Increasing conversion rates is an obvious goal for any hotelier. In fact, online conversion is the single most important function of your hotel website. It’s the bottom line for most of your web marketing.
If conversion rates are so important, why do so many properties fail to improve them? Why do hotel marketers accept poor conversion rates without striving to do better?
Why Are Online Conversion Rates So Low?
Most of us would be thrilled to get a 5% conversion rate at a hotel property. Is that a number you want to be satisfied with, or are you ready to aim for more? In comparison, average in-store, bricks and mortar retail conversion rates are in the 25% to 40% range.
Like most internet users, online travel shoppers are prone to distractions. When they’re on your property website, they might be distracted by an email from a friend, scores from yesterday’s game, or their own Facebook page – all of which will lead them away from your site, regardless of what you do. Unfortunately, you can’t change the nature of the internet or the habits of your online visitors.
But don’t give up! If you work on the on-page factors that affect conversions, you’ll find lots of ways to dramatically increase conversion rates.
Here are 3 Ways to Increase On-Page Conversion Rates Right Now
- Get to Know Your Travel Shoppers’ Personas– Before you can successfully convince web visitors to convert, you need to know who they are and what they like. That’s where Personas come in.
As a hotelier, you should understand the basic profile of your customers so that you can tell a story that resonates with them. Personas are composite written “sketches” of your typical guests. It’s a good idea to create a persona that represents many common characteristics of your target audience, potentially including:
- Age range
- Educational background
- Job description
- Typical personality traits
Appeal to your different Personas with your Vizlly website.
Your website can make a great impression that resonates with your specific travel shoppers. Here are some ideas of how you can appeal to your different Personas using Vizlly offers, rooms and feature stories:
- Display the latest Specials/Offers. For example, place 3 offers on your homepage with a link in the story description to drive to the offers page (same for rooms).
- Feature a room for business travelers.
- Add a Story about local attractions.
- Feature family friendly amenities
The Comfort Suites Alamo/River Walk highlights family-friendly attractions to appeal to travel shoppers traveling with children.
To stand out to their other target shoppers, business travelers, the hotel shows off their amenities to make business travel a more comfortable experience.
- Consider the Buying Stages– Different people arrive at your hotel website at different stages of their travel shopping journey. Some may be just starting to think about a vacation, and others might be ready to make a reservation.
The more you can serve up relevant information to travel shoppers at different stages, the more likely they will be to convert. Don’t make your website visitors leave your page to Google the distance between your property and the airport – have the right information readily available for them! And of course, make booking easy for those who are ready to choose your property.
Engage the different buying stages with Vizlly.
For those travel shoppers who are ready to book, you want to be sure they don’t face any obstacles. The persistent booking widget on every page of your Vizlly site makes it easy for travel shoppers to book. Learn how to enable the booking widget on your Vizlly Website.
Be sure to include relevant local information so your website visitors don’t have to leave your site to find important details. Here are a few items to include on your website to appeal to travel shoppers at different buying stages:
- Include directions to local airports and train stations, along with directions by car.
- Post a calendar of local events that might appeal to your website visitors.
- Share reviews and social proof to show travel shoppers how visitors have enjoyed their stay at your hotel.
Port Inn Portsmouth does a terrific job of sharing the information travel shoppers crave. They feature local attractions, shopping, dining, and more.
- Test, Test, Test and Test Some More– Even if you read all the conversion optimization books, attended all the webinars and listened to all the podcasts, you still wouldn’t necessarily have a perfect conversion optimization strategy. And, even if you found one that worked really well and produced great results, it can always be improved.
AB testing, or split testing, shows you how different elements on your landing page work towards improving conversion rates. By testing them against each other, and measuring results.
An ongoing program of comparing page elements through testing, and choosing the ones that perform the best, is the best way for you to continually improve conversion rates.
Test and find success with Vizlly.
There was a time that making changes to a website was a daunting and difficult process, but those days are gone. It’s easy to customize your Vizlly website, making it possible to test colors, text, and images and evaluate which perform best.
It’s a Never-Ending Story
There is no one single answer for how to improve your conversion rates because conversion optimization is an ongoing process. Whether it’s testing or discovering more about your target audience, you can always do more.
With Vizlly, it’s easy to create content that resonates with your different hotel shopper personas that addresses where they are in the shopping journey. Perhaps most importantly, Vizlly makes it easy for travel shoppers to book at your property, the ultimate online conversion goal!
Learn more about driving direct bookings, check out these community articles: