August 13 2015

New Home Feed and New Homes Directory Partner Up

New Home Feed and New Homes Directory Partnership

New Home Feed is a marketing tool that allows homebuilders to advertise their communities on the widest possible network of free and fee-based home listing websites. New Home Feed’s easy-to-use platform allows marketers to manage property listings and make updates a breeze. Once a listing is updated on New Home Feed, that update is pushed to all networks. Easy to follow reporting allows you to know where you are getting quality website traffic from and monitor budgets and spending. New Home Feed also shows you what potential buyers are looking at on your website and connects to your CRM so you can save money while selling homes. In need of a feed generator? You’re in luck, New Homes Feed’s flexible API plugs into your website to automate and customize your feed.

New Homes Directory is a New Home Feed top performer in delivering high quality traffic to home builders. That is why we saw it a great fit to partner up. If you are not currently a New Homes Directory client and list 5 or more communities you may be eligible for a package deal promotion! Customers taking advantage of this package will still be able to have access to all other features on NHF, including listing their homes on other directories. Contact Troy Reierson or Sarah Cook for details.


July 22 2009

Time To Update Your Google Analytics

It may be time to update your Google Analytics. As always Google is upgrading their products and services.  Google analytics has gone through a couple upgrades.  Below is an example of some older code along with the newest version that should be on your websites. 

The main reason to upgrade is that the new Google Analytics more accurately reports referring traffic when the proper campaign tags are assigned to the URL.

Here is the old Urchin code on the many sites now:

<script src="http://www.google-analytics.com/urchin.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
                _uacct = "UA-193XXXX-1";
                urchinTracker();
</script>
 
Here is the new code that should be on your site:

<script type="text/javascript">
    var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www." <http://www.> );
    document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    try {
        var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-193XXXX-1");
        pageTracker._trackPageview();
    } catch (err) { }</script>


As reported on the Google Analytics blog:

"We are also rolling out the new ga.js page tag which we recommend you use for all new accounts and new profiles for new domains. Although your existing urchin.js page tags will continue to work, you may wish to update them to ga.js anyway. This will allow you to take advantage of the most up-to-date tracking functionality as it is added to Google Analytics."

Read about the upgraded GA tools here.

Sincerely,

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com


January 11 2009

NHD Stats Live and Google Analytics - Litmus Test

I've written this blog post as a way to show definatively the LIVE and accurate status of the New Homes Directory.com (NHD) stats reporting system because we have had Google Analytics discrepancies.

NHD Live Stats uses a simple database script that counts each time a user clicks on a community link. When a click occurs, 1 is added to the existing number of clicks in the database for that community.  The best way to see how the stats work is by doing the following, what I call, litmus test.

New Homes Directory Stats and Google Analytics Litmus Test

The purpose of this litmus test is to resolve the discrepancy between the number of clicks NHD reports compared to the number of referrals Google Analytics reports.

Browser Window 1 - Open the NewHomesDirectory.com page where one of your communities are listed. For the sake of this test, we'll call the community, Community X.  Community X represents the community we will be referring to during this litmus test.

Browser Window 2 - Login to NHD's Live Stats and find the report that shows the number of current click thrus for Community X. Note the number of clicks for Community X.

Browser Window 3 - Login to Google Analytics and find the report that shows the number of referrals for Community X. Note the number of referrals for Community X.

Go to the NewHomesDirectory.com page where Community X is and click on the community link.

Refresh the NHD report page.  The number of clicks for Community X will increase by one.

Refresh the Google Analytics referring report page.  You will notice that the report will not change.

The purpose of this litmus test is to show that the number of clicks reported by NHD are correct and the number of referrals that GA displays is incorrect.

There are solutions to increase the reporting accuracy of Google Analytics, however, it is also important to understand that the stats NHD delivers each month to clients are completely accurate.

Sincerely,

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com


January 11 2009

Google Analytics Discrepancy Solutions

Hi All,
 
I have completed my initials tests of what is called Google Analytics “Campaigns” and the tests were positive.  Google Analytics recorded 7 visits from us clicking the link I asked y’all to click yesterday which is a far cry from the normal “0” clickthroughs Google Analytics usually reports.  This solution may not be 100%, but it will be a lot closer than what we see now.
 
So, the solution to our Google Analytics “issues”?  Please ask customers if they use Google Analytics for their stat tracking.  If they do, we will send them a “White Sheet” that I will be creating to send to them, and also let them know that our clickthroughs will be tracked inside what is known as “Campaigns” under “Traffic Sources”.  We will then need to take the URL’s that they send to us and customize them with the Google Analytics URL Tool located here:
 
http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578&ctx=sibling
 
For the website URL, please put in the URL that the customer gives you.
 
For the campaign source, please put in newhomesdirectory.  This is how the customer knows that the clicks come from us.
 
For the campaign medium, please use cpc to indicate that this is a cost per click.  If it’s just a standard, non-cpc account, just put in listing.
 
For the campaign content, I would recommend using the community name (with no spaces or funky characters) so that the customer may be able to tell what community a particular click is for, but you may leave this blank if you prefer.  If you put in information in this field, they can see a breakdown of their different communities under “Ad Versions” under traffic sources.  This is great for any customer that has several communities as they can see a breakdown of clicks coming to their website at the community level.
 
