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Ultimate Guide: Google Analytics for Hotels Business Success (GA4)

Have you been hearing the term data-driven decisions making a lot lately? It’s no wonder, given how important this concept has become in the world of business.

Within this trend, one most famous tools in helping make these data-driven decisions are Google Analytics or GA4. With their power in allowing businesses to collect, analyze, and interpret data from their online platforms, GA is considered one of the most powerful web analytics tools in the business world, especially in the digital marketing field.

We’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide to help you get the most out of Google Analytics 4 for your hotel business. Check it out!

How Google Analytics 4 Can Help Your Hotel Business Marketing?

Firstly, let’s define what Google Analytics is in the Hospitality industry. 

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and analyzes your website traffic. For hoteliers, it’s a valuable tool that offers insights into visitor behaviors, allowing you to shape effective marketing strategies, enhance guest experiences, and ultimately, boost bookings and revenue.

Think of it as a helpful assistant for your hotel analytics within your hotel digital marketing campaign, offering analytical data for your hotel’s online activities.

To further illustrate how Google Analytics can bolster your hotel business, let’s look at the primary insights you can gather from the latest GA4 version to enhance your hotel’s digital presence:

  • Total Visitors (Traffic) & User: Helps you understand who is visiting your site with the total numbers of each traffic/user.
  • User Source / Traffic Source: You can see where your visitors are coming from, be it through social media, referrals, or organic search traffic.
  • Page Details: Find out which pages attract the most views during a visitor’s stay on your site.
  • User Engagement Time & Bounce Rate: Understand how long visitors stay on your site and how quickly they leave.
  • Conversion / Event Rate: Keep track of specific actions taken on your site, for example, how many people (users) booking a room or clicking on contact forms (the conversion/event)

But From our experience in handling many clients from the hospitality industry, Google Analytics4 offers further valuable insights as follows:

  • Predicting Trends with Google Analytics 4: Google Analytics 4 can help hoteliers predict booking trends, manage occupancy rates, and optimize pricing strategies.
  • Leveraging Google Analytics 4 to Improve SEO:  Google Analytics 4 can provide insights into keywords and traffic sources, helping hotels improve their SEO and increase website visibility.
  • Using Google Analytics 4 to Improve User Experience: Google Analytics 4 can be used to understand user behavior and make improvements to the website that enhance the user experience.
  • Measuring the Impact of Marketing Campaigns with Google Analytics 4: Tracking the performance of various marketing channels and campaigns using Google Analytics 4, enabling hotel owners to understand which tactics are driving the most traffic and bookings.

How to Get Start with Google Analytics 4 (Beginner Friendly Guide)

Starting with Google Analytics might seem a bit tricky at first with all the options and steps. But don’t worry! This beginner-friendly guide will make it easy, guiding you step-by-step to set up Google Analytics hotel business:

Setting Up Google Analytics

1. Make sure you already have a website

2. Create a Google Account & Sign in Your Google Account

3. Go to the Google Analytics  website & click “Start Measuring “

4. Follow the Google Analytics Setup Process and finished all the form

Note: On business details – choose Travel as the industry category since it best describes the hotel business

5. Choose the data platform

6. After that, set up the data stream by inputting the website URL & Stream name and clicking “create stream”

7. Google Analytics will generate a tracking code & Measurement ID.

8. Copy the tracking code and paste it into the header of your website’s code.

9. Click “Verify.”Google Analytics will verify that the tracking code has been installed correctly.

10. You can now start tracking your website’s traffic and performance data.

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Define Website Objectives/ Conversion to track

Defining your hotel website objective can help you to decide which user action you consider as an event/conversion.

Before going deep into this section. Here is the simple definition of event & conversion :

Before going further with your Google Analytics 4, you need to clarify the hotel business objective that you want to achieve with your hotel’s website. 
For example, if your hotel’s main goal is to increase room booking, we can identify a few smaller goals such as:

  • Enhance engagement with hotel-related blog content on the website.
  • Increase the number of downloads for the hotel brochure.
  • Improve the visibility of the hotel summer promo.
  • Encourage more submissions of hotel booking forms.

These objectives, often referred to as conversions, are the actions that you want visitors to take when they visit your site.

Setting KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively your hotel is achieving key business objectives. They are crucial for tracking progress over time and help you make data-driven decisions.

When it comes to your website. Your KPIs should align with your overall business objectives and provide meaningful insights into your website’s performance.

Let’s take some of the potential KPIs for the hotel business : 

  • Increase engagement rate by 10% for Commercial Pages per month.
  • 100+ traffic coming referrals from Social Media. 
  • The target for a 3% conversion rate (e.g.150 booking actions per month).
  • Maintain a bounce rate below 40% on the leisure blog section.

Once you’ve identified your KPIs, you can use Google Analytics 4 to track these metrics and generate reports that help you understand your hotel website’s performance over time.

Configure GTM & Google Analytics 4 for Conversion Tracking

Configuring Google Analytics 4 to track the goals and report against the KPIs needs to be done in Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager.

