With booking software like Rezgo, it’s easy to keep track of the metrics that matter most to your business, like sales, referrals, bookings and commissions. But there are other numbers that matter, particularly when it comes to your company website. A good website is an investment in your tour and activities company’s future, so, it’s important to keep track of your return.
You can dig deep into the world of website analytics, but before you do, take the time to consider what’s most worth measuring.
The first step of measuring your website’s performance is to establish what “good performance” means to your company. Everyone wants to see those visitor numbers climb up on their Google Analytics dashboards, but website visitor numbers don’t tell us much about how successful your website is at engaging those visitors and directing them to what matters most: your tours and activities.
So to look beyond the basics, the first thing to do is identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Achieve your goals with KPIs
Key Performance Indicators are measurable values that demonstrate how well your company is achieving its objectives. They may include a single metric, or they may include several.
For example, if your objective were to grow your email marketing list, your KPI might include metrics for new signups, bounce rates, and unsubscribes. Together, those give you a full picture of the growth of your list and help you stay on track while increasing the number of active, engaged subscribers. Without that additional context, your subscriber numbers are little more than vanity metrics.
Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics
When defining your KPIs, it’s vital to pay attention to actionable, meaningful outcomes — not just numbers that look good on paper. The latter are known as vanity metrics. Website traffic is one of the most commonly touted vanity metrics. We all feel good when we see that our traffic is bustling, but alone, it means nothing. Visitors could be anyone. They could be bots. There’s no guarantee that some set percentage of your visits will turn into bookings. Conversions, on the other hand, have a direct, meaningful impact on your business’s success.
Similarly, Facebook and Twitter follower numbers are vanity metrics. You could buy the adoration of thousands of Twitter or Facebook bots, but those numbers won’t do you much good. Fake followers that don’t engage with your content can actually make it less likely that your actual followers will see it. Any social KPI that doesn’t take engagement into account is missing the point.
Prepare your KPIs with care
SimpleKPI identifies five steps for creating a KPI:
- Establish a clear objective.
If your goal is to drive bookings, your objective might be to increase conversions on your website by a certain amount over the next year. That’s an objective with all the makings of a good KPI: it’s measurable, it has an end point, it can be attained, and it moves you closer to your goals.
- Outline the criteria for success.
The more specific your criteria, the better. What’s a realistic, achievable conversion rate for your business? When should you reach it by? How will you monitor your progress? Good KPIs focus on realistic, attainable objectives.
- Collect the data.
If you don’t collect the data, you’ll never have the information you need for your KPIs. Ensure you’re getting everything you need from your Google Analytics metrics, Rezgo reports, social analytics or any other source.
- Build the KPI formula.
Most KPIs will involve more than one metric, which means you need a way to combine them with a formula that produces results that make sense. SimpleKPI offers this example: “A KPI that measures productivity in revenue by machine would look like this: Total Revenue divided by the total number of machines. Build formulas and create calculations with test data to see if the results are what you would expect.”
- Present your KPIs.
Even if you’re the only person creating and tracking KPIs, putting them into presentable format is a good idea. It’s best not to assume that you’ll remember what all those numbers mean in 1, 3 or 5 years when you come back to compare year-over-year results. Fortunately, both Rezgo and Google Analytics can export the data you need in formats that can be used with the data-visualization software of your choice.
Choose the right KPIs for your goals
At the heart of most tour and activity companies lies one goal: to drive bookings. Beyond that, your company’s core values are a great place to look for high-level objectives. Perhaps reducing your environmental impact is on the list, or increasing employee satisfaction.
On your website and in your booking software, most KPIs will relate directly to bookings in some way.
1. Landing Page Conversion Rates
Once you have a great company website that’s pulling in traffic, it’s vital to ask if it’s generating conversions. If your visitors aren’t turning into genuine leads, your website isn’t doing its main job.
If your conversions are lower than you’d like, A/B testing can help narrow down the problems. For example you, might make your call to action (CTA) more prominent.
Here are a few other experiments that might lead to more conversions:
- Provide a clearer path to booking.
- Focus your CTAs on driving bookings instead of newsletter signups, reviews, or social media follows.
- Improve your written content.
- Use the Rezgo WordPress plugin to keep customers engaged on your website.
- Show off your social proof, like reviews, awards and testimonials.
2. Referral Value
Does your website include a referral program? If so, one of your KPIs will certainly be the value gained through that program.
The vanity trap with referrals is focusing too much on the total number of participants without examining what those participants bring to your business. These metrics will help you get the bigger picture:
- Return on investment
How much is your referral program costing your company? How much business is it bringing in? With inattentive management, referral programs can turn into a financial black hole, so ensure that you’re actually gaining value from your referrals.
- Participation and attrition:
Even if you could sign every concierge in the region up for your referral program, if they aren’t actively participating, they’re doing nothing for you. Track how many program members have sent you referrals, and how many continue to do so. If participants are regularly losing interest, you may not be offering enough in return for their efforts.
- Referral conversions:
How often do referrals turn into paying customers? And how many of those customers return? Keeping track of those metrics doesn’t just help tell you how successful your program is, it can also highlight participants who are providing more long-term value to your company.
3. Mobile traffic and conversion rates
Even if your website is doing a stellar job of driving bookings for desktop visitors, you need to ensure that it’s doing the same for mobile visitors. According to eMarketer, 40% of US digital travel sales came from mobile devices in 2017. That’s why Rezgo is designed to be fully responsive, so mobile users have as easy a time booking as everyone else.
But if your company website is poorly designed for mobile, customers may give up before they reach the point of sale. Ensure your mobile conversion rates are keeping up with the rest.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a huge, complicated job. Whether you do it yourself, outsource it to an SEO firm, or just trust Google to do its best with your website, it’s a good idea to know what your results are.
Klipfolio identifies 5 fundamental metrics to look at when you consider SEO KPIs:
- Web Page Rankings
The goal of SEO is to have your website’s pages ranked highly on a search engine’s result pages. If you track nothing else, you should still track this.
- Organic Search Performance
If you’ve used Google lately, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the highest-placed results are ads. Organic search performance tracks the visitors who reach your site through searches and not through ads.
- Page Loading Speed
Site speed has been part of Google’s rankings for years, and it’s also an important factor in gaining conversions. At the very least, your landing pages should be speedy.
- Landing Page Bounce and Conversion Rates
Searchers who end up on your website are there with a purpose in mind. Knowing how many bounce away versus how many convert to paying guests can tell you if your SEO is helping you reach the right people.
- Indexed Pages
One simple mistake can destroy SEO efforts: failing to have your pages indexed. Search engine crawlers pay attention to things you may not consider important, like your sitemap and robots.txt. If you’re not giving them the right instructions, your content may never make its way onto search engines at all. If you use Rezgo’s white label website for your tour and activities business, we’ve already ensured that your products can be indexed properly.
Let your KPIs bring your goals to life
When it comes to KPIs, the only limits are your creativity and the breadth of data you have to work with. If these KPIs aren’t key for your business, remember, all you need to do is find actionable, meaningful things to measure — ones that support your company’s goals.
Clear objectives and measurable, trackable goals: that’s how you turn your dreams for your company into reality, one data point at a time.