There’s a reason popular websites are often so easy to navigate. It’s because the people who build them spend as much time thinking about why they’re popular as they do promoting the website. For real estate professionals, this can be a valuable lesson, much the same as knowing your market when you look for leads. If you’re a real estate agent with a website, you can use a wide variety of free analytics and statistics tools to track online visitors and make your site better. Combined with search engine optimization and traditional marketing techniques, these tools can help make you a lot more successful.
But before you download every piece of site tracking software out there, it’s important to consider exactly what you need for your site. Too much information, or the wrong kind, can still be a bad thing here, and divert your attention away from the most important numbers. For example, blog site traffic might be much more keyword driven than traffic to a well-known service site with a lot of click able imagery – both sites will benefit from different tracking methods.
Using free tools can also make you more adept at reading server logs and stats from your websites hosting provider, which are more reliable, but often less user friendly.
The most popular in-depth analysis tool out there is Google Analytics, which allows you track multiple websites through the same control panel. This plug-in can provide detailed information on a wide variety of traffic metrics, from the bounce rate of each page, to more traditional keyword information.
GetClicky is another tool you can use to find in-depth information across your site. Unlike Google Analytics, it keeps stats in real time, rather than an update every 24 hours, so you can see how your site’s performing up to the minute.
More specialized tools that don’t provide comprehensive information include CrazyEgg, 103Bees, Mint, and Feedburner. For WordPress users, there are also a variety of stats plugins built specifically for the blogging platform, including Open Web Analytics, and Wp-Stats – some WordPress plugins even have additional plugins to integrate tools like Google Analytics.
Statistics tools are usually free because they allow the developer to see what’s happening on your site, and compile marketing data. So use these tools if you can, but don’t forget to take any unused tools off your site so you aren’t sending valuable information without getting something in return.