5 Google Analytics Tips, Tricks and Hacks for Tourism Websites

by | Nov 13, 2012

A majority of tourism and travel websites utilize Google Analytics to collect, verify and research metrics and reports. And while the service is fairly easy to set-up, there are several tips, tricks and hacks that will improve your tourism website research.

Here are 5 of our must-do data tricks for Google Analytics.

1. Verify Your Site

Google Webmaster Tools

The biggest ‘fix’ we implement with new mark Benchmarking Report subscribers is Site Verification and activating Webmaster Tools.

Site Verification allows you to tell Google how to index your site, which pages to exclude from sitelinks and specify your geographic location.

Beyond the connectivity benefits, verifying your site allows you to enable Webmaster Tools, which actives the SEO report in Google Analytics.

The SEO report includes a wealth of data on search queries (keywords), landing pages, geography, mobile search, video search, etc.

Verification and set-up may require help from your web agency or an internal staff member, but the overall process is clearly defined with step-by-step instructions.

Verify your tourism site and start optimizing your search.

2. Social Plugins

Google Analytics - Social Plugins

Have like, tweet and +1 buttons on your site? Probably on every page, right? Well, you can track those social interactions in Google Analytics via the Social Plugins report (Traffic Sources > Social > Social Plugins). Set-up will require some advanced assistance, but the work is worth it.

Integration is also available with the popular AddThis sharing button.

Once activated, you can view the social popularity of your content in Google Analytics…rather than clicking from page to page to count likes.

3. Roll Up Reports

As more and more destination marketing organizations add blogs, mobile websites and microsites, keeping analytic data separate can become a challenge.

The solution, is roll up reporting.

Using a roll up report, you can build an overall report for all data, while keeping certain sites separate for specific reporting needs. If you are a DMO, CVB or NTO running a mobile site, blog or both, you should be using roll up reporting.

4. YouTube Reporting

Easily Track YouTube Videos with Google Analytics

Have a YouTube video on your DMO website? Likely. And now, you can track a variety of video actions through Google Analytics, including the play button, pause button and completed views.

The team at LunaMetrics has written a very helpful script that not only tracks the data, but does not require a change to existing embeds or any extra code with new embeds.

Add the script and start tracking your video views in Google Analytics.

5. Form Tracking

Form tracking is a must for every CVB website. Email subscription forms, official visitor guide order forms, RFP requests, contact forms. The number of opportunities to miss a potential lead are too great to ignore.

Luckily, thanks to Christopher S. Penn, tracking form activity through Google Analytics is quick and easy.

Using the Event Tracking capabilities in Google Analytics and the onFocus tag, you can track clicks into each individual form field.

In our example, we will use a simple First Name form field:

<form>
First name: <input type="text" name="firstname">
<form>

Then, just add the onFocus tracking code.

<form>
First name: <input type="text" name="firstname" onFocus="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Form', 'Field Focus', 'First Name']);">
</form>

‘Form’ is the Category, ‘Field Focus’ is the Action and ‘First Name’ the Label. Simply change the label (First Name) to match the other fields (Address, Email, Phone Number, etc.).

Now, each time someone clicks into the First Name box, Google Analytics will record an event (Content > Events).

By looking at the complete list of form fields, you can quickly tell which field is potentially causing users to abandon the form.

Reorder or remove the field and watch your conversions increase.

Next Steps

Talk with your internal web team or your digital agency to implement these recommendations, tips and tricks for Google Analytics.

And start taking advantage of your data.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.