Author's Note: This blog post is written for tours and tickets local site owners. All tools and websites recommended are not affiliated, this is just what we believe works! We just want to help. Ultimately helping tours and tickets operators helps the TicketingHub business. We really hope that you will learn a lot and find this useful. Make sure you share this article with anyone interested. Make sure you read the article until the end to start crushing your local tours and tickets competitors!
Do you know that it only takes 50 milliseconds to convince potential customers to stay on your site?
And it's no surprise, as humans, it only takes 1/10th of a second to have our first impression of a person.
Websites are no different.
Suppose you are selling services or goods on an e-commerce website. In that case, it's a matter of "do or die" to engage website visitors and turn them into potential customers, lead the booking process, and close a sale.
This is why research shows that only 1 to 3% of website visitors convert into sales in the e-commerce industry. Surprisingly, the travel industry converts lesser at 0.3% as of August 2022. The average conversion rate for tour websites is unfortunately low.
Thus, making the game a bit more tense and challenging. The role of conversion rates matters.
So what is a conversion rate?
You might have heard of it already, especially if you're working on your website analytics and data. But let us talk more about conversion rate later in this blog post.
First, Think of your tours.
Suppose your website receives an average of 500 monthly visitors, but only 1% leads to the booking form and close sales. Specifically, that's only 5 out of the 500 site visitors, leaving the other 99% or 495 visitors out.
But what if you receive the same number of 500 website visitors but have a higher rate of successful conversions?
Let us say, a percent higher in your booking conversion rate.
If a percent higher, from 1:100 to 2:100.
That's double your sales!
If with that 1% booking conversion rate, you earn $10,000 net income a month; then with 2%, you earn another $10,000!
Well, that's a WOW! You might think it sounds too good to be true! But you might be surprised how big brands use conversion rate marketing strategies to boost online sales and mobile bookings.
Realistically, it may take some time- a year for Walmart Canada to completely redesign an effective online page, and maybe only a few months for some. Months to years, time matters, but what matters most is how conversion rate optimization provides sustainability in your marketing campaigns.
Do you want to double your sales? Of course, you do!
How about starting with your existing monthly visitors?
To do so, you must first understand a website conversion rate and why it keeps customers engaged on-site. To tell you, you might be surprised how much you need to grow your tour website's conversion rate today.
Let's dive in.
What is the Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of sales divided by the number of site visitors.
So in the preceding example, if you have 500 site visitors and only five turns into customers, that is a 1% conversion rate. (500 divided by 5 equals 1%)
In simple terms, the conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors that turned into sales or completed any desired action for conversion.
Desired actions for website conversion may include:
- Clicks on the CTA button
- Signs up for a newsletter
- Sets the alarm or notification for promotions and discounts
- Completes a booking form
- Clicks on social media pages buttons
Depending on your objective, you can decide which page or feature of your booking page to optimize for conversions.
Know How You Do: Do Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website who take the desired action.
It is a holistic and data-driven approach to growing your business by improving your site's performance. The goal is to increase leads, sales, and ROI from your current traffic.
CRO optimizes all areas of the user experience (UX) to make your site more user-friendly, relevant, and engaging.
This can be done by A/B testing different versions of the same page or feature to see which design converts better.
The best part is that you don't need a big budget. You can start split testing today without breaking the bank with the right tools.
How CRO Works
- First, formulate hypotheses about why your site visitors are not converting. Could it be because your site takes too long to load? Are your pictures low-quality? Or is your CTA unclear?
- Develop and design ideas to convert these site visitors by implementing the hypotheses. Can you increase the site load speed? How about taking better photos? Have you tried the 'sticky' CTA buttons?
- Test the ideas with A/B Testing and see which works.
Why should you care?
Because many fail in marketing due to poor conversion rates. Of course, many factors contribute to successful marketing strategies. Still, the conversion rate determines how potential customers can get to know your tours more; and land a booking with you.
Is CRO really necessary?
There is no fixed formula for a site conversion optimization strategy, but there are working strategies from marketing principles. Walmart, as mentioned, did a page redesign for a year and increased mobile bookings by 98%. It worked on Walmart. It can work for your tours too. But, the travel industry is a bit different from e-commerce. So, you can learn from them. But you cannot copy what works for them.
Effective CROs help you:
- Measure website performance
- Know pages and site features to improve
- Double online bookings revenue
- Wisely spend on ads
If you want a more targeted optimization, avoid being general, and be specific about your website's strengths and weaknesses. Do CRO first, then implement strategies.
Remember: Good things always take time. Effective strategies are no different.
How to Grow Online Bookings with Website Conversion Rate Optimization?
There is no definite rule, but there are working principles. So we dived into case studies of tour and travel companies doubling revenue from conversion rate optimization. And we extracted the top five most important factors that work for a tour company.
Make sure not to miss a point!
#1 Optimize Images & Videos
Images and videos can be powerful tools to persuade website visitors to convert. Remember, your website is the digital storefront of your tours. They visually represent your tours and can help create an emotional connection with potential customers.
However, they can hurt your conversion rates if they are not high-quality or relevant. Poor image quality can make your site look unprofessional and irrelevant. Besides, irrelevant videos can distract website visitors from taking the desired action.
