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Website Analytics: 3 Web Metrics You Should Track In Your Hotel Business

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Posted by HiRUM Software Solutions - 27/06/2024
tablet screen showing website traffic analytics data

For most accommodation owners and hoteliers, their hotel website is not only their ‘shop front’ but also a vital tool to gaining direct bookings. If you’ve invested in a beautifully designed, responsive website then tracking your website metrics is crucial. You’ll want to understand the performance of your online presence, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to enhance the user experience and drive bookings. But the world of web analytics can be confusing for the uninitiated, particularly as some of the tools that we rely on for tracking and reporting have seen significant changes in the last few months. So let’s try and break down some of the website analytics jargon and highlight the most valuable metrics for your business to track.

What Website Analytics Tools Should You Use?

While many content management systems (CMS) that you use to edit your website, provide a high level overview of some key stats related to your website traffic, one of the most comprehensive and valuable free tools to familiarise yourself with is Google Analytics. The previous versions of Google Analytics are called Universal Analytics (UA). The fourth and latest version of Google Analytics is termed GA4.

GA4 will give you the most comprehensive view of how your website is tracking for a number of the most important metrics that we’ll highlight below.

In addition to GA4, there are also a number of additional free tools that you can use to analyse the traffic to your website such as Google Search Console. This takes a bit more of an in-depth view at the queries used to find your website, clicks and impressions on the pages visited, your click through rate and average search positions for pages and terms.

There are also tools that you can use to test the speed and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your website such as Google Page Speed Insights (free), GT Metrix (basic free plan) and SEMRush (basic free plan). However, these offer more in-depth technical insights for more advanced users.

Key Website Metrics You Should Track

To keep things simple we’re going to focus on the metrics that you can get from GA4. Consistent tracking of the data will tell you most of what you need to know about how well your website is performing and where to focus more of your efforts to drive more bookings.

1. Website Traffic Metrics

Total Users / New Users / Returning Users

Users are the number of uniquely identifiable visitors to your website. You can also distinguish between total users, new and returning users.

From a marketing perspective tracking your new users is a key indicator of the growth of your website traffic and can highlight whether your marketing campaigns are being effective.

Sessions

A session is a period (identified by a time stamp) that a user is active on your website. So, for example if a user arrives on your website and then browses other pages of your site for 5 minutes, this is counted as one session.

Pageviews

Pageviews are the total number of app screens and/or web pages your users saw. Repeated views of a single screen or page are counted. Indicates engagement and which pages are popular.

Pages and Screens

You can also drill down and see the specific pages that users have visited on your website. This can help you determine which of your room types are most popular or if you have a blog, which topics are of most interest to your visitors.

Engaged Sessions

This is a new GA4 metric and is defined as a session with two or more page views or a session length of more than 10 seconds or has at least one conversion event (more on this below). A session will stop being counted after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Engagement Rate

This is another new GA4 metric and is defined as the percentage of engaged sessions on your website and is calculated by diving the number of engaged sessions by the total number of sessions over a specified period and multiplying by 100.

Engagement rate helps you measure the percentage of visits to your website or app that involved some form of meaningful engagement.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the opposite of engagement rate and is the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page. High bounce rates might suggest issues with landing pages or content relevance.

As a rough guide, a bounce rate of 40% and under is considered good while 70% and over is a high bounce rate.

2. Conversion Metrics

Conversions on your website are some of the most valuable and insightful metrics that you can measure.

Events

Events are a new feature on GA4 that are captured through tracking code that you implement on your website. They basically measure the key actions that a user takes while browsing your website such as a click, a file download or a form submission. You can create custom events to measure, if Google has’t identified it and you can select which of your actions you wish to count as a conversion.

Conversions

GA4 will give you a count of all of the events that you have indicated are conversions for a specific time period. So if you have form submissions and ‘booking completions’ identified as conversion events, you will see a total count of all these conversions and can also look at the counts for single conversion events.

3. Source and Acquisition

Where your website visitors come from informs your marketing strategy and highlights which channels are the most successful in generating ‘conversions’ i.e. bookings or enquiries. This is some of the most valuable website analytics data that you have available to you.

Traffic By Channel

Channels are rule-based definitions of your website’s traffic sources that let you monitor the performance of all of the channels sending traffic to your website.

This is a quick definition of the most common ones:

Organic Search

Organic Search is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via non-ad links in organic-search results. This is a key indicator of how effective your SEO is.

Direct

Direct is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via a saved link or by entering your URL.

Organic Social

Organic Social is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via non-ad links on social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn.

Paid Social

Paid Social is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via ads on social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Email

Email is the channel by which users arrive at your website via links in email.

Referral

Referral is the channel by which users arrive at your site via non-ad links on other sites/apps (e.g., blogs, news sites).

By regularly analysing these website metrics, accommodation owners and hoteliers can gain valuable insights into user behaviour, website performance, and the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. Website analytics can then be used to make data-driven decisions to improve your website, enhance the user experience, and ultimately drive more bookings.

From website design & build and social media management to getting you set up on Google Hotels, HiRUM Marketing Services look after your digital footprint and help your accommodation business reach its full digital potential so that you can focus on your customer.

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