To keep pace with the shifts in the hospitality industry, hoteliers must adapt and find ways to leverage their data to make more informed decisions.
Throughout our series on how vanity websites can play a role in enhancing a hotel’s digital marketing strategy we've talked about numerous benefits ranging from improving your SEO strategy to more flexibility around content and being able to integrate with third-party platforms. At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest benefit a vanity website has for hotels is the ability to measure and track how those things are performing.
While many traditional Brand.com websites offer limited insight into data and analytics, the backend of any vanity website will be integrated with some type of analytics platform. In many of the vanity websites we build, we use Google Analytics, which allows us to measure and understand what's working and what's not working. This offers the ability to be flexible and nimble with your overall digital marketing strategy and make changes as needed.
Here are four ways data from a vanity website can improve your marketing efforts.
1. Discover how users are reaching you
As we discussed earlier in the series, a vanity website allows you to have a more aggressive and comprehensive SEO strategy that incorporates targeted keywords. Seeing how that strategy is performing and how travelers are reaching your website is crucial.
In this instance, our analytics platform allows us to go in and look and see how that organic strategy is performing by looking at that metric over different periods of time, whether it's month-over-month or year-over-year. Seeing a breakdown of where your traffic is coming from—including organic, direct, referral, and paid—offers your people data to make strategic decisions and provides insights into whether you’re getting the results you anticipated.
If you aren’t seeing the results you expect, it allows you to dig in and make data-driven decision by helping you understand why that's not happening and continue to evolve your strategy.
2. Measure email marketing performance
While we haven’t specifically talked about email marketing as a benefit of a vanity website, it can certainly be a key part of your digital marketing strategy.
According to research done by Litmus, the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality industry has the highest return on investment (ROI) on email marketing. Data shows that the overall average ROI across all industries is a $42 for every $1 in marketing spend. In the hospitality industry, that ROI increases to $53:1. But how do you measure email performance?
With the analytics available through a vanity website, you can gain additional insight. Above, you can see this property sent an email blast on a particular day. With analytics tied into their vanity website, they can quickly and easily understand how many people visited the site from the email and what actions they took afterward. Did they click over to make a reservation? How did they engage with the page? Did they take any other key actions? Using those findings, hoteliers can make better informed email marketing decisions and track ROI.
3. Track the performance of special offers
Seeing how people interact with your website, specifically Calls-To-Action (CTAs), is a critical component of optimizing for conversions. Many hotels offer special packages or offers to travelers on their website and it’s important to see how they perform.
This particular hotel uses offers on their website to drive conversions. Let’s say your revenue management strategy is focused on some particular offers. That’s going to flow through to your digital marketing strategy, and being able to go in and understand, ‘Are we getting the visibility around those packages and offers that we want to see?’ is essential. Using data, you can make better decisions on the placement of those packages and offers.
4. Set and monitor specific events and goals
The final analytics benefit of a vanity website are called events or goals. By using a vanity website, you can leverage the analytics to understand whether or not prospective travelers are taking those key actions that you want them to take.
Are they clicking over to the booking engine? Are they calling you? Are they filling out a Request for Proposal (RFP) form? If you think back to some of the other benefits of a vanity website, including content creation and integrating different third parties, analytics tools allow you to set specific goals around how many people watched the video you posted, how many people interacted with a particular blog post, or how many people clicked over to make a reservation through OpenTable or through your food and beverage outlets.
The backbone behind any vanity website is the analytics and being able to really understand what's working and what's not so you can be flexible and change your strategy as needed.
If you're thinking about a vanity website or want to know if a vanity website might be a good strategy for your property, we'd love to talk to you. In the meantime, explore more of our blogs to see what strategies can help improve your hospitality marketing strategy.