Take time to understand common website analytics metrics and map out goals for your website
Building a beautiful website is hard work…but it’s only the first step in your journey for a strong and intentional online presence that feeds into success in your luxury real estate business. Once your website is up and running, it becomes a constant work in progress: there will always be aspects to improve, tweak, and change.
Pinpointing exactly how you can make your high-end real estate website performance stronger relies on your understanding of how it’s currently performing. This task constitutes a learning curve all its own. Understanding website analytics can feel overwhelming at first, but the payback is more than worth it. With a baseline knowledge of what each metric tells you and clear goals based on your current performance, you’ll be able to leverage your web analytics to create targeted and effective online action plans.
Before you take a deep dive into your website analytics and analyze what each reported number actually means, you first need to ground yourself in the context of your business goals. First, consider the question: what purpose does your website serve? Are you simply starting out with a basic Contact and About Me page alongside your property listings? Have you spent time on your luxury real estate web design to ensure a smooth and intuitive user path? Dig into the reality of your current website to analyze how your site is set up to work for you. This will allow you to contextualize each website analytics data point down the line.
Once you’ve taken stock of your current site, think about what it is you want out of your website. When someone comes to your website, what do you want them to do? For most luxury real estate agents, the most desired web visitor actions are likely inquiring about selling their home, booking a meeting (like a buyer consultation), or scheduling a showing of one of your luxury listings. Depending on your specific niche and whether you primarily work with buyers, sellers, or both, your goals will revolve around the user journey to eventually complete those actions.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there are several paths and smaller steps that work into that ultimate conversion — meetings and showings booked aren’t the only metrics you’ll want to keep track of. You also need to know details like how many people are visiting your website, how long they’re spending on your site, and whether they return. That’s where more in-depth website analytics come in.
Track Your Data
The data you choose to closely track will depend on your goals for your business and your website overall. It’s helpful to develop a high-level understanding of each data point in order to choose which metrics to drill down on and track most closely, and to be able to quickly analyze an overview of your web performance.
When you analyze the pageviews on your site, you’re looking at the number of times a web browser loaded a given page of your website. This means that whether someone has just clicked on your blog link from your social media post, pressed “refresh” on your Homepage, or clicked from your About page to your Contact page, each of these actions will be counted as a pageview.
Since it’s easy for the same user to be counted multiple times if they click away and come back or refresh a specific page, it’s important to consider the pageviews metric alongside other data points for context. For example, by looking into unique pageviews, you can see how many different users viewed a page within a particular session. This means that a user coming to your homepage, clicking on your blog, then clicking back to your homepage will only count for your homepage as one unique pageview, but two pageviews.
The sessions metric counts the number of visits to your website overall in a given time frame. So, if a user comes to your website and clicks around from your homepage to your listings and back to your homepage again, your homepage will have two pageviews while your site will just have one session from that entire interaction. Depending on the analytics software you use, sessions may be defined by different time periods. For example, with Google Analytics, a new session will begin after 30 minutes or after a user leaves the site and comes back via a different traffic source.
Traffic sources tell you how users are coming to your site. This will generally be broken up into a pie chart with sections such as “Organic Search,” “Referrals,” or “Email.” Analyzing and setting goals around this particular data point can help you specify which online marketing efforts are working and whether new visitors are finding you when they search for your services online. Ideally, as you work on your site’s SEO, you’ll see your Organic Search numbers increase. If you’re running aggressive email campaigns or social media ads, you’d hope to see the numbers for those traffic sources rise.
New Visitors & Returning Visitors
Each website analytics tool will have different terminology for a similar metric: new users, new visitors, unique visitors, and new user sessions generally all mean the same thing. This metric tells you how many people are visiting your website for the first time. Ideally, this number will remain steadily high as your new outreach and referral efforts work to bring new attention to your website. New people visiting your site means more future clients entering into your sphere. As with many metrics, it’s a good idea to take your new visitors data with a grain of salt, since this data relies on tracking cookies and may not recognize the same user accessing your site on various different devices. Remember, one single visitor can have multiple sessions and pageviews.
On some website analytics tools, you’ll also be able to see a metric for returning visitors. This indicates how many visitors who have already been to your site have come back. This will rely on cookies as well, but tracking the way this metric fluctuates will help you to determine whether you’re continuously adding value for your community. For example, if you’re seeing very few returning visitors, you might consider adding a blog, a monthly update, or other habitually-refreshed and valuable information to your site in addition to your evergreen content. Depending on your niche, low returning visitation may also mean it’s time to investigate more ways to promote your luxury real estate listings and drive house hunters back to your site to check them out.
Bounce rate tells you the percentage of visitors who come to your site, then leave after viewing only one page and not interacting with your site. Most analytics tools will allow you to break bounce rate down to your site as a whole, as well as by particular page. Different types of pages should logically have different bounce rates. For example, if you’re pushing traffic to your blog where you answer one specific question, it makes sense that, as long as that blog post does effectively answer the question, satisfied visitors may click back off of your website after reading that blog page. However, if pages like your homepage or your overall site have particularly high bounce rates, you may need to consider how intuitive your site is and work on drawing visitors into your site and toward conversion more effectively.
Some website analytics tools will also calculate conversion rate. In some industries, this is a straightforward calculation comparing the number of people who buy something on your site to the number of visitors overall. However, conversion on a luxury real estate website is a bit of a different beast: you may think of conversions in terms of buyer’s consultations booked, listings walk-throughs scheduled, or any other indicator of your business relationship moving off-line.
Analyze and Set Goals
Many luxury real estate agents don’t have surplus hours each week to deep-dive into each and every website metric. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the information and the possible implications of each data point. Instead of trying to make sense of each and every number, ground yourself in your overall business goals and allow yourself to zoom in on the website metrics that align with those goals. For example, if you’re early on in your business and focusing on community growth, track the progress of your visitor’s metrics for a few months. If you’re ready to fine-tune your website experience, drill down on bounce rate and conversions to ensure an ideal user journey with Luxury Presence to help you.