About the client
YHA Australia forms part of Hostelling International, one of the world’s largest low-cost accommodation networks, which has over 3000 hostels in more than 70 countries. The organisation is a membership-based association which strives to inspire personal growth and create authentic local experiences in a sustainable manner.
Huge numbers of guests stay in YHA accommodation each year, whilst many other travellers and clients visit their facilities to access Wi-fi. All users connecting to the internet from within YHA properties are automatically redirected to the client’s website as soon as they get online. Even though this traffic is relevant, it was overflowing into wider marketing data and reducing visibility on performance.
Reclassify internal Wi-fi traffic as separate from other website visits to eliminate discrepancies between Google Analytics and client’s system sales data
Put effective data tracking in place to leverage understanding of visitor behaviour
Internal Wi-fi traffic from website users physically present at YHA properties was intermixed with crucial marketing data for key pages onsite.
This meant the client was working with an inaccurate analytics set-up which was resulting in a lack of visibility on bookings and user behaviour.
Effective data tracking is the key to enhancing our clients’ marketing activities so a better understanding of website visitor behaviour was required. In Marketing We Trust’s objective was clear, we needed to reduce the discrepancy between analytics data and the client’s system sales data, and to enhance the client’s digital reporting and decision making.
Restructuring work carried out in Google Tag Manager and updated e-commerce implementation would enhance conversion and transaction monitoring
In Marketing We Trust’s knowledge of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager quickly resolved a historical issue for YHA
To reduce the discrepancies between analytics data and YHA’s own system sales data In Marketing We Trust reconfigured the GTM container for the client with a number of fundamental triggers and updated the Google Analytics dashboard.
A custom channel grouping was created in order to separate the internal Wi-fi traffic from other sources, so that the behaviour and value of other audience segments could be analysed properly.
A better understanding of visitor behaviour produced an efficient inbound marketing strategy and relevant redesigns.
How we got there
An essential element in creating a strategy based on accurate data for our client is a thorough analytics audit and this was the first step on this project. Our audits comprise a 60-point checklist to ensure data quality and integrity.
It was during the discovery phase of our initial review of YHA’s Google Analytics account that we were able to identify the issue of blurred analytics figures being caused by the internal Wi-fi traffic and therefore figure out a plan for cleansing the data.
Starting with the updates to Google Tag Manager, In Marketing We Trust updated YHA’s existing tags and variables, removing obsolete elements. Our experienced analytics team ensured the information needed by Google Tag Manager was provided using the correct Datalayer structure.
We implemented enhanced e-commerce events for user behaviour, including checkout access and transactions. We also added new custom dimensions for Product Type, Type of Booking, Size of Group and Event ID.
Before the new tracking system was deployed, we tested, monitored and adjusted settings while both tracking systems were live, to verify that the updates were providing a true picture of visitor behaviour.
Given the amount of footfall at YHA’s 50+ hostels in Australia – and 3000+ properties globally – the company’s website was getting significant amounts of previously unsegmented traffic due to automatic network settings. In Marketing We Trust’s analytics expertise helped to specifically classify an important audience group, enhancing clarity of analytics and marketing data.
13.4% of YHA’s overall traffic is now classified in a dedicated channel marked as ‘Internal Wi-fi’, providing cleaner data for the client’s key metrics
YHA can now track and monitor performance for all kinds of conversions and transactions more accurately
Following the updates In Marketing We Trust have made for YHA 13.4% of their overall traffic is now segmented into the dedicated ‘Internal Wi-fi’ channel. That traffic no longer impacts metrics such as number of sessions, bounce rate or conversion rate.
The difference in bookings between Google Analytics and the client’s internal system has been reduced by 38%.
reduction in discrepancy between Google Analytics and client system
of traffic was previously unidentified - an increase in accuracy for key pages
for conversions and transactions
Assessing the value of traffic from specific sources is now much clearer for YHA. For example with Direct traffic, once the updates were made, there were significant variations to the number of sessions, bounce rate and conversion rate from that source, which means YHA can now assign value more accurately.
Similarly, with Organic Search traffic the performance is markedly different to what YHA was previously observing. Therefore, evaluating the success of efforts to drive more direct and search engine visits and analysis of user behaviour has been enhanced.
Thanks to enhanced e-commerce and custom analytics dimensions configured by In Marketing We Trust, YHA can now accurately identify customers who are falling out of the funnel at various stages, for example drop off due to availability, or those abandoning booking before providing personal details or payment details.
In addition, YHA can now more accurately identify key stages within the funnel that require attention to improve conversion rate and identify best-performing products, by using the new custom dimensions. They can also track and monitor performance for all kinds of conversions and transactions – such as form submission and booking type – in a more accurate fashion.