CRO all the way: what makes the difference in conversion rate optimisation

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In today’s highly competitive, often frenetic, digitally-driven world of business, being ‘in the know’ and operating with the latest, game-changing tools is crucial not only to stay one step ahead of your competitors, but like it or not, being in the game with them at all. And, don’t doubt it; that very much goes for the hotel industry.

Nowadays, hoteliers conduct a significant slice of their business online; particularly the marketing and booking of rooms. To that end, the overarching aim is turning online browsers into paying guests. But how do you achieve that as effectively and efficiently as possible?

One of the online marketing solutions for hotels that more and more businesses are turning to is conversion rate optimisation (CRO). It’s the art of increasing the percentage of visitors that become customers – converting casual website users into paying users. But how does it work? How does it successfully improve conversion rate? Well, it’s a very strategic, advanced and dependable solution – potentially encompassing a number of different techniques drawn from across the spectrum of digital marketing for hotels.

For instance, the CRO solution offered by Digital Hotelier operates as a genuine 360° solution for driving up conversion rate; day-after-day, 365 days a year – and, thus, significantly improves online-derived hotel revenue. And it achieves this through the application of several digital marketing and web analytics techniques. So, in addition to the relatively general likes of browser and platform analysis, these include:

A/B testing

Also referred to as ‘split-run testing’ or ‘bucket tests’, A/B testing is a controlled experiment with two variants (A and B). It basically tests website users’ responses to two different variables (say, a specific change to a webpage’s design and the unchanged version), determining which is more effective and so which will better boost conversion.

Heatmaps

A heatmap is a graphical presentation of data, in which individual values featured in a matrix are represented as separate colours. A common web analytics tool, a heatmap’s often used for identifying areas of a webpage most frequently scanned by visitors – and, thus, which are contributing most to driving online revenue.

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Bounce rate analysis

Bounce rate is the total number of visits, per session, to a website’s landing (or entrance) page that register just one, single hit there divided by all the hits (including those leading to hits deeper into the site). Analysing this enables you to discover how that page is performing – generally, a bounce rate that’s 26-40% is very good (41-55% about average; above 70% pretty much means ‘panic stations’ and needs seriously addressing).

Speed testing

The faster your website runs, the more likely you’ll get conversions; it’s as simple as that. Should your website – and, thus, its booking pages or click-through booking engine – be running slower than your competitors’ (or you suspect it might be), then it’s more likely that would-be guests will either not complete their customer booking journey or not even get that far before leaving your site. Online users are fickle in that regard – but can afford to be owing to the huge variety of choice out there when it comes to hotel booking. You need your site running at a decent speed.

Frequency and reach testing

Finally, in basic terms, this form of testing should lead to analysis of just how many users are being reached by a particular online communication, whatever form it might take – and how often they’re reached over a certain period of time, be that several weeks or months (the frequency). Ideally, ‘unique’ reach models should be able to account for the total reach of a communication by accounting for – and, via, its analysis, identifying – cases when users have seen it on different devices or when that device has been shared by multiple people. Just how effective are your communication efforts at boosting your CRO? Are they genuinely paying off? This form of testing can efficiently inform you what’s working and what’s not.

To sum up then, there are several different techniques that can be deployed to improve a hotel’s CRO. And when a choice collection of them – like those outlined above that are deployed for their clients by Digital Hotelier – are conscientiously put into action, a hotel’s conversion frequency can’t fail to improve. Indeed, done right; there’s a good chance that rate might just soar.

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