Marketing is evolving as I am typing this sentence. I’m here to make sure you are not wasting your time, energy and marketing budgets by focusing on outdated metrics.
Many of the metrics you’re using have become irrelevant because of the seismic change in how people are researching and booking travel today. If you are still measuring what does not matter, you will end up getting blindsided. Don’t let a false sense of security, or an unwillingness to change, cost you market share and revenue.
Outdated Online Marketing Metrics
Measuring straight up year-over-year traffic is a quick way to lead yourself into the land of confusion. Because of the way Google has personalized the heck out of their search engine, those massive droves of online visitors that used to reach your website are now:
- Finding the information they need in the Google universe (Google Hotel Finder, Google Flights, etc)
- Seeing their own version of Google based on their browsing history, their click-thru history, and the retargeting associated with their Gmail accounts. Basically, they are not seeing universal results, which used to result in massive traffic numbers.
Over the past several years, I have seen a decline in website traffic across the board in hotels and travel. The way people are moving across devices throughout the day, coupled with their growing concerns about privacy, means it’s getting harder to track them. Don’t worry: those wanting to sell you ads are working hard on a solution. But conversion and engagement metrics, not traffic, need to be center stage.
Childish Gambino sums it up: “Yeah, you got some silverware, but really are you eating though?”
The personalization of search engines that I highlighted above directly affects another popular favorite from the days of old timey marketing: the beloved Keyword Ranking report. Back in the day, you know pre-2005, you could really hang your hat on this one. Rankings meant traffic, and traffic converted. Ah, the good old days!