By Scott Thomas
Who sends guests? That was the question innkeepers wanted to know when Scott spoke recently at the Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia 2014 annual conference. In two Google Analytics sessions, Scott began by asking what the innkeepers wanted to know. Answers ranged from “How long people stay on my site” to “What do people do on the site” but the number one question was “Who is sending me guests?”
Using updated and revised versions of the Google Analytics presentations from prior sessions, we discussed the basic Google Analytics tools that will help you answer the question of who sends guests, as well as how long they spend on the site, and what they do there.
If you would like to cut to the chase, just be sure you are logged in to Google Analytics, then click these links to download the basic dashboard, and the B&B Directory traffic dashboard.
You may need to edit the list of directories on the dashboards to reflect your paid listings. To do that, Open the dashboard, then click the pencil icon at the upper right of each widget that has “Source” in its title (Visits by Source, for example). In the next screen, look at the “Filter” line (see image at right) and read through the list of directories there. Add the domain (such as bedandbreakfast.com) of any you use that are not listed (very important!) and remove any you don’t use (less important, as they will be ignored anyway). Make sure there is a “pipe” character (“|” but without the quotes) between each directory (the pipe means “OR”).
Save it and you’re done. Data should show up immediately, and you can see the directories who are sending you guests.
For even more detail you can set up Ecommerce and Goal tracking, and use Multi-Channel Funnels to get very good reports of booking sources.