3 Key Metrics That Tell the Truth about Your Website

By Rob Kall President, Bookt LLC | January 27, 2012

Does Web Design Matter?

We're used to thinking of web design as a subjective matter. I like this, he likes that, etc., and of course, to a certain degree it is. But more than that, design does have a clear effect on people's behavior online. No one takes the science of measuring this more seriously than Google, a company that meticulously performs A/B testing on all new design ideas to measure which alternative yields the highest desired outcome. You can do the same and this article outlines some important metrics that tell the truth of your current and next website design.

How Can It Be Done?

Before we start with the nitty gritty details, let's just discuss how you can measure your design's effectiveness. Let's say you currently have an online booking website for your lodging property. It seems to work ok, but you feel it looks a little outdated, you are not sure about the SEO effectiveness and you cannot effectively measure your online conversion ratio. A new design has been presented and you love the look, but will it perform better? (For questions about SEO and online conversion, please see previous articles I have published on this site on the subject).

One way to measure the design effectiveness, is to set up the new second site, then use a tool like the Google Website Optimizer. I won't go into all the technical details here, but your web design company should be able to help you get it configured. Fully set up, you will then perform a split test where some of the users are directed to the new design and some to the old site. You can then collect metrics how each design performs. It's not unusual to notice that certain aspects of a new design does not perform as good as the old one when first tested, but with simple adjustments you can many times address those issues and then reap all the benefits of a more updated solution.

Attributes of a Well Functioning Website

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.