You have a well designed website, but you are not getting the bookings that you expect. You realize that there is something that needs to be done to change that, but aren’t sure what to do. There are many things you can do to increase your conversion rate. We will discuss 13 tips below.
1. Measure your results
How can you make the right decision if you don’t know where you’re failing?
The very first step is to track your conversions. To do so, you can use Google Analytics. It is a free service, and will give you important data about people who view your website. Where are they coming from? When are they leaving the page? How many convert? How many bounce? To get started with it, see the Google Analytics training here.
2. Call to action
One of the common missing elements in websites with a low conversion rate is the “Call to Action”. You may showcase an excellent product or service on your site, but if you don’t clearly highlight the “Next step”, you are likely to lose your customer along the way. Your call to action can be “Submit”, “Buy now”, “Book right away”, or “Click here”. Whatever the text you choose, make sure your visitors will see it. To learn how to make a great call to action, check out the most successful sites of the web (see MailChimp example below).
3. Simplicity + Focus = Sales
Would you book a room in a bed and breakfast if you haven’t seen the pictures? Would you book a tour if prices aren’t specified? Just ask yourself the question, “What are the 3 most important things visitors want to see on my website?” In most cases, the answer to that question is: prices, pictures and descriptions. Don’t underestimate the importance of these elements. You may believe that online visitors will call you to get the missing information, but most won’t do that. If they don’t find the key information on the website, they will move on. Simple as that.
Once you’ve identified the key elements, organize it in an easy structure, such as a main menu. Make sure the vital information is available from the main page and that it is not necessary to scroll down to access it. Also, do not overload the page with unrelated information that could prevent visitors from buying (flash, advertisements, etc.)
4. Get an online booking system or a shopping cart
Most customers want to have the ability to book online. If you don’t give potential customers this option, they will book with a business who does, so don’t be left behind! If you run tours, recreational activities, rentals or if you are in the lodging industry, feel free to test our online booking system, WebReserv for free (click here for Europe or here for the rest of the world).
5. Have a competitive and fair pricing structure
A potential customer will usually have an idea of how much he is willing to pay for a certain product or service. If you offer the same service as the business down the street, but your price is twice as much, don’t be surprised if he sells more than you do. Check other businesses in the same industry with similar offerings to make sure your prices are in the same range. If you want to raise your prices, you will need to justify it by giving more to your customer (extras, quality, commodity, etc.).
6. Create an informative voice mail message
Every missed call is a missed sales opportunity. Since you cannot answer every single phone call, you need to make sure to give your customers an alternative to book your products. Set a voice mail message that properly directs a potential customer to your website.
Example: “Hi, thanks for calling us, we cannot take your call at the moment but we will call you back as soon as we are available. If you would like to book/buy you can easily do it on our website using our online booking calendar.”
7. Unearth your customer database
Don’t underestimate the power of your customer’s database as previous customers can be your best ambassador to their friends and family. Send them a newsletter to remind them about your business. Include new details about your products or services, special deals or happenings, or other interesting news. This will refresh their memory of the experience with your business, and they may book again with you or tell a friend!
8. Offer Discounts to your customers
Create a discount code, and then advertise the code in a newsletter or directly on your website. Sometimes a good offer is the incentive to help people make the decision to book with you. Any reason is valid, summer, christmas, last minute, etc.
9. Have a responsive website
In 2013, more than 25% of the Internet visits were done using a mobile device or a tablet. The percentage for 2014 will most likely increase, too. Even if you are a small business, you must have the expectation that most of your customers will use these types of devices. Ensure that your site is mobile friendly which will likely mean more visits.
10. Speed is the key
Did you know that 40% of people will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to open?
If your site is slow the experience can be frustrating, and that is not how you want potential customers feeling. Here is some data on how your website speed directly affects your revenue. To resolve it, here are some easy steps you can take to increase your website speed.
11. Target your traffic
It is important to ensure that your ads and keywords on your site are relevant to your business. This will attract the most interested customers to your site. For example: you offer an evening Segway tour in Rome, and you publish ads using the keyword “Tours”. The cost for this ad will be high, and the visitors to your site that want your type of tour will be low. As a consequence, your conversion rate will also be low. To optimize your traffic be precise and use keywords with 4 or 5 words, i.e. “Evening Segway tours Rome”. Using these specific keywords will lower your cost and increase your conversion rate.
12. Get professional pictures
It is often said, “a picture is worth 1000 thousand words”. Good quality images on your site can make a huge difference in the way potential customers perceive your products. In addition, people will associate what they see on your website with how good your service or product will be. Having professional pictures on your site will convey a professional service.