Finally, for the campaign name, please use newhomesdirectory_listings.
 
Once you have all of the above fields set, press “Generate URL”.  Copy and paste the new URL into the URL field in the admin on the NHD.com site and then save the changes.
 
It takes up to 24 hours for Google Analytics to start showing clickthroughs.
 
And please let the customer know that this will NOT work 100%.  There are always people that have Javascript turned off or other glitches in the machine that might not allow a particular click to register, but this solution will get us MUCH closer to where we SHOULD be.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Example:

?utm_source=newhomesdirectory&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=COMMUNITYNAME&utm_campaign=newhomesdirectory_listings
 
? first for links without tags
& first for links with tags
 
The community name goes where it says Community name

--------------------------------------------------------------
 
Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions regarding any of this.  Personally, I plan on sleeping MUCH better tonight after figuring this out.

Mike Sipes - Dark Lord of IT
New Homes Directory.com


January 11 2009

Google Analytics Discrepancies - Updated March 2010

This blog post addresses the discrepancies that are occuring between the number of clicks New Homes Directory.com is reporting as compared to the number of clicks Google Analytics (GA) is reporting in the referrers report. I completely understand your need to explain the discrepancies betweenthe traffic NHD is recording and the traffic Google Analytics isshowing so I have talked to several other people and researched the topic on the web.

It has been our experience that GA is signifantly under reporting referring clicks from web sources other than Google Adwords.  After having more research done on GA, it appears NHD is not alone when it comes to GA under reporting traffic from all outside referring sites. 

Below are a few comments from people using PPC ads on Facebook. 

Here are some additional complaints and links to their discussions.

-------------------------------------------------------
 
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Analytics/thread?tid=6ac8dffef5a484f1&hl=en
 
The clicks I pay for from Facebook don't match the recorded hits from Facebook on my google analytics.  For example on the 6th of April I paid for 49 clicks directly to my site but my google analytics package only received 8 hits from Facebook.  

The tracking code is correct on each page as it records a couple of hits per page so not sure why they are so different.  Any help would be appreciated?

-------------------------------------------------------
 
http://www.webmasterworld.com/analytics/3613628.htm
 
I recently purchased some advertising on facebook. I got a fair amount of clickthroughs, about the same I get a day from adwords. however when I go to check my analytics stats the next day, I see no mention of these visitors in analytics. I am certain the ad was set up properly. Any thoughts?

-------------------------------------------------------
 
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Analytics/thread?tid=3c60ac1fe6a36c65&hl=en

Hi all,
we've been running multiple facebook ad campaigns with much success lately. According to facebook ad reporting, we get anywhere between 300 and 400 clicks per day per ad. However, when I go to GA for that target site (where the ads send people to) the traffic source (facebook.com) indicates that there were between 5 and 7 visits for any given day. How come this discrepancy? Any ideas? Have you experienced the same issue?

Regards,
Gustavo

-------------------------------------------------------

Additionally, I found a great third party blog post about the reliability of Google Analytics (GA).  Notice the blog post was posted August of 2006.  There are currently 75 replies – the last comment being posted February of 2009.  There are hundreds of web pages that support the unreliability of GA, particularly as it pertains to UNDER reporting traffic.  While we are always trying to find a solution, we are currently writing an official statement for all of our GA using builder clients.  It will include a reference to this blog post.

This recently has become a major topic of discussion with several builder clients because of our PPC fee model along with the increasing popularity of GA.  Because Google has become one of the most popular brands in this country, it almost goes without saying that Google could be inaccurate.

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-reliable-is-google-analytics

In a nutshell, GA can not be relied on for an accurate measure of referring traffic.

There are, however, things you can do to increase the accuracy of Google Analytics but it may not improve to 100%.

MARCH 2010 Google Analytics Discrepancy UPDATE

I've been doing some Google AdWords campaigns and found it interesting that Google Analytics is even under-reporting Google AdWords. The image below shows a three day Google AdWord campaign. It shows a total of 28 clicks.

This image is of my Google Analytics.  It shows a total of only 20 referring clicks from my Google AdWord campaign. In this short two day campaign, Google Analytics is already under-reporting by 29%. 

 

Please, don't get me wrong.  I love Google Analytics and I think GA is so good for our industry. It's just very important that we all understand that the numbers are not 100% accurate. It's no big deal, we just need to know.

Sincerely,

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com

 

January 11 2009

NHD Stats Live Instructions

All New Homes Directory.com clients receive a username and password for which they can login and view their click stats live on the NHD site.

  1. Go to > login.newhomesdirectory.com/administrator
  2. Enter your username
  3. Enter your password
  4. Click the Reports tab
  5. Click the Live Stats link
  6. Click the + by your company name
  7. Another folder will appear just below the main folder
  8. Highlight that division or company folder that just expanded
  9. Click the blue View Stats Detail button at the bottom right of the screen
  10. Expand the communities by clicking the + sign

There you have it. You can change the dates and download the report to a Word document by clicking the Word icon.

If you don't have a username and password, please call our office at 866-540-6607 and we will get you set up right away.

Sincerely,

Jim Adams - CEO
New Homes Directory.com

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The New Homes Directory.com Corporate blog began in 2008, due to the increasing difficulty of keeping both our company personnel as well as our client base up to date with both site and product enhancements. Read more...

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