My Sales Are Down. What can I do?
Recently, a client emailed me with some concern that bookings for her retreat lodging business were down. Her business is somewhat seasonal and most of her rental spaces are closed for the winter, but still she usually has a at least a couple bookings for the chalet vacation rental and/or couple’s coaching retreats. Reviewing several of the Google Analytics reports I had just prepared for the previous month revealed some great, actionable insights and advise:
…thanks for the reports. Any suggestions based on the info? I’ve had 0 bookings for January and only one so far for February. This has never happened before.
How come there is a listing for Catskill yoga retreats? I am not a good place for yoga retreats because I don’t have indoor space for yoga.
Well one idea is to create a blog post about “couples yoga retreats” in the Catskills and make a special package with [teachers in the area]? Another blog post about just couples retreats is good too. If the yurts are closed down and fewer people feel comfortable affording a chalet, given the uncertainty of the current political climate, etc… What can you do that’s fresh and attractive to people today? Go to Google Trends and see what people are conversing about, then write blog posts about those topics and how a stress-free, winter retreat in the Catskills may be just the cure.
After Home page, CouplesCoachingRetreat and TreehouseYurtGlamping pages got top billing for volume as landing pages. That means people were searching for something, for which Google displayed a listing for those 3 pages. They clicked through. What can you do to those pages to convert more visitors into bookings? Can you offer a “Winter Booking Incentive”? CouplesRetreat has potential. How can you more effectively “close the deal” when people view those pages?
How can you reach out into your community more and cross-lubricate business with your neighbors? Could that expand what you say on website and add freshness factor? Do you have and take advantage of an email mailing list for clients?
Remember to review the Search Queries report to see for what search queries your site currently gets exposure, then beef up pages/posts related to those queries with good content and calls to action. Also, just as important, what keyword phrases are not causing your site to show in search results? If there are keyword phrases you feel are important to your business, how can you highlight them in your content for better search ranking?
If you look at the “NY Traffic by Time on Site” report, you will find several upstate towns that had higher than site average session time on site. That means they were interested. What would make a stay with you more attractive to upstaters? NYC traffic was slightly under site average. This suggests your largest audience is speedy, so how can the pages deliver what they want quickly? (Is site display optimized for smart phones and tablets? Do different regions search differently on smart phones vs laptops?)
I have found a new, incredible resource. Quora.com is a place where you can go to find out what questions people are asking. Then you can either make packages at HarmonyHill that address those questions or simply post an answer to someone’s question (in the form of a short article). Google is increasingly scoring Quora answers highly, which will help boost search ranking and traffic. More eyeballs leads to more bookings.
You ask: how come there is a listing for catskill yoga retreats?
Search engines are clever creatures. You have Yoga mentioned on a services page. So Google scores you for “catskill yoga retreats” even if it’s not your main business.
Web Marketing Takeaways
Notice that the links above in the very first page paragraph have special Google “UTM tags” included. This way I can view analytics for this client and easily see how many visitors came to her site from my blog post and all sorts of information about their visit! Here’s a handy tool to build your own, customized URL using UTM tags: ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder.
Google’s “freshness factor” is a really important consideration for your website. Creating a profitable web presence is not a one time “set it and forget it” event. It is an organically growing process. You want to create a good relationship with Google and you do this by delivering quality content to its customers that keeps up with changing times and events.
Your Google Analytics reports are a gold mine of information. But like a promising employee, it needs proper care and attention to deliver results for your business. (Check out this post about GA Spamming for important setup information.) Remember you can’t judge the success of something you don’t measure. Regular review of strategic reports is critical to your online success and can make a significant cost savings to any online marketing you may employ.
UTM tagging can help you quickly identify Campaigns in your analytics reporting.
Social Triggers are a tricky topic. Getting referrals and traffic from social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, linkedIn, Instagram, G+, etc will, no question, increase your traffic and sales.
But this comes at a cost – the cost of participating with and managing those web-social relationships. One needs to think about actual people coming from these social platforms. If you could picture in your mind’s eye an image of an actual semi-fictional person you’d like to interact with, how would you describe that? What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? This tool will help you build a user persona profile and USP for your website and business.
And finally, become friends with your blog! Use it to communicate with your audience to give them value. Once you find out what people are searching for and for what your site is being seen, you can always use your blog strategically to gain more exposure for your products and services. Try our Quora.com, Google Trends and other research tools to gain valuable insights, increase your “authority factor” and boost your representation and success online!
Excited but overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Need Help? Contact us to setup a consultation to discuss how to make your site perform better for you. Or download these “Top-10 Tips to Online Success“.