Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🍀one day late! It’s my favorite fake holiday and I really brought my A game to it this year. I bought light up Shamrock glasses and a matching shamrock light necklace to wear to all my video calls yesterday. It was an extremely video call heavy day so it helped keep me going as the clock ticked by. And now it’s Friday, the temps will reach into the 70’s today and we’re hosting a bonfire this evening. Life is good.
I promise to be less verbose this week than last. I’m covering big news out of Google about Analytics 3, lots going on with housing trends and reports, and some helpful tips for dominating in local SEO.v
Google Analytics 3 aka Universal Analytics is being sunsetted in July 2023. GA4 will replace it. I’m simultaneously not ready and super excited about this. GA4 should have significantly more functionality for home builders in terms of the data it collects and the way it is displayed. Events will be the primary focus of GA4. This is how to see clicks, photo views, form completions and other actions including video views on a website. All of the things we use to see the quality of the visitor and assess conversions via goal completions. It will align closely with the way that SEO has moved over the last couple of years in that user experience is paramount and it has increased privacy features. Analytics will no longer log or store IP addresses. That’s the privacy talking. This means that location and user info will not be collected. So now you can see why I’m simultaneously excited and not prepared. It’ll be a big switch up from what we currently have access to.
Reporting indicates what we all already know – building new homes faces more challenges than ever between the cost of goods, supply shortages, labor shortages and increased interest rates. Every builder we’ve talked to this month has raised prices and many have moved to escalation clauses. Needless to say with all that is going on, builder confidence is down. The NAHB is doing what it can by requesting an end to lumber tariffs. The good news is that housing starts remained positive in February and there is no shortage of demand. Not to mention extremely low resale inventory. The lack of resale inventory in my neck of the woods is astounding, as is days on market and sale price. This → 🤯accurately captures my reaction each time I check Redfin in my area.
However, what we’re seeing in terms of website behavior very much mirrors the beginning of last year so I remain hopeful that the year will result in gains for builders.
As SEO evolves it is clear that LOCAL SEO is a valuable tool to builders. There are a variety of facets to it from GBP to the “5 Best Places to Eat Pizza Near 123 Main Street” blog posts. A couple of articles caught my eye this week with some actionable tips about how to take advantage of it.
First is the article about local SEO content which sparked a ton of ideas for blogs, page types, and photo organization for our builders. The second was tips for managing your GBP. We just had a conversation with a builder yesterday about how important we feel Google Business Profiles are to SEO and this article had some solid ways to use it to your advantage. Take a look at both articles if you could use some inspiration.
I’m off for a game of fetch in the sunshine with our 7 month old golden retriever puppy, Lexi, who just learned how to play this week. Then it’s back to work before shutting the laptop for a relaxing weekend!