Monitor your Progress – monthly stats are essential

This is Section 6 of the series ’45 things you can do to get more bookings’

Section 1 – Build a website and take bookings
Section 2 – SEO – get to the top of Google
Section 3 – Content strategy – keep telling your story
Section 4 – Social Media & PR – talk to your people
Section 5 – Advanced Strategies – get that extra edge

45. Monthly reporting – Set goals, monitor your progress, identify trends, see what’s working

A funny thing about undertaking any big project is that each incremental improvement becomes your new ‘normal’. It feels like things have always been this way, and thus it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere. You have your eye on the distant goal but it never gets any closer!

Take the time to put together a monthly report. You will see the small changes adding up over time.

Each new stage becomes your new ‘normal’. It feels like you’re not progressing.

Break your big goals into smaller chunks

Break your big goals into smaller chunks, then divide those chunks into individual targets.

Seeing the steps in a logical step-by-step progression is empowering. It makes you recognise the goal is completely achievable because you’re only ever concentrating on the next small step. You have confidence in the process because the bigger picture has been mapped out.

As each month goes by you’ll be thrilled to see the targets ticked off.

There is something thoroughly invigorating about watching your progress towards a big goal.

Monitor Progress

At the end of each month record the numbers for everything you’ve decided to measure. Your goals and targets are part of this.

Did you achieve what you set out to do this month? If not, was there a good reason why or was it just a matter of life and business getting in the way? Do you need to prioritise this part of your business more next month?

Do you need to get help to move things along a bit more quickly?

Did you achieve your target this month?

Monitor Trends

Take a few moments to compare this month’s stats to previous months. This is your opportunity to monitor new trends.

Is one piece of content getting a lot more hits than others? What were people searching for when they found that content? Check Google Search Console to find out.

For example, recently I noticed that one of my YouTube Business Channel videos had received a lot of new hits.

Search Console told me that people were asking a lot of questions about both that topic and another.

I need to create more content to better answer the questions that people are asking about both those topics.

I wouldn’t have noticed that if I hadn’t specifically been searching for trends in my monthly report.

Build on your successes.

If one piece of content is getting a lot of traction, create more on the same topic.

Figure out what’s working

A monthly report lets you see what’s working.

I look at video views, for example. I notice which kinds of videos get the most views initially, and which ones continue to gather views over time. These are two quite different metrics.

Sometimes a video will get a lot of hits in the first few days, then hardly any every month thereafter. That’s not so great. Others will have more moderate success at first, but they’ll keep getting hits month after month. Those are the kinds of videos I want because the views really add up over time.

If your monthly report shows the number of views for every video in your collection you can start to analyse what’s going on. Importantly, you can focus your future efforts on creating more of the content that works.

Similarly, you can analyse where your bookings are coming from on a monthly basis.

Is one channel bringing in more bookings than all the others? Is your listing there the same as in other places, or does it look better on the winning channel? If so, can you improve your other listings?

If you run an advertising campaign, how does that affect your bookings both now and in the next 6 months? Would you say you got a good ROI? If not, how can you improve it? If it was a good ROI, you can think about running another campaign.

What was the effect of that press release you sent out – the one which resulted in stories being published in several local papers as well as a couple of places online? Did that make any actual impact on your bookings?

Knowledge is power. Make a list of all the things you can measure. Measure them. Gather, record and analyse your data and reap the benefits.

Which types of content are working best?

Where are most of your bookings coming from?

Are your ads bringing in bookings?

Are your press releases getting published?

Be inspired

An end of month report lets you monitor your progress. It helps you to pinpoints trends. It lets you see what’s working and what’s wasting your time.

Importantly, it also energises you for the next 30 days. You feel inspired to set a target for the next month and you look forward to seeing that goal achieved.

Staying inspired is arguably the most important thing you can do.

Take a step back from everyday business.

Reconnect with your bigger picture.

That’s the end of the series. If you read this far, good job, well done!

Cath, can you help?

Yes, I can.

I work one-on-one with hotel owners to help with all these things so you can get more bookings.

Find out more here.

What do you think?

What else do you do to increase bookings?

What have I missed? Have you spotted a typo or some other error? Do you agree or disagree with a particular point?

Or, if you found this information helpful please let me know. My casual thought about putting together this series turned into an obscene amount of time, blood, sweat and tears, so I would be chuffed to hear from you.