When it comes to website conversions, hotels tend to focus only on the numbers in the bank. Much like “heads in beds” it’s a great indicator of a successful site. But let us take a look at other important conversion metrics and a deeper review of optimization techniques that hotels can use to ensure a great user experience.
The main ‘macro’ conversion metric hotel marketers tend to focus on is revenue generated from direct bookings. That bottom line is key. However, let’s not forget other “micro” conversions that can lead to future bookings by capturing and engaging your audience. Micro conversions are goals, just like the important direct booking metric you’re currently measuring. But micro conversions are not direct bookings or sales. Micro conversions are goals that help to build relationships with your site visitors. These are relationship building goals that contribute to conversions (e.g. bookings!).
What Micro Conversions Should We Track? The Big 5…
Loyalty reward program signups: Almost every hotel has some form of a loyalty program. The staySky Suites site has a great example of easily capturing all pertinent information for a loyalty program.
Contact Us form: These forms are critical for collecting personal information from (potential) guests and can aid in future marketing and promotional ideas. One of the easiest conversion opportunities is with a user you know is interested in your site. A timely response to this request however is crucial for maintaining goodwill with the purchaser.
Newsletter Signups: This is an ongoing relationship builder that allows you to push directly to interested readers. Newsletters are great for capturing leads and promoting special offers and events.
Group Meetings & Wedding Inquiries: This micro conversion is key for capturing leads that lead to large events and group sales opportunities. It’s worth the time to focus on tracking these conversions that can be huge revenue generators.
PDFs: Downloads from your site will show you what users are most interested in. You’ll never know how important your local area map is or if your spa menu is truly generating interest with guests without tracking these micro conversions.
You can track each of these through most analytics platforms. Google Analytics, widely used in the hotel industry, has an easy to follow process for setting up micro conversion tracking. Put a little thought and research into which micro conversions could have the most value for determining your success and strategizing for the future. Each of these micro-conversion groups have value in and of their own right. Make sure you’re tracking these as goals. Also, be sure to apply a dollar amount to each of these conversions. Report these micro conversion rates side-by-side with your macro conversion rate. More importantly, when calculating your site’s macro conversion rate, make sure you’re not dividing by the total of visitors to your site. Rather, divide by the total number of visitors minus all the micro-conversions. Your numbers will be more accurate and your bosses will be more pleased.
5 Tips for a Better User Experience
Booking engine selection: Make sure to choose your booking engine wisely. Before selecting one look at some key elements such as, “What is the quality of your online booking engine like?” and “Does it communicate trust?” Whatever your final choice, ensure you set up cross-domain tracking so your SEO company can properly report on all bookings and revenue.
Clear Call-To-Actions: Make sure your Call-To-Actions are strong, visible and easy to navigate throughout your website. These action oriented messages can be found with “Special Offers,” “Book Now” or even “Reservations.”
Social Media Integration: Keep your audience engaged with your Brand by ensuring they connect with your social media sites in order to keep up-to-date with special offers. Ensure your social media links are all connected (no broken links) and frequently updated.
Images Matter: Don’t use stock images! Take the time and spend the money on quality photographers. These budgets can be difficult to get approved but are crucial to the success for meeting guest expectations. Using the right strategies for hotel photo-shoots can help ensure you stay on budget and schedule. Google even offers these services. They will come into your hotel and take photos for you for your Google My Business account. This could be an incredible asset for your website.
Responsive Design: More users than ever are using mobile devices to plan and book hotel stays. Make sure your website is optimized across a wide range of devices to ensure a great user experience. For more information on hotel website design: http://www.hotelmarketingworks.com/services/hotel-website-design/
Dig Deeper to find Success
The tendency for marketing managers and hoteliers to focus on macro conversions, such as Revenue, when reviewing a site’s analytics is still the backbone for analysis. However, tracking and digging into other micro conversion metrics are just as important in order to understand and engage with potential customers. This deeper analysis and understanding of your site will greatly assist in future bookings and even more success down the road.