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Leveraging Google Analytics to Supercharge Online Marketing

July 23 2012

Guest contributor Mike Minard of Delta Media Group says:

graphI recently spotted an article on RE Technology about tracking marketing results and it got me thinking about one of the most powerful tools available to real estate professionals: Google Analytics. I'm going to take a moment to explain just how agents and brokers, in conjunction with their website developer, can use Google Analytics to market their services and listings more effectively.

What Can Google Analytics Tell Us?

Google Analytics can reveal things such as cost per lead, customer conversion rates, customer engagement rates and user behavior. For brokerages and agents that run banners or sponsor things, it also can be used to reveal the success of those efforts and empower the site owner with the information needed to make smart business decisions and get a true understanding of return on investment (ROI).

How We Use Google Analytics

I'm very familiar with the potential of Google Analytics because we use it regularly at Delta Media Group. Some of the key elements we leverage include:

  • Conversion Goals - You need to set up conversion goals. Without conversion goals, you're blind in knowing how your customers are converting on your site. This is very revealing in showing you the sources of traffic that convert well and the sources that don't. Clearly, you'll want to focus more of your time and financial resources on the sources that convert.
  • Goal Flow - This is a great visual representation of how converting customers flow through your site. While we are concerned with how customers flow through sites in general, we're very concerned with how, specifically, those customers that convert flow through the site. Paying attention to this can help increase conversion rates.
  • Goal Funnel Visualization - This is useful in doing A/B testing on forms. Do you have forms on your site that customers find frustrating? Funnel Visualization can reveal this and also increase conversion rates.
  • Traffic Sources - This one is pretty obvious. You want to know where your traffic is coming from. However, we dig deeper. Again, we pay attention to time on the site, conversion rates, bounce rates, etc. This can also help clarify things. One source may have a higher bounce rate that's expected and can be explained. These are important things to know.
  • Landing Page and Conversion Rates - Customers are no longer just landing on your home page. Actually, the majority of customers on our sites land on the property detail pages. What does this mean? Are these customers bouncing? Are they converting? All these are very important to the design and usability of your site.
  • Visitor Flow and In-Page Analytics - Want to see what your customers do when they come to your site and how they interact with your site? These reports tell you this. Thinking of re-designing your site and deciding on a new navigation? This is the first place you should look so you can make strategic decisions on the design of your site, especially navigation elements.
  • Mobile - We expect mobile to be around 50% of the traffic on our sites in the next year or two. You have to pay attention to customers' mobile behavior. We certainly are, and we're making big changes to our mobile system right now based on the behaviors we're seeing.
  • Advertising - If you're using Google AdWords, you need to link your AdWords account to your Analytics account. Doing so gives you deep insight into what's happening. Combined with the other items mentioned here, you get an exact dollar amount on your conversion rates. Which situation would you rather have: paying for traffic at a cost of $0.50 per click where 1 out of 100 convert, or paying $5.00 per click where 1 out of 3 convert? I would pay the $5.00 all day long! Analytics would reveal this!
  • Events and Event Flow - Do you have forms on your site and do you really know how they're used? We don't really do this for customers directly, but we use this to understand how some of our tools are used so we can dedicate development resources to the things that end users care about. We can tell some amazing things about what customers are searching for in various markets. It can also reveal frustrations that customers are having that you never really hear about and enable us to react and make our sites friendlier to the end users.

About Delta Media Group
In addition to other online real estate marketing services, Delta Media Group builds websites for agents and brokers. Check out the product review for Delta Agent Sites™ on RE Technology and a full suite of products and services at DeltaGroup.comDeltaGroup.com.

Other articles of interest: Birdview IDX | MLSFinder.com