Google made an announcement on March 16, 2022 that it's replacing Universal Analytics. On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. If you still rely on Universal Analytics, they recommend that you prepare to use Google Analytics 4 going forward.
In this article, we will explain the basics of Google Analytics, why it’s important for your site and the importance of upgrading or installing the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Google Analytics allows you to track and understand your customer’s behavior, their user experience, how they interact with your content, and more on your website.
This information can help you shape the marketing and business strategy for your business, discovering things you probably never knew about visitors on your site and delivering better outcomes for your marketing and sales campaigns.
In terms of GA4, because GA4 will focus on user engagement and provide new sections "Lifecycle" and" User," businesses can dig deeper into the customer journey and analyse data according to their acquisition, engagement, monetization and retention, as well as demographics and technology.
This means that you can monitor how and when customers come to the website, how long they engage and finally how they convert or make a booking. These actions and bookings can then be directly summed up or correlated to revenue and profits.
If you have Universal Analytics on your website then you need to simply follow the steps mentioned in this Google article to complete the transition.
If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website, and would like to get it set up, then follow this article to get a new GA4 property.
We do manage upgrades and integration to GA4 when you subscribe to our fully managed plans. You can call us or chat with our support team to know more.
We highly recommend you to upgrade to GA4 if you haven’t done so already. Also, if you are still on the fence about getting Google Analytics for your website you should know that having Universal Analytics or GA4 is very beneficial for your website, in fact it’s one of the compliance criterias set by Google. This helps you get your site higher up in Google Search.
Copyright 2022 © Seekom Limited (NZ owned)
Seekom launches pet friendly stays to make travelling with the whole family easy
Seekom has launched Pet Friendly Stays, the first travel accommodation website entirely dedicated to helping New Zealanders find pet-friendly accommodation for their next holiday.
With 64% of New Zealand households owning pets as of 2020, and that number now boosted by the influx of new pet ownership during COVID-19, taking the entire family on holiday has become a common travel consideration for many Kiwis.
Seekom General Manager Nicole Irschick said petfriendlystays.co.nz catered for New Zealanders’ love for their furry companions by making finding accommodation for the whole family easier.
“With the site’s launch, New Zealand pet owners are now able to find accommodation that welcomes every member of the family and provides for all their needs, right down to the nearest patch of grass.”
At present, users of Seekom’s property management system can email firstname.lastname@example.org to have their relevant accommodation offerings on Pet Friendly Stays.
“Providers can make all or some of their rooms available to the website, but the website will only show those rooms that have been designated as pet-friendly,” Irschick said.
“Unlike other websites, which sometimes list properties as pet-friendly as a whole, Pet Friendly Stays goes into more granular detail, listing the aspects of individual rooms that pet owners might find relevant. Listings can also be filtered by region or type of accommodation.”
The website allows accommodation providers to include additional information about local amenities and necessities for pets and their owners, such as local dog parks, the best nearby pet-friendly walking trails, or closest vet clinics.
Seekom is the New Zealand-based company behind the market-leading property management platform of the same time. The cloud-based Seekom platform is used by more than 2,000 properties in New Zealand and around the world, generating hundreds of thousands of bookings annually.
Welcome to the third installment of the year of the Quarterly Update. In this update, we will look at new features released in iBex, upcoming releases and some staff updates. If you have any questions please email them through to us at email@example.com
First up - the new and improved Image Uploader.
A full visual and functional overhaul has been applied to the existing image uploader, which allows you to upload your photos of your property and your rooms and units to the booking screens.
Seekom is almost 20 years old and in that time we have extensively developed iBex which started as a simple booking engine and has grown into a comprehensive total solution consisting of an integrated set of modules including:
Over time, technology changes and there are new, better and faster ways to do things. So we are now embarking on what we are calling the iBex Modernisation Project. The goals of this project are to:
Some of the screens in iBex will be easily changed, some will require a new look at how we do things.
The iBex Modernisation Project (also known as version 5) will be ongoing for some time although we hope to make significant progress during the next 12 months. We have already delivered some of the new functionality as part of this project including:
You will gradually see more and more new screen designs which we will switch you over to. But we will retain the old screens for a while to ensure that no important functionality is inadvertently lost.
The next major update will be to the bookings calendar and backend bookings. This is a more significant enhancement and will provide not only better screen design but also considerable performance improvements especially for those customers with large numbers of units such as holiday parks.
