It’s no secret that competing on the Internet for real estate buyers and sellers is a free-for-all. Real estate professionals and brokerages spend a lot of time and money to try and maximize the Return on Investment from their websites. And, it’s no piece of cake.
- Develop a website that is useful to real estate buyers and sellers.
- Fill it with content that will present you as the local real estate expert.
- Get the SEO right so that the visitors find the site.
- Develop lead capture mechanisms and strategies to get their email addresses.
- Follow up on those email prospects, sometimes for many months until they get to the closing table.
While doing all of this right doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly makes it more probable. However, there’s plenty of room for error, and errors are made. Drop one piece of the puzzle, and the results can be zero. And, this is only speaking of the initial setup of the website and all of these procedures and strategies. What about time and the changes it brings?
From the day a website goes live, it should be thoroughly tracked and analyzed. First, there’s the measurement required to see if all of these mechanisms are set up right at the beginning. However, even if the job was done right, real estate marketing is a moving target. The massive changes in the Internet and social networking alone have changed the way visitors arrive at our sites, and what they want and do once they’re there.
So, we MUST measure and analyze the performance of our websites continually. And there is a lot to analyze.
- Where are your visitors coming from?
- Where do they land when they arrive?
- What pages on your site do they visit while they’re there?
- How long do they stay?
- From what pages do they leave your site?
- Which of your forms are they completing and what searches are they doing?
- What keywords and phrases are bringing them to your site?
- How effective are your landing pages for these keywords?
- There’s more.
When we’re talking about keywords and phrases that bring visitors to our site, it can be about more than just what’s working. If you’re using Google Adwords and paying for clicks to get people to your site, it’s money going out for marketing. If those clicks and visits don’t convert to closings and commissions, it’s all wasted money. You’ll want to track conversions to see if you’re buying the right keywords and realizing the full value of the visitors from those clicks.
One of the best tools out there for gathering and monitoring all of this data is Google Analytics. Though it’s considered by many to be THE tool to use, many real estate sites aren’t using it at all or are getting incorrect data because it isn’t installed or isn’t implemented properly. Bad information is in many ways worse than no information at all. Making marketing decisions based on incorrect data can create terrible results.
There is a group of real estate professionals and brokerages out there that is on top of their site demographics. They have a RealtySoft site, with Google Analytics integration done right. There are also other analytical tools in the RealtySoft system that cooperate with Google Analytics to provide a thorough view of the performance of your RealtySoft site. From the moment a visitor first arrives, through all of their travel around the site, these tools measure and track.
The site owner can make decisions based on hard data. And, the data is accurate because RealtySoft has set up the analytics tools. There’s never any doubt about what’s working and what needs to be changed to make it work better. This brings more leads, better conversions and higher commissions!