April 6, 2020 · Stuart Butler
Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 144 – The 3 Things Hoteliers Should be Doing with Their COVID-19 Analytics Data Now
You know the saying…if not now, then when? If you are like the majority of hotels right now, the traffic and revenue being generated online has come to nearly a screeching halt. This doesn’t mean you should be ignoring your analytics data. We are going to cover the three things you need to be doing with your data today.
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Original blog post:
1 – Keep Track of Current Events
While everything is fresh in your mind, this is the time to take advantage of annotations in your analytics platform. When you add an annotation, you will be able to see that note whenever you run a report that includes that date range, or from the entire list of annotations in the admin section.
Here are some critical dates to note as it pertains to this particular issue:
- 3/11/20 – WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic
- The date of your state of emergency
- If you have specific fly/drive markets, note those states of emergency
- The date your area was affected by a government-enforced quarantine
- The date of government or owner shutdown of property
- Changes in marketing spend (PPC, social, meta)
- Changes in marketing strategies (started bidding on broad area keywords, changed spring promotion to summer)
- Any operational changes
- Changes to website content
- COVID alert added to site
- Restaurant featured on the homepage
- Cancelation policy updated
- Featured no deposit necessary in booking engine or homepage
If you are unfamiliar with annotations, we’ve given you step-by-step instructions in the full blog post.
2 – Review and Act on Your Current Data
- For the visitors who are coming to your site, what are they consuming?
- Are you seeing an increase in traffic to the policy page, the FAQs, the contact page, or a specific page you’ve got dedicated to COVID-19?
- Does this data show that you are missing information on some pertinent pages?
- Do you have a webcam page that is getting traffic? This can be an opportunity for appropriate “we will be here when you are ready to travel” type messaging (see this post on tips for messaging).
- Room Searches
- If you are collecting data on the behavior in your booking engine, looking at the dates searched, dates booked and length of stay can be extremely helpful.
- Can you use some marketing tactics to get visitors to search for summer vacations now?
- From what geographic location are people visiting your website? Is it local traffic? Drive market? Fly market?
- Use this data to tailor your content appropriately
- Geo-target your paid advertising campaigns based on this data
- Market Trends
- Reach out to your friendly competitors in your market or CVB and see how you are doing in comparison
- Use things like Google Trends and Vertical Trends Reports from Google
- We’ve given some examples of reports we’ve provided to clients in the full blog post
- One quick side-note:
- If you have a team of people working remotely that could be skewing data of your website traffic, you should probably exclude their IP addresses from your analytics.
3 – Prepare For Next Year’s Data
Another saying I’m very fond of: Garbage in, garbage out. While the data you are receiving now is not garbage now, at this time next year, any year-to-year comparisons will be basically useless. We would recommend using 2019 data as your comparison dataset.
We know that using 2-year-old data is not ideal, but there is virtually no helpful data for this timeframe in 2020. Under these extreme conditions, we need to cut our losses, and do the best we can. We’ve had to contend with situations like this for clients that have been closed because of damages from hurricanes or partial closures for renovations. We create reports that do have both year-to-year and year vs. 2 years ago comparisons. Examples in the full blog post.
There is nothing simple about the situation we are contending with right now. The more you can do to make sure your data is well annotated and utilized in the best way possible now, the more likely you will be able to share your insights with your entire organization in a way that will help everyone get through this crisis.
In The Newsaroos:
- TripAdvisor Relief: Offering Business Advantage Free for 2 months:
- Email from TripAdvisor for some Business Advantage partners
During this difficult period we feel it is our responsibility to help our partners as best we can. We firmly believe that TripAdvisor can support your business once this crisis passes, and in the interim, as a Business Advantage partner we want to offer some relief by providing you 2 months of free BA service. You will not be responsible for April and May’s payments. Additionally, we will also be pushing back your renewal date by two months.
We understand that during this time, decisions are being made to ensure short term cash flow while also driving future business. We hope this gesture will help you and we hope to continue working with your business when this is behind us.
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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