Not so long ago, we dived into the topic of improving your hotel website with 2 basic analyzes. As this post was very popular and some of you have send us emails asking for more similar content, we decided to reborn this topic.
Today, we are going to provide you with answers to 2 particular questions:
- What content on my hotel website matters the most for my guests?
- Which marketing channels are the most valuable in terms of bringing money or new leads/prospects?
We are going to use Google Analytics to answer these questions. If you haven’t heard about the tool, there is a lot of resources over the Internet as long as many books (Feras Alhlou’s one is my favorite).
1. Set up goals and goal value
I assume you have e-commerce tracking set on your website or that you at least measure sign-ups or downloads as goals. If not, this is the first step you should get your team to accomplish. Without goals, you obviously cannot measure the success. There are basically 2 types of goals that could be accomplished on your hotel website:
- Transactional goals: bookings (obviously) or some other orders (in case you allow to book additional services via website). These goals have particular value based on the services your guests want.
- Non-transactional goals: newsletter sign-ups, account registrations, brochure downloads etc. These goals don’t have the value assigned (unless you charge for it), however, on the long run, they are valuable for you as they might end up as a next booking or order.
Although non-transactional goals don’t provide you with the real money, it is important to assign some value so you can measure what subpages on your website contribute to their completion. There is no strict key how to assign it, however, let me suggest 2 ways to do it.
If you know that 20% of people who create the account or 3% of people who sign up to your newsletter become your guests, and the booking value is 100 USD, you can assign 20 USD to account registration and 3 USD to newsletter sign up. So the value is actually estimated based on the real outcomes.
The second option for you is to create fictional values. If account sign up is 3-times more valuable than newsletter sign-up in your eyes, you can assign 3/15/30 USD to the account creation versus 1/3/10 USD to the newsletter sign up.
Rule of thumb: it is always vital to set the goal value, otherwise Google Analytics will not assign any value to the particular pages.
2. Check the page value
In Google Analytics, navigate to Behaviour > Site Content > All pages. In the table displayed under the line chart, the very right column shows the page value. You can see it below:
You can see that based on the goals (and their values) you set, Google Analytics assigned a value to particular pages. This report is especially useful if you create a lot of content (e. g. blog) as it will tell you what content your guests/prospects/visitors liked that make them accomplish your desired action.
Note: Google Analytics assigns the page value only during the visit in which conversion (goal completion) occurs. You can find more about how GA assigns page value here. The alternative: navigate to Audience > User Explorer and check the visits with the conversion rate higher than 0%. You will see other pages that were seen during previous visits by guests who converted.
3. Use attribution models
Yuck, I didn’t mean to scare you, sorry. Attribution models are used to assign the value to your marketing channels (organic traffic, direct traffic, paid search, display ads, social media, email etc.) based on their contribution to the conversion. As the majority of guests will not book during their first visit, it is vital to know which marketing channels are responsible for finding you and which ones help them finish their booking. In GA, you can navigate to Conversions > Attribution > Model Comparison Tool and you will find them.
There are many attribution models, however, for our purposes, I am going to describe only few of them:
- Last interaction: assigns the full value to the last marketing channel guest was in interaction prior booking (or other goal completion).
- First interaction: assigns the full value to the first marketing channel guest was in interaction prior the desired action happen.
- Linear model: assigns equal credit to all channels guest was in the interaction with.
You can find more about available attribution models in Google Analytics here.
I usually use the combination of the three models defined earlier to find out which channels are better for creation of awareness and which ones work as “closers”.
On the example below, you can see that direct traffic works better in terms of closing. On the other hand, paid search and organic search are better for brand awareness or to attract new visitors.
To summarize it, attribution modelling will help you determine which marketing channels makes sense to your bottom line and which don’t. This will result in better marketing plan (and its approval from your management) and more precise source allocation.
Note: The problem with the attribution models in Google Analytics is that there are too many of them and it is often difficult to select the right one for your analysis. This is why you should also try data-driven models available in GA Premium or you can export the conversions data and try attribution using Markov chains.
Be the one who will make decisions based on the data, not based on the feelings! And if you need some advice, don’t hesitate to ask me!