How do I use this information to improve my marketing?
As marketer, you really only have a few goals. There are lots of ways to get there, but really only a few desired outcomes:
1. Get more people to come to your website (or to call / email you).
2. Get them to book one of your properties (or at least give you their information).
3. Make sure you get the best return on investment while completing steps 1 and 2.
Step 1: Getting More Traffic
First, let’s look at step 1. Your goal should be to get more people to your website. To do that, you want to improve the performance of your marketing efforts. So, you should always be asking yourself these questions:
- Am I utilizing all the channels possible to get my brand and my properties in front of potential guests?
- Can I improve the efficiency of any of my current marketing channels?
- Where should I be spending my marketing budget and where should I be focusing my marketing efforts to best increase my return on investment(ROI)?
Google analytics can help by showing you where traffic to your website is coming from and how much of that traffic is converting to bookings. With this information, you can easily determine where your marketing efforts are improving (or where they need improvement), and you can also easily determine your return on investment for each one of your marketing channels.
Step 2: Getting More Bookings
Next, let’s look at step 2. This deals with how well your website is performing. At this point, you’ve got the traffic to your website. Now you need to make sure your website is converting as much of that traffic as possible to bookings. You can use bounce rates to judge the performance of your landing pages, and exit rates to find pages on your website that may be making your visitors leave. And, you can use pages per visit as a gauge of how engaged your visitors are. As you begin to identify and fix problems on your website, you’ll start to see more of your traffic converting to bookings.
Step 3: Improving ROI
Finally, you need to calculate how much you are spending to get a booking. You can figure your marketing acquisition costs by calculating what percentage of your booking revenue was spent getting that booking (i.e. on marketing costs). You'll want to calculate this by channel. Knowing how many bookings you got and from which channels will allow you to calculate this fairly easily.
Don't forget to factor in your offline bookings as well, since not every guest will book online. You may need to have your reservationists ask guests how they found you when they call in to make a booking. LiveRez even has a field in the system just for this.
Once you know your return on investment per channel, making decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars will be much easier.
When you market without data, you are essentially are marketing blind. The power of Google Analytics is the vision it gives you about how your marketing is performing. And with your eyes wide open, you'll meet your marketing goals faster and more efficiently than ever!