Enhancing Your Web Site's ROI

By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012

Increasing your site's "look-to-book" ratio and converting browsers to buyers begins long before your web design team puts their first ideas down on paper. It really begins with the realization that to be successful your site must foster lifetime loyalty and true value with your web users.

In order to do this, you must better understand and accommodate their needs. Increasing your site's conversion ratio begins when you design your site so that it satisfies customer needs and encourages them to make your site their final destination when it comes to making online reservations.

This process of listening to your users to obtain a better understanding of their total web site experience will give you the answers you need to move forward and maximize the channel for your primary and most important users. By listening to these users, you optimize your web site's value and effectiveness. You make sure that the user, your targeted audience, is being satisfied, and you properly focus your advertising efforts to make certain your web initiatives are in line with your organization's overall strategic objectives.

Having said that, I want to share with you a recent example of how listening can help you increase conversion rates and change browsers into buyers.

One of our clients is Six Continents Hotels, who have a corporate e-reservation enabled web site, as well as branded sites for its hotel properties including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites and their Priority Club Rewards loyalty program.

In order to improve, enhance and maximize their site's overall performance, including increasing their conversion ratio, Six Continents asked us to help them listen to, understand and clarify the main issues and concerns of their site users. They wanted to understand why users leave their site(s) before making/completing a reservation or other transaction. They wanted us to help them determine levels of user satisfaction with their sites and finally they wanted us to help identify their site's main strengths and weaknesses from a users perspective.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.