Online marketing tips for hotels. Great advice and easy to use tools. Ideal for small hotels and hotel owners from the perspective of a fellow hotelier.
Monday, 21 November 2011
Hotel Internet Marketing Tip – Getting Started with Google Analytics
When I first got introduced to Google Analytics (thanks Keitha!), I was like a kid in a candy store. Here was this free tool that allowed me to know exactly where my website traffic was coming from, what online marketing campaigns were working and which were not, which zip codes were generating the most traffic etc. A treasure trove of information!
Getting introduced to this tool is what got me hooked on internet marketing. But let’s back up a bit. What is Google Analytics and why do I care as a hotel/business owner or general manager?
Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google that gives you deep insight into how your website is performing. You can sign up for an account here so long as you have a Google Account (does not have to be a gmail account). http://www.google.com/analytics/.
That’s it! Within 24 hours or less your Google Analytics account should be activated and you will start to get extremely useful, detailed information on your website visitors including:
1. Traffic Sources – how do potential customers get to your site? Is it through search engines, referrals from other websites or through a bookmark (direct traffic). This is a great way to find out which online marketing campaigns are actually working.
2. Visitors – demographic information on your visitors, detailed down to the city. These reports also provide information on how engaged website visitors are (how much time did they spend on your site, how many pages did they visit), which web browsers they were using, even the speed of their internet connection.
3. Conversions – if you have a booking engine on your website this is absolutely critical. Where do your bookings come from? What country/region/city? Through which referral sites or search engines? Google Analytics can help you determine this in most cases. If you don’t have a booking engine on your website, Google Analytics can still help your track important site visitor activities (conversions) that you consider important such as signing up for your newsletter, filling out an inquiry form or watching a promotional video.
One article cannot possibly capture the full potential of Google Analytics and its importance to hoteliers but I hope that this helps you to get the ball rolling. Using this tool is an important first step in fine-tuning your marketing strategy both on and offline.