In October of 2017, ResortsandLodges.com announced a number of tracking updates to ensure that our customers were getting the most out of listing on our website. Some of the tips referenced in this blog post include:
- A new system for tracking traffic (UTM source/medium tagging)
- A shift towards secure websites (HTTPS)
In defining the source and medium with UTM tags, we’ve seen more consistency in the amount of traffic being reported within the Client Center and that being seen within Google Analytics.
As ResortsandLodges (and the rest of the digital marketing world) continues to educate the hospitality industry about the importance of moving towards Single Sockets Layer (SSL) certification, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of customers who now have secure websites.
Best Practices for Updating Your Website
Step 1: Acquire SSL Certificate – In order to implement SSL/TLS security on your website, you will need to get and install a certificate from a trusted certification authority or CA is they are commonly known as in the industry.
Step 2: Activate and Install your SSL Certificate – After purchase, this will be taken care of by your web host (WPEngine, GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, etc).
Step 3: Update Website from HTTP to HTTPS – Your website is now capable of HTTPS, so you need to configure your website so that visitors are automatically directed to the HTTPS version of your site. As we referenced in last year’s post, search engines are not offering SEO benefits to SSL pages, so it’s important that all pages of your site are serving as HTTPS.
Step 4: Notify Listing Sites You’ve Changed Your URL – If you’ve changed your URL in any way (whether this is an HTTPS update or a primary domain change) it’s important to notify listing/referral sites that are directing traffic back to your website. Even if you have the correct redirects in place, you may see discrepancies in your analytics information.
In the case of ResortsandLodges.com, if we have an HTTP URL in place for a property that has changed to HTTPS, the traveler is likely still getting to your secure website. However, the UTM tracking tag could be getting stripped from the URL, which may cause this referral traffic to show up in a different area of Acquisition within Google Analytics (most likely Direct/(none) within your Source/Medium).
Notifying these listing/referral sites of your URL change will save you the hassle of trying to figure out where traffic went from one of your main referral sources!
If you’ve recently updated your website to a secure site, or have recently changed your root domain, make sure to contact your Account Manager or ResortsandLodges.com Support to ensure that we have the correct Tracking URL in place.
You can also review this information within your Client Center within the “Business Listing Content” tab. Here’s a quick 3-Step Checklist to see if we’ve got the correct Tracking URL in place for your property:
- Within your Business Listing menu, click into the Business Listing tab.
- Under the “Action” field, select “Update”
Review the field labeled “Landing URL”. If this URL is inaccurate, you can insert your updated URL and Save Changes.