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Traffic Reports
What Good Is A Traffic Report?

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A metrics-based marketing model cannot work without traffic report data. Since 1995 we have produced more Web site traffic data than anyone else for Twin Lakes Tourism. I don't say this to brag. My point is that we have repeatedly demonstrated that nothing works better on the Web for area tourism than a metrics-based model.

Once you learn the relationship between metric counts and metric percentages, you'll see very clearly where you can improve your advertising, and therefore increase your Web site's exposure. If your exposure increases but your conversion does not, you know you either don't offer what people want, or you are reaching the wrong demographics, or your site needs to be re-designed.

Traffic reports reflect not just your Web site activity, but the effectiveness of ALL your advertising. In this day and age the goal of your advertising should be more for driving people to your Web site than for any other purpose. People expect way too many details. You can't sensibly cram all that detail in a print ad or brochure. Only a Web site can affordably contain all the details consumers expect.

As we all know, advertising success is all about the exposure-to-conversion ratio. It does no good to increase Web site exposure if that increase does not result in more bookings. Apply your reservation metrics to your traffic report metrics and you'll be well on your way to increasing conversions because you'll see what needs fine tuning.

Business Size Does Not Matter
We have two independent fishing guides who have better traffic report numbers than some of the area's largest resorts - both river and lake. In lodging we have operators with one or two units who, once again, out-perform the larger resorts. This is the beauty of the numerical approach to advertising. You leverage your dollar. These small-time operations are getting much more bang for their advertising dollar than some of the larger operations.

Do You Want More Business?
I always say, "If you are happy with your current business level, there's no need to pursue a good traffic report. Some of our customers are happy with a lower business level as they don't want to work so hard anymore. For them the only advantage to a traffic report is it becomes a valuable asset for when they sell.

Those who do want more business, especially spring and fall business, will be smart to pursue every aspect of their traffic report. Good traffic analytics will be faster and far more effective than sitting around in meetings talking about what to do next.

Finally, a good traffic reporting program is an extremely valuable asset that makes selling your resort easier when that day comes. All of the people who have purchased resorts in the last couple of years are Web savvy.

Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley