Hotel Web Analytics Tips

This post is also available in: Spanish

Nowadays Digital Analytics for web sites has become very popular, some hoteliers want to know how many visitors they have on their web site, which pages have a greater number of visits, which regions are capturing more readers, etc. For some hoteliers Digital Analytics is just a trend, for others it is a corporate requirement that ends sub used by the marketing managements.

Google says: “Digital Analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data of your business and of your competitors in order to be able to improve the online experience of your customers, which allows you to achieve the desired results, both online and offline.”

This is very important because it allows you to look beyond the idea of knowing how many visitors you have on your web site. The most important thing is to set objectives and be able to measure them; this is why we recommend five business objectives that may vary by the type of activity:

  1. In the e-commerce sites, one of the most obvious objectives is to sell products or services (this is what we care about in this article). The hotel’s web site with a hotel booking engine (IBE) is clearly an e-commerce site.
  2. In the web sites focused on generating sales opportunities (also called “leads”), the objective is to collect user information for sales teams to reach potential customers. This also applies for landing pages or micro sites. If the hotel’s sales strategy is to obtain reservations for long-term or frequent guests, use this modality to capture leads.
  3. In the case of content publishers, its objective is to promote the interaction and the frequency of visits.
  4. In the information sites or for assistance, the most important thing is to help users to find the information they need at the right time. All hotel web sites must have an informative section rich in content (rich in content is not the same as a lot of content).
  5. If the web site is for branding, the main objective is to publicize the brand and promote the interaction and loyalty of customers and guests.

Google continues by saying: “There are a number of key actions in any web site or application for mobile devices that are associated with the objectives of the business. These actions can indicate whether an objective, such as a purchase of an e-commerce site, has been achieved.”

These are the so-called “macro conversions”. Some of the actions within the site can also indicate that a customer has not yet come to its main objectives but it is on its way, for example, by subscribing to receive a coupon by email, which in the case of the hotel, we define these calls to action as Call to Reservation.

These are the “micro conversions”. It is important to measure both the micro conversions and the macro conversions in order to obtain more data about the behavior of users and to know which experiences are generated by the strategies adopted by the hotel’s web site.

A macro conversion occurs when a user performs an important action for your business. The most important macro conversion tends to be a commercial transaction, i.e. a reservation at the hotel’s web site with an IBE that accepts electronic payment with credit card. The micro conversion is also an important action, but it does not contribute to your objectives immediately, but it is an indicator that the user is on its way to generate a macro conversion. It is important to measure the micro conversions because they allow you to know where the users are in the path of conversion and which marketing campaigns you need to take in order to avoid wasting resources.

The attribution consists on considering an activity as the cause of a conversion. In the attribution of last click, the entire value associated with a conversion is mapped to the latest marketing activity that generated the income. However, there are other models of attribution that can help you to understand better the value of each channel.

For example, instead of allocating all the value to the last channel, you may want to assign it to the first channel, the one that reached the user before it became a customer. This is known as attribution of first click. You may also want to allocate a portion of the value on each of the channels of the conversion path.

How to use analytics in the hospitality business?

Having said this there is an obvious question: How do I do it? Fortunately there are different methods to create a measurement plan, those hotels that have a marketing plan have already much of the required information and those who do not, well it is time to start.

hotelRSV® is an IBE booking engine for hotels that makes the hotel’s web site an e-commerce site. One of the tools facilitated by hotelRSV is A cloud platform for the measurement and tracking of the digital analytics of the hotel’s web site. This way, the hotel’s online marketing department can design more effective campaigns.

Follow @hotelrsv offers a customizable Control Panel (Dashboard), where you can place a series of widgets, there are more than 50 widgets to help you to take control of the most important metrics of your analytics, for example:

  • Graph of the last visits.
  • Duration of the visits.
  • Geolocation Map of visitors.
  • Browsers used.
  • Visiting hours.
  • Key Words.
  • Search Engines.
  • Visitors in real time.
  • List of external pages.
  • Empty shopping cars.
  • Entry and exit points.

Set your Objectives

An objective is a strategy and a priority that implies many things at once, your objectives may include reservations, new leads. Is what you want your customers to do at your hotel’s web site.

You can set up an unlimited number of objectives to measure, as newsletter, file downloads, landing pages and reservations.

The follow-up of the conversions is the best way to identify if you are accomplishing your objectives, identify new targets, view and analyze their performance, learn how to increase conversion rates (e.g. increasing reservations) and revenues per visit.

The objectives can be generated based on user actions (download a brochure, see a video, click on the button to make a reservation or insert a coupon) or when the user visits a page (for example packages.html).

An Analytics platform specialized in the hospitality industry allows you to create objectives and associate them with the actions to measure how effective has been the hotel’s sales campaign according to the desired objective.

Some examples of objectives that could be useful for hoteliers:

  • Contact and location: follow-up to users when they are using the contact form on the web site to get more information or help: Many hotels have a contact form, but maybe what your customer is looking for is a map or a telephone or the reservation button. Modify your contact page by adding these components and study the behavior of users in order to improve it.
  • Subscriptions to Promotions Newsletter: Track your visitors when they register to your promotions newsletter.
  • View or Request product demonstration: This is very useful if your web site sells a product.
  • Hotel e-commerce tracking: How your users behave during the booking process? How much time do they need in order to pick a room? How much time do they need in order to complete the reservation? How many shopping carts with unfinished reservations remain empty? E-commerce Analytics by hotelRSV offers these measurements in real time.

Measure your Objectives

Objectives Overview Dashboard dashboard

This report provides a quick view of all the defined objectives for your web site. You can also view the reports by country, keyword, the web sites (when you are using multiple web sites), the keyword of the campaign, with all the columns that show the indicators of the objectives (metric conversion), and revenue per visit (for all the objectives).

Detailed Report of Objectives

This report displays detailed information about a specific objective.  The graph of the last 30 days shows the evolution in time. hotelRSV Analytics also shows a quick summary of the segments that favored the transformation for this objective.

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Likewise, you can access the different reports arranged in a table that contains information about countries, continents, web sites, search engines, keywords, campaigns, and hours of the day.

The Report of Objectives will help you to answer the following questions:

  • Whether you are buying advertising with Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. How can you measure the quality of traffic sent by these announcements, which campaigns and which keywords work best to convert visitors to customers? Out of all the web sites that get you visitors, which web sites send more visitors that are converted into sales? Can you develop stronger links with those web sites, or find similar partners?
  • If you use the tracking of Campaigns, you can track the performance of your newsletters, CPC Campaigns and the key words to see how each one contributes to the conversion of goals and total revenue. You can see exactly the income rates and conversion for each campaign and the corresponding key word. If you have affiliates to your pages, you can see exactly which affiliates bring visitors with the largest number of conversions and which ones have the highest revenue per visit.
  • At what time of the day your web site has the lowest activity? At checking conversions of goals per hour, you can decide what time is better for migrations and upgrades of the system.

Measuring the Effectiveness of the e-commerce conversions

Hotel Analytics Goal Report

The objectives can be defined with a default income, and each objective converted will use the default income.

It is common that the “Objective” in a web site can have a different income. For example, in a hotel the price of a room can be different depending on the segmentation, promotion or package, hotelRSV Analytics will accurately report with precision the conversion of objectives and the revenue per visit for all visitors according to their segment, promotion or package. hotelRSV Analytics can lead a follow-up to each objective or carry a detailed monitoring with the e-commerce Analytics functionality that allows you to have reports according to the electronic commercial activity.

How to measure Conversions

In this case we are referring to the measurement of the different segments, hotelRSV focuses on the conversion of visitors, in other words on direct sales. hotelRSV counts with a tool to do this, the creation and measurement of segments. hotelRSV Analytics shows reports that describe who are your visitors and how they behave on your web site. These reports help you to have a better understanding of the market:

  • Where are travelers from.
  • What they are interested in.
  • Web site that referred them.
  • And much more.

In hotelRSV Analytics a segment is a set of criteria used to select only a part of the whole set of visits. hotelRSV Analytics will generate reports of visits only for the selected segment.

These reports show information on the whole, that is to say, it combines and removes the context of the entire information and hotelRSV makes an analysis in order to give you a general overview. In this way, you can see if the majority of your visitors come from a certain country, you will not be able to see what those visitors do on your web site, unless you use the segments.

This means that you can generate reports for everyone who visits your page from that country and see how they use your web site. Or, you can generate reports of each one outside that country and see how their behavior differs by comparing them. Or you can also make your reports of any other thing.

Using segments will allow you to add new information arbitrarily to your reports and make them more relevant to the marketing strategy that you are going to measure.

Other factors of measurement

Additional to the objectives, the hotelier can obtain relevant information from guests and potential clients with other tools provided by

Users in Real Time

hotelRSV Analytics delivers reports and web analytics in real time. When you request the data for “today” or “month” or any other date range that includes the current date, the most recent visits will be included, always ensuring that the data is up to date. By default, the reports are processed every 10 seconds, but you can customize this time.

Booking Engine Users in Real time

In the same way it includes a real time map, where you can see, literally, the traffic on your web site through time!

