Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 247 – 7 Ways to Double Your Hotel’s Conversion Rate
Good day fellow hoteliers and welcome to episode 247 of the Hotel Marketing Podcast. It’s me, Pete DiMaio with TravelBoom. Do you want to double your website’s conversion rate? Today we’re covering five strategies that will transform your site into the ultimate revenue-generating machine.
Google Reshapes Hotel Distribution: 3 Key Insightshttps://skift.com/2023/10/18/google-reshapes-hotel-distribution-3-key-insights/
Double Your Hotel Conversion Rate With These Site Optimization Strategies
#1: Speed Kills or the lack of speed kills
Your potential guests and search engines demand a blazing-fast website. If you are failing your Google Lighthouse metrics you will see higher abandonment rates and lower conversions.
- Test your site: Pagespeed.web.dev
- Optimize based on your results. Typically this includes image size, reducing unnecessary code, and deferring page elements until needed
- Consider a headless website
- Determine if the resource hogs on your website (such as video) are valuable in the conversion process. Consider testing a static home page image versus a video to see which converts better.
#2: Get your CTAs where guests will actually see them
One of the most common issues with a new client’s existing site is a lack of understanding of what calls to action are actually seen on a site. Using tools like Microsoft’s Clarity will allow you to view a scroll map on any page on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Oftentimes you’ll be surprised how little of a page is actually ever seen by your potential guests. More often than not we see the core CTAs, such as a booking widget or specials appear “below the fold.”
- Most users don’t make it much past one scroll on your page/site
- On the desktop, your main nav and booking widget will see 90% of clicks
- On mobile, your main promo, booking widget, and items on the 1st scroll get the clicks
- Do you have important items at the bottom of your site/page that no one sees?
- Would a more simplified home page result in higher site speeds without impacting the user experience and conversion rate?
#3: Make every page an entrance to your conversion funnel
This is a classic blunder most hoteliers make on their websites. In many cases, your home page will not be your entrance page. This means every page should be designed from the ground up to lead a potential guest to your booking engine.
- Review your analytics and determine the top entrance pages of your site
- Review these pages carefully and incorporate intuitive calls to action
#4: Test your site with real users to find the roadblocks to revenue
User testing can lead to phenomenal insights that you might miss because you’re “too close” to your site. TravelBoom uses several systems to help clients identify conversion roadblocks and this cost-effective strategy always delivers hidden opportunities for conversion rate improvement.
- Qualitative data that is open to interpretation leads to quantitative testing
- Fast and effective with as little as 5-10 users
- The best results when users have a clear prompt and instructions
#5: Anticipate and address your guests’ questions & concerns
Hoteliers are fortunate to have a very specific product that typically has the same concerns, questions, and objections to overcome. You already know these (or you should) and can address them proactively during the planning/shopping process.
- Create an amazing FAQ system
- Integrate solutions to traveler concerns throughout the process. Inset reviews, easy-to-find cancellation policies, location information, and more can all be shared with the guest during the booking process to decrease abandonment rates.
#6 AB test your way to success
We’re always saying ABT, Always Be Testing, and that is ultimately how you will end up incrementally increasing your site’s conversion rate.
- Create an annual testing plan
- Use your analytics and user testing to lead to more effective testing experiments
- Most importantly, take your opinion out of the process. Let the data dictate your site experience
#7: Get proactive and engage your potential guests
You’re probably spending a ton of time, effort, and money driving guests to your website. Don’t waste that by not being proactive in driving the booking. Unfortunately, most hotel websites are very passive “order takers” and not very effective at proactively selling a stay.
- Chat systems as simple as Olark or as complex as enterprise-level solutions that tie into your PMS are incredibly effective at pushing chats to users at the right time.
- Abandonment triggers and pop-ups can help overcome an objection before the user leaves the site.
- When a user does leave the site, do you have the retargeting systems needed to find and bring that user back to a booking?
BONUS: Optimize Your Booking Engine
This is a bonus tip. Why, because everything you just did in the optimization strategies above needs to be done on your booking engine as well. At TravelBoom we always monitor two conversion rates. Conversion to the booking engine and conversion through the booking engine. If you find that your conversion rate dives when a potential guest hits the engine, you’ve got a problem to solve.
2023 Leisure Travel Trends Study
Get the 2023 Leisure Travel Trends Study at https://travelboommarketing.com/study.
2023/24 Hotelier Sentiment Study
We need your help! Building on what we learned in the 2023 Leisure Travel Study, we want to know what hoteliers are thinking about. Take five minutes to participate in this survey. Your anonymous responses will be compiled with other hoteliers to create a clear picture of the needs of today’s hoteliers. https://www.travelboommarketing.com/hotelsurvey
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or firstname.lastname@example.org.