13. Positive reviews and testimonials is a must
Site reviews have become a standard in most industries. Most of the big Internet platforms use it now (booking.com, tripadvisor, google store, etc.). Online product reviews from customers is a major information source for other potential customers and marketers regarding product quality. Having reviews on your website will give confidence to visitors that you offer a quality product or service. Invite your customers to leave a review, then, try to fix anything they are complaining about and ,finally, thanks them and let them know you took their feedback in account. Inevitably, it will help your conversions. if you are not able add reviews directly to your website, then add them to other outlets such as Facebook or a blog page.
Summer has begun, and the sunny days always puts a smile on our faces. It may be a good idea to transfer that good feeling onto your customers by giving your booking calendar a new look. This week, we have created 10 new beautiful themes that will give your calendar a fresh look and feel. We hope you will like it.
Black & Gold theme:
Fresh Bars theme:
Brazil World Cup theme:
I like one of these themes, how can I use it for my own calendar?
In order to use one of the theme designs, follow the steps below:
1. Open the preferred design in your browser.
2. In the address bar, copy the URL that comes after &css= (See example below)
3. Paste it in your own calendar’s iFrame as in the example below:
How can I create my own design?
WebReserv allows you to create your own design. To do so, go to the “Website” tab and under “Color theme” select “Choose your own”. This option will allow you to specify the 3 main colors of the calendar: text, borders and background. For further customization needs, you can create or modify the CSS (stylesheet). For more information about our customization options, see the help section Defining styles and colors. The CSS modification requires a working knowledge of HTML and CSS. If you would like our team to do a professional customization for you, contact us.
Spanish version here
French version here
If you are new to WebReserv, and are working on setting up your account, you may be asking yourself a few key questions. How complicated is the calendar integration? How much can I customize the calendar to match my web design? Should I embed the calendar or make it show in a new tab? Should I add it to an existing page or should I create a new one? These are important questions, and very appropriate to consider. After all, your webpage is the pillar of your business, and you need to make sure the booking calendar meshes well with the design. First of all, if you are unsure on how to integrate the calendar into your website, we recommend you review our documentation, How to integrate the booking calendar to your webpage and Customizing the Booking Calendar for further customization needs. In addition to these helpful guides, we also believe that, as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. So, we would like to share with you some of the best integrations of 2014. Have a look and get inspired!
CornerStone Cabins – Cabin rental in Pomona, IL (US)
With its warm color scheme and beautiful pictures, CornerStone Cabins have been able to reproduce the cabin atmosphere on their website. You can almost feel the sweet autumn air blowing through your hair! Visitors will be captivated by the look of the cabins from the first moment. Guests will easily find more information about each cabin in the “Our Cabins” tab where they can book as well. If they need more information about prices and availability, the “Rates, Reservations and Availability” tab will give them the rate details and another version of the calendar that perfectly fits with the overall color scheme.
Wahine Charters – Charter Tours in Kona, HI (US)
Wahine Charters offer a simple and beautiful website that speaks to summer, fun and the Hawaiian atmosphere. The “Reserve Now” button (top right) is easy to find, and will take the visitor directly to the booking calendar that has been customized with the corporate colors. The main menu allow you to surf along the main activities Wahine Charters offers. By clicking one of those tabs, the visitor will find pictures, videos, descriptions, schedules, rates and a “book it” button. Everything is there, no need to visit more pages.
Orchard House – Bed and Breakfast in Granville, OH (US)
Orchard house understood how to create the WOW effect. The home page takes the visitor right into the house with a beautiful picture. Below, the visitor will immediately see the 3 main tabs “Our Rooms”, “Orchard House antiques” and “Reserve Now” where he will be able to book . Simple and fascinating, the site is alive and it takes you naturally to book online.
Hire a Hymer – Classic Mercedes Motorhomes for rental in Milton Keynes (UK)
View Hire a Hymer website
With this very professional website, Hire a Hymer demonstrates it is possible to make things look simple while they manage more than 20 products. From the home page, visitors can check availability of all vehicles at a glance through the availability grid of the WebReserv booking calendar. If the visitor comes with more specific needs, he can select one of the motorhome models in the “Classic Motorhomes” tab to see pictures, prices, dimensions and features. In addition, he will be able to click the “Book Now” button to make his reservation in a new tab that shows the calendar of the selected motorhome (product filtered calendar).
Food Lover Tour – Food and foodball tours in Barcelona (Spain)
FoodLover Tour creates an original business concept around food tours in the great city of Barcelona. Bright and colorful, this wonderful website is so well done. FoodLover Tour made it straightforward: 4 tours, 4 pages, 4 booking calendars. The site is easy to navigate and use, so there is no risk to lose the visitor along the way.
The WebReserv system comes with a great feature for your business – Google Conversion Tracking. Conversion Tracking gives you the ability to know which of your AdWords campaigns are producing conversions. This is an important tool for your business. We will explain how it works with the WebReserv system below.
Understanding Google Conversion Tracking (AdWords)
Google Conversion Tracking (AdWords) is a free tool that allows you to track the effectiveness of your Google AdWords campaigns. By tracking these actions, known as “conversions,” you’ll know which ad, keyword and campaign brings you businesses. Consequently, if you use Google conversion tracking with WebReserv you will be able to determine how many of the bookings you received through WebReserv came through your AdWords campaign.
How to setup your tracking code?
For more information on how to setup your tracking code, check the Google help here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1086338?hl=en&ref_topic=1726910
How to integrate it with WebReserv?
You will find the code for the conversion tracking in your Google AdWords page.
- Go to Tools & Analysis – Conversions
- Create a new conversion
- After you create a new conversion, you can find the Conversion Label and Conversion ID in the code.
- Copy the lines “Conversion ID” and “Conversion label”
Once you’ve identified the ID and the label, login to your WebReserv account and follow the steps:
- In WebReserv, go to Setup – Business Information – Advanced Options.
- In the Google Conversion Tracking section, add the Conversion Label and ID.
- Save your changes.
Congratulations! Google tracking code and WebReserv are now synchronized and you can start measuring the success of your AdWords campaign.
Today, you can find several great website builders that will allow you to create your website easily and without any specific knowledge or requirement. SquareSpace is one of those builders. If you are creating your website with SquareSpace, use this simple guide to quickly add the WebReserv booking calendar to your SquareSpace website. It’s very easy.
1. Copy HTML code from your WebReserv account
If you don’t have a WebReserv account, you can create a free one here. If you already have a WebReserv account, login and click Website from the top menu.
Select the version of the calendar, the calendar options and the appearance. Click here for more information about calendar options and colors.
Click the preview button. You will now see a preview of the booking calendar to the right. If everything looks good, highlight and copy the text in the HTML field.
2. Paste the code into your SquareSpace editor
Now switch to your SquareSpace editor. On any page, click the “Plus” sign to add a new element.
Select the option Code
A custom HTML field will show up in your editor. Paste the HTML text you copied from WebReserv.
Save it and your are done!
As a tour or rental business, you likely have fixed times that you allow your customers to book. Since you want to allow flexibility to your customers, you will want to offer a choice of time slots. This is a great idea and your customers will appreciate the options, however, it may be challenging to manage your inventory if the time slots overlap.
The WebReserv Tour setup for Segway, kayak, or bike tour and rental companies offers many great features that are essential to your business. One of those is the ability to manage overlapping tour times and availability. This means that if you offer tours or rentals at different times, the system will automatically reduce availability over all the time slots that have an overlap. See the example below of how this feature works.
ABC Segway Company offers a 2 hour tour of the city. The start times available are at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 1:00 PM. They want to be able to offer all these times for their customers to choose from, but they only have a total of 10 Segways in their inventory. In the WebReserv system, the company uses the Fixed Weekly Schedule reservation type to set up their time slots. The typical setup will look like this:
In order to manage their inventory of 10 Segways, this company has chosen “Yes” to the setting “Decrease availability across overlapping schedules”.
Now, let’s see how this works when a booking is made.
A customer books the 10:00 AM Tour for 4 people, see booking information below:
This booking will now reduce the inventory count by 4 for both the 10:00 AM tour and the 11:00 AM tour because the end time (12:00 PM) of the 10:00 AM tour overlaps with the start time of the 11:00 AM tour.
For more information about setting up your Schedules for tours or rentals, see link below:
As a tour company, having your tours completely booked on any given day is a great thing. This means your tours are popular and people enjoy what you have to offer. On the flip side, it also means that you often have to turn customers away that want to reserve a time that has been booked. Then, on the day before the scheduled tour, if you receive an unexpected cancellation, that will leave you with open spots that you cannot fill. The result is that you have lost revenue and potential customers.
WebReserv brings you a new feature that will help you in those situations. With the wait list, customers can sign up to be notified if a booked tour becomes available, or if new time slots are added. Plus, the notifications to your customers are automatic, so no extra work is needed on your part. The wait list feature is currently only available for schedule-based reservations, and you must be using Booking Calendar 2.0. A future version will include a wait list for hourly, daily and nightly reservations.
Once you have enabled the wait list, customers can sign up on the wait list directly from the Booking Calendar. The wait list feature works on all devices including tablets and smartphones.
You are also able to view and modify and delete each individual wait list requests. To do so, go to Frontdesk – Waitlist.
To enable the wait list, go to Setup – Products & Reservation Rules – select Tour – Schedules. In the Schedules setup, set Allow customers to waitlist to yes.