Google Analytics Reporting for Travel


A destination marketing organization was investing heavily in websites and micro-sites; paid search and video advertising; and printed and interactive visitors guides to promote the hotels, restaurants and attractions in its area. The convention and visitors bureau re-launched its primary website and saw a decline in Google Analytics visitors, which needed to be explained and, more importantly, reversed.


Empirical Path evaluated the Google Analytics implementation and compared the prior and current sites to ensure that visitor behavior data was correctly captured. We identified a tracking error on the prior site that inflated visitor metrics, and restated the key metrics from the affected periods to show that actual visitation had not dropped with the redesigned site.

The DMO still aimed to keep website traffic rising, so Empirical Path designed a collection of reports to inform the marketing and content teams about what pages, topics, campaigns, and channels were driving changes in visitation and engagement. We calculated year-over-year changes to make meaningful comparisons between promotions for annual events. We delivered these reports along with narrative findings and recommendations for re-allocating marketing budgets among channels, split-testing key pages, and applying lessons from successful efforts to other initiatives.

As the CVB digested and responded to these monthly reports, Empirical Path learned more about its key priorities and levers, and adjusted report topics to match. We refined the site’s Google Analytics Goal Tracking to evolve the report metrics away from simple engagement metrics and toward conversion metrics. We trained marketers in Google Analytics campaign tagging to ensure detailed metrics on online and offline outreach. And we delivered ad-hoc analysis and findings on questions such as the impact of a sporting event sponsorship; site usage by the local, non-tourist audience; and uptake of a new mobile website.


The organization avoided a crisis when our restated audience numbers proved that the redesigned website was maintaining steady visitation. It accelerated an investment in search engine optimization and replaced its vendor when the monthly numbers showed repeated year-over-year declines in organic search visitation from some targeted terms. The DMO launched targeted campaigns to meeting planners and high-potential leisure travel markets with the confidence that it could change tactics quickly based on our reports. And it used trusted metrics to show its constituents that the investment in digital marketing was paying off.

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