Once set up and tested, data is collected and can be reported each month. Variances are highlighted and can be fed back into marketing plans to ensure activity keeps on track.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website (or mobile app) without having to modify the code. This makes it easier to integrate with Google Analytics 4.

  1. Create a GTM account and a container for your website.
  2. Install the GTM code on your website.
  3. In your GTM container, create a new tag for Google Analytics and chose Google Analytics 4
  4. Configure the tag with your Google Analytics 4 Tracking ID.
  5. Create a trigger to tell GTM when to send data to Google Analytics 4 (for example, ‘Page View’ to track every page your visitors look at).
  6. Test your setup using GTM’s Preview mode and Google Analytics 4 Real-Time reports.
  7. Publish your changes in GTM.

This is a basic setup and might need additional configuration based on your specific needs. However, once you’ve got it up and running, GTM and Google Analytics 4 for hotels can work together to give you powerful insights into how visitors interact with your website.

After that to make it a conversion in Google Analytics 4 you can go to Google Analytics and go to admin – Events – Turn on the events name into conversion.

Read more: Google Hotel Ads Guide: A Comprehensive Guide For Hoteliers 2023

Essential Google Analytics for Hotels’ Data to Create Effective Marketing Strategies

Google Analytics offers a wealth of data and insights, and it can be overwhelming to determine which data points are crucial to driving your hotel business’s growth.

To start, it’s key to note that Google Analytics 4 offers a range of customizable options based on your website’s performance. This includes:

  • Comparing data from different time periods, traffic sources, user segments, and dimensions.
  • Create audiences
  • Export data
  • Integrations with other Google products (Youtube, Google Ads, Big Query)
  • Predictive analytics

Here are important data that you can extract from GA4 to help drive actionable insights for your hotel business:

Understanding Your User Demographic & Interaction Process

Leveraging Google Analytics for hotels to fully comprehend your audience demographics is important for the success of your hotel business. This will show you the demographic details about travelers that interested in your hotel website as below: 

  • Country
  • City – Region
  • Gender
  • Interest
  • Age
  • Language

To find out these demographic details for your hotel’s website, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Report on the left main menu
  2. Click on User and choose User Attributes
  3. Click Overview section 
  4. You can see the demographic of users

For a more detailed understanding of the demographic data, you can click on the ‘Demographic Details’ section. Here, you’ll be exposed to information about specific demographic groups that reveal how they engage with your website.

This insight is very important to know how your hotel is perceived by a certain demographic. This data can help in planning targeted global campaigns and deciding the markets to focus on in your hotel marketing efforts. The early indication of interest from specific countries towards your hotel location can be a good early predictor for campaign success.

These insights are important in shaping your understanding of how your hotel is viewed by different demographic segments. This data can help your hotel business in defining strategy when looking to target a global audience in future advertising campaigns. Moreover, understanding which markets show a higher interest in your hotel’s location provides an early indicator of potential campaign success.

Additionally, these insights guide you on which languages to use for your hotel website content and marketing materials, helping you reach more people around the world.

Identifying Highly Engaging Pages & Top Leads from Travelers

Recognizing the effectiveness of your hotel website’s content and identifying areas for improvement is important for your hotel business. 

It’s especially important to pinpoint pages that particularly resonate with travelers or your target audience. This could include destination pages or blog posts offering travel tips.

To find out this data about your page you can follow the guide below :

  1. Go to Report on the left main menu
  2. Click on Engagement and choose Page and Screens 
  3. You will then see the total Conversion Rate, Engagement Rate, and Bounce Rate for each page.

Note:  It’s essential to set up conversion tracking for your hotel to gain deeper insights from the data.

Which Digital Channels Bring the Most Traffic to Your Websites

Recognizing the performance of your hotel marketing across various digital platforms is essential and GA4 can help you to indicate that. 

These platforms could include Organic Search from your SEO effort, Social Media, Referrals (direct links to your site), and Direct Traffic

To identify which digital channels drive traffic to your website, follow these easy steps:

  1. Go to Report on the left main menu
  2. Click on Acquisition and select either User Acquisition or Traffic Acquisition 
  3. On the filter section on the left, chose the first user default channel (User Acquisition) & Session default channel (Traffic Acquisition)
  4. You will then see the range of channels contributing to your hotel’s website traffic.

By examining this data, you can assess the effectiveness of your hotel’s marketing strategies across various digital channels, and pinpoint areas that need further attention.

For example, if your organic traffic is not what you expected, maybe it’s time to increase your SEO performance to improve search result visibility.

Or, if you’re running a large campaign on social media, one way to gauge its success is by measuring the traffic it brings to your website, and how that traffic affects your hotel booking rate.

Read Also: Best Practices for Hotel Social Media Management

Conclusion

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a valuable tool for hotels to collect and analyze data from their online platforms, enabling personalized services and data-driven decision-making which is very important to consider in today’s hospitality industry. 

By utilizing Google analytics for hotels, hoteliers can gain valuable insights into visitor behaviors, traffic sources, and user engagement. This information allows them to create effective marketing strategies, improve guest experiences, and ultimately increase bookings and revenue.

Read more: Hotelier Guide: How To Market A New Hotel [2023]

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