To optimize your images and videos, make sure they are:
- High-quality: Use high-resolution images that capture the beauty of your tours.
- Relevant: Make sure they are related to the content on the page and the message you want to send.
- Engaging: Use exciting and eye-catching images and videos that will hold website visitors' attention.
However, using real photos is more effective in converting customers than stock photos. After all, you are selling your tours, so it's only reasonable to spend a dime on photography of your tours and activities.
PRO TIP: Make the 50 milliseconds chance count. To develop solutions, try experimenting with lifestyle or landscape photography, GIFs, cinematography, and videos. People are visual creatures. First impressions matter, and it's either you make or break it to a customer's memory.
#2 Keep it Simple
Keep your site simple by achieving two things: design and speed.
Keep Website Design Simple
When it comes to website design, simplicity is key. Avoid distracting your potential customer with too much clutter or complexity. You don't want to overwhelm website visitors and cause them to lose interest.
Perhaps, you may want to encourage customers by being unique. But, being too unique and innovative in design can be a distraction.
Keep your site design simple and clean to engage website visitors and take the desired action.
Some tips for keeping your website design simple include:
- Minimalist style
- Basic fonts and colors
- Easy-to-read text
- Keeping the layout simple
- Avoiding too much animation or motion
Keeping your website design simple makes it easier for website visitors to focus on your content and take the desired action.
In style yet simple, TicketingHub keeps Electric Gamebox's booking widget. Check out our partnership here: Electric Gamebox is Now Using TicketingHub Booking Software
Boost Site Speed
Do you know that according to research, a one-second delay in page loading can lead to a 7% decrease in conversion rates?
"A site that loads in 1 second has an e-commerce conversion rate 2.5x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds."- What We Found for B2C E-Commerce Websites, by Portent
There are several ways that you can boost your website's speed, including:
- Optimizing images and videos
- Minifying code
- Using a content delivery network (CDN)
- Setting up caching
- Using a faster hosting plan
To measure your success and know areas to improve, here are tools that are designed to help:
- GTmetrix- is a robust yet simple to use tool that can help you test your site performance. It tests your load time and provides actionable insights on key areas to focus on. GTmetrix's Starter Plan starts at $18/month. It is perfect for startups and small tour operators starting to measure and boost site speed for SEO and CRO.
- AB Tasty- is a platform that improves every touchpoint in your customer experience optimization. They feature personalization and experimentation for enterprises. If you are an enterprise and have a lot of budget in the bank for CRO, AB Tasty is for you. You can get real reviews from Capterra about AB Tasty here. Pricing is not provided, you can get your quote here.
Global internet users browse through their mobile phones on the go. You can think of a lot of different possible settings. They may arrive at your site while traveling on their way home or while catching up with friends. Site visitors have a short retention span, and many distractions can take over their attention on your site. A short delay may be enough to make them click the back button and continue on other site options.
Know where to focus exposing tour reviews. Read our full blog here: Best Travel Review Sites For Maximum Traffic
#3 Use Persuasive Copywriting
Copywriting is the art of writing persuasive text that encourages people to take the desired action. If you can persuade website visitors to take the desired action, you can significantly increase your conversion rates.
Effective copywriting does:
- Focus on benefits rather than features
- Uses emotional appeals
- Shows online reviews and testimonials
- Uses persuasive language
Besides, smart and effective copywriting need not be long. Again, simplicity is key. Be persuasive but do not be pushy and be text-heavy.
#4 Invest in Brand Trust
When you visit Amazon, Apple Store, or Nike Store, you surely do not question the price or the quality. Without any doubt, you purchase because you know it's Amazon. It's the most prominent e-commerce in the world; why hassle questioning? You know it is an excellent iPad because Apple makes it. And you know you can never go wrong in running because it's Nike.
Do you see? Brand trust is everything in marketing. Although you cannot go to the same level as these Fortune 100 companies, you get the point in good marketing.
Building brand trust helps you:
- Increase market receptiveness
- Build client and customer advocacy
- Stay ahead of your competitors
The more you build brand trust with your customers, the more Google will also like you. So it will help you raise your SERP ranking- organically. And that's sustainability in marketing!
So how can you build brand trust? Here are a few ways:
- Social media branding
- Optimize your website (loading time, images, content, and real-user feedback)
- Business listings on online business directories
- Happy workplace relationships (your employees are your best ambassadors)
- Display customer feedback on your landing page
Forbes wrote great food-for-thought content about brand trust here: Why Building Trust Is Just As Important As Building Your Brand.
#5 Emphasize CTA Buttons
Make it easy for your site visitors to book with you. Avoid losing your purpose by missing the call-to-action (CTA) button optimization!
How can you emphasize the CTA button?
- Let it stand out: experiment with different colors according to your branding that makes the CTA button stand out from the rest of the page.
- Add the element of urgency: use the terms "Book Now, Only 3 Slots Left."
- Repeat: place the CTA button all around the page. Some try the sticky CTA button that stays in sight even when the visitor scrolls down or visits other pages.
