Tag: reservations

Home > Posts tagged "reservations"
Who Sends Guests (at a glance)

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…

Online Booking Software Prices: Part Two

Last week we looked at a survey by BedAndBreakfast.com, apparently designed to help it determine new prices for its online booking software products. Depending on the number and kind of bookings you take, the proposals could be better, or significantly worse, for your property. This week we'll look at other ways vendors set online booking software prices. One thing is for sure - no matter how the survey BedAndBreakfast.com is conducting turns out, the results will be very suspect. Why? We've learned from more than one innkeeper that they were able to access the survey from multiple email addresses. That means that there is no control over the number of times one person can respond to the survey. No need to stack the voter rolls with cemetery occupants, multiple email addresses seems to do the trick. Back to the topic at hand... Note that we'll assume a 7 room property since most products are priced differently by the number of rooms, and 7 is about the average size according to the PAII Operations Studies. To contrast with the new pay-per-booking models BB.com seems to be considering, their current model has several components (some of which are optional, and others are only for RezOvation GT users). Here are the basics (according to their published information as of this writing - note that we know the upper limit of the BB.com online bookings is 30%, but were unable to find details of lower rates on their website, hence, that information is from memory - happy to correct it if accurate information is different): RezOvation GT guest management software with booking engine: $90/month BedAndBreakfast.com online bookings: 25-30% per booking depending on percentage of inventory constantly listed Expedia and partners bookings: 25-30% per booking depending on percentage of inventory constantly listed The RezOvation booking…

Booking Form App for Facebook

Just over 2 years ago we posted instructions for creating a booking form app for Facebook. That method used Facebook's FBML app as its base. Of course, as some readers have noticed, Facebook later discontinued the FBML app (existing apps based on it continue to work, but no new apps are permitted to use it), so it is time (past time, some might say) to update the steps using newer methods that Facebook allows (at least as of this writing!). The New, Improved, Booking App for Facebook In some respects, this is not too different from the old app - at least the steps should look somewhat familiar. The new Facebook timeline makes things a little different in the details, but basically, you create the basic app (we'll use an app that was created by someone else, to avoid re-inventing it), paste in your booking form code, change the icon and position as desired, and you're in business! Let's get started... As we begin, make sure you are logged in to Facebook as the administrator of the page on which you want the booking app to appear. Then we need to use an app that qualifies for the current Facebook rules. For us, that will mean an iframe-based app. One we like, and have found easy to use, is the Static IFrame Tab from Woobox. It has a variety of options, and allows you to install it multiple times on your page, if you need to create several apps. Once again, we'll use Webervations as an example, but any booking engine that allows you to insert a widget into your page (with some exceptions where the widget relies on JavaScript that Facebook may not allow) should work similarly. Here are the steps: Go to the Static Iframe Tab by clicking…

Why You Should Use Multi Channel Funnels in Analytics

In our prior post on Measuring Social Media Impact we briefly mentioned Multi Channel Funnels and promised to discuss them soon. This post will discuss Multi Channel Funnels and what they can tell innkeepers about reservation sources. What are Multi Channel Funnels? [pullquote]A significant number of visitors make multiple visits before booking. That, alone, should make us pause before we draw conclusions about the value of a referral source only from the number of visitors it sends.[/pullquote]If you've used Google Analytics (GA) for enough time to be comfortable with it, you've either realized or learned from others that one problem with much of the data it relies on is that it is "last click" data - GA identifies the source that sent the visitor to your website, but historically didn't credit any other source that may have sent the same visitor at an earlier time. Nevertheless, we in the B&B industry know that nearly all visitors make multiple visits to your website (as well as other sites) before booking. Google knows that, too, and, in August, 2011, released Multi Channel Funnels (sometimes known as MCF) to help identify the sources that contribute to a goal conversion. In the B&B industry, a product has existed to record these visits for quite some time: Intell-A-Keeper, from Acorn IS provides similar information about multiple sources contributing to a booking. When discussing Multi-Channel Funnels, we speak of conversions (that is, a visitor having completed a goal you have set up), rather than bookings, because Multi-Channel Funnels are based on Goals (and you must have at least one goal set up in Google Analytics to use Multi-Channel Funnels). In addition to having a Goal for an online booking, Multi-Channel Funnels can also use Ecommerce Transactions as Goals. What Can I Learn from MCF Reports? There…

RezOvation GT – Preview of the Next Generation

Our review of the current version of RezOvation GT was published January 24 (during the 2012 Innkeeping Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas). At the conference, RezOvation invited current users to see a preview of the upcoming release, and to provide feedback on some of the anticipated features. We attended that preview, spoke with some of the RezOvation staff, and have some notes to share here. At the outset, the staff stated that the goal with this release was to give it a feel that would be very familiar to existing RezOvation GT users, while making it much more intuitive and much easier to use. Overview The first, and most obvious, change is that the new version, expected to be out later this year (2012), is a web-based product. Before you begin thinking that your desktop version will be obsolete, wait until you hear some of the good choices that have been made, to continue to keep the desktop usable. We were told that this new release is seen as an upgrade, so there is not expected to be any additional cost to existing RezOvation GT users. The new version is based on Microsoft's Silverlight (if you're not familiar with Silverlight, it is similar to Flash in many respects). According to the RezOvation staff, Silverlight will allow the new version to be run on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms (Linux users will need the free "Moonlight" version of Silverlight - which, according to online discussions, seems to have some incompatibilities). In essence, you'll install a Silverlight plugin for your web browser, then when you log in to the RezOvation server, Silverlight will connect to the RezOvation database and provide a very familiar RezOvation GT look and feel. The existing desktop version of RezOvation GT is intended to continue to function normally,…

×