We look forward to bringing these improvements to you as quickly as we can.
We’ve also had a few changes in staff that we’d like to make you aware of.
Our front booking screens grow closer to completion each day. They are currently in the testing phase and are being evaluated before they can be released to a select group to beta test them.
If you’d like to be one of the first to get your hands on the new booking engine and help us beta test it, please get in touch with support and let them know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our newest service - Google Hotel Ads, is in full swing. Take control of your Google My Business page and Google Map listing with the power of promoting your direct booking price above the OTA’s.
We’ve got all the information covered on our website which you can view by clicking here.
Millions of searches are performed on Google Ads every day, with Google releasing figures that Google estimates metasearch ads on their platform have a potential to reach over 1 Billion users per week, with 1 in 3 hotel queries start in Google maps and 1 in 4 hotel bookings start in Google maps for accommodation.
With Online Travel Agents already using this service to secure potential customers, why not take full advantage of the Seekom Toolkit and capture those potential customers by sending them directly from Google Maps or Google searches direct to your online booking screens, with instantaneous availability and rates.
Property Management Systems (PMS) are used widely by accommodation providers and are already being used by many caravan and camping parks around the world. With domestic travel in the UK being so high as hospitality and tourism gets busy again, it’s only natural that being able to efficiently maximise your time, space, and staff power is going to help your business thrive in the current climate.
Property Management System Software provides a centralized web application to organize, schedule and perform the day-to-day functions and transactions involved in accommodation businesses for your park.
Our property management system (PMS) iBex can comfortably be used without need for any specific hardware or even directly from your mobile. When running a busy caravan park, this would allow you to manage on the go without having to increase staffing as each member of staff can access new bookings, arrivals and departures, or even daily jobs as needed.
Read on to find out some key reasons why Property Management Software is important to a Caravan Park or Camping Park in the UK and abroad in 2021.
Seekom's property management system (PMS) provides many functions to Camping and Caravan Park providers & owners to manage their business effectively and efficiently.
Some of those functions are:
Our property management system (PMS) is designed to allow you to link all of your booking sources back to our cloud-based system. Reservations from Online Travel Agents (OTAs), your own site, and manual booking entries are easily fed through to the system and allocated to appropriate units. Common examples of an Online Travel Agent are Booking.com, Expedia and Trivago. Linking your Caravan Park or Camping Park with OTA's allows you to increase your properties visibility in the market - effectively increasing the size of your net. However do be aware these agents will take a commission for providing you bookings.
Create your own personalised front booking screen for your website; listing availability, extras, and the option to allow promotional codes. The power of direct bookings allows you to price your Caravan Park or Camping Park without any OTA commission - meaning your guests get a cheaper price and you make more revenue. Promotional codes also provide an incentive which you can add to your social media and other communication platforms, increasing your occupancy.
To ensure the most effective use of the space available to you, you can set up units for day visits, block off seasonal pitches, and map units to multiple room types. Rates can be altered manually, given set rules to vary situationally, or linked up with Room Price Genie (RPG) which can automatically update rates depending on local data. You can also set minimum stays for those busy holiday periods, and a host of other customisable options that our support staff are ready to help you take advantage of.
If you're used to pen and paper or a spreadsheet - the technology at first can be daunting. Whichever software you do choose - make sure to make the most of it by reading up on online documentation and engaging with a support team for the software to make sure you get adequate training.
Our support team is always here to provide clear, concise training, and on-going assistance so that you can make the most of our property management system (PMS). We've trained and assisted many Parks, Caravan Parks, Camping Parks and everything in-between to make sure they get the most out of our system and are operating at an optimum level.
With over 2000+ properties worldwide and the leader in New Zealand for Holiday Park Property Management Software, you can be sure that we have the solution and training for you.
Once you've signed up for a free demo, we can provide you with a test account to explore the product, if you have an existing system with someone else we can transfer the data and future and past bookings across to our system with ease, and we set you up with all the channels you need such as Booking.com or Expedia. We have a vast toolkit ready to help you maximize yield and get the greatest return year round.
Copyright 2022 © Seekom Limited (NZ owned)
Digital Marketing for Accommodation providers is one of the best ways for operators to grow direct bookings, increase customer engagement and returning guests, reduce overheads, and most importantly - make more revenue than they did before. In this blog, Seekom outline some key methods and tips you can use to capture more guests than ever before, and grow that occupancy level year round with effective and scalable digital marketing.
