Web Analytics with Google Analytics

Set Up Dashboard

With over 90 percent of homebuyers now searching for real estate online, having a strong online presence has never been more important for real estate professionals. In order to build an effective real estate marketing website that drives traffic and generates leads, you need to monitor your site’s performance and understand how visitors are interacting with your content. One of the best tools for measuring traffic and engagement on your real estate website is Google Analytics.

Why this play is for you:

Set up Google Analytics account
Add Google Analytics tracking to your real estate website
Connect Google Analytics with AdWords account
Configure administrative settings for Google Analytics
Create Google Analytics dashboard for easy, at-a-glance reporting

With Google Analytics, you can collect data about your website to gain insight, develop strategies, and make adjustments that will improve your online marketing outcomes.

Set Up a Google Analytics Account

To start, you’ll need to sign into Google Analytics using your Google Apps account. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll have an opportunity to create one below.

Part 1:Sign in

Head to www.google.com/analytics, then select “Sign in” in the top right corner. Enter your credentials for the Google account you wish to use for Google Analytics. (If you don’t have a Google account, select “Create an account” and fill in the form provided.)

Once you’ve logged into Google Analytics, click “Sign Up” to begin entering details about the site you wish to track.

Part 2:Enter details

Enter your account details.

  1. Account Name: Your name or the name of your company. You can track multiple websites with one Analytics account, so be sure to choose a name that will prevent confusion down the road (in other words, not your real estate website URL).
  2. Website Name: The title of your website. For instance: RyanRealty.com
  3. Website URL: The full web address of the site you wish to track: www.fremontrealty.com. If your website uses a secure connection (HTTPS), select it from the dropdown menu. Otherwise, stick with HTTP.
  4. Industry Category: Select “Real Estate” from the dropdown menu. Note that this is for Google’s internal use and won’t affect your reports.
  5. Reporting Time Zone: Select the time zone for your city or region.

Finally, you’ll see several check boxes for allowing your Analytics tracking data to be shared across Google’s products and services. Allowing Analytics data sharing gives Google’s support team access to your data and enables several features, including benchmarking reports that can help you measure your site against others in your industry.

Once you’ve chosen your data sharing settings, click “Get Tracking ID” to continue to the next step.

Add Google Analytics to Your Website

After arriving on your Google Analytics dashboard, you’ll see your Google Analytics tracking ID, a set of letters and numbers that looks like this:

UA-00000000-00

The first set of digits in your tracking ID (00000000) is your account number, while the second set (00) identifies which property or website you’re tracking. If you’re collecting data on multiple sites, it’s crucial that the tracking code on each website matches the corresponding property number. (For a complete glossary of Analytics terms, see Google’s support page.)

You’ll also see a text box with a snippet of Javascript code. This is your Google Analytics tracking code. In order for Google analytics to work properly on your website, this snippet must be added to the code for every web page.

Thankfully, most website platforms have streamlined the process of adding Google Analytics to your website.

Part 1:Add your tracking code to a Placester site

If you have a Placester Website, adding your Google Analytics tracking code is easy.

  1. Log into to your Placester dashboard and select “Site Tracking” from the Website Settings menu.
  2. Copy your tracking ID (not your tracking code), then paste it into the field provided. Placester will generate your tracking code snippet and automatically apply it to every page and post on your site.

Part 2:Add your tracking code to a WordPress site

If your website is powered by WordPress, you can use a plugin to add your Google Analytics tracking code to all of your pages. While there are several Google Analytics plugins, most function the same way: download the plugin, then add your tracking ID. A few of the most popular WordPress plugins for Google Analytics are:

For more WordPress plugins for Google Analytics, visit the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Part 3:Add your tracking code manually

Finally, if you’re an experienced web developer or know someone who is, you can add your tracking code directly to your pages.

  1. Copy your entire tracking code snippet from your Google Analytics dashboard.
  2. Access your page’s HTML source code and paste your snippet into the head element, just before the closing </head> tag.

If your site uses PHP or a similar technology to dynamically generate pages from templates, you can paste your tracking code into its own file, then include it in your page header.

See Google’s support article for more information on how to add your tracking code to your website.

NOTE: Once you’ve added tracking to your website, it may take 24-48 hours for Google Analytics to begin displaying data.

