What Google Analytics Has Been Missing

It’s safe to say- Google Analytics is a marketers’ best friend. After countless hours spent designing your website, and curating funnels that convert, this data allows you to analyze and track your campaign performance and website activity. But does Google Analytics (GA) really tell you the full story? When it comes to the customer journey, it is critical to have maximum transparency to understand not only where your website visitors are coming from, but also what homes they are most engaged with.

By solely using Google Analytics, marketers are missing out on a lot of data about who their buyers are, and more importantly- what they want in a home. In this week’s blog, we are discussing how Google Analytics offers helpful data to inform your marketing, and the immense power that comes with combining that information with first-party data. This level of insight provides a deeper understanding of the digital customer journey, and ultimately illuminates the parts of the journey that were once unknown. Let’s dive in!

THE DIGITAL CUSTOMER JOURNEY

WHAT WE CAN LEARN ALONG THE WAY

Along every digital touchpoint, your website visitors reveal little details about who they are as a home buyer- and these insights are a data goldmine. But it is up to the home builder marketer to have the technology necessary to unlock this data, every step along the way. We’ve outlined a traditional path to conversion, beginning with your home buyer seeing an ad and ultimately leading to a form fill. Google Analytics can tell us a about when your potential buyer has seen the ad, their overarching website activity, and when they convert. But there is a significant gap, right in the middle of their digital experience. That’s what we at OpenHouse.ai have come to call “the dark part” of the buying journey.

Once a home buyer has finally arrived on your website, and engages with your content, there is little to no data collected via Google Analytics. GA functions by including a block JavaScript code on your website pages or by using Google Analytics tag through Google Tag Manager. But once a buyer lands on a page, clicks through photo galleries, or zooms into the details of a particular floor plan, all that valuable insight is lost. But, with the OpenHouse.ai’s first-party data collection, home builders have the opportunity to understand exactly what homes are most interest to different buyers. Now, we’re going to highlight some of the differences between data from Google Analytics, and the first-party data supplied by OpenHouse.ai. While these platforms are powerful on their own, when combined, you can gain a holistic understanding of your buyers from the moment they view your ad, to the moment they convert.

WHAT GOOGLE ANALYTICS TELLS YOU

Picture this: a home buyer is browsing through their social media accounts, or searching on Google, and they happen to see your ad for a new community! Google Analytics tracks the activity from your ad, so you can see exactly what ad campaign is driving traffic to your website. Google Analytics also tracks your overall website traffic: organic, direct, social and referral. You can see traffic sources, website behavior flow and statistics, as well as some basic demographics about who is visiting your website. After your website visitor has filled out your form, to either book an appointment with your OSC or request pricing, this conversion point is funneled into the Google Analytics dashboard, where you can see overall conversions rates and campaign attribution.

All this data is extremely helpful if your home buyer converts. The problem with solely using Google Analytics is, it focuses too much on your success- traffic, clicks, and conversions- and not enough on your shortcomings, where there is often the most to learn. Analytics offers a great amount of data about the "what": bounce rate, exit pages, traffic sources, session length, and so on. But it lacks the ability to give you a “why”. So, what about the people that visit your site, explore a little and then leave? What about the 99.5% of home buyers that don’t convert? Wouldn’t it be powerful to have some data and gather an understanding of why that happened? What were they looking at? That’s where OpenHouse.ai comes in.

WHAT WE CAN TELL YOU

This brings us to the middle of the digital shopping journey- where home builder marketers are often in the dark about what home buyers are doing on their website But, with OpenHouse.ai’s Builder Intelligence platform, marketers can understand how buyers are navigating through their online catalog, and what communities and floor plans are of most interest. Our tracking technologies are unique to each home builder’s domain as we leverage first-party cookies to generate data, in real-time.

As home buyers click through the catalog, our AI-technology understands who they are, and what they are looking for. Our dashboard collects all this anonymized data to create accurate buyer profiles with detailed demographics such as geographic information, household composition, population, and income. With this dashboard home builders can track product performance and monitor which home plans and communities are receiving the most activity. If a home buyer does convert, the OpenHouse.ai dashboard tracks exactly what type of referral was needed as well as the associated sales centre referral rate.

Through first-party data and machine learning technology, OpenHouse.ai is shedding light on the darkest part of the home buying journey. Independent of conversion, home builders can see how buyers engage with their catalog, monitor product-market fit, and ultimately drive strategy. This forecasting data has the potential to go far beyond marketing. By integrating OpenHouse.ai’s technology, home builders can begin collecting real-time data that can inform future project planning, business-wide. By understanding demand via your website visitors, home builders will be able to mitigate risk when building the next community and ultimately protect margins. This data can empower every member of your organization to make better decisions through data.

SUMMARY

There is so much to learn about every single one of your website visitors. By pairing Google Analytics with machine learning technology, home builders can understand each touch point along the digital buying journey. And the OpenHouse.ai platform has the power to inform so much more than solely the customer journey. By leveraging first-party data collection, home builders can understand their customer’s demand, in real time. By using this data to build what the market wants, all functions of your business will reap the benefits and more importantly- your home buyers will find exactly the home they’re looking for.

- The OpenHouse.ai Team

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