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Welcome back to the second article in our series on how to improve the conversion rate of your vacation rental website. We hope that by now you have had the opportunity look at the analytics of your website and have a feel on how your visitors move around your pages. In this article we look at 5 reasons why potential customers might leave vacation rental websites without converting and assist you in finding solutions. We will see some errors that you must remove from your vacation rental website to help Google crowler.

Website changes to increase online bookings and conversion

  1. Mobile incompatibility: With the increase in purchases made through mobile technology, it is not an option to have a website which is not optimised for mobile and tablet users as well as desktop or laptop users. In particular, while tablet purchases appear to have slowed down, the mobile phone market is continuing in its growth stage. What’s more, a website user is unlikely to visit a website after seeing it doesn’t work on the mobile phone, so there are no second chances. If you are not sure how mobile friendly your site is, use a phone and see how easy the site is to navigate or use one of the free tools, like this one from Google. If the results need work, then there are temporary fixes to make it more friendly however you should look for the opportunity to upgrade your website to one which is mobile or tablet responsive.
  2. Badly designed / lengthy reservation forms: People are increasingly time poor and many just don’t want to spend their precious free time completing seemingly never-ending complex forms. Research shows that conversion can be affected greatly by form length, and this varies depending on the market and the customers – there is no absolute rule on what, how many and in what order to ask questions. However what is clear is that testing the content of the reservation form can affect your conversion rates. Take a good look at your reservation forms. Are the questions short, essential and clear? These can speed up the booking process, and if you choose to reduce the number of questions you ask, you can always ask for further information at check-in.
  3. Hidden and badly written property searches: Searches are an important aspect of your vacation rental website. If it is not easy to search for a property, a visitor will easily give up and leave your website. Put them in a prominent place such as in the centre near the top, and ask the minimum number of questions to help your visitor to look for their future vacation property. Check-in, check-out, location and number of adults / children are all that are required here. Further details can be collected later.
  4. Unclear search results: The search results should of course offer the most important information that your visitor wants to know in an appealing way, in order to be attracted to your property. High quality photos, attractive property descriptions in appropriate languages and property layouts can all help customers decide if they are interested.
  5. Broken links: Ensuring all links work can have two effects, it simply improves the professionalism of your brand, and it ensures that your visitors can make a booking. There are a number of free tools available on the internet, which will check your site for broken links. We like Google Search Console.

One final point on the issue of testing. It is worth asking your non vacation rental expert friends of different social and technological skill levels to use your site on computers, tablets and mobile phones too. Watch what they do and where they go. Listen to their questions. See how easy they find the booking process. Ask them how confident they feel in making a reservation. They will help you understand the experiences your visitors are having.

Avantio provides specialist websites designed especially for the vacation rental market. If you would like to talk to us about how our websites can help you improve your conversions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our next conversion article will be available in early November so come back for more information.

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