“The new generation of information systems provide a novel ways to identify the most relevant information, greater decision support, greater mobility and ultimately, greater enjoyment of the tourist experience” (Alzua, 2014).
In the book ‘Customer Relationship Management’, web mining is defined as “searching and processing data on the internet” (Peelen, 2013). There are three types of web mining, web-structure mining, web-usage mining and web-content mining. Web-structure mining is the process of viewing the network websites make with the pages they contain, this process leads to the hyperlinks between the main subject and other websites. Web-usage mining analyses browsing behaviour by searching IP addresses and visiting histories. Web-content mining is about searching the World Wide Web for useful information. This is done by gathering relevant search terms and inputting them in different locations such as communities and blogs (peelen, 2013).
Analytic processes such as web mining better help organisations such as DMO’s to “better understand the business environment and potential customers” (Alzua, 2014). Thus it is important for a Destination Marketing Organisation to practise web mining to provide the best experience possible for a potential customer. Web-usage mining is especially important for a Destination Marketing Organisation. Web-usage mining allows a DMO to become aware of the common paths clients click through, this helps to show what path is the most common. Moreover, it is possible to buy a google analytics package, as shown in the screenshots below (Analytics, 2015).
Google analytics helps to analyse the search history, key words and any other relevant information needed to optimise the experience. The data extracted from this process shows what keywords are used most often and how to keep the customers coming back.
Finally, web-usage mining shows what prospects are looking for, can be used to website improvements and search engine optimization. For example, a student did their placement at a DMO in Germany where they used a program that analysed the visiting history of customers. They used imx.cms which is a content management system and put the data found from web usage mining into SEO.
In conclusion, web mining is a very useful tool to understand new and old customers and help keep customers coming back. Web mining helps a DMO understand their customers better and create a better experience.
Alzua, A., Gerrikagoitia, J., & Rebón, F. (2014). Tourism Destination Web Monitor: Beyond Web Analytics. Retrieved October 2, 2015, from http://3ws1wk1wkqsk36zmd6ocne81.wpengine.netdnacdn.com/files/2014/02/enter2014_RN_136.pdf
Analytics. (2015). Retrieved October 2, 2015, from http://www.google.com/analytics/
Peelen, E. & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management (Second Edition). Amsterdam: Pearson Education Benelux BV