For many hoteliers, analyzing the data on Google Analytics can seem very intimidating especially with the many different reports that are readily available on its platform. At first glance, it can seem like a daunting task to analyze all the graphs, pie charts and numbers, however, when you learn to familiarize yourself with the ‘key’ metrics on Google Analytics, you will make more informed marketing decisions that will help to increase your hotel’s bottom line. As many of you probably already know, Google Analytics is the most widely used tool to track, measure and report your website’s data including traffic, user behavior and conversions. If you currently have a marketing agency handling your online marketing, be sure that they are sharing all the important and relevant key metrics with you including all the ones I will be mentioning in this article. If you are handling your online marketing in-house, this article should especially be helpful to you. With the endless amount of information provided on GA, it is vital that hoteliers learn to leverage the most important key metrics, in order to find ways to optimize effectively and to generate conversions. Below are vital KPI metrics that hoteliers should be analyzing on GA:
In order to effectively reach your potential guests, you will need to find your target audience using GA. GA is an extremely useful tool to find out not only who your audience is but how they behave on your site. Begin researching the age, location, gender and interest of your target audience. This will help give you an idea of the specific type of user that is already visiting your site. To create an effective marketing message that will speak directly to your audience, visit the Audience tab. This will tell you who your audience is, which sites they came off of before visiting your hotel’s site and what topics they might be interested in. Under the Demographics tab, you have the ability to analyze your top visitors by age and gender. If you want to find out which specific locations your visitors are coming from, then click on the Geo tab. The Geo report is useful when determining which areas to target in your pay-per-click campaigns. Understanding where your traffic is coming from, can help you create a more meaningful experience for your potential guest.
Now that you’ve investigated your target audience through the audience insights, it’s time to check the overall performance of your website on the Acquisition Tab. This report breaks down the channels that a user visited prior to getting on your site. Click on All Traffic and here you can identify the KPI metrics for each medium source (organic, direct, social, referral and paid search). The KPI metrics to analyze here include the number of sessions, new users, bounce rate, average session duration and goals. The All Traffic Report is very informative in determining year-over-year data because it displays any lift in performance of each channel. Furthermore, don’t forget to analyze your keyword traffic by clicking on Organic Search. Notice that the majority of keyword traffic results from (not provided) meaning Google has encrypted these searches when someone is logged into Google including Gmail, Google +, and Youtube. Because there’s very minimal keyword traffic data with the (not provided) results, you may want to rely on the Search Console data provided in Google Webmaster Tools. By finding out where your website traffic is coming from, you are better able to make informed decisions on which channel to put more emphasis in.
Now that we’ve identified the KPI metrics to analyze on GA don’t forget to also use this tool to analyze your social media activity. GA can be very useful in interpreting the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Find out which key social media metrics to analyze by clicking here. When you become familiar with all these metrics, you will soon discover new marketing opportunities and be able to tailor your messaging to the right audience and provide a better user experience.