Fun With Website Data

Two weeks ago I attended WordCamp Phoenix, a gathering of like-minded geeks who are exploring the power of the WordPress blogging platform. If that read like Greek to you, basically it’s people who have websites using the same software as this one.

Truth be told, while I have a pretty good idea what I’m doing among the real estate set, there was a level of geek well beyond anything I ever imagined. And I mean that in a good way. (What I don’t mean in a good way was that it was frightening watching 20-somethings who can tell me what fout is but can’t put together a coherent spoken sentence.)

In any event, I’ve never been a huge tinkerer. I’ve made changes to this website over time, most recently (until two weeks ago) adding the city pages in the banner. Then came the total overhaul two weeks back – new colors, new header image, less stuff – and that’s only what you’re seeing on the front end.

On the back end, I’m spending more and more time looking at heat maps to see what it is that you’re looking for when you come here. (Bad news, Litchfield Park, you may lose your spot on the banner if people don’t start paying attention to you.)

Should I rely on a contact form as one of the speakers suggested or also offer the chance to contact me through e-mail with that link as well? With the way it’s set up, is it apparent you can click on “contact” to get to the form? Does it really matter?

These are the answers I’m searching for at the moment.

Yesterday I sent out our monthly newsletter. I’ll be honest with you … I didn’t like it a great deal, at least not yet. It needs more content, which may mean finding a different format that what I’ve chosen through the folks at MailChimp. In this case, though, it was more important to get a newsletter out and see what subject line creates the most interest than it was to waste another week tweaking the format.

I did like the featured neighborhood idea. And early returns are that you did as well.

And at the end of the day, that’s really what matters. Yes, this is a business – this is the way I put food on the table and keep the kids in college, soccer, volleyball and the like. To do that, though, I absolutely have to focus on what it is you want.

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Except this blog and almost all websites are one-sided platforms. We put out what we put out, never knowing for sure that it’s what you might want at a given moment. We guess and we hope.

Hopefully the data I’m seeing will reduce the guesswork a bit for both of us.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

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