Google Analytics is now a preferred tool by businesses to analyze their data. It's used by millions of them today, including hoteliers. If you are one of them, you must understand how to get the most out of this tool.
By evaluating the data it gives, hotels can use Google Analytics to acquire a competitive advantage. Knowing how to use this useful tool and being aware of some fundamental advice can help you get the most out of it. With Google Analytics, hotels can boost their revenue and enhance their guest experience.
In the hotel sector, data analytics can be used to create fresh viewpoints. Big data can be used by hotels to attract customers and boost revenue by finding new and improved uses for it.
What is Google Analytics?
Google offers a number of tools to assist people to understand what visitors are doing on their website, one of which is Google Analytics. You may track and analyze important statistics about your website and site visitors with the tool.
The platform gives you a complete picture of how well your website is doing. It gathers a huge amount of data and intelligently analyses it. It then creates reports for you to view the data in. You may utilize those reports to learn vital information about your website and the users who visit it.
Read also: How Google Analytics Works
Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics:
Universal Analytics came from the earlier version of Analytics. If you created your property after October 2020, you are probably utilizing Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which was released at that time and became the standard. You probably use UA if you were utilizing analytics before that time.
Here are the distinct differences between the update:
Read also: GA4 vs Universal Analytics - 7 key differences
There is also a big difference in their interface. Let's see it to spot what changes they made.
Google Analytics 4:
How to Get A Google Analytics Account
Follow these simple steps to get a Google Analytics account and start your learning journey:
How To Integrate Your Hotel Website With GA
By including Google Analytics on your website, you can track a variety of things, including the number of visitors to your site, the search terms they used to locate it, the amount of time they spent there, goal conversion, and much more.
You must include Google Analytics' tracking code on your website for data to be retrieved from it and fed into your reports. Let's see how you can add Google Analytics code to your website.
Find your tracking code
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account. Click on 'Admin', it is located in the bottom left corner.
- From the drop-down option in the "Account" column, choose the account for which you require a code.
- From the drop-down menu in the "Property" column, choose the property for which you require a code.
- Choose "Tracking Info" and then "Tracking Code" in the "Property" column.
5. This is where you will find your tracking code.
Add tracking code to your website
- You must incorporate your tracking code into your website once you receive it. Depending on the platform you use, you could need your tracking code or your global site tag.
- Copy the code, go to the website you want to track, and paste it into the 'script' section. Make sure the script configuration position is at <head>.
- However, some websites only use plugins. If so, just add a new plugin under Google Analytics.
To understand better, spend a few minutes watching this helpful guide:
If you are using Wordpress, you need to use plugins. Here are some examples of what you can find:
The Fundamentals of Google Analytics
Being a beginner using Google Analytics can be very overwhelming. Here are some fundamental reports that can be useful to you during your early learning stage. Focus on these reports to understand Google Analytics better.
Before that, there are four fundamentals of Google Analytics - Who, Where, What, and Result.
Note that the interface of Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics slightly differ.
It is important for hoteliers to know in detail who is visiting their website. Knowing your target audience can help you build new strategies and improve your service. Under reports, you can find the User tab. Here you can analyze your guest and website visitors. It can also assist you in seeing if people are influenced by your marketing strategy.
You can view data about your audience demographics, interest, the technology they use to view your website, and what browser they use.
Read also: Overview of Audience Reports
This is where you can see where your audiences come from. Under reports, go to the Acquisition tab. You can see from which channel they were originally from to get to your website. When you know where your guest is coming from, and how they discovered your website, it gives you an insight into which channel is suitable for you to market your website.
The main traffic is where most people come from to discover your website. There are direct, paid search, affiliates, display, and referrals. Hoteliers can analyze each day their website traffic and if it is up to their target. Let's say your highest traffic is from affiliates. Then, it is a good strategy to link your websites to influential people to share since people discover your hotel more that way.
Read also: Acquisition Reports - Beginner's Guide to Google Analytics
To see what your audience is doing on your website, you just go to the Engagement tab. Here, you get to see from the user's perspective which pages they have visited, which are the most visited page, and how much time they spend on each page.
Hoteliers can see which page their guests are more interested in and which page guests seldom interact with. This gives insights into what information the guest wants to know and what is irrelevant to them.
