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Lanier has been an excellent directory for us. In the last twelve months, lanier only trails and in gross number of referrals and conversions. Also, lanier's conversion rate is higher than these top 2... i.e., the quality of the referrals is highest among the directories. Lanier also shows well against other channels... it's more productive than our state B&B association ( and the state tourism agency ( Frankly, I don't understand why this is: it's not clear to me how they deliver these results and I am sceptical that they can continue this.
One caveat about directories in general is that their strength will vary by location so what works in Boulder, Colorado may not work for you..
HI Brendan, and welcome to That's very intersting information. Just two quick questions. What tracker are you using to track conversion? What are you counting as a conversion (viewing your availability, making a reservation, viewing more than one page...)?
We use Blizzardtracker's "ROI" edition to track conversion. A conversion is an actual rez on our Rezovation booking engine. (We also use Google Analytics to track conversions... it does not have quite the same level of granularity. My perception is that Google Analytics will not find the conversions of prospective guests who book on their second visit to the website through a bookmark or natural google search after they found our name.) ROI uses Javascript and cookies to keep track of where the prospective guest first found us.
Thanks. That's great information. You are right about Analytics, it is just based on click paths so it will not show a conversion made on direct follow-up visit. What does Blizzard charge for their ROI edition?
Steve, I think we have conversion tracking set up correctly in google analytics ("GA"). And we get no useful information out of GA e-commerce/conversion tracking. Just to be clear... GA in general is great for understanding where your quality web activity is being directly referred from... it's just that you have no idea what pay-per-click words are causing booking, which natural search expressions are causing booking, which B&B directories provide guests that actually book as opposed to looking carefully, etc.
Since we started GA this spring, we have 38 online bookings tracked: 44% of which are classed as direct, 22% of which are classed as referred from our own website, 22% from one of our competitors, and the remainder from other competitors. No revenue is tagged to any keywords. No revenue is tagged to any B&B directory. What do you think?
It sounds to me like you have something amiss in your goal setup. If you go to the Keywords report in Google and then click the "Goal Conversion" tab you should be able to see the keword phrase used, the number of visits and the conversion percentage as well as the per visit goal value. It helps to click on the top of the "Visits column" so that you get the most heavilly used keywords first.
The report does lack a little though, because if you sort by Conversion rate for the goal, you get the 100%ers first which are all the 1 click - 1 reservation but they are typically very low traffic phrases. Sorting by pervisit goal value is not much better. What it really needs is a column that is simply Total Goal value (not per visit) then you could see more.