If guests are able to navigate your holiday let website with ease, and find everything they need, they will be much more likely to book with you.
So how do you ensure your website is working as hard as possible for you?
Here are a selection of top tools we recommend to people looking to improve their website.
A great place to start is to watch strangers use your website. UserTesting.com allows you to purchase videos of people using your site, whilst describing what they see and understand.
We recommend starting with just three videos, as you’ll likely have a long list of changes to make after those three. Make the changes, and come back at a later date for another three videos.
UserTesting.com also offer a great service called Peek, which allows you to see and hear a five minute video of someone using your website for free.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what you should change and what you should keep the same. It’s also tough to know if changes will improve conversion rate, or destroy it.
Split testing is the easiest way to test out and verify and changes you are making. From basic changes like colours and images used on your website, to more advanced layout and copy changes.
Optimizely is a split (or A/B) testing solution that’s very easy to use. Run a couple of tests and see which ones provide the best conversion rate.
If you use Bookster to power your website, Optimizely is fully integrated and so it will be very easy to set up.
I’ve used this at Reserve for as long as I can remember. The genius of it is in the simplicity.
Qualaroo is a non-intrusive pop-up that appears in the corner of a web page and asks a simple question (which you can define, or just choose from one of the templates provided). You can choose when the pop-up appears (after viewing 5 pages, being on the site for 10 minutes, etc.).
It gets a great response rate, isn’t too annoying for other users, and provides a real mine of useful feedback.
Every website should have some form of analytics set up. To tell you where your site visitors are coming from, what they are doing on your site, and why they leave.
Google Analytics is certainly one of the best free solutions available (and it competes rather well with many paid solutions too).
Analytics will tell you everything and anything that you could possibly want to know, and that’s part of the problem. There’s often information overload when looking at the data provided by Analytics, so it’s often best to look at a few reports only, or to access Analytics with a view to finding answers to specific questions (how many people visit our contact page, what page do most people last visit on our site, etc.).
Many of the tools listed here provide qualitative research (videos, feedback, etc.). Analytics can provide a healthy dose of quantitative research.
Beyond simple but, as a result, many people don’t do it.
People that have just booked with you can be a great source of information. They will almost certainly respond to your emails, and they’ll often be happy to spare the time to provide valuable feedback.
Ask them why they booked with you. What other sites they looked at. What they didn’t like about other websites they used.
The downside here is that you’ll only get to speak to those that have already booked, but there’s so much useful feedback to be gathered that it’s certainly still worth doing.