Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 207 – How To Improve Hotel Website Conversion Rates
Today we’re looking at how you can improve your hotel’s conversion rate through A/B testing. We’re covering the basics from a more detailed article found on our blog.
To put it simply, A/B testing is comparing two versions of a single variable. On a hotel’s website, there are countless variables that can be tested to improve user experience and increase conversion rates for email captures, RFP submissions, transactions and any other task you are trying to get your website visitors to complete.
Let’s look at some factors you need to consider when setting up tests, as well as some example tests you should run on your hotel’s website.
1 Time Delay Testing
- One way to employ an A/B test is to test how a time delay will impact the effectiveness of your pop ups.
- These could be email capture pop-ups, special promotions, etc.
- A good test is to test a pop-up that displays immediately vs one that displays after someone has spent 20 seconds on the page.
- You will want to see how this impacts the pop-up conversion as well as how it impacts time on the page.
2 Testing Verbiage or Copy
- This is one of the most basic, yet most effective A/B tests you can run.
- Consider how testing a different headline, overall length of your copy, or most importantly, call to action can impact your conversion rate.
- You may want to change your generic CTAs to something that conveys urgency (or FOMO), like “Limited Rooms Available” or “Flash Sale.”
3 Placement Testing
- Testing the placement of booking widgets, buttons and links can greatly impact your conversion rate.
- Something as simple as moving a button above the fold on mobile can significantly increase the amount of clicks that button gets.
- We have also seen varying success with “sticky” elements, such as locking booking widgets to the top as users scroll.
4 Color or Typography Testing
- We have come across countless websites that use hard to read font or strange color contrasts.
- Testing higher color contrasts or more legible fonts could greatly impact how users interact with your site.
- Keep in mind that you are likely too familiar with your own site and you know what the copy says. You should get an independent third party to tell you if they think your font is legible or if they can easily read text overlays on images.
- You also need to keep in mind the ADA compliance implications of contrasts and fonts.
5 Testing Creative Assets
- Testing new creative assets can include new images, logos, videos, video length, etc.
- While these don’t have an obvious tangible clickable element involved, they can greatly impact the psychology of the user.
- Examples of creative tests can be testing your own photography vs UGC from your guests. You can test still images vs video. You can also test static room images vs 3D tours.
- You may also want to test out new logos and layouts to make your hotel appear more modern, or rustic, or luxurious – depending on the aesthetic you’re trying to promote.
6 Landing Page Testing
- When you are paying to drive users to your site through email, search, display, video or social, it is imperative you are sending them to a page that is most likely to get them to convert.
- You should be testing this and testing it regularly.
- You should also be re-testing this after you make changes to a landing page that you are paying to send users to.
7 Testing Psychological Triggers In The Booking Process
- Consider testing things like strikethrough rates, how many rooms are still available for selected dates, or social proof, like “5 people have booked this room type in the last 24 hours.”
- You should also be testing a variety of room images.
- Test your room description verbiage.
8 Form Field Testing
- There are many tests you can run on your forms.
- You should consider limiting/expanding the information you’re capturing.
- Does requiring more information get you more qualified leads or reduce the number of qualified leads?
- Would limiting your form to only an email address generate so many more leads that you’re willing to sift through the bad ones to get more good ones?
- The verbiage you use in any form questions.
- While you may understand exactly what you want people to put into a given field, it may not be clear to every user.
9 Device Testing
- It’s important to consider how your tests will display across different devices.
- Understand which devices are most important to your site. For most hotels, you should be testing with a mobile first mentality.
- You should also look at test results across devices and see how they differ before you select a winning version.
Visit Alyssa’s article for a list of A/B testing tools, plugins, and platforms.
60 Seconds To Success:
Use your CRM’s behavior tracking and triggering features. Any great system, Blueshift or otherwise, will have the ability to set a first-party cookie on the user’s machine the moment they first interact with your site. This will let you associate all their behavior back to their email, once you eventually get that information. Better yet, once you have that association set you can begin to create a better picture of that customer including all devices they use, specific dates and room types, vacation reasons, and much more. After these tracking systems are in place you can start the real work of delivering personalized ads, emails, and content on a one-to-one basis. Get in touch with your CRM provider and find out how to make this happen today. The sooner you start collecting data the better picture you will have of your customer’s needs, expectations, and what will trigger them to book a stay.
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