7 Ways You Can Master The Art Of Web Analytics

Travel is an emotional experience and the best hotel websites are too. By sharing a story, you’re showcasing what staying at your hotel is like, and giving your website visitors the opportunity to imagine themselves staying with you.

The creative design of websites differ from brand to brand; however, there are many common elements that all the top web pages share that make them both effective in their conversion rate and aesthetically pleasing to the visitors. How do you know if your hotel website is effective? We have a few tips on how you can analyze your website analytics to gain more insight than ever before.

First, let’s review the essentials of a hotel website.

Review: The Most Important Parts of a Hotel Website

  1. Strong visuals are critical. As a hotel marketer, what you’re selling is the experienceof staying at your property. Use multi-media galleries to publish your content in an engaging and interesting manner.
  2. Limit the amount of text on your website so as to not seem redundant and ultimately bore your prospective guest out of booking. Utilize bullet points and highlight your main information to attract visitors within the five-second window of opportunity.
  3. Using videos on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. Video also appears in 70% of the top 100 search results. Utilize rich media to demonstrate to visitors what they can expect at your property.
  4. Having prominent social media links that are easily accessible on your homepage will help amplify your content.
  5. Start telling your story “above the fold”—the space of your web page that’s visible on initial view without any scrolling. That is your website’s most valuable real estate.
  6. Having a specific and straightforward call to action is important so as to not confuse customers and have them dig through your site to find it. Your end goal is direct bookings, so feature your booking engine in an easily visible manner on all the pages of your website.
  7. Display your hotel’s contact information whether it be in the header or a part of the main navigation toolbar.

How Do You Know if You’re Effective? What Do You Need to Look for?

So you’ve touched base on all the points mentioned above, and you think you’re telling your story masterfully. But how do you know for sure? If you don’t review your website metrics, you will never know what is and isn’t working, and how you can further improve your site to optimize for more conversions.

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you analyze visitor traffic to your site and provides a clear picture of your audience and their specific needs. It will compile data scraped from all points on your website, but if you don`t know specifically what to look for, you may be sifting through an infinite mound of metrics.

Here are seven tips to help for a more refined approach to your web analytics and reporting:

  1. Long-Term Statistics
    This tool will display your top pages and topics from the past 30 days. You can also extend the graph to a wider increment of months to capture the larger trends that appear.

*These metrics are used as an example to help illustrate the point

  1. Examine Visitor Activities

Looking at the number of visitors your site attracts might seem effective on the surface, but you also need to evaluate entrances, bounce rate and exit percentage.

  • Entrancesis the total number of visitors who entered a certain page.
    • Bounce Rate shows the number of users who landed on your page and left without viewing any other pages.
    • Exit Percentage is the number of people who left your site last in their web session.

Locating your bounce pages is crucial to understanding what pages aren’t working for you, because it shows the highest-rated page your visitors were on before leaving.

This may seem confusing, but once you can master the traffic statistic section you can get a great understanding for a visitor’s viewing patterns.

 

web analytics

 

Understand who you are reaching by learning your audience’s demographics and psychographics. Audience Reports will give you an overview of who comprises your audience, how they consume your content, the frequency to how often they engage with you and if they are new or returning customers.

It would also be wise to learn where your visitors are accessing your website from around the globe to help take into account these booking patterns.

You can view this in Google Analytics by going to: Audience > Demographics > Location.

  1. Backlinks via Referrals

This is an important analytic because it shows you which websites are sending you the most visitors and the engagement rates that are tied to these referrals. You can find out your pages they have visited and for how long. This helps with your long-term strategy by trying to continue to build traffic from these domains.
You can view this in Google Analytics by going to: Acquisition > All Referrals.

*These metrics are used as an example to help illustrate the point

  1. Look into Mobile Visitors
    This is where you find all your mobile optimization efforts pay off. This section defines which devices are being used to access your website, the average page views and the time spent on your site which will ultimately help realign your marketing strategy with your targeted audience.

You can view this in Google Analytics by going to: Audience > Mobile > Devices.

  1. Driving Social Media

You can use social reports to understand which of your sources are referring engaged visitors and measure the conversion rates stemming from your social platforms.

You can also use third-party sites such as Twitter Analytics to analyze the times you’re posting and what is resonating best. Then, you can test posting about a variety of content around that time to see what travelers are engaging with. Facebook Page Insights provides your posts metrics and will help gauge your likes, reach and engagement to further understand what your visitors find appealing.

  1. Website Speed

If your server is unable to handle the incoming traffic, you’ll lose visitors. If a page takes three seconds to load, 57% of online consumes will abandon the site. And of those visitors, 81% will never return.

You can get an overview in Google Analytics by going to: Content > Site Speed > Overview.

*These metrics are used as an example to help illustrate the point

Telling a visual story about your property provides a high-impact experience that draws viewers into your site and can ultimately increase direct sales. If you’re not reviewing your metrics however, you’ll never understand your audience’s behaviour and what you need to make educated changes to your website to ultimately perfect your hotel’s story.

By completing a thorough overview of inbound traffic to your website and social outlets, you can reference these changes to see if there is an increase in direct bookings but also to give you a clearer breakdown of your customer’s demographics, their searching patterns and what specifically they’re engaging with. Proper research and data analysis can greatly mitigate risk and will realign you with what travelers are looking for.