Web-usage mining; a tool to optimize the customer experience

“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).

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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.

References

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

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4 thoughts on “Web-usage mining; a tool to optimize the customer experience”

    1. Dear Marjolein Visser,

      Thank you for your comment. I think that DMO’s can apply web-content mining to organise and cluster data about the destination. Web-content mining is when you scan and mine text, pictures and web pages to find the relevance of the content to the search query (http://www.web-datamining.net/content/). It is important that when potential customers are searching for your destination they get to the right content otherwise they could end up visiting a different destination. Thus web-content mining should be applied to search the web and connect the right content to the right search-query. When I search for hotels in Lanzarote I would like to find hotels in Lanzarote and not excursions or rental houses. Or when I am looking for the official tourism website it is important to only show the relevant websites.

      Raisa Jachmann

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  1. Dear Raisa,

    I appreciated reading your post and especially the well-founded way in which you present your statements. Your use of academic sources underlined your statements very well.

    I might add a perspective through the following graphics that originates from a web consultancy agency I worked with in the past: http://richtwert.eu/wp-content/uploads/richtwert-business-development.png. What I like about this model is the reference to the internal empowerment. In other words: Is my organization ready for web-usage mining or –even more important– is web-usage mining a valuable tool for my target? You focus on DMOs. I was thinking of Baden Baden, a city in Germany that especially targets 50+ (http://www.baden-baden.de/en/tourist-information/). When analyzing their website you see multiple Social Media connections to facebook, Google+, Youtube, Instagram or Twitter and even a Baden-Baden-App.

    The question however is, whether the investments and continuing costs are worth it. This question might add a very interesting perspective to your article, since you would show a pretty critical analysis on a topic which to my mind often appears as the “magic bullet”.

    This could add a further dimension to your well presented text.

    Niklas

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    1. Dear Niklas Hundt,

      Thank you for taking your time to read and reply to my blog, I very much appreciate your feedback. You definitely added a interesting perspective by questioning if the investments and continuing costs are worth it. Personally I believe the investments and costs are worth it as even 50+ are slowly starting to adapt to the smartphone/internet era. A study conducted by PEW internet showed that there is a 88% growth in social media usage in the age group 55-64. http://www.accenture-blogpodium.nl/marketing/older-adults-are-joining-the-social-media-revolution-faster-than-expected/. In today’s world nearly everything is done online, searching, booking and sharing experiences. Thus, it is important that 50+ start to adapt to the online world since it is very hard to get anything done without it. However, since the majority of the 50+ age group are still not online it might be easier to market to that target group in a different way for the time being. It is a very controversial subject and needs a lot of research to have a definite conclusion.

      Raisa Jachmann

      Like

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