ask not what your website can do for you

I was talking to an agent friend the other day, and she was asking me about her site analytics, wanting to better understand bounce rate and page views and whatnot.  Like many in the industry that consider themselves tech-savvy, she has a Google Analytics account for her business site and faithfully checks those numbers – having no idea how to get any value out of them.

So my first question is always the same: What’s your goal?

You get mostly the same answers – to get more registrations or blog subscribers or have them fill out a contact form.  Something along those lines.

And you can certainly maximize those things.  If your goal is as many IDX registrations as possible, we can cram everyone down that funnel.  We can make our goal to increase the number of registrations per 1000 visitors, or some such easily identified figure from our analytics.  I mean, hey.  Only a small portion of the visitors to your site are there to search properties.  Some want information, or the value of their home, or community data, or are checking out photos of a home their friend is purchasing.  But we can cram ’em all down that registration road. 

But I’m guessing that’s not what you really want.  Or ought to want.  Because what I hope you want is to deliver such a delightful experience for that visitor that they happily register, or email you, or download your market report with glee. 

So to approach your analytics with an attitude of whats-in-it-for-me gets you to the wrong conclusions, especially in a service based industry like real estate.

Because it isn’t about what our website does for our company.  It’s about what our website does for our customers.

When I look at a section of my site, first I want to think about who is using it, and what they want to accomplish.  And then I make those things easy to find and do.  And then I can identify and monitor metrics that measure those things.

We can discuss bounce rates and page views and whatnot, but that’s such a small part of the bigger picture.  Without the context of what those things mean in terms of our consumers’ needs and wants and goals, we’re operating in a vacuum.  We optimize for our consumers. And happy consumers take care of us.

One Comment

  1. I think that an agent’s blog/web site needs to compliment their other efforts. Yes, it can generate new people but it needs to show that you have in depth knowledge of a subject, a sense of humor or a new perspective on one of the great mysteries in real estate… such as taking decent digital photos.

    Over the past two years I have written posts on a hundred subjects, but I am far from finished. New material comes up all the time and that is what keeps me interested. Buyers and sellers have questions, and maybe your blog post on the local farmers’ market will make you their new real estate agent.


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