13 Google Analytics Reports for Your Real Estate Website
By Matthew Bushery
About Web Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the more intricate real estate marketing tools you will likely ever use, meaning learning how to properly use the solution — from understanding the beneficial metrics the service makes available to learning the best ways to segment your audience — will help provide insights into your online marketing strategy.
Before you can get to the level where you build custom reports in the platform that give you intricate understanding of your real estate website’s performance, however, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the basic reports the service already offers. Discover the essential Google Analytics reports you should try out first, along with what to do to improve the metrics associated with each report.
1) Channels: How much traffic comes from direct, referral, social, email, and organic search
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “All Traffic” > “Channels”
In an ideal world, your real estate SEO efforts would yield you the top spots for all of the long-tail keywords you implement in your content and generate all the traffic you need to get qualified leads (and clients through the door). We don’t live in that world, unfortunately, as seemingly every town nationwide has countless agents fighting to “own” the same core terms and phrases associated with their markets.
What you likely see with your site traffic Google Analytics reports each month are several avenues by which you drive traffic to your site, like organic methods, social media, email marketing, and referrals. Each of these mediums is important to focus on with your real estate inbound marketing strategy, so while you may get most of your traffic from Google, don’t discount the effects your drip campaigns, guest blogging, and other off-site promotional efforts have on this metric.
2) Source/Medium: The specific channels that helped drive traffic to your real estate website
Where to Find the Report: “Acquisition” > “All Traffic” > “Source/Medium”
Though this technically falls under the umbrella of tracking overall traffic (which can be accomplished through multiple reports in Analytics), it’s important to segment where your visitors come from and how they find out about your content to determine which channels bring in the most visitors to your website.
Should you discover that Facebook accounts for, say, 20% of your traffic, that signifies you’re doing extremely well in developing a presence on the site. Similarly, if your real estate email marketing drip campaign generates a significant portion of visitors, you may want to spend more time crafting new emails for each of your lead lists.
Though you may find one source or medium dominates in terms of traffic created, that’s not to say you should focus all of your energy there entirely. You still need to allocate plenty of attention and effort to the other outlets your audience uses to discover your website.
3) Users Flow: The common paths users take while navigating your website
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Users Flow”
It’s obviously vital to know your real estate agent website is getting the traction you desire, but it’s equally imperative to understand where those visitors are spending the bulk of their time and how they navigate through your site. Users Flow is one of the most intriguing reports you can view through your Analytics account because it tells you the most common sequences visitors take from page to page.
Let’s say the majority of people enter your site via your homepage, and the most popular page they visit after the homepage is your listings page. This is great news, because it means your traffic is serious about checking out the local market. If the most popular page they visit after the homepage is your blog, that could indicate a considerable proportion of your visitors aren’t as far down the funnel and are simply exploring to learn more about home buying and selling, local market conditions, and any other relevant topics you produce content around.
4) New vs. Returning: A side-by-side comparison of new and returning website visitors
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Behavior” > “New vs. Returning”
A successful real estate agent website is one that not only gets plenty of visitors, but also one that keeps those same visitors coming back for more. Creating exhaustive blog posts, developing enticing offers via landing pages, and offering specific value overall are the keys to getting return traffic. So, if you notice the bounce rate for returning visitors bumps up from first-timers to your site, or that returning traffic isn’t visiting as many pages as new users, it’s an indication you need to dive deeper into what’s turning visitors off.
Chances are there’s at least one landing page that is leading to the drop-off, so take a deep dive into your analytics should the numbers diminish over time to figure out what leaks need to be plugged, so to speak.
5) Exit Pages: The last pages your visitors checked out during their sessions
Where to Find the Report: “Behavior” > “Site Content” > “Exit Pages”
Getting users to visit a dozen pages on your website and spend a half-hour there per session may seem optimal, but if those visitors aren’t entering in their personal contact information via a lead capture form — for instance, a real estate newsletter sign-up form — those substantial numbers won’t do you any good. So, head to “Exit Pages” on your Analytics page to view data regarding where people on your site leave most often and decide which pages need to be inspected closely.
The entire point of your real estate website is to get visitors to find a listing that interests them so much they feel compelled to reach out to you to learn more or to get them to email you or pick up the phone after determining you’re a reputable, hard-working agent. If they leave your site mostly through one or two pages, it’s imperative to modify them accordingly. Revise the existing form with new copy and fields, add more copy that explains your value proposition, include more social proof — these are the best ways to improve this particular Google Analytics metric.
6) Top Events: Specific interactions website users have on your various pages
Where to Find the Report: “Behavior” > “Events” > “Top Events”
Video views, form fillouts, clicks on certain links — these are arguably the most common events professionals track via their Google Analytics accounts. It makes sense to monitor the specific actions visitors take on your website, especially if you want to continually improve their experience, as doing so supplies you with a precise view of which page elements enhance your site’s performance most. All you need to track each of these kinds of events is an event tracking code you can implement on your site.
Testing various parts of your real estate website is one of the easiest and most effective ways to better your click-throughs and time on page — so start by testing with your events. For instance, if you publish a video to your homepage and want to see how many visitors watch it and how far they get through the video, you can use this data to determine if it’s even worth having a video there (low view totals point to a lack of interest), if you may need to alter the clip’s length (a drop-off in views midway through the recording or earlier likely indicates this may be required), or if you should replace the existing video with a new kind (e.g. switch out a listing video for a brand explainer video).