Configure Admin Settings

There are dozens of settings you can adjust in the Google Analytics admin panel. Here are a few core functions.

Part 1:Create views

You can refine your reporting for each property in your Google Analytics account by creating views. A view allows you to concentrate on a more specific subset of data about your website, without changing your settings across your entire account.

  1. Head to the View column in your Google Analytics admin panel. Select “Create new view” from the dropdown menu.
  2. Create a title that describes the specific data your view will concentrate on, then click “Create.”

Once you’ve created a view, you can refine it using the “Filters” tab in your View Settings. Note: Once you add a filter to a view, any data excluded will be unavailable, and deleted views can’t be recovered. To avoid losing valuable data, don’t delete or add filters to your original “All Web Site Data” view.

BonusTwo View Filter Examples

Include data from a specific set of pages. Let’s say you wanted to create a view for traffic and behavior on your listing details pages. On a Placester site, every listing details page begins with the subdirectory /property/. For instance: www.fremontrealty.com/property//ma/boston/02108/downtown/10-brimmer-st/.

  1. In your View Settings, select “Filters,” then click “+ New Filter.”
  2. Enter a name for your filter (Listing Details Pages).
  3. Select Predefined > Include only > to the subdirectories > that begin with.
  4. Type in /property/.
  5. Click Save.

Omit internal traffic. To provide the most accurate picture of your visitors, you may want to exclude internal traffic (i.e., traffic created by you and your team) from your reports.

  1. In your View Settings, select “Filters,” then click “+ New Filter.”
  2. Enter a name for your filter (“Exclude Internal Traffic”). 
  3. Select Predefined > Exclude > traffic from the IP addresses > that are equal to.
  4. Enter your IP address (and those of your team members, if any).
  5. Click Save.

Part 3:Add user

If you’re a member of a team or working with a marketing professional, you may want to add additional administrators to your Google Analytics account.

  1. Head to the admin panel in Google Analytics, then click “User Management” under the “Account” column. (To authorize a user only for an individual property or view, choose “User Management” from the property or view column.)
  2. Add the Google account email of your new user.
  3. Choose permissions: read and analyze, edit, manage users, etc.

Once you add your new user, they’ll receive an email invitation to join your Google Analytics account.

Part 4:Link AdWords account

In order to view data on your paid search traffic and unlock a number of additional features, you’ll need to connect your AdWords account to Google Analytics.

  1. If you don’t have one already, set up a Google AdWords account with the same login you uses to register for Google Analytics.
  2. Select “AdWords Linking” from your property’s settings menu.
  3. Click “+ New Link” and follow the instructions.

See Google’s support article for more on linking AdWords with Analytics.

Configure Your Google Analytics Reports

With your tracking code up and running, the next step is to view and organize your Google Analytics data reports. Your reports are divided into several basic sections, each with its own subsections. (See Google’s support page for a detailed breakdown of each report type.)

  • Intelligence Events
  • Real-Time
  • Audience
  • Acquisitions
  • Behavior
  • Conversion

Each report can be customized with a visual style, metrics, and segments to suit your needs.

Part 1:Create dashboard

In addition to viewing your Analytics data under each of the report section headings in the side pane, you can create a custom dashboard with widgets to display all of your most valuable metrics at a glance.

  1. In the side pane, click “Dashboards,” then select “+ New Dashboard.”
  2. Name your dashboard.
  3. Choose your starting setup: Blank Canvas (an empty dashboard you can fill as you see fit), Starter Dashboard (Google’s default dashboard with some common widgets), or Import from Gallery (choose from thousands of user-submitted Dashboard configurations).
  4. Click “Create Dashboard.”

Once you’ve chosen your setup, you can add, remove, edit, and rearrange your dashboard widgets. Each widget can be configured with various graph styles, metrics, and filters to suit your needs.

See Google’s support article for more information on creating and customizing dashboards.

Part 2:Create shortcut

For faster access to the reports you use most often, you can create shortcuts in your reports side pane. Shortcuts remember your settings, so you don’t have to reconfigure a report each time you open it.

  1. Open the report you wish to save.
  2. Configure any view settings, segments, or metrics you want in your report.
  3. Click “Shortcut” at the top of the report.
  4. Name your shortcut, then click “OK.”

These are just the basic tools and settings available on Google Analytics. For a full list of features and reports, visit the Google Analytics website.