My colleague, Eric Ingrand, just attended an Eye for Travel Conference. One of the speakers was a woman named Barbara Pezzi from Swiss Hotels and Resorts who talked about using web analytics to evaluate the best online marketing strategies for your business. According to Pezzi’s research, many consumers are unhappy with the content on travel websites. As a travel or destination company, it is important to understand how to reach your customers through the content on your website as well as through your advertizing choices and marketing initiatives. Since most companies have a set marketing budget, it is important to determine the most successful marketing initiatives that will reach the most consumers. Pezzi encourages users to set up measureable web analytics to help your company decide on the places to invest.

As an avid user of Google Analytics, I know that it is easy to consider a high traffic report for one day as a measure of success. However, simply knowing a click stream report is just a set of numbers that does not offer insight into whether customers are satisfied or are finding what they want from my site. Pezzi encourages business to segment and set goals. She also pushes for asking good business questions. For example, if you have a high percentage of visitors, is that good, or does this mean you have no loyalty? If you have a large number of page views, are people enjoying your site, or are they having trouble finding what they are looking for? Pezzi gives us three steps to gain insight into our marketing decisions:

  1. Set up parameters of measurement: this will help you understand how your customers are interacting and behaving on your site. For example, you may want to set up a segment of visitors making purchases and/ or repeat visitors with transactions.
  2. Set goals: What are the goals of your site? Measure based on those goals—where are the customers not converting? What advertizing source drives the most profitable inbound traffic? etc.
  3. Ask real business questions. Try to get past how you see yourself to how people see you and what their real behavior is when interacting with your website.
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