Monitor, Measure and Manage – Best Practices in Web Analytics for DMOs’

Signals of Intent to Travel

Signals of Intent to Travel

A critical part of Web reporting for a DMO is defining the “conversion” events or “hand raising” actions that define success for your Web site. As many DMOs have no online booking functionality on their Web site, and in all cases final booking is likely to be completed elsewhere, this conversion or success event is not usually a transaction but rather a “Signal of Intent to Travel” (SIT). >>Download Study

Thoughts// Those of you who frequent this blog are well aware that the topic of “analytics” is one we’re deeply passionate about; given our predisposition to the topic, we were excited to discover the study above by our friend Chris Adams at Miles Media.  Written in partnership with Omniture, the paper is an excellent overview of “best practices” of digital analytics from the DMO perspective.

We’re also happy that the paper goes on to define common “engagement points” (conversions) for a DMO site (see our work on this here);  Chris labels “engagement” or these “hand-raising” events across digital networks as a “Signal of Intent to Travel” and rightfully calls it the “most important analytics solution and ultimately the most important part of distinguishing ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’.”

We couldn’t agree more! For too long, we’ve been obsessed about reporting “clicks” and “visitors” (because it was easy to do so), instead of focusing on the quality of a visitor’s experience. According to the paper, the top 10 most commonly used (and recommended) “Signals of Intent to Travel” are:

  1. Ordering a visitor guide online
  2. Signing up for an email newsletter
  3. Visiting a deals, specials or packages page
  4. Visiting the detailed listing page of a hotel, activity or event
  5. Reaching a defined stage in any online booking tool that is available on your site
  6. Downloading a brochure, map or other file from your Web site
  7. Clicking through to a hotel or activities’ external booking or information page
  8. Seeking more information from your DMO, Visitor Center, etc.
  9. Asking a question of an online expert or other users
  10. Posting a photo, video, trip report, review or rating

As you can see, there is definitely congruency between the recommendations of this white paper and the work Troy and I started at the Smackdown Conference in Portland last May. As the state tourism agencies move to adopt a common “engagement” points later this year, it’s gratifying to see that both the analytics industry and creative agencies are concurrently engaged in making measurement more meaningful.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.