All hotel marketers will be analysing the data gleaned from their property’s website with a view to boosting visitor numbers and ultimately increasing revenue. However, since marketing is moving at an unprecedented pace, are the metrics you are using out of date when it comes to tracking people and tempting them with good deals? Here, we’ll take a look at some of the metrics that are looking a bit passé – and find out which are distinctly more 21st century, so that you can tailor your approach accordingly. Doing this will allow you to easily see where you can make changes that will be the most effective. Metrics that are looking ‘past it’ There are quite a few metrics that marketers continue to use, despite the fact that they might not be working in the way people think any more. Here are just a few:
1. Keyword ranking even as recently as eight years ago, we were still putting plenty of emphasis on the efficacy of keywords on the performance of your website. Today, things have changed and Google no longer rewards site builders for front-loading words and phrases within content to the detriment of its quality. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t still be using the odd phrase that travellers might be searching somewhere within the words you write – it’s just that you should be focusing on excellent content first and foremost, with words slipped in naturally if they fit. Meaningful, engaging content such as blog posts and landing pages have replaced lists of keyword rankings on search engines – and that can only be a good thing for the future of the internet, never mind hotel marketing.
2. Email open rate you might be sending out emails to hundreds of subscribers and a large proportion of them might be taking a cursory glance. But how many of these people are actually reading the material, clicking through to your website and making a booking?The answer might be not many, which is because a scatter gun approach is no longer effective. People today receive a staggering number of emails on a daily basis and you have to appeal directly to them if you want to succeed.Don’t simply send out messages with a list of all your deals to all of your subscribers: segment that list and send them content that lures them in.
3. Traffic because of the way the internet used to work, measuring traffic as a metric used to be quite an effective way of looking at how well your hotel’s website was performing. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Today, browsers of the web are invited to personalise the content they view and tools such as cookies advance this still further, meaning that universal results to searches don’t apply any more. Consequently, you can’t just measure traffic and have done with it, because those huge numbers have faded away. The new metrics and how to measure them So, now we’ve looked at what you shouldn’t be bothering to measure these days, what should be on your radar if you want to analyse visitor information and boost revenues?
Here are a few of the new metrics that can’t be ignored.
1. Website conversion rates this indicator is where many hotel owners and marketers fall down, because they often don’t know how to measure it properly. Your website conversion rate is the number of people who booked a stay after visiting your website and then clicking through to the booking engine.It is not a measure of how many people simply went into the booking engine, because that doesn’t necessarily equal revenue. The figure is typically quite small, which is normal for the hospitality industry.
2. Abandonment at early or final stages to measure this rate, divide the number of abandoned bookings by the total number of successful bookings. You then have your number, but you’ll need to dig a bit deeper if you want to reduce it.Segmenting your visitors and the sources from which they come to your website might help you to see why they are deciding not to go all the way and whip out their credit cards to secure a room with you.It might be a really simple flaw in your booking engine, but taking a closer look will allow you to identify it and fix it so it’s not a problem in future.
3. Bounce rate if a high number of people enter your hotel’s website and then leave straight away without looking at other pages, you’ve got a high bounce rate. This means you’re missing out on an opportunity to get them to sign up to newsletters, look at your beautiful photos – and ultimately, book a stay with you. This might be because of any number of things, including poor website design, lengthy load times and impenetrable navigation, but it ultimately means your hotel isn’t presenting a good image to your would-be guests.It might require a little redesign work or optimisation for newer devices such as smartphones, but overhauling your website will undoubtedly be well worth it in the long run if you’re going to get the bounce rate down.
4. Lifetime value of guests simply measuring your annual room rates won’t cut it any more, because your hotel needs to be in it for the long haul in terms of securing repeat bookings if it wants to compete in a crowded market. Therefore, dividing the total revenue by the number of reservations is a better idea, because it allows you to see if you have people who are staying with you multiple times in the same year. This means you can target them with specially tailored offers – and that in turn means less marketing effort for you because you’re not having to chase new business as frequently.
5. Custom goals If you have produced a YouTube video for your site or produced a clickable call to action, then you’ll no doubt be keen for visitors to use them. These are your custom goals because they apply to each small action rather than the overall goal of conversions.By measuring custom goals, you’ll know at a glance what content is appealing to different audiences – and you can then create more or less of it to entice would-be guests.
Analytics is a completely different beast to the one it was ten or even five years ago, so don’t fall behind. Make these new metrics work for you and see if you can boost your revenue accordingly.