Digital Deep Dive: Mind The Generation Gap

As customer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years, so have our priorities in business. Having a user-friendly website with good SEO and relevant content is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity to attract leads to your website.

But how do you know whether your website is appealing to changing customer needs? First you need to understand what makes each generation tick.

Most generations don’t have a clearly defined start or finish, and depending on a person’s sociological background or where they are from, some people can share traits with more than one generation. Still, looking at customers through these historical and cultural frames can help us focus on the things that are important for each generation.


Let’s look at four generations who may be your customers

  1. Generation Z – born between mid 1990s to the mid 2000s: They are the most tech-savvy generation, very comfortable with technology and social media, having used the internet since they were very young.
  2. Millennials – born between early 1980s to mid 1990s: Like Generation Z, they are familiar with communication, media and digital technologies.
  3. Generation X – born between mid 1960s to early 1980s: This group grew up with much less parent supervision as a result of higher divorce rates and more mothers entering the workforce
  4. Baby Boomers – born between 1946-1964: While this group is associated with privilege, growing up in a period of increasing wealth, they were also important players in the rejection or redefinition of traditional values.

The more tech-focused real estate customers from Generation Z will have very different expectations from Baby Boomers, and the way they will consume content on your website will be radically different.


How to make the website appealing to age groups?

Google Analytics offers a great feature that can be used to find out how interesting a website is for certain segments like age and gender. However, Google Analytics can only begin collecting this demographic data if you activate this feature – follow Google’s simple steps to do this here. Once activated, you can analyze your traffic by age groups that coordinate with those four generations.

Start by reviewing the basic demographic report under ‘Audience / Demographics / Overview’, which will give you a very accurate picture of the various age groups using your website and how appealing your website is to them. Activate the ‘compare to’ setting at the date selector to put things into context. Depending on when the demographic setting was enabled, you can compare month-over-month (MOM) or year-over-year (YOY).

If younger generations are getting less YOY, you have a problem: your website isn’t appealing to them. To avoid losing your future customers, talk to your marketing department and rethink your digital strategy to better address this generation’s needs. (For some great info to fuel your meeting, check out this article.)


Refine Your Digital Strategy

For deeper analysis, you can add age and gender as additional metric to any of the other reports to get more context and understanding of the users on your website.

Pages-per-Session, Average Session Duration or the Bounce Rate are metrics that can help you understand how certain landing pages appeal to certain generations. Don’t forget to work closely with your marketing department on these analytics. You will be much more successful if your digital measures are well coordinated, properly set up, monitored and evaluated.

Since most of your customers start their journey on mobile devices, the first touchpoint is often your website. So your most important source of information will be Google Analytics. Setup your most important performance indicators, monitor your numbers regularly and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your website against your current digital strategy.

Once you have the data on your website users, you can work with your marketing team to take your digital strategy to the next level!