How to Diagnose Traffic Drops on Your Hotel Website – Pt.1
A drop in traffic to your hotel’s website can be perfectly normal. It might be due to a seasonal flux, a technical anomaly in your analytics report, or you might be comparing with a previous period that had an unexpected surge in traffic that can’t be sustained.
Yes, it can be worrisome to see a reduction in visits to your website — especially if you’re comparing year-over-year data when you’re sure that the data is highly accurate. But the reason for a decline in web traffic is often completely out of your control.
In this first post of our two-part series, we’ll look at some of the most common reasons for a decline in website visitors, and explain what your process should be if or when that happens.
The steps outlined below are based upon our own internal SEO and tracking protocols. While we refer heavily to the Google Analytics tracking platform, the advice should still be relevant for any other web-based tracking tools.
Step 1 – Pinpoint the drop
First and foremost, be absolutely clear about where you saw the drop in traffic. If you can isolate the drop to a specific month or week, make sure you check how the traffic levels compare against the same period in the previous year.
It’s crucial that you have good baseline data to reference, otherwise your comparisons will always be out.
To pinpoint the drop, open the year-on-year data in Google Analytics and you’ll see if it’s up, on-par, or if there was a significant drop.
A note about seasonality
Remember, hotel traffic is often highly seasonal. For example, a beach resort will usually get a huge spike during summer, while a ski resort will get its spike in winter. A lot of hotels may have more nuanced seasonal reservation trends, but across the board, there’s usually a clear correlation: high web traffic volume usually corresponds with high occupancy rates, and the reverse is also usually true.
Just keep in mind that if you make a comparison with one of your busier periods, it’s normal to see a dip in visits to the website, and probably a dip in online reservations too. Whenever possible, compare like-for-like periods to get an accurate picture of trends over time.
Step 2 – Isolate the channel(s) where the drop occurred
Instead of looking at the traffic drop across all channels on your website, aim to isolate the drop to a specific channel. This granular approach will probably provide the biggest insight into where and perhaps why the drop occurred.