Need more bookings? 13 tips to boost your conversions

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24160399_sYou 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).

Mailchimp call to action

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.

To make your website responsive contact your web designer. You can also use wix.com, weebly.com or 1and1.com (web builders) to easily create a quality, responsive website in a record time.

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.

keywords

 

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.

7 thoughts on “Need more bookings? 13 tips to boost your conversions

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