Ever wonder who’s really accessing your website? Google Analytics gives you access to a wealth of demographic data that can give you some valuable insights on the guests behind all those anonymous clicks.
In today’s blog, you’ll discover how to tap into this information to create guest personas which are backed up by real, raw data. As a result, you’ll be able to get even more targeted in your marketing efforts for your best online booking rates yet.
What are Guest Personas?
Your guest personas represent the different types of guests that might visit your hotel’s website to browse and book. Understanding these different guest types is very important; in fact, it should form the backbone of your whole marketing strategy.
Why? Because once you understand exactly who your audience is and what they want, you can supercharge your marketing efforts by creating highly relevant content that resonates powerfully with your guests and shoots up your direct bookings rates.
Step One: Examine Your Data
If you have both e-commerce and demographics tracking enabled, Google Analytics gives you all the insights you need to create your ideal guest personas.
Here are the 2 most important reports you need to know about.
Report 1: User Demographics
One of the first reports you’ll want to look at, is of course, User Demographics. This report contains all the basic demographic information you want to know about your audience, including data on age, gender and location, all categorised by their number of visits, bounces and conversions.
When you analyse this data and discover the age-groups and gender which are mostly likely to visit your site, those which are mostly likely to bounce and most likely to book, you already have the foundation you need to start building your guest personas and create more targeted marketing campaigns.
Report 2: Source and Medium
This report lets you see the different channels, or information sources your guests are accessing before deciding to make a booking on your hotel’s website. Is most of your traffic being driven by your advertising efforts or is organic search your strongest channel? Perhaps you notice that few males are converting directly through social networks but your hotel’s referral traffic generally drives more bookings from males than females. If this is the case, you may want to try tailoring your social media marketing efforts so that it resonates better with your male audience.
2. Step Two: Create Your Guest Personas
By this point, you’ll have analysed some pretty valuable online analytics data. However, when drawing together everything you know about your ideal guest personas, it’s important to bring some offline knowledge into the mix too. Google Analytics can help you understand your guests’ basic demographic makeup, but your reservations team or reception staff are sure to also have plenty to say about the guests they deal with. Are they generally relaxed? Impatient? In town on business or for reasons of leisure?
It’s also a good idea to re-examine your PMS data to see which of your packages and room types are the most popular. You can bring together this information, along with the input of your reception staff and your analytics data, to form the basis of your guest personas.
Not sure how to get started? Here are some persona building tips:
- Think of a name for each persona to make it easier to refer to them throughout your marketing plan
- Most small to medium size hotels will have between 4-6 ideal guest personas, but work yours’ out based on your property’s particular needs—there’s no minimum or maximum number you should aim for.
- Make sure everyone involved in your marketing efforts both on and offline is familiar with your personas so you’re all on the same page when it comes to who you’re trying to convert.
3. Step Three: Tailor Your Marketing Strategy
Now that you’ve built your personas, it’s time to tailor your marketing strategy so that it’s targeted directly at these groups. Are your website copy and images likely to engage with all your personas? What about your social media posts? Have you created a range of packages and offers to appeal to each persona? Have you segmented your contact database so you can email your most important personas with different offers?
Don’t forget to use your analytics data to keep a close eye on your personas – they may change with the seasons. And of course, use testing to identify whether the changes you’ve made have had a positive impact on your website or if it could be improved further.
Does your hotel make the most of Google Analytics data to inform your guest personas? If not, is it something you would try in the future? Let us know in the comments below!