Dashboards: Simple, Tasty Data
The main visitor’s website, ExploreCharleston.com, is an incredibly important asset for the Charleston Area CVB. During the trip planning process visitors find out about hotels, sights, services, and restaurants through the website. Quite often, these visitors follow links from ExploreCharleston.com to visit our investors’ websites and this is a valuable source of new traffic for the investors’ business.
The website serves both our visitors and, in some small way, the local economy.
Because the website is so important, both Blue Ion and the CVB monitor its performance closely and we always seek to improve the site. Never one to turn away a data-hungry client, we seek to provide the CVB team with accessible, digestible data to help identify areas for improvement. The challenging reality is that there are quite a few employees at the CVB and they are often interested in improving their own corner of the site. How do you serve all of these employees with different responsibilities, needs, and experience with data?
As a first step towards helping the various departments at the CVB access useful data and empower them to make meaningful business decisions related to the website, we treated each department to its own Google Analytics dashboard. Now each team member can simply log in and view the website data that most immediately impacts their business. Here are some examples of the different types of data we are sharing for each team in their respective dashboard.
- Total site visitors, device types used, visitor guide requests generated by paid ad campaigns, website load performance, top traffic referral sources, top organic search keywords driving traffic
PR & Social Media:
- Top news sites referring traffic, traffic from the top social networks, which social referrals drive the most engaged users, visitor guide requests generated from social media, which blogs refer the most traffic, and articles that drive search traffic to the site
- How much traffic we send to partners, which packages drive the most advertiser visits, trends in hotel/sight/restaurants traffic levels, what advertising placements drive the most traffic
All of this information is easily compared year over year to help the team easily spot changes in performance. All departments can access each others dashboards as well. We feel that transparency across the organization can help improve communication. Most importantly, these dashboards are used as conversation starters. Noticing a downward or upward trend is the first step in correcting an issue or magnifying a positive. And for the CVB, the more employees we can turn into data fanatics, the better.