website without paying for each click.
The behavior section will tell you what pages of your website are bringing website visitors in and how those visitors are navigating your website. Depending on how much content your website has, or what pages, posts or listings you are promoting at the moment, the behavior report should reflect those efforts.
However, this report also allows you to see where the larger trends are. For example, shortly after COVID-19 hit, we noticed that blog posts about moving to our state were seeing significant spikes in traffic. This gave us an early indication of the huge influx of out-of-state buyers that were about to flood our market and allowed us to position ourselves ahead of our competition.