Visitor’s Profile

The Visitor’s Profile helps to understand the behavior of an individual with a summary and a list of the visits received on your web site. The use of the information that appears in the Visitor’s Profile will help you to understand your online market, for example:

  • Why your visitors saw your web site.
  • Why you have returning visitors.
  • What specific segments are they looking for and if they find it or not on your web site.

Users are recognized by their IP address if they are not registered yet; however hotelRSV Analytics will assign an ID to the IP and will show the ISP as a tooltip, it will also identify the OS, browser and screen resolution used.

Within this profile you can see in a summary:

  • Total time that the visitor spent on your web site.
  • Total of pages viewed and number of visits.
  • Total number of conversions and total number of conversions for each goal.
  • Total amount of money that the visitor spent on your site.
  • Total quantity of products or services that the visitor left in its shopping cart on your site.
  • Key words of internal searches used by the visitor.
  • Average amount of time it took to your servers to display each page to the visitor.

The summary, contains the date of the visits, along with a summary of visitors who visited your site before (if exists). If your visitor came from a search engine and if the key words are known, they will be displayed.

Speed of the Site and Pages Displayed

Keeping your web site fast is essential to provide a great user experience and ensure greater commitment and higher conversion rates. hotelRSV Analytics automatically will do a follow-up to the speed at which your web site is displayed to your visitors and it will display this information for each of your web pages. This will help you to evaluate the hosting service used.

Google Speed Test results for hotel websiteGoogle provides a free page speed testing platform here. that allows webmasters to detect what makes the hotel’s website slow. Google’s page insight also offers suggestions to fix speed issues. As a rule of thumb, anything above 65/100 for mobile is acceptable.

Other test pages like Pingdom’s are also useful for advanced users.

Site Search, Tracking and Reporting

Site Search allows you to track how people used the internal search engine on your web site in which you can see:

  • Which are the key words that your visitors are using in the internal searches on your web site.
  • Which of those key words did not display any results (therefore the content that your visitors are looking for and could not find).
  • Which pages have been visited immediately after the search.
  • Which categories of search are the visitors using (in case that your site uses search categories).

Transitions – Analyze the previous and subsequent actions of each page

The functionality Transitions gives you a report that shows the things that your visitors did directly before and after viewing a particular page.

Hotel Analytics Page Transitions

There are many ways to interact with Transitions:

  • You can open and close groups with a single click.
  • Transitions shows additional information about various parts of a help text when the mouse is moved around.
  • You can click on the pages to recharge the transitions to a different page.
  • The current status of the Popover (similar to the Tooltip but with much more information) is part of the URL. This means that you can use the buttons on the browser (back and forward) to navigate. You can also send the link to someone else and the Popover transitions will open at the page you were viewing when you copied the URL.

In the design of the transitions some deliberate decisions were made in order to differentiate it from similar “Clickpath”. It is not focus on the way, but it shows the transitions through a page. With this feature, you can see everything that happened before and after a page, not only the inside pages viewed.

This information is very hard to find in other tools, so we hope you enjoy easy analysis with hotelRSV Analytics and have fun using Transitions!

Analytical Monitoring of Campaigns

The monitoring of campaigns in hotelRSV Analytics allows you to track the degree of efficiency of various marketing campaigns such as bring visitors to your web site (visits, page viewed, etc.) and how those visitors are converted, as well as the amount of revenue they generate.

The campaigns can have several forms of monitoring and follow-up the generation of traffic such as:

  • Yahoo! Search Marketing, Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter: Paid search marketing campaign, Cost Per Click (CPC).
  • Display banners and advertising.
  • Links on emails and newsletters.
  • Affiliated links (sometimes called tracking Subids).
  • Facebook Ads.

Maybe you are already spending money bringing visitors to your web site via Adwords, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. The Analytical Monitoring of Campaigns allows you to know how successful those campaigns to attract visitors are (how many visits? Page views? Downloads?) And if they are helping you to achieve your goals.

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For example:

  • What is the conversion rate of visitors from Adwords vs Yahoo!
  • How much revenue is generated from visits through your monthly newsletter?
  • If you purchase ads on Facebook, it will indicate you the amount of income in your web site which was generated by each ad. Which Facebook ad made more conversions?

As you can see, hotelRSV is not only a multi-channel booking engine, is not only a tool of e-commerce for your hotel. It is a powerful system of hotel online marketing that converts your web site into an e-commerce site with full control of your sales, your strategy and your analytics. We know that there are different options but none with the analytics specifically directed to the hospitality industry.

Original Post by Saul Lara (Twitter)

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