How property operators can measure web visitors' happiness with analytics.
Most rental property operators know the value of ensuring residents are pleased with their community and service, essentially measuring their happiness as a comparison point for future renters. But there are several "happiness metrics" property operators may use to measure web visitors' happiness, which can then tell marketers how much time is spent on a website and even indicate whether those visitors are likely to become residents.
Knowing what happiness metrics are and how to measure and record them is key for rental property operators with an online presence. Measuring things like bounce rate, the number of pageviews and the time spent on the website give property marketers a look at who is searching for the company and if current strategies are actually working.
1. Bounce Rate: Making sure prospects don't bounce too soon
Property owners may think they know what bounce rate is -- the metric that tells if a visitor came to the website and left after viewing just one page -- but some may attribute this to simply landing on an incorrect site, and that is likely the case in some instances. But what happens when the bouncing web visitors are prospective residents? High bounce rates may indicate a rental property's Internet presence is indeed turning away valuable prospects.
Many SEO experts suggest that an average bounce rate is between 20 and 25 percent, but a rate higher than 35 percent indicates that some keyword research may be necessary and changes may need to be made. According to the Google Analytics blog, a high bounce rate isn't the end of the world -- it can be remedied. The problem may lie in having a single-page site, such as a one-page property blog or homepage, or resulting from a poorly designed website that limits visitors' navigation options or doesn't effectively portray the property's community or business.
2. Pageviews: What pageviews can tell a property marketer about prospective rentals
Another commonly discussed analytics tracking metric is pageviews, which some web promoters may confuse with unique pageviews. A single pageview is registered after a prospective resident or web visitor lands on a webpage then reloads it, or navigates to another page and returns to the first page. Unique pageviews, however, report the number of web browsing sessions when the same page was viewed multiple times.
This may indicate how visitors navigate a website, which links they click and the path they take to get information about a rental property, thus giving clues that web navigation or design may need to be altered.
3. Time: Are prospects spending enough time on a site or leaving too soon?
A rental community's website may be filled with information, multiple pages and interactive features, but marketers may learn that people aren't taking advantage of these aspects if analytics and tracking programs reveal visitors aren't spending much time on a website. Time spent on a site can directly relate to visitors' happiness levels -- if prospects are happy with the information they see on a site and are eagerly learning more, they will naturally spend more time clicking and exploring.
How to test a property's website for these factors
Determining whether a rental marketer's efforts are actually working may not be easy, especially if the marketer has little or no experience with SEO practices and/or site metrics. Using programs like Google Analytics or getting help from rental property SEO experts can do wonders to ensure resources aren't wasted when creating or maintaining a strategic property marketing plan that makes prospects happy and converts them to residents.
Brought to you by G5, the leading provider of Digital Experience Management (DXM) software and services in the property management sector