Chris Mercer, Co-Founder of MeasurementMarketing.io
Using Google Tools and Metrics to Maximize Your Commercial Real Estate Business
Today you are going to be meeting one of the foremost experts in digital marketing and specifically in Google Analytics, Chris 'Mercer' Mercer of Measurement Marketing. Google Analytics is a very technical area but don't be intimidated. Today, Mercer will keep start at a basic, 101 level, then we'll do a few deep dives.
The biggest takeaway today is that you're going to learn how to make sure that your website is 'having the conversation that you want to have with your prospects,' and there are some amazing quotes from Mercer. Here are a couple of them: 'Data Analytics: truth is in the trend.' Gotta love that right? And 'Google Analytics. The power is in the pattern.'
If you implement what you hear today, you will immediately improve the way you run your business, your website, and how you find prospects and convert them into investors.
What You're Going to Learn
- What Doesn’t Google Know About Us?
- Does Google Share Everything It Knows About Us with Us?
- Some Useful Tools to Start with in Google Analytics
- How Google Analytics Tracks Engagement
- The 3 Best Things to Start Measuring with Google Analytics
- How to Measure and Track Engagement on Your Real Estate Website
- How to Use Google Analytics Data to Measure Trends
- How Google Analytics Can Help You Create Targeted Emails to Prospects
- How to Understand User Interaction Using Google Analytics
- And much more!
Listen To or Watch the Full Podcast Here
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What Doesn’t Google Know About Us?
ADAM GOWER: Is there anything that Google doesn't know about us?
CHRIS MERCER: If we think about what Google knows about us. Google owns, essentially, the highway that we're using, in a lot of cases, right. And they own the car that you're using. So, if you think about, you're signing into your browser, you're checking your email. Like, that's the equivalent of the car and you're doing the searching and the searching is like using the information superhighway and they own that. So they know an awful lot about us as individuals. What's interesting, and this is very recent over the years, the big thing on data privacy and who owns the data now? Is it Google's data or is it our data that we're allowing Google to hold? And there's a battle and there's a trend that's starting to reverse back to the users owning the data, right? Us saying, hey, I'm just leasing the car from you, you know. I get to keep everything in the car, right. Whereas before, it was like, Google keeps everything that you leave behind, right. And, it's not so much that anymore. So Google knows a ton about us, for sure. Probably more than Google even knows that they know, at this point. Because I'm sure they just collect everything to collect everything because they're at the scale where they can.
Does Google Share Everything It Knows About Us with Us?
ADAM GOWER: The things that they do know about us. What are the most exciting things that they will share with us when we try to find our ideal prospects?
CHRIS MERCER: What can they share? That's been a rapidly changing question. So, it used to be, they would share with an advertiser, for example, everything and anything, didn't really matter, right. And then you have these laws and compliance that comes through where, you know, even this, as a simple example, HIPAA in the US, where HIPAA law keeps them from doing medical. And so, they can't really share medical stuff, because you can't target medical stuff, in that it violates HIPAA. And then you have GDPR coming down the pike and you have California's laws coming down the pike. And more and more and more, Google can't really necessarily share with you, what they know. But you can go to them, especially if you're going for advertising, any sort of lead generation, or something like that, which is where a lot of marketers are using Google. They have the data. They just can't necessarily give it to you. They sort of have to say, we'll share it to people that we think are like that, but they can't give it to you, right. You can't export that data and use that.
Here Are Some Useful Tools to Start with in Google Analytics
ADAM GOWER: So what are the key things, the three key, most useful tools, in Google Analytics that somebody could start with?
CHRIS MERCER: What are the three big things in Google Analytics. The first thing I would start with is, something called the Source/Medium report, which is a really weird sounding name. But, all it means is, it gives you a list of what the traffic sources are. What that means is, where the people are coming from. How did they find your site? Which brand? Which companies sent you traffic? Sent those eyeballs to your site. That's what that means. And then, it tells you the type of traffic. So as an example, it might be, you're doing Facebook ads. It might say, Facebook is the brand of traffic that came from Facebook and it was paid ads. Or, it might be your e-mail system, right. Identifies how people found you. This is important because just like if you have an office building, people walking through, you want to know how they found you. What generated the traffic coming into your office building. It's the same thing when you're with analytics. What generated the traffic coming onto your site, about the office building, whatever it is that you're promoting. So analytics tells you that. So identifying your traffic sources is key and Source/Medium does that for you. Built-in. You don't technically have to do anything to it, initially. There's some things you can do to make it better, but initially, it will tell you: did they come from a 3rd-party site. Or, did they come from Google search. So, is your search traffic working? Are you ranking in search engines or did they just come in directly to your site? They just, kind of, showed up on their own. Like, it'll kind of classify them in those three big ways.