In this blog, Seekom help you with the basics of Digital Marketing for Accommodation providers, what to set up and how with some instructional videos.
We get it, you don't have a marketing degree and it's all a bit confusing. But you've got a social media account, you've been on YouTube before, and I am sure you can follow step by step instructions. A lot of our operators also use marketing agencies or companies, this blog will also help educate those who use those services to understand what these businesses are offering them, or better help them digest a 40 page marketing report and all it's jargon!
The first step, and by far the easiest, is to set up your social channels if you haven't already. When customers arrive at your property, ask them to tag you in any photos they take of the property or rooms etc which you can then repost, you can also gather reviews and other forms of testimonials from your guests which is free digital marketing material and content.
Some of the platforms we suggest you set up, monitor and post on are;
For Instagram and Facebook, add your information, photos, logo as your profile picture, a banner image if you have one for Facebook and ask friends and family to like / follow and share the page if they're willing. You can add a video if you have one as well which can also be advertised.
Through the Google My Business profile, you can also claim free marketing credit for Google Ads which you can use for digital marketing for your accommodation business.
Tip: Make sure to post once a week and try plan your content in advance so you don't get stressed when it's time to post! Also, consider using a marketing company or agency.
Before you begin to advertise your profiles and website, make sure you first have tracking set up to make sure you know where your users are coming from, where they go on your website and the metrics associated with it.
To set up Google Analytics for a website, you must have a gmail account. This is a free service, so Seekom suggest to sign up here first.
Once installed and working, you will be greeted with a dashboard displaying all your website information in a data format.
Below is a video on how to understand Google Analytics metrics and information. The video is a few years old, however it will still teach you all the basic jargon and info that you need to learn the basics.
Tip: Turn on ECommerce within your Seekom booking screens and the Google Analytics account to track purchases on your website booking screens!
I am sure you've heard of Google Advertisements before. Google Ads is a platform that allows you to display your website when a user searches for a term, phrase, keyword or sentence.
The power of Google Ads for accommodation operators specifically, is that a user will often be searching for "Accommodation in X place" e.g - accommodation in Wellington.
Your advertisement can then display at the top of the search results, often leading the user who searched this to click on your ad and view your info, photos, room information and rates. If the above is what they're looking for and within their budget, they will often book with you.
Google operates via a CPC model, CPC stands for Cost Per Click, which means that each time someone clicks on your advertisement, you are charged a fee. The fees vary depending on the number of people advertising, the cost their willing to pay (like an auction) and other variables, but you should be able to get some clicks for a dollar or two. This is obviously huge for an operator, because if you're making $150 for the cost of a $1, the Return on Investment (ROI) is very generous and can net you a considerable amount of revenue and occupancy year round.
To understand the basics of Google Ads and how it works, check out the video below.
Tip: Make sure to set a maximum spend per day / week so that you don't go over budget!
A Facebook business account allows you to target users via various methods and variables to promote your business to users who you think would be interested in seeing the ad. Just like Google Ads, it also operates on a cost per click model, however you have many options in terms of the goal of the ad. You can advertise to get more clicks to your website, brand awareness, video plays and more.
There's lots of options to promote your business via Facebook (and Instagram), and it's another way to capture guests and bookings you may have not gotten otherwise.
Facebook Business is a rather complex at first, but once you've made your first ad you should get the hang of it. Think about a promoting a video of the property or the surrounding area, or a photo with a deal with a code they can use on checkout.
Facebook Pixel works like Google Analytics, but for Facebook & Instagram customers specifically.
As we're trying to keep this to the basics for you, below is a video on how to set up a Facebook Business account and how to manage it.
Tip: You can advertise your customers photos and reviews of your place, or get a drone shot of your place - video has really high engagement!
There's a saying that goes, the destination must be as good if not better than the path that leads them there. You don't want to spend all this money on marketing your website or business if your website or business isn't up to scratch. They love your ad, click on it, only to be greeted by a website from 2001 which doesn't work or takes too long to load.
You can only assume that the potential might not book and goes off to find other accommodation.
What to do? Upgrade your website! The average life expectancy of a property website is about three to five years, so Seekom suggest upgrading your website to get those bookings!
Tip: Seekom can offer you a free appraisal of your website, and if needed, a pricing option suitable to your needs to upgrade it for you. Get in touch with us at email@example.com for more info.
If you still need help, or want to learn more, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction!