How to Use Google Analytics on a Real Estate Website

What search words are people using to find your real estate website through Google, Bing and Yahoo? How might you expand on these topics, to attract even more visitors through search engines? If you can’t answer these questions, it’s probably time to take a good, hard look at your website analytics program.

You do have analytics installed on your real estate website, right? If not, shame on you. Understanding your visitors is one of the best ways to increase your web traffic going forward.

And that’s exactly what a tool like Google Analytics can show you. It shows you (A) how people are finding your site in the first place, and (B) how they interact with it upon entering. Those are two very important pieces of information.

Using a Google Analytics on a Real Estate Website

Do you have a website analytics program installed on your real estate website? You should. These programs can give you some valuable insight into your traffic and visitor stats.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics, for example, can tell you which pages on your site are the most and least popular. You can also find out which keywords people are using in search engines to locate your site. Additionally, you can see which other websites are sending traffic your way (these are usually referred to as “referring sites”).

All of this information can be used when developing new content for your real estate website. It helps you publish the kind of information people want the most, based on actual search patterns and usage behavior.

Successful internet publishers understand the importance of analytics. They review their site data on a regular basis to improve the reader’s experience, and to increase traffic and engagement over time. We encourage our clients and readers to do the same.

An Example of Site Analysis in Action

The Home Buying Institute website (one of ours) has more than 1,000 articles, tutorials and news stories. And we publish new content on a regular basis. As internet publishers, we want to know which topics are most popular among our readers — mainly home buyers and sellers. This kind of insight helps us create more of the content people want most.

But how do we get this kind of insight? By using real estate website analytics, of course.

We use Google Analytics because it’s one of the most sophisticated programs of its kind. It also happens to be free, which is a hard “price” to beat. There are other programs out there as well. If you’re anti-Google for whatever reason, take a look at Mint, Web Trends, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg or Mint.

By using the Google Analytics program to analyze our real estate websites, we can quickly and easily learn which articles and news stories are generating the most interest. This is done simply by analyzing traffic volume and referral stats. For instance, if we publish seven news stories in the course of a week, and one of them pulls in the lion’s share of traffic … we’ve identified a hot topic among our target audience.

This insight would naturally yield some follow-up questions:

  • Could this topic be repeated for a different audience, such as another city / housing market?
  • Could this topic be expanded to drive even more traffic?
  • Is this a timely topic that could be revisited every month or quarter?
  • Are there related topics that would perform equally well, in terms of traffic and social sharing?

This is just one example from one website. We use analytics to drive various publishing strategies across a network of housing-related sites. It’s an indispensable tool for internet publishing success.

Bottom line: By identifying popular topics, an active real estate blogger or publisher could double, triple, or even quadruple his or her web traffic in a matter of months. I’ve seen it happen.

The Foundation of a Blogging or Publishing Program

If you have a static, 5-page website that you don’t plan to expand anytime soon, you probably don’t need to use a real estate website analytics program. This kind of insight won’t be very useful to you.

But if you’re an active blogger or article writer, you definitely need to know how people are interacting with your site. You need to review the data and trends captured by your analytics program, and use that information to refine and improve your content strategy. It will help you create the kind of content your readers want the most. And that’s smart publishing!

About the author: Brandon Cornett is a full-time real estate blogger and creator of the Home Buying Institute. He provides blogging services for mortgage and real estate professionals across the U.S.

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