GETTING TO GRIPS WITH CRO – WHAT IS IT AND WHY DOES YOUR PROPERTY NEED IT?

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You’ve probably heard of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) but like so many digital terms, it can be tricky to understand and even more challenging to get right. Here’s our quick guide to CRO and why your hotel needs it now…
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
Conversion rates are one of the most important metrics in the hotel industry; the higher the conversion rate, the better. A conversion can be anything, from a confirmed booking to a website visitor signing up to your email list to receive special offers. Conversion rate optimisation is a measure of how effective you are at getting your traffic to carry out the desired action, whatever you have determined that goal to be.
Even if your website is in great shape and achieving a steady stream of traffic, there’s a chance you’re still not functioning to the highest level possible. If you’re not converting these visitors, there’s a problem – and it’s a problem which CRO can help fix.
As we’ve noted, a conversion doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your guests book a stay at your hotel, although for most hoteliers this will be the end goal. For that reason, you’ll likely have a range of desirable actions that you’d like to see take place, and a number of different CRO tactics to employ, based on what your own particular goals are. The CRO methods you use to encourage an email subscription for example will be very different to the changes you make to maximise bookings, meaning it is a moveable, vast field of operations.
Implementing Conversion Rate Optimisation
Putting together a CRO strategy can help to ensure your website achieves the optimum rate of conversion, translating your efforts made to acquire website traffic into something more commercially valuable – guests and potential guests.
Last year’s annual Conversion Rate Optimisation Report carried out by Econsultancy outlines the necessary steps to optimise conversion rates. It notes the need to carry out a variety of testing, gather feedback and perform analysis on a range of elements. These actions are designed to provide sufficient information which can then lead to improved websites with greater potential for achieving their intended goal.
Actions you’ll need to take when carrying out CRO:
A/B Testing
Online surveys and feedback
Segmentation for enhanced targeting
Customer journey analysis
Cart abandonment analysis
Optimisation of web copy
A/B testing is the most popular method of testing and improving conversion rates. It helps you get into the mind of customers as they look at different variations of the website and booking system and decipher which one works best.
Benefits of CRO for your Hotel
Not only is conversion rate optimisation great for boosting your conversions and central reservations, it can also lead to an improved user experience overall, which provides a boost to your online profile. If in doubt as to how to carry out your own CRO, get in touch with a global distribution specialist for hotels to find out how best to proceed with the process.

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