It’s probably apparent why you want to keep people on your website longer. The more time a potential traveler spends on your website, the more time you’ll have to convince them to stay at your property. Your website is one of the best tools you have to market your property, and it’s time to give it the attention it deserves. There are plenty of tactics you can employ to keep people on your site longer, here are just a few.
1. Make sure your website is modern
First and foremost, you need to do a serious audit of your website. When’s the last time you made significant changes and added new design elements? In order to compete with your competitors, both big and small, your website needs to be top notch. Some of the most important elements include:
- A simple navigation menu
- Clear call-to-action
- Large pictures
Those are just a few of the things that make for a good website. Every day I see outdated websites that are not only hard to use, but are distracting and make me want to click away as soon as possible. There are plenty of website builders out there today that can help you recreate your website like Squarespace, Weebly, and WordPress. A simple website that’s visually appealing is the ultimate goal.
2) Make sure it’s easy to click around your website
People like to click around when they’re browsing the internet, and it’s in your best interest to encourage people to do so within your website. The best way to do this is to include high-quality internal links. On your website, you need to sell your property as well as your destination and including information about local restaurants, bars, and events is a great way to do that.
For example, let’s take a look at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego, California. Their website has information on everything from their hotel, to their in-house events, to neighborhood events, giving a potential traveler little reason to leave the website. The Lafayette offers a ton of different information all within in their website. You can learn about their property and the surround area without leaving their website.
Internal links help you reuse content which in turn helps convert guests from lookers to bookers.
3) Don’t encourage people to leave your site
Related to point number two, you shouldn’t encourage people to leave your website unless it’s absolutely necessary. You work hard to get people to your website and you don’t want to ruin the opportunity to sell by directing them somewhere else, argues Tnooz.
In some instances, it’s necessary to direct people to other websites if it includes an off-site activity like a show, tour, or restaurant. But, if you have the opportunity to keep someone on your website
If you create videos, it’s a good idea to post them on a site like Vimeo, YouTube, or Facebook, but make sure you embed them instead of sending them to the source.
4) Use Pop-Ups
Pop-ups annoy most people, but they’re often quite effective. There are a few different types of pop-ups that you’ll commonly see.
Entry-Pops: these are pop-ups that appear when you enter a website. They usually urge you to sign up for an email list, download something, or announce a promotion. In the case of your property, you can use one or all of these tactics. It’s best to test out different options in order to find which are the most enticing for your audience.
Exit-Pops: these pop-ups appear when someone goes to exit your page and usually prevents them from doing so, causing them to click one more time. This allows you to interject yourself one more time before someone navigates away. Your main goal is to get someone to book, so we suggest mentioning a promotion or other enticing information to get someone’s attention. For example, you can increase a customer’s sense of urgency by mentioning that your rooms are almost filled, or mention that you’re in busy season.
Wishpond created a list of helpful examples that can help you see what’s worked for other websites. You can check out their post here.
5) Include the most important information in plain sight
This should almost go without saying, but often I see important information hidden from plain sight, or simply unavailable. In 2016, guests should be able to book and confirm their reservation in a single session on your website. Contact forms and no availability chart are essential to grabbing those direct bookings.
A contact form only encourages people to seek a different booking channel. When people are searching and booking travel, they want to be as efficient as possible, and thankfully the internet gives them the ability to do that.
Your phone number, availability calendar, policies, accommodation options including photos, and other important information should be at the ready. If they’re not, it’s time to make a change.
Cloudbeds offers a direct booking engine, mybookings, that you can install directly to your website. It gives your potential guests the ability to quickly find all the information they’re looking for quickly. And it also takes some of the hard work of your shoulders. Let software and new technology work for you.
It’s important to keep potential guests on your website. Of course you can’t stop them from clicking around the internet to find the best information, but if you follow these tips, you’ll encourage them to hang around. There are plenty of other tactics you can employ to encourage people to stay on your website, but these are some of our favorites.