Properly placed CTA buttons also make it easy for users to book on mobile devices. It not only makes your services clear, but it also helps your users have an amazing experience during the booking process.
#6 Pick Your Booking Widget
Since you focus on tour marketing, you want your visitors to BOOK. With that said, never lose the booking widget in your marketing strategy.
Your booking widget is a crucial part of your customer journey. Research shows that a striking 70% cart abandonment rate occurs in the ecommerce industry. Not to mention, the travel industry only has a 0.2% conversion rate on average- that's quite low than the average in the e-commerce field. One of the main culprits?
Long checkout process.
So what is a good booking widget?
- Easy checkout flow
- Simple user design
- Fast load speed
- Mobile optimized
- Uses images to engage
- Support multiple languages and currencies
TicketingHub is excited to announce its new booking widget with a faster, better-looking, and more engaging design. Stay tuned for our blog update!
Choose the Booking Widget with Upselling & Cross-selling Feature
Consider this: "Amazon has reported that cross-selling and upselling makeup as much as 35% of their revenue. Product recommendations are responsible for an average of 10-30% of eCommerce site revenues." -How to Upsell and Cross-Sell? Strategies to Boost Revenue for eCommerce Businesses
Upselling and cross-selling work for the travel industry too. For example, if you're selling a safari tour, you can cross-sell a t-shirt or mugs with it or perhaps a complimentary snack after a wild adventure. Or, if you sell food tours, you can upsell a booking with a 'better' offer. Maybe the 'better offer' can be an exceptional local cuisine they should not miss.
You can tweak whatever offer your tour company can provide. May it be a meal with a scenic view or a special extra tour, as long as you give value to your guests. Excite them and leave them curious. That should make them click!
TicketingHub makes it easy for you to upsell and cross-sell without needing to build a complex website. Think of our booking widget as a plug-and-play optimized shopping funnel widget. You copy and paste it on your site, and you're good!
As a result, TicketingHub was able to help clients grow ticket sales up to 400% more. You save time, you grow ticket sales, and you get to focus on what you love!
See how our dear client, City Tours Belfast, grew 400% more in sales after moving to TicketingHub.
When is the Best Time to Start Website Conversion Rate Optimization?
Today is always a good start to new beginnings. So, if you're wondering when to start, you can do today.
However, it's also noteworthy to think of the optimization goal that your business needs. Especially in the tourism industry, you sell more tours depending on the seasons. Suppose, optimizing your pages for the period before and during wintertime is best if you are selling winter tours. This way, you can get ahead of your competitors.
Then, you can use these optimization results and data for your next conversion rate optimization. It can provide insights into which button or site design works and which does not. You can play with the data you gather and make more informed decisions.
Thus, in a nutshell, the best time to start optimization is today. But, it's always to be objective and mindful of your CRO goals per season.
Know how to manage your tours 101% way better. Read our blog about tour management here.
Tour Website Conversion Marketing Tactics: Does it Work?
Yes, it works!
Suppose you boost email marketing for every business listing on review sites and regularly post user-generated content. However, it's still not a win if you can't effectively lead clients from the booking form down to the payment process. Poor conversion rates directly affect revenue.
Thus, you can only get the best out of your tour marketing promotional efforts if your site design, images, page load speed, copy, CTA buttons, and booking widgets all work together for conversion.
Start with your current customers. Save the 99% leaving your site without completing a purchase. Double your sales even with a percent increase in conversion rate following these techniques you can start doing it by yourself.
Where to start?
If you are a do-it-yourself kind of guy, following all of these CRO tips can help. It may take some time. Perhaps, welcome some trial and error. But it can work!
On the other hand, if you have enough budget and a more specified conversion target with a narrow time allowance, you can get help from CRO agencies.
Gratitude Note: Our team wants to personally thank the helpful resources we gleaned insights from for this blog post. As you can see, this content involves a lot of research and scrutiny. But all of this is made possible with the help of these blog posts' insights through their deep research (I will link them down below so you can also benefit):
- Blogs of The Good about Conversion Rate Optimization
- Conversion Rate Article with PDF Download by Optimizely
Do You Want to Learn From TicketingHub Marketing Team?
TicketingHub is not only giving you access to what we believe is the easiest tours sale widget to set up and integrate, but we also bring you smart marketing advice and action plans to improve your online sales performance. We are not a marketing agency and do not want to become one. However, we believe we understand tours and online ticket sales better than most marketing agencies. We have been working hard, so TicketingHub tours and tickets software features for tour operators deliver proven results to boost your tours and ticket conversion rate efforts.
Let me tell you now a very important detail that will make a big difference. TicketingHub offers a fast and straightforward 6-step checkout feature and a lightweight booking widget, making it easy for the customer to finalize the purchase on a desktop or phone. We will release our new tours and ticket booking widget in the coming weeks with even more improvements. We are constantly working to improve our booking widget's conversion performance continually. We promise that our new multi-sale funnel will blow your mind!
We like to share on our blog, but we're not telling you every detail yet. We are keeping some, so stay tuned or book a demo with us so you can see it yourself! If you believe that conversion rate is one of the areas you need to fix to improve your online sales results, then we may be able to help. Let's chat!