5 Ways to Optimize Hotel Websites for Increased Conversions and Fewer Abandoned Bookings
January 16, 2023
As a hotel marketer, you understand the importance of having a website that is optimized for conversions. With more and more travelers booking their accommodations online, it’s crucial that your hotel’s website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and encourages potential guests to complete a booking.
One of the key metrics to track when it comes to your website’s performance is booking abandonment rate. This is the percentage of users who start the booking process but don’t complete it. Booking abandonment can happen for a number of reasons – maybe the user wasn’t ready to book at the time, or they found a better deal elsewhere. Whatever the reason, it’s important to take steps to reduce booking abandonment and recover lost sales.
One way to do this is by using a multichannel booking abandonment solution like RezRecover. Booking abandonment solutions increase the likelihood of recovering bookings by:
- Triggering booking abandonment emails at key recovery times
- Collecting in-depth customer data for advanced personalization
- Sending both web push and SMS notifications for increased customer touchpoints
In addition to using a booking abandonment solution, there are several other strategies that you can use to optimize your hotel website for increased conversions and lower booking abandonment. Here are five strategies to consider:
1. Adjust your lead generation strategy to target qualified leads
One of the biggest causes of booking abandonment is when a user isn’t ready to book when they first visit your website. They might be in the early stages of their research, or they might be comparing prices and amenities with other hotels. In either case, it’s important to capture their information so that you can continue to engage with them and encourage them to book with your hotel.
To do this, you can adjust your lead generation strategy to target qualified leads. This means creating content and offers that are relevant and valuable to your target audience, and making it easy for them to sign up for your email list or join your loyalty program. For example, you could offer a discount on their first stay, or a free upgrade if they book within the next 24 hours.
By targeting qualified leads, you can build relationships with potential guests and encourage them to complete their bookings.
2. Create loyalty programs and incentives
Another way to encourage bookings and reduce booking abandonment is by offering loyalty programs and incentives. Loyalty programs allow you to reward repeat guests for their loyalty, and offer them exclusive benefits and perks. This can include things like free upgrades, early check-in, or complimentary breakfast.
Incentives, on the other hand, are short-term offers that are designed to encourage bookings. These can include things like discounts on stays, or free amenities like airport transfers or a spa treatment. By offering these types of programs and incentives, you can make your hotel more attractive to potential guests and encourage them to book with you.
3. Optimize your website design for mobile.
More and more travelers are using their smartphones to research and book their accommodations. In fact, according to a recent study, nearly half of all hotel bookings are made on a mobile device. This means that it’s crucial for your hotel’s website to be mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate on a small screen.
To optimize your website for mobile, you should consider things like font size, button size, and the overall layout of your website. You should also make sure that your website loads quickly, and that users can easily access important information like your hotel’s location, amenities, and policies.
To encourage repeat bookings, many hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton have created mobile apps for guests to easily manage their bookings and preferences. By making your booking process mobile-friendly, you can improve the user experience for potential guests and encourage them to complete their bookings.
4. Provide a short and seamless booking process
A streamlined booking process is more convenient for guests and can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction – a smooth booking process can increase the likelihood of guests completing the booking process, rather than abandoning it.
Additionally, optimizing the booking process can also help your hotel compete with other hotels in their market, as a more efficient booking process can be a key differentiator for guests when choosing a place to stay.
There are several steps that hotels can take to streamline their booking process and reduce booking abandonment:
- Make the purchase journey as short as possible: The shorter the booking process, the less likely guests are to abandon it. This means reducing the number of pages and fields guests need to fill out, and eliminating unnecessary steps.
- Keep everything guests need to book on just one or two pages: When guests have to click through multiple pages to complete the booking process, it can be frustrating and increase the likelihood of abandonment. Instead, try to keep all the necessary information and forms on just one or two pages.
- Offer multiple payment options: Some guests may be more comfortable paying with a credit card, while others may prefer using a different payment method like PayPal or Apple Pay. By offering multiple options, you can make the booking process more convenient for a wider range of guests.
- Clearly communicate any fees or additional charges: If guests are faced with unexpected fees or charges during the booking process, it can be a major deterrent. To avoid this, make sure to clearly communicate any additional fees or charges upfront so guests know exactly what they’ll be paying.
- Provide clear, concise instructions: It’s important to make sure that guests know exactly what they need to do to complete the booking process. This includes providing clear instructions and making sure all necessary information is clearly labeled and easy to understand.
5. Use the power of social proof
Another strategy you can use to reduce booking abandonment is social proof. Social proof refers to the idea that people are more likely to trust and follow the actions of others, especially if those others are similar to themselves. For example, a trusted recommendation from a friend or family member can be extremely persuasive when it comes to choosing a hotel.
To recreate this on your hotel website, you can use customer reviews. Customer reviews can provide valuable social proof by showing potential guests what other people who have stayed at the hotel have experienced. This can help to build trust and confidence in the hotel, leading to higher levels of bookings.
To maximize the impact of customer reviews, you should be sure to have them prominently displayed on your website, in an easy to find spot. This can help to increase the chances that potential guests will see and read the reviews before making their booking decision. Additionally, it’s important to have a good number of reviews – research has shown that more than half of surveyed travelers say they would never book with a hotel that had zero reviews. So, it’s important for you to regularly solicit and encourage customers to leave reviews of their stay. This can help to build up a base of positive reviews that can be used to promote the hotel and attract more bookings.
Reducing booking abandonment and increasing sales on a hotel website requires a multi-faceted approach that includes targeting qualified leads, creating loyalty programs and incentives, optimizing the website for mobile devices, streamlining the booking process, and leveraging social proof through customer reviews.
To help automate and improve these efforts, hotels can utilize a tool like RezRecover. RezRecover is a booking abandonment solution that automates the process of sending and optimizing booking abandonment emails, SMS, and web push notifications in order to recover lost sales. By creating personalized messages that are triggered when a user abandons their booking, hotels can increase the chances of recovering lost sales and reducing booking abandonment.
If you’re interested in learning more about RezRecover and how it can benefit your hotel, consider signing up for a free trial to see the results for yourself.
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