Google Analytics is a powerful and easy-to-use service that provides valuable insights and data on your website’s traffic patterns. Wouldn’t it be great to know visitor statistics, user activity, and the top searched keywords in your comp set? It’s all in Google Analytics.
Here are five Google Analytics metrics you should track to better understand your website visitors and maximize your hotel’s bookings.
Page views (also known as ‘impressions’) refer to each individual page viewed on your website by a single visitor. Generally speaking, you want your website visitors to look at multiple pages per visit. But the ideal number of page views will depend on the purpose of your website.
For your hotel’s website, page views are a good sign of engagement. A higher number of page views indicate that the content on your site is capturing your visitors’ attention, and offering valuable information to them. Tracking your page views is also a great way to discover your most popular pieces of content if you have a hotel blog or news section on your website, and are actively sharing these posts on social media.
In Google Analytics, a session is a group of hits (or a user’s interactions with your website) recorded in a given time frame. Basically, one session encompasses everything a user does on your website, from browsing your rooms to making a booking, before leaving. This metric only takes into account ‘active’ users, and therefore allows you to accurately gauge how visitors are interacting with your hotel’s website. By tracking the number of pages viewed per session, you can get a good indication of how easily visitors flow from your content pages, for instance, to your booking page.
Your ideal number of pages per session would depend on how many pages it takes to complete a conversion. Say a potential guest lands on your homepage (1). They then click your easy-to-find ‘BOOK NOW’ button which takes them to your booking page (2). From there, they select their preferred room type and click ‘CONFIRM BOOKING’, this takes them to a payment page (3) where they enter their details and VOILA! A room is secured and they land on a confirmation page (4) that thanks them for their booking. In this example, that’s a minimum of 4 pages per session that a user must visit for a successful conversion.
While we’re on the topic of sessions, NEW sessions are also a very important metric to follow. The percentage of new sessions shows a comparative ratio between returning visitors and first-time visitors. This data is important in two ways – it indicates the number of new visitors coming to your site, as well as your scope to encourage visitors to return.
Seeing a spike in new sessions while you’re running an advertising campaign, for example, acts as a tangible representation of how effective your current marketing messages are at drawing in potential guests. Your conversion rate, as we’ll discuss below, indicates how effective this messaging is in motivating your guests to book.
Goals and goal completions
This is a small yet very significant setting in Google Analytics that offers a simple way to track your conversion rate. Basically, you create goals to tell Google Analytics when something important happens on your website. This could be a guest making the final confirmation click on an online booking. We’d consider this a goal completion. This allows you to accurately track how many booking conversions your website has received.
Goals also allow you to see your visitor’s online path-to-purchase. This means you can see the pages they visited leading up to completing their booking. This will give you quality insight into what pages and content are most effective in motivating your guests to book.
Your website’s bounce rate refers to the percentage of single page visits or sessions. Basically, a bounce is when a visitor lands on a page on your website and then leaves without viewing any other pages.
You may be seeing a high bounce rate, along with a low booking conversion rate on your hotel’s website. This could indicate a navigation issue such as no clear path or call-to-action from the initial page to the booking page. If you’re seeing a high bounce rate from your booking page, this could reveal issues with your booking process being too complicated or confusing for guests.
To reduce the bounce rate on your hotel’s website, you could include links to related pages. For example, let’s say you have a page devoted to your Deluxe King Room. On this page, you could add a link to the page with information about your hotel’s restaurant. This prompts visitors to click through to another page on your site while also engaging them with what your hotel has to offer. You should ensure you have a clear call-to-action and a direct link to your booking page on each page of your website to ensure guests can easily navigate there when they’re ready to book.
Google Analytics is extremely useful when it comes to improving your website’s SEO or developing your hotel’s online marketing strategy. Best of all, Google Analytics is free and available to anyone with a Google account. There’s no limit to the things you’ll learn about your site’s visitors from Google Analytics.
Are there other Google Analytics that you track? Let us know which top your list by leaving a comment or sending us a quick tweet.