The Top 7 Measurable Metrics to Ensure your Hotel Sees Online Marketing Success in 2021 — Source: Milestone Inc.

With each month that passes, there's a duty of care to guests and stakeholders to visit the performance metrics of your hotel for online marketing success.

Whether you're looking to increase guest numbers or needing to find effective marketing techniques to increase your hotel brand name, there are seven key performance metrics to consider:

  • Quality of visitors
  • Quality of visitors by channel
  • Total visits
  • Traffic by channel
  • Unique visitors
  • Unique visitors by channel
  • Visits by channel

Yet, we're not just here to provide the points and leave; the Milestone team is here to ensure your online hotel operations are performance-optimized for online marketing success. So, here are the seven fundamental performance metrics with elaboration:

Quality of visitors

The quality of visitors is a new metric that has been used by advanced marketers for the purposes of determining the presence of site visitors who engage with content and those who don't. The performance metrics look at concepts such as whether potential guests are scouting the hotel for an event, to book, to read, or any other page of significance relating to actions.

This metric is measured in order to determine the relevancy of the content on your hotel's website and if it matches the searches your target guests are making.

Quality of visitors by channel

Further filtering the quality of guests to your site by their respective channels of communication will allow you to discover the origin of the majority of quality visitors. With this, it can be assumed that focusing on this channel will bring in higher rates of quality traffic likely to convert into booked rooms

Since the Google 'Medic' update in 2018, key performance metrics shifted toward holistic content such as user experience and authority of topic. This has developed even further with the December 2020 Core Update which crawls sites for valued content.

Total visits

This has been an umbrella performance metric used for years by businesses of all sizes and origins due to its simplistic meaning. In fact, you'll use the true-to-life version of this as you look at the total number of guests to walk through your doors against performance. It tends to give an overview of aggregate components while demonstrating the booking site has ranked for positive keywords.

However, data collected from looking at total views can be skewed with jumps of up to a 50% increase due to bot crawlers becoming stuck. So, don't assume each number correlated to a new potential guest.

Traffic by channel

With this, it's important to understand where the total views are coming from: spikes in 5-second traffic may indicate bots, traffic from non-participating countries can be spam, and traffic deriving through unused social media channels could suggest positive sharing and a gap in potential online marketing success.

While some are positive engagement statistics of your guests and others are negative numbers racked by automated processes, all should be excluded from monthly performance metric analysis as they are not representative of your content marketing strategies.

Unique visitors

Another type of performance metric that is important to consider is the number of unique visitors which can be easily determined by using a visitors IP address in line with the session data cookies that build on your site. All webpages, even a hotelier's, will gather data determining whether you are seeing new visitors or returning guests by counting multiple visits from the same IP address as a single user.

Using this knowledge, it's important to proceed with caution and see the data as trending rather than as absolute numbers.

Unique visitors by channel

Through vital experience of prioritizing online marketing success, it has been noted that viewing unique visitors should be categorized depending on their channel of referral.

Finding out where each of your guests journeyed from can be a key cog to understanding where improvements can be made, and new focuses can be implemented to create a stronger channel of communication between your hotel and your guests.

Here are some of the channels we recommend measuring performance metrics against:

  • General and local SEO
  • Organic reach
  • Social media
  • Direct URL
  • Paid advertising (search engine, social media, or on-site ads)
  • Emails or newsletters
  • Referral
  • Partner or affiliate link

Visits by channel

82% of sharing through online mediums is done so by simply copy-and-pasting a sites URL across multiple platforms.

And, when these URLs are clicked, they create a UTM parameter that adds systematic jargon onto the end of a URL. For example: instead of a URL being it might look more like

These tell analytic systems the origin of the click. Yet, if a hotel website is found through Facebook and then the link (with UTM) is shared through Twitter, any traffic through Twitter will still show as Facebook-derived.

These can be cleaned to create true performance metrics for visits by channel through generating custom URLs and UTM parameters in Google. They're key to portraying performance by channel, engagement types by channel, and bookings by channel.

Many SEO specialists will recite the idea that SEO is certainly a marathon rather than a sprint, which is why it's important to view performance metrics on a monthly basis to assume online marketing success. Otherwise, data collected only one week after a content implementation will not be representative of its ongoing performance.

So, try implementing these seven measurable performance metrics into your hotel's online planning and tracking projects throughout 2021. The most effective method for doing so will be through the use of online SEM teams such as the Milestone team who provides a designated and tailored approach to ensuring your business sees online marketing success throughout 2021 and beyond.

Contact the team today to see where your business will be in the online consumer era.

Erik Newton
VP of Marketing
+1 408-200-2211