Analytics is the lifeblood of the Internet. I may not be making any ground breaking statement there, but when it comes to the Real Estate industry it isn’t exactly something that is always top of mind. There’s a lot of Real Estate Agents out there, and even more Real Estate websites. The ‘big guys’ like Zillow, Trulia, MarketLeader etc all have teams and teams of analysts who look at even the most mundane statistics in order to optimize their sites. They are using that data to improve everything from bounce rates to website layouts. But when we get down in the weeds as Real Estate Agents, most of us don’t have the resources to dedicate people just to web analytics.
However, that doesn’t mean that analytics are any less important to the little guys. In fact, what it means is that we are playing at a disadvantage from the start. We all know its darned near impossible to break into the top page rankings for any particular search term when we’re going up against multiple 800 lb Gorillas. But that also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be using Analytics to help improve your bottom line. Here’s Six Reasons Why Analytics Help Your Bottom Line:
- It’s Free. Well, if there’s a word that Realtors like more than “Free” (unless it refers to our commission), I don’t know what it is. Google Analytics, for example, is 100% free to use on your website. Just sign up for a Google account, add the little snippet of code to your website, and you can start analyzing your web traffic right away.
- It Helps Your Ranking. Once you’ve linked your website to your Google Analytics account, you can start submitting your website’s sitemaps via the Google Search Console. This is one of the best things you can do to get your website onto Google’s (and Bing & Yahoo too) radar screen. It all has to do with educating Google about what’s on your website so that they can better display results to the internet.
- You Can Validate Marketing Efforts. How many times have you asked yourself if all that money you’re spending on marketing is actually paying off? It’s darned near impossible to do unless you have a way of analyzing your business before and after a particular campaign. Your advertising should be driving traffic back to your website (if it’s not, it should be!!). If you have Google recording your website traffic you should be able to see an uptick resulting from your marketing. If you don’t, then stop spending money on that and try something else.
- You Can Target More Effectively. Wouldn’t you love to be able to pick up the phone and call someone that you know has opened your last email newsletter? How about calling someone who’s opened it up more than once? It would makes interrupting their lives feel a little less intrusive, right? We use MailChimp for our email campaigns, and they show you a list of who’s opened your emails and who hasn’t. I’m not saying you shouldn’t call everyone in your database, but you may want to start with the folks who are interacting with your emails first.
- You Can Improve Your Bounce Rate. A website’s “Bounce Rate” is the percentage of users who come to it and then immediately leave without clicking on anything. It is one of the factors that affect your SEO ranking. The lower the bounce rate, the better. It indicates to the search engines that people are interacting with your site, which means you must have valid information for them. Make some changes to your site by adding embedded links, “Read More” buttons etc. to (hopefully) spur your audience to find more information. And then look at your analytics to see what works and what doesn’t.
- You Can Understand Your Users. There’s so much information out there to analyze, it can become overwhelming. But knowing the percentage of users who visit your site that use a mobile device vs. a desktop computer is very useful. If your site isn’t mobile friendly but you have a decent number of mobile visitors, you will want to spend money on getting a responsive site. Or more realistically, if you have no mobile visitors and your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will confirm to you that your site should be responsive.
This is really just a small sampling of the many reasons why analytics will help your bottom line. To learn more about how you can use Google Analytics, check out our single-site webinar class on the subject.