Why do people leave?
For website marketers, all the fancy metrics in the world attempt to answer this question.
Once a potential guest looks at your resort or hotel, reads about the amenities, and discovers what to do at the destination, why don’t they hit the “Book Now” button?
New research is helping hospitality marketers better understand this so they can improve conversions and boost bookings.
Question 1: What’s a good website conversion rate?
The first step to increasing conversions is to nail down where you are and where you want to go. You can’t hit any targets that you don’t define.
Conversion rate: The percentage of website sessions that turn into reservations on a hotel website over a selected date range.
The average conversion rate for hotel websites, according to studies, is approximately 2.2 percent. Ouch. Yes, that means that around 98 percent of travelers are slipping away. Some come back, but it doesn’t change the effective rate. So how do you improve this number?
Before you make any judgements about your own conversion rate, consider where you’re getting your numbers—not all traffic is created equal! The vast majority of resort and hotel websites convert at a rate of 1.75 overall, but that varies based on location, according to Fastbooking.
Also take into account how certain channels, like google hotel ads, convert much higher than organic traffic or blogs.
- Ads: 4.16%
- Facebook display: 3.21%
- Tripadvisor meta: 2.34%
- Direct: 2.20%
- Web display retargeting: 2.19%
- Search engine advertising: 2.05%
- Trivago: 1.67%
- Organic: 1.55%
- Web display pre-targeting: 0.92%
- Blogs: 0.20%
Question 2: How do you calculate hotel conversion rate?
- Find your number of overall monthly sessions
- Find your number of total monthly reservations
- Divide the reservations by the number of monthly sessions
- Multiply the number by 100
Also keep in mind that if your marketing is doing its job, you are bringing in more unique site visitors, raising awareness and dampening your conversion rates. With that in mind, measure traffic to bookings, but also factor in total reservations and total revenue generated by the number of sessions, which should look very different.
3 Tips to Improve Hotel Website Conversion Rates
Tip 1: Use visuals that help your resort or hotel’s website stand out
Do your current visuals make people want to book a stay, or do they look like everyone else’s? More and more, the hotel or resort stay experience is about how well you show what the traveler can do there, not just offering a list of the features.
User generated content (UGC) like personal travel stories and social posts featuring your resort or hotel are what travelers are looking for before making a commitment. Travel research indicates that 92 percent of consumers look for recommendations at the time of purchase, and Revoo showed that 72 percent of hotel guests look for UGC in the booking process.
Tip 2: Identify where website visitors are dropping off
Google Analytics, and software like it, are the best way to determine where and perhaps why site visitors are not converting.
Notice the large drop-off of visitors who start on the /turbo-parts/ page (large portion of red traffic exiting the box).
You can see pages with the highest bounce rates, total dwell time, and the map of how they move through your site. Look at the pages and see where you can optimize to help guests find what they need. Try A/B testing with different visuals and calls-to-action (CTAs) on the pages where they are dropping off the most.
Find your drop-off pages in Google Analytics:
- High Bounce Pages: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (Click the Bounce Rate column and select Weighted from the Sort Type dropdown)
- Top Exit Pages: Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages
- Behaviour Flow (above): Behavior > Behavior Flow
Tip 3: Take a closer look at your UX, site load speed and widgets
The total user experience of the hotel or resort stay starts with the ease of use of the website. Personalization online helps your content better connect to and reflect the prospective audience you want to attract.
With the right visuals, site visitors feel compelled by what is unique about your property. Look for widgets that can help with technical aspects like mobile response time and image download speed. Test out the impact new tech like sales and service chatbots or reservation abandonment technology. And make sure the experience is also optimized on mobile devices.
Travel shoppers abandon carts at 81 percent, which is 4 percent higher than the cross-industry average. You can also consider tech like hotel booking software to counteract this.
Visuals Deliver Confidence for Your Hotel Marketing
Capturing the consumer’s attention is a tough challenge for marketers in every industry. Once you have it, don’t let other marketers pull their attention away before you secure a conversion. Make sure you see the benefits of your hard work.
Conversion is a matter of confidence. You must be confident in the message you are delivering so the potential traveler is confident about hitting the button, whether that button is “Sign Up for Our Newsletter” or “Book Your Room Now.” Visuals can be your secret weapon in delivering that confidence in a microsecond.