How Google Analytics Tracks Engagement
CHRIST MERCER: That Source/Medium report that shows you your traffic sources. That is how people came to your site. It also shows you, which is why I like this report so much, the results of that traffic. So, on that same report, you can, kind of, look over it and say, oh, they came in from Facebook. And then you can say, well, how many people did Facebook make aware? And you can measure for that. It's what they call a goal in Google Analytics. You set it up. It's takes a little bit of set up. It's not that complicated to do. But, you can set up a goal for when they were aware of the thing you want them to be aware of, whatever the property was or project or something like that. Did they engage? Did they become a lead? You can just flip the goals. Did they become a lead? Did Facebook help them to become a lead? And did Facebook help them actually close, if that's what you're trying to do. If that's what Facebook was supposed to do. Maybe it was e-mail that was supposed to do that, you would see that. And so, that report shows you where your traffic is coming from and it shows you what the results of that traffic was. And then, in the middle of that report, there's some nice juicy details. And it's a bunch of different numbers, but essentially what they show you is engagement. So, things that they call "bounce rate". Which is like, number of people that come to the site and then leave, that's what they call a bounce. But that sort of thing, is like, you can look at that and you can see engagement. You see, oh Facebook bounces less, which means they're more engaged, right, has a lower bounce rate. So, you start to see all of this, in this one report.
The 3 Best Things to Start Measuring with Google Analytics
CHRIS MERCER: What are the three things? You got to know, how many people are aware of you, in the first place. You got to know how many people are completing the journey that you intend for them to complete. Again, very similar to what you're doing offline already. It's the same thing, just online now. And you'd have to know how many people engaged along the way. And in that one report, it talks about all of those. It shows you all of those. And that's why I like to keep the focus. If you're just starting out, don't worry about landing page reports, in the beginning. Don't worry about anything else. Just get used to understanding where your traffic is coming from, the results of that traffic and how engaging they are in those traffic sources. And when you learn that, the rest of analytics becomes a lot easier to start using because that teaches you a lot of foundations. So that's where I would start. Knowing where your traffic is coming from. what the results of that traffic is.
Measure and Track Engagement on Your Real Estate Website
CHRIS MERCER: What analytics is really good for, this is how I think about it. It's just a database. It's a place to store information. It's made to store a certain type of information, which is behaviors that your users are leaving behind on your site. So, every click can be stored. Every page they see, can be stored. Scrolling can be stored. If they watch a video. If you've got a video that demonstrates what the property looks like, or something like that, or some sort of prospectus and you've got an informational video, you can measure if they've watched that video. You can measure if they completed a form. You can measure if they clicked on a phone number that's on your site, to initiate a phone call or to complete your Contact Us request. You can measure for all of that stuff. And analytics is built to store all of it. And then, all you need to do is, go into Analytics and look at the reports to say, OK, did my website, did it work like it's supposed to?
How to Use Google Analytics Data to Measure Trends
CHRIS MERCER: And I can start actually taking what's in Analytics, and it's the whole people looking for insights all the time, right? It's really just actions. I want to be able to take actions. So Analytics can show me what the trends are, what the pattern is from those users that are on my site, and then I can use that as information to actually take action. It's always about truth is in the trend and power is in the pattern. It's not about the individual number. It's about all the numbers together and what the stories that they're telling is.
ADAM GOWER: It is incredibly exciting, this whole area. I just find it extraordinary and I feel, yeah, like a cave. I feel like I was floundering in the dark before I started doing this, seriously. I mean, I spent 2-3 years building a website. No clue about traffic to it.
How Google Analytics Can Help You Create Targeted Emails to Prospects
ADAM GOWER: Another way that we use it, we can track user behavior down to the actual individual on the site by linking it to our e-mail database and create hot lists so we can we can segment who's been the most active on the website, in the last two weeks. They are targets for follow-up calls or for automated emails, etc. What other uses, in that way, do you find your clients using Google Analytics for.
CHRIS MERCER: It's always going to come to that same model, that ace model. So, it's awareness. Which is, how many people were aware of the thing in the first place. That's your Facebook traffic coming in. And you're like, oh now, all these different traffic sources. We don't necessarily know if it's productive or not yet, but we know it generates traffic to those pages and then it's measuring for what's the purpose of that page? What is it supposed to do? And to your point, with a hot buy or a hot lead, type of thing, it's what's the unique difference between somebody who's a hot lead and somebody who's not. Just the browser who is just going to kick the tires. And so, you think about the different behaviors of those two. That's what you measure for. And that's how you know, OK, I'm going to group the segment of individuals that have these hot lead type behaviors and we're going to pull them aside and then we're going to accelerate emails to them, right, something like that. So, there's a lot of e-mail systems that'll do that, if they click on a link of a certain email, it'll give you additional engagement signals.
How to Understand User Interaction Using Google Analytics
CHRIS MERCER: This is a framework to help others, sort of, wrap their head around this is, offline, there is always a conversation that's happening. It's very easy to think about this. Somebody comes into your office building, you have a conversation. Somebody picks up a phone, you have a conversation and that conversation is always there and it's very easy for you to help that person move through whatever the customer journey is, because you're the one helping them and you can hear their voice and their tone and what they're saying or you can see it, what their facial expressions are. Very easy to do that. But on digital, it's harder. It's not hard. It's harder to do that, because it's, now what happened is, you're out of the equation, technically. You're not there anymore. Your website becomes your proxy. So, your website is between you and the customer. And so, you still have a conversation that's happening, except that it's happening between the website and the customer. And, if you do not measure the website, you cannot hear that conversation. And nobody in their right mind would ever say, like, I don't care what the other person saying, I'm just going to keep shouting out stuff until they do things. Nobody would ever do that in the offline world. But they do it all the time digitally, because they don't realize, oh, actually, if I use analytics, I'm measuring. And the better I get at measurement, the better I can understand the conversation the users having with my website.
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