A website’s success shouldn’t be based on unique browser numbers, with time on site and interaction levels far better measurements, the head of REA Group – owner of realestate.com.au – has said.
With over three billion people online and the average Australian spending at least 22 hours a month logged on, Greg Ellis, managing director and CEO of REA Group, said the internet is no longer just a distribution tool.
Mr Ellis, in a speech at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AMCHAM) business briefing in Sydney yesterday, said user engagement was more important when assessing a website’s success.
“The internet allows you to have a live, dynamic conversation and understand about what you are doing with a customer’s or client’s products 24/7,” he said.
“So when we think about usage stats at REA, we don’t think about unique browsers anymore, we think about time on site and levels of interaction.
“Three years ago I couldn’t tell you the number of properties that were being searched in a suburb, I couldn’t tell you the number of properties being searched by the price or the number of inquirers by price point, and I couldn’t tell you an agent’s market share against their competitors.
“I can tell you all that now.”
Mr Ellis said businesses need to understand how consumers are now using the internet.
“The internet is a medium by which the absolute knowledge of humanity is pushed to the edge of humanity, there is not a single question that you can’t find out about,” Mr Ellis continued.
“Any business that doesn’t understand that the power of information is fundamentally empowered in many customers and consumers is missing the point of the internet.”
Mr Ellis, who is responsible for the group’s multinational operations across Australia, Italy, Luxemburg and Hong Kong, said the group’s success is based on a clear and relevant business strategy.
“We select talent well, have the right organisational model and decision making processes,” he said.
“Let people do their jobs – this means they know what their job is and the context in which they should do it, and understand their decision making levels,” he continued.
“We refuse to have internal discussions about issues such as politics and agendas – and insist that 95 per cent of discussions are about what is happening outside the building in the market place.
“And, finally, we execute like our life depended on it – because it does.”