Swissotel Hotels and Resorts are a chain of luxury hotels across the globe. Swissotel is a part of the strategic alliance between the three distinct hotel brands, Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel. This premium resort brand is present in 5 continents, 20 countries and has 46 properties worldwide. It caters to business as well as leisure travellers. It is famous for its efficient personalised service in contemporary settings.
Swissotel had invested a lot in Search Engine Marketing (SEM) with Google AdWords campaigns. SEM in the hospitality industry is very competitive. Therefore, Swissotel had the following two objectives regarding its Google AdWords campaigns:
- Find out the return on investment on Google AdWords campaigns. ie. Find out the value of business generated as a result of Google AdWords campaigns.
- Track users who visited their website through these campaigns, segment them properly and understand their behaviour so as to create tailor- made ad campaigns for different segments.
The Swissotel team utilised Google Analytics to fulfil the above objectives. A Google AdWords account can be linked to Google Analytics account.
Benefits of linking Google AdWords account to Google Analytics
Google AdWords helps prospective clients locate you. Google AdWords gives various metrics like number of clicks, cost per click and click through rate of different ad campaigns. However, this data is incomplete as it gives information only till the visitors click the ads. What happens after the visitors enter the website after clicking the Google AdWords paid ads?
This data is tracked in Google Analytics. Thus, if Google AdWords is linked with Google Analytics, we get an end- to- end visibility from ad impressions to clicks to time spent on site, bounce rates, page views and further to e-commerce and conversions.
Linking Google Analytics to AdWords helps track customer activities after clicks or impressions. This can throw light on the percentage of business coming from ad clicks and helps you improve your ads and website. These were precisely the objectives of Swissotel. Hence linking Google AdWords to Google Analytics is quite useful.
Linking these accounts helps you to import Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords, see Analytics reports in AdWords and also see AdWords data in Analytics. Before this linking, you have to activate auto tagging or Google url builder that tracks the source of visits to your websites. An additional information related to the source is tagged onto the url and hence whenever a user clicks on the ad, this gclid (Google Click Identifier) identifies the source of the visit. Once these two accounts are linked, you can import Google Analytics data into AdWords and see this combined data in Google AdWords. See the graphic below. It shows the Google Analytics metrics of Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, Average Session duration( seconds) and %new sessions being added to Google AdWords account. Note also the AdWords metrics of Clicks, Impressions and CTR already present.
Google Analytics goals can be imported into Google AdWords. By this, you can access Google Analytics conversions and data related to your AdWords clicks and see that Google Analytics conversion data in AdWords. Once you have attracted visitors to your website landing page through great ads, you can test the effectiveness of the page in accomplishing a specific goal. Google Analytics Content Experiments allows you to record user behaviour with different variations of landing pages. Thus you can choose the best performing landing pages for your website.
Improving website conversions
You can import goal completions such as destination, duration, events and pages/screens per session, e- commerce transactions and micro conversions into AdWords and can gain deeper insights into the results of the clicks in the paid ads. You can understand which AdWords campaigns, keywords or ads engage the audience more. There could be a situation where the AdWords performance of a particular ad may be good, say with a high Click Through Rate, but the end conversion may be very low. In that case, you can experiment with a new call to action in your ads that helps the users to convert or a new campaign landing page that would draw the users into taking action or new keywords that would motivate the users to complete the purchase. You can also determine the ability to attract new users to your ad by the metric %new users.
Segmentation in Google Analytics helps target specific groups by tracking their behaviour and metrics. Swissotel applied the Advanced Segmentation features in Google Analytics to do the web data analytics. They used Advanced segmentation essentially to track how the paid visitors from Google AdWords behaved after they entered the website and how different was their behaviour from visitors that visited through organic search. Please note that secondary dimensions in Google Analytics also act as segments. This can also be utilised to gain deeper insights into the web data.
Swissotel was running an AdWords campaign for its hotel in Singapore- the Swissotel Stamford, in the countries of UK, USA and Australia. The aim of this campaign was to get visitors from these countries to click on the Google AdWords ads and enter their website to complete the purchase. They created a segment called as ‘Google PPC Stamford’ segment for all the visitors who visited their website through AdWords ads. Applying this segment, they could find out the traffic through this PPC source. They could also get e- commerce metrics like average order value for PPC traffic. They got valuable information from this regarding the comparative conversion rates between PPC visitors and organic visitors.
They let the campaign run for some period of time and then they started to fine- tune it. They created advanced segments for AdWords traffic from each of UK, USA and Australia.
After the above segmentation was run for some time, Swissotel found out that paid visitors from the UK were spending almost double the amount per transaction than their American and Australian counterparts. However, the actual number of paid visitors from the UK were very less. This finding gave them a very clear direction of improving the traffic and conversion rates from AdWords from the UK.
Google Analytics further gave Swissotel the details of what the paid visitors were doing once they were on their website- which pages they were visiting and for how much time. This gave them an insight in improving those pages so as to attract and retain traffic. eg. They found out that paid visitors from the UK were spending more time reviewing rooms and restaurants, whereas the Australians were spending their time on promotions and packages. With this information, they tailored their ad texts and landing pages for the English audience with the theme ‘beautiful rooms and suites’ whereas for the Australian visitors the emphasis was on ‘great deals’.
Thus they continued to optimise their AdWords campaigns for different segments. They also optimised their website as a result of these insights.
Within six months’ of the commencement of the project, Swissotel found out that
- Traffic and transactions from UK both doubled while still maintaining the initial high average order value
- Revenue improved 70% and average order value by 30%
- E- Commerce conversion rate almost doubled and
- Per visit value metrics improved significantly
Linking Google AdWords to Google Analytics gives very powerful insights into the AdWords performance. You can improve the ads and the website based upon this. The Advanced Segmentation feature in Google Analytics is also very powerful . It helps segment classes of visitors and we can tailor our digital marketing strategies for each of these segments.