Read also: The Beginner’s Guide to Behavior Section in Google Analytics
Results or more accurately is called Monetization or conversion. In Google Analytics, conversions are significant behaviours that website visitors exhibit that result in them becoming clients, leads, or subscribers. You can determine whether visitors are responding to your marketing efforts and effectively navigating the various stages of the sales funnel by looking at conversion rates.
Important interactions in GA4 are no longer classified as "goals". GA4 gives you more flexibility when setting up and tracking conversions because it treats important user activities as "events". The new GA4 interface enables you to put up new conversion events, define current events as conversions, see conversions reports, and dig deeper into conversion data to discover more about your customers' origins and the routes they take around your website.
The basic way to track conversion is by URL tracking and event tracking (Google Tag Manager).
Goals were used to gauge how frequently users perform particular behaviors. Goals gauge how effectively your website or app achieves its intended goals. A goal is a completed task, also known as a conversion, that helps your business succeed. Making a hotel reservation, seeing a website page, or completing a survey asking for visitor feedback are a few examples of goals you can put.
Analytics may give you important information, such as the quantity and rate of conversions for your website if your goals are correctly defined. It is nearly impossible to assess the success of your hotel business and marketing initiatives without this data.
Read also: How To Use Monetization Report in Google Analytics 4
Use Case Scenario to Analyze Google Analytics Report
Let's say you are a hotelier planning to run a marketing campaign - specifically a School Holiday Campaign. This might be the breakdown of what you want to analyze in the report:
WHO - Might be families with kids who are still in school. You want your campaign to have offers that interest this group of people. You target them to visit your website and pick your hotel as a school holiday destination.
WHERE - People from your country or specifically states near your location. The guest could come from an organic search by searching lists of hotel names in the area they want to visit. If put up ads on Google to boost your website, then these guests might find your website from paid search.
WHAT - On your website, these guests might spend more time on the page where it explains the offers during the school holiday and what special packages families can get. They might also spend time looking through room listings to see which one fits their families. If many people are spending time reading about your school holiday offers then it might indicate your offers are interesting to them. What they do on your website can give you insight if they will make a booking or not.
RESULT - The conversions you are targeting might be an increased number of visitors on the school holiday landing page and increased room bookings for the school holiday package. These conversions would prove that your marketing campaign for the school holiday is working and people are interested in what you have to offer.
Building A Custom Report to Track Your Goal
You can create any kind of report that will track certain goals or metrics. On GA4, click Explore and you will be directed to create a new report. You can either go with a funnel report, cohort report, path report and many others.
This is an example of a customer report interface. However, for new GA users, it is advised to not create a customer report until you have familiarised yourself with the existing report first or the existing report does not have the data that you want to track.
Important Metrics in Google Analytics
Reports from Google Analytics are composed of metrics and dimensions. Metrics are the numerical measurements of data utilized in most reports, while dimensions are the names given to them. Here are some important metrics hoteliers can focus on:
Users in Google Analytics are those who go to your website. Users are divided into two groups by Google Analytics: new and returning users. Visitors who have never been to your website are referred to as new users, whereas past visitors are referred to as returning users.
2. Number of Users & Sessions
The number of users and sessions in Google Analytics refers to the total number of sessions (visits) and unique users over a certain time frame.
The source metric in Google Analytics measures the origin of visitors to your website, including whether they arrived straight from the URL or via a search engine like Google.
4. Average Session Duration
The typical amount of time people spend on your website during a session is known as the average session duration.
5. Average Pages Per Session
The amount of pages a user views in a session is referred to as pages per session. Increased page views per session may indicate that users are more interested in your content because they are exploring more of your website.
6. Bounce Rate
The percentage of single-page sessions, or sessions where a visitor leaves your website from the home page without viewing any other pages, is known as the bounce rate.
7. Goals & Conversion Rate
The percentage of website visitors that perform an action, such as completing a purchase or filling out a form, is known as the target conversion rate. It depends on what kind of goals you have set up.
Check this Out!
Are you perhaps more interested in an extra in-depth explanation of Google Analytics? Let's take a few minutes and watch this video to have a clearer understanding of how new hotelier users can use Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a really useful tool to have at your disposal, even though learning it takes some time. After all, it is crucial for hoteliers to establish precise goals in order for the right ones to be specified and monitored on websites. Google Analytics can certainly help increase your revenue and bookings.
If you want to learn more about how to increase your bookings on your website, try downloading our Ultimate Guide to Hotel Direct Booking! There are useful information collected in the E-Book to help your business get higher bookings.