Marketing Insight for Master-Planned Communities

Google Analytics: Getting Started

Google Analytics: Getting Started

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While community marketers understand the importance of capturing and steering prospective buyers to the community’s website, they sometimes do not take advantage of Google Analytics and its free insights.

Experts in using the free Google tool can create sophisticated reports that can take hours to assemble, but even a novice user of Google Analytics can determine where potential buyers are or even how well a media buy or campaign is performing in real time. If you have only scratched the surface, a deeper dig can be very rewarding.

First Steps

Whit Hazelton, who manages search engine marketing for, says there are several simple ways to gain insights from Google’s vast search data that will not require advanced training or even additional investments.

“So many private, gated communities who rely on search to bring in buyers know of Google Analytics but don’t realize all it has to offer, so the first step is to take more time to become familiar with it,” Hazelton explains. “Another good idea is to build in a little time at the end of each week or month to check important data that will help their community marketing efforts the most.”

Avoiding Information Overload

Google Analytics can generate hundreds of free reports and email them automatically on a  daily, weekly or monthly basis to marketing managers. Hazelton lists a menu of 12 reports where developers, builders, real estate ad agencies and even home and property owners associations can get their most valuable data.

Topping the list is a report called Audience Overview, the real gateway to understanding who is visiting your community’s website. Once your “web people” have installed Google Analytics, you can begin to see information that impacts the messaging as well as usability of your community’s site.

Digging Deeper

Some of the other free reports Hazelton recommends include:

  • States and cities where your visitors were located
  • How much time visitors stayed on your community’s website
  • The 3 most common ways people got to your community’s website
  • What percentage of your website’s visitors were new or repeating
  • Which websites sent the most visitors and what keywords worked best

Advanced Analytics

See Community Sales & Marketing News for more about measuring bounce rates, setting up advanced tracking reports and getting the most from Google Analytics.

Next Steps

Executives and marketing managers who list communities at can receive customized Google Analytics reports showing detailed data about their own community’s website traffic as well as an in-depth analysis of how the data can impact online marketing decisions.

For more details on what your community can learn about future buyers, contact Director of Sales Ben Keal to schedule a behind-the-scenes demo.

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