US real estate portal homes.com has once again followed up the latest Hitwise report, which placed it eighth in terms of unique visitors for February, with a claim that other website metrics are more relevant to advertisers.
In February, homes.com vice president Jason Doyle said page views per visitor was “a more valuable indicator of user engagement and audience quality than unique visitors, which can be driven up by unengaged, indirect traffic.”
Now, homes.com has released a statement saying it is the top source driving traffic to remax.com, century21.com and coldwellbanker.com after Facebook and the major search engines, and the second largest traffic source to era.com, ahead of Bing and Yahoo!.
The Hitwise figures quoted by homes.com to back up this claim are below, showing that Google is by far the biggest source of traffic for each of the four real estate franchise websites mentioned, but that homes.com does outrank other US property portals:
“The recent statistics from Hitwise validate that homes.com is attracting a higher quality consumer than our competitors,” says Doyle. “Our visitors are clearly more engaged and serious about making a home purchase, and that is ultimately where the rubber hits the road with our partners. This type of divergent data should emphasise for advertisers the importance of making investment decisions based on real results rather than which site has the most visitors.”
Meanwhile, current Hitwise number five website trulia.com is making its own claims regarding user engagement, based on March comScore figures. These figures, published on the trulia.com blog, compare trulia.com with zillow.com in terms of page views and minutes spent on site:
“trulia.com is now ahead of zillow.com in major scale and engagement numbers, and we are growing faster than zillow.com on all key audience metrics,” the blog post states. “trulia.com is growing faster in terms of unique visitors, visits, minutes and page views. We are also stronger in key engagement measures such as minutes/visitor, visits/visitor and page views/visit.”
While comScore’s figures for time spent on site and page views aren’t consistent with those released by Hitwise, one thing is clear: both homes.com and trulia.com are keen to set their own criteria for the most important website metrics.
What do you think are the most important metrics for property portals – unique visitors, page views, or time spent on site? Let us know your thoughts in our comments.