An important part of any smart property marketing strategy should include the use of Google analytics on your website.
Now, it doesn’t matter what type of website you have for your property (your own custom website or a third party hosted site), you can embed code on the site that will give you access to Google Analytics – for FREE! Think of the difference as driving a car blind or having a windshield to see where you are going.
Once you have Google Analytics installed you can start analyzing all kinds of helpful information. Not only can you track how many people visit your site every day, you can also study information about your visitors, like where they come from, how long they spend on your site, and what is of interest to them.
In terms of building a smart property marketing strategy, we encourage our clients to track where the traffic to their site comes from. Here are some tips on what to look for, and how to know if you’re on the right track or stuck in a rut. There are three primary sources of traffic to your site – direct traffic, referring sites, and through search engines. Here are a few things to consider to be a smart property marketing expert.
Direct Traffic – These are visitors who get to your site by typing your URL directly into their browsers. In terms of marketing value, these visitors have the lowest merit. They tend to be visitors who are already aware and familiar with your property. They may also be employees, vendors and residents. Not that you don’t want them visiting your site – just looking at it from a smart property marketing perspective, they aren’t likely to be “prospects”.
Referring Sites – These are visitors that find your website through other third party sources. They include paid and unpaid referrals, including traffic driven from advertising on ILS sites, as well as free sources such as Craigslist. Using Google Analytics can help you track which sources are your most productive, and by attaching the cost of the source you can calculate the cost per visitor and have a smart property marketing strategy.
Search Engines – The last type of traffic source comes from people who have typed a word or phrase into a search engine. Getting a lot of traffic from Search Engines doesn’t automatically mean you’re receiving a lot of new prospects. There’s a difference in the “quality” of traffic you get from search engines. For example, we find that most properties that don’t utilize some type of SEO strategy don’t get new visitors or prospects. What you get back will most likely be strategic terms that incorporate the name of the property or include the address. These are people who are already aware of the name of the property and are not likely to be new prospects. Sites that execute some type of SEO will see visitors who use broad terms like ‘Rent Phoenix’.
So, if you haven’t done it yet, turn on your Google Analytics and take a look at where your traffic is coming from – it’s a must for any smart property marketing strategy.