Inside the Black Box of B&B Website Traffic

Understanding where your bed and breakfast Website traffic comes from will empower you to make good Internet marketing decisions. Every B&B owner should have a Google Analytics account, or one of the many other traffic tools available, and know how to use it. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows both you and your Webmaster or SEO specialist to monitor sources of traffic to your site.  You can see which B&B directories and search engines have sent visitors to your site and how many people directly typed in your Web address into the browser.  Direct traffic usually comes from word of mouth referrals or printed materials. Analytics also allows you to compare traffic from different time periods and to even calculate the exact sources of online bookings and phone or email inquiries via "Contact" page access.

There are several steps to obtaining a Google Analytics account. You can ask your Webmaster to help you or do the following:

  1. Sign up for a Google account by clicking on the "sign in" link on Google's home page or do it now by clicking here.
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  2. After completing the forms, Google will send a link via email for you to click on and complete the process.
    Now you must sign up for Analytics
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  3. Once you complete the forms, you will be given a technical script that includes a "tracking code" that looks like "UA-XXXXXX" where X is a number.  Your Webmaster must enter that script on each page of the site that you want to track.  
  4. Once the code is entered, the Webmaster must also verify your site in the Webmaster Tools area of Google by placing a special HTML file name determined by Google on the server in the main directory of your Website.

Within a day after all these steps are complete, you will begin to see numbers appear in charts and graphs of the Analytics tool.  Traffic source visibility will help you in determining what is working for your B&B Website and what needs to be changed. You can also share access to your account on the settings page with people such as search marketing professionals who can help you to market your B&B Website.