Agents often see their website traffic skyrocket during some months and shrinking during others. Everyone knows that seasonality does impact online traffic and business in general but few think of capitalizing on this in the long run. Meanwhile, knowing your seasonal real estate SEO data can help you optimize your entire business for success.
When talking about seasons with regards to real estate, we usually think about spring, when markets gear towards greater activity, or summer when vacation rentals are much sought after. By the same token, we think of late autumn and early winter as the most unfortunate time to stage a home or buy it as few people are ready to go through the hassle at the end of the year. Of course, this also depends on what Country you reside in and selling from properties from.
These are valuable thoughts to have in mind when planning your business activities. But to make them really work, you need some tangible data showcasing trends. Fortunately, Google empowers agents with robust and free tools to evaluate seasonal traffic and plan effective real estate SEO and marketing campaigns.
Let’s see how you can uncover sales trends for almost any place in the world on your own.
Real estate SEO tip: 5 tools to find seasonal data
1. Google Trends
Google Trends is a free, straightforward and easy-to-use tool. It does a great job of identifying behavioral changes on a large scale (including global). Take 5 minutes of your time and you’ll have a powerful set of data on important trends right in front of you. For example, you can:
- compare how search volumes and trends were performing in a number of the neighborhoods you target;
- narrow down your search to any country in the world;
- set the timeframe of your choice;
- set additional parameters like ‘Category’ or ‘Search’;
- break down your seasonal data by sub-region, metro or city.
Let’s presume you’re an agent in Chicago targeting the 5 neighborhoods: University Village, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Grand Crossing and Magnificent Mile. Here’s how your results will look like when taken for the US in the past 5 years:
If you scroll down the page, you can find the data broken down for each of these queries and further filter it to uncover valuable insights:
So to see how people searched for particular queries over time, head to Google Trends and make sure to dig up that seasonal data down to the city level.
[Related post: How to Find Hyperlocal Real Estate Keywords for Your Website]
2. Google Keyword Planner
You may already be using GKP to run your ad campaigns, in which case, you know that this tool provides monthly search volumes for a huge number of queries. It’s a good tool to use to find data for popular (broader, or more generic) queries but not so much for localized, specific ones.
Use Google Keyword Planner to identify larger trends and the most popular queries and see what data you’re still lacking.
P.S. If you’re not currently running an AdWords campaign, your data will be shown in volumes:
[Related post: How Proximity Is Changing Local Real Estate SEO and Why It’s Important]
3. Google Search Console
Google Trends and Keyword Planner are great to identify large sets of real estate seasonal data that could apply to any brokerage in your area. To make these results more relevant to your case, you can use your own accounts with Search Console and Google Analytics (more on this one below) to find the data exclusively for your business.
Search Console, while being a free tool and giving valuable insights on clicks, impressions, rankings and devices, offers a limited date range (for the last 90 days). However, you can export your data and save it for a future reference. Think of it as your quarterly data filtered by seasons.
You can also link Search Console with your Google Analytics account and Google will show you seasonal performance of your most important keywords too.
[Related post: 5 Ways Real Estate Brokerages Can Boost Their Google Maps Visibility]
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the easiest way to see your website’s seasonal performance. You can have yearly overviews of traffic, and that makes it easy to spot all the fluctuations and trends – and tie them in with your marketing campaigns or seasonality for better understanding.
An important limitation hidden in Google Analytics, though, is that most keywords are categorized as ‘not provided’. In other words, you might get hold of seasonal data but have no way of knowing for which keyword exactly. One way to overcome this limitation is to link Google Analytics with the Search Console. The latter will display most of your focus keywords.
Your overall traffic throughout the year might not show any sharp increases or decreases which is why you’d want to check the data for particular landing pages, usually your neighborhood pages/property pages. Oftentimes, this information can differ dramatically for various pages and is the exact seasonal data you’re after.
Not only does Google Analytics allow you to break down the data for each landing page, you can also see which traffic sources deliver seasonal traffic. This helps you plan the forthcoming marketing campaigns better, for example, choosing to invest in email campaigns rather than AdWords advertising, etc.
[Related post: How Long Does It Take for Real Estate Websites to Rank in the Top 10?]
Lastly, you’d want to know how your competition is performing and how it gets affected by seasonal traffic fluctuations. To do so, use tools like SEMrush. Search for the target keywords and compare how they perform throughout the year. You can then make tweaks to your campaign and benefit in the areas where your competition falls short.
[Related post: 6 Tips on Creating Local Real Estate Brands to Outrank Large Portals]
Putting property on the market and actually closing the deal is greatly affected by seasonal fluctuations. Having real seasonal data at your disposal, helps you profit by seasonal changes rather than get hurt by them.