7) Frequency & Recency: The total count of and number of days since last website sessions
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Behavior” > “Frequency & Recency”
It’s impossible for any real estate agent to keep every visitor returning to their site over and over again. Eventually, many visitors drop off and don’t become leads. Even those who do enter your customer relationship management (CRM) database may go cold after a couple of months. And, of course, those leads you turn into clients really don’t have a need to check out your site once they’ve bought or sold their home. Thus, don’t be disappointed by this Google Analytics report when a hefty percentage of your traffic hasn’t been to your site more recently than yesterday.
As long as you have a high traffic total, getting even 1% of visitors to come back, say, 5 times in the last month is still a good indication your site is proving useful in their home and agent searches.
8) Landing Pages: The pages on which your visitors entered your website
Where to Find the Report: “Behavior” > “Site Content” > “Landing Pages”
Though it’s already been alluded to, pinpointing the webpages that do and don’t generate significant traction will gradually help you improve your site every month. It’s been reported that the more landing pages brands have on their sites, the better conversion rates they see. Having said that, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remove certain landing pages entirely if they don’t perform at the desired level (or at the very least alter them dramatically once or twice before eradicating them altogether). Run this report each month and you’ll get a transparent notion of what pages to keep, adjust, and extinguish.
9) Content Drilldown: The traffic totals for each subfolder on your website
Where to Find the Report: “Behavior” > “Site Content” > “Content Drilldown”
The best landing page structure for websites is to have subfolders that allow for clear, uniform naming conventions. For example, the ideal subfolder for a site’s blog is “yourwebsitehere.com/blog.” Based on this structure, your blog post URL slug will follow this subfolder accordingly (e.g. “yourwebsitehere.com/blog/home-buying-tips,” “yourwebsitehere.com/housing-market-update”). Once you have subfolder names set up, it’s easier to identify the different types of content published on your site and you can easily track those subfolders and their pages via the Content Drilldown report.
This data is ideal for those agents with an in-depth subfolder directory system — that is, multiple subfolders and several pages that fall under each subfolder — since they have a wealth of content on their sites and need to distinguish which yield lots of traffic, sessions, and users and which don’t.
10) Location: Where in the world your real estate website traffic comes from
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Geo” > “Location”
Unless you specialize in working with international home buyers, your best audience is those living in the United States — and, more specifically, those residing in or near your market. So, when looking at visitor location, ensure you’re optimizing your website with competitive, relevant long-tail keywords related to your local housing market so you can drill down and see who in your state and town/city — a.k.a. those who are most likely to become leads — are checking out your site. This can be done by clicking on the United States icon in the report, which will then allow you to click on your particular state and city.
Using broader primary and secondary terms (e.g. “Homes for sale,” “apartments for rent”), for instance, will not only not get you found high in search results, it’ll lead to random traffic that has zero interest in even buying, selling, or renting. Research plenty of keywords regularly that pertain to your local market, infuse them throughout your website, and you should see the overwhelming bulk of your traffic come from the intended region.
11) Age/Gender: Pretty straightforward — the age and gender of your visitors
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Demographic” > “Age” and “Gender”
Specializing in working with a niche real estate audience — whether it’s Millennial home buyers, Baby Boomer sellers, luxury consumers, or military members — is quite common among agents and brokers. With Google Analytics’ ability to identify site users based on age and gender (among other demographic details), it’s wise to take advantage of the reporting function to determine if those perusing your site are, in fact, those you tend to represent in home transactions most often.
Even if you find an unfamiliar audience is checking out your site regularly, for instance, you can still use that information to try to secure them as clients, which helps broaden your business opportunities. Just know that these particular reports require you to set up Advertising Features for your Analytics account.
12) Devices: The types of devices your website visitors use during sessions
Where to Find the Report: “Audience” > “Mobile” > “Devices”
Responsive design for real estate websites has become increasingly important over the past handful of years — and it’s easy to see why. With the Devices report in Analytics, you can see the effects of having (or not having) a responsive site based on the types of traffic you get from different devices.
Let’s say you get 95% of your total traffic via desktops. Assuming you get a steady amount of visitors each month (for this example’s sake, at least several hundred), this could signal the user experience for your site on mobile is far worse in quality than on desktop. Therefore, this Google Analytics report can tell you if upgrading to a responsive real estate website theme is the right move.
The world is moving to mobile more and more every day, so make sure your site is optimized accordingly and you’ll start to see more smartphone and tablet users visit your site.
13) Search Queries: Googled terms that generated traffic for your website
Where to Find the Report: “Acquisition” > “Search Engine Optimization” > “Queries”
Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner is arguably the best keyword research tool out there, but it’s not the only resource you can use to discern new keywords to use in your online real estate marketing. One of the best Google Analytics reports, Search Queries, helps you figure out what people are entering into Google prior to seeing one or more pages from your website in search results.
If many visitors type in your market’s name then “single-family homes for sale,” for example, and end up seeing an area page that notes the best features and amenities of your local community, then you know that’s a keyword you ought to continue using across your site. There will undoubtedly be terms and phrases you don’t use as part of your keyword strategy that users still enter into search and end up finding your pages, so ascertain which terms you should implement more on your site to dominate those particular keywords and keep those searchers coming across your pages in search results.
What Google Analytics reports do you run for your real estate agent marketing? Share how you use the data platform to improve your website in the comments below!
Published on June 19, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.