How hotels can Isolate Traffic from a specific domain sharing a Google Analytics Code (eg booking engines, social networks)

by G on February 5, 2015

fruit

This post is a bit work in progress because you never really know for sure if what you are doing in Google Analytics is right because well….it’s Google Analytics!!

Hotels are at the forefront of a tracking nightmare that Google Analytics actually makes a good job of fixing – tracking across more than one domain. Many hotels prefer to pass the processing of bookings to a third-party that in turn do this and provide additional features (for example remarketing, meta-search programmes) and service which they take a commission for. It also removes hotels from the nasty and complicated equation of security. However a problem in this setup is that essentially a visitor arrives at one domain (hotelwebsite.com) and then when they book they get sent to (reservationsservice.com). All hotels have to do is ensure that

  •  e-commerce tracking is enabled from within their Google analytics account
  • the Google analytics code is the same across the two website domains
  • the booking engine provider has done all the technical stuff so that when a person arrives at the page where the order has been confirmed, that a piece of Javascript is fired and all the relevant information is passed back to Google Analytics via the tracking code. They also need to make sure that the channel attribution is not being lost along the way.

But what happens when you want to look at just the traffic that’s happening on your booking engine? Or you want to isolate traffic from a social network into which you’ve also loaded your Google tracking code? That’s what I’m going to write about here.

Step 1:

Go to the Admin section of Google Analytics and select your mail account and the property which is using your Google tracking code. For smaller hotels it is likely that there will just be 1 property (which is your main hotel website). You should then create a new VIEW, which you might call “booking engine”. 

Step 2:

Google Analytics will not show the full domain in it’s reports even when it is run across lots of domains which is a Google thing, so you need to tell it to do things differently.

In the View column (with the view you are creating) click on Filters and then add a new filter and call it “Show Full Domain”. Then select the Advanced Filter and enter the details as shown below:

 

filter

All of that is going to tell Google Anlytics to yank out the full domain path when showing this view. That means that it will pull out all the reservationservice.com URLS and show them fully in the Google Analytics report.

So now we have setup the filter we need go back up the Google Analytics hierarchy to the Property. Underneath account (still in Admin section) you can see “All filters”. Here you want to go and create a new filter. Give the filter a name such as “Booking Engine Traffic” and then select “Custom” and select to include the Filter Field “Hostname” and the “Filter Pattern” should match the root of the domain you are tracking (reservationservice.com). Leave all the other options unchecked if this is appropriate and then you will see a box below where you will see a list of available views. You should see your view “Booking Engine” and you need to click “ADD>>” to move it across to the selected views box. Then press Save.

Now from this day moving forward (views are not able to be applied retroactively) you will have your main Google Analytics view, but also the booking engine traffic isolated and able to analyze on it’s own.

(extra)

Google Analytics showing both domain with trailing slash and without trailing slash (how to fix it)

Create a new filter (as shown below and apply this to the view you want in Google Analytics).

google

Here’s the regex for copy and paste: ^/(.*?)/+$     and then    /$A1

Get Insights like these delivered to your inbox as soon as they are published!!

* indicates required
 





Author Information
Glyn S. H. has been online marketing since 1999 and has developed campaigns for leading luxury brands that have included Nestlè and Interflora . He works primarily in for the Travel and Tourism sector, helping hotels beat-down OTA paychecks. He has a web-marketing company, a Masters in Professional Communication, speaks fluent Italian, and is married with two kids. He also has a good sense of humour – essential for survival in web-marketing. He is not employed by Google. To contact via email: glyn@ (this domain).

 

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: