Optimization Steps in the Travel Industry

Posted by Roberto Severino on June 20, 2017
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Are you blaming yourself for the lack of conversions on your travel website? On the surface, you may have a well-designed, visually appealing site and you do notice people are searching for flights and hotel rooms, but they leave before making a reservation or booking.

You are far from alone! This problem is quite a common one for travel websites. On average, 75% of travel website visitors opt out of completing their purchase according to Tnooz. What’s also apparent is the low frequency which visitors finish their bookings on their mobile devices.

Luckily, there are several tools used in the travel industry to help combat these problems. With the right implementation, you should start seeing improvements.

Digital Optimization Process and Tools You Can Use

In the travel industry, we call the process of making website improvements, digital Optimization. Making these changes to your site can affect your site’s bounce rate, user experience, and most importantly, greater ROI for your company.

The process of optimizing your travel website begins with analyzing what is currently working and what isn’t. Looking at your data first is what will make a dramatic difference later and support the decision making process.

Once you’ve pinpointed possible areas of improvement, you can create a spreadsheet with the most urgent optimization suggestions in order of priority. Here’s an example of what this might look like in your spreadsheet:

 

  1. The lowest converting pages lack mobile responsiveness, so make changes in this area.
  2. Website navigation is potentially confusing to the user, especially with a lack of a cohesive sitemap.
  3. Add a search bar to the top corner of the page to also improve navigation.
  4. Little to no relevant content anywhere.

 

While your website may not have all these problems, it’s still crucial to evaluate what’s going wrong and to have a plan of action to mitigate the situation. You can also use Heat Mapping software like Crazy Egg and Lucky Orange to track your current visitors and give yourself a visual representation of their behavior. You can use Google Analytics, User Testing, HotJar and a number of other great tools out there to assist.

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Once you’ve made this spreadsheet, it’s important to pay close attention to every aspect of these pages or areas of the site from the look and feel of the page to the speed of the website itself to the user journey. These factors can contribute to higher conversion rates. Much of travel website optimization is a matter of understanding user experience, and even smaller inconsistencies can turn off potential buyers. In other words, strong attention to detail can make or break your venture. Some other factors which can affect your conversion rates include the following:

 

  • Website image sizes
  • Homepage with a call-to-action image
  • Easy-to-read form fields
  • Multiple payment options available at checkout
  • Call-to-action button wording

 

Constantly evaluating, analyzing and understanding your user is an ongoing process and may take a bit of time until you find the right balance, but its important to start somewhere. Its important to test and test again.

After completing A/B testing, go back and review everything. Did your initial hypotheses measure up to the actual results? If so, make those changes and continue to optimize your website overtime. Keep learning from past results and always find new ways to improve the user experience of your visitors.

Sometimes the best way to quickly discover what other optimization changes you should make can come from the insights of your own customers. SurveyMonkey and QuickTapSurvey offer excellent means of sending visitors surveys to complete. The surveys will allow you to gain a better understanding of how these visitors perceive your website and why they aren’t completing their bookings.

It will take a lot of time, patience, and persistence to start seeing results, but with an improved understanding of optimization practices and tools, website optimization will be one of the greatest assets in boosting travel site conversions and sales. It may seem like just another step in the many actions you’ve taken so far, but skipping website optimization will cost you dearly in the long-run.

Want to learn more about optimization tools and how to use them to improve your website? Email [email protected]

Topics: Test and Optimization, Optimization Tools, User Experience, Travel Industry Optimization, Travel, Travel Industry

Written by Roberto Severino