How to increase online bookings for your vacation rental website
Welcome to our final article on the topic of conversions. By now we hope you have been trying and testing your website to find ways that you can improve the conversion rate. In this final article we detail 5 more areas that you can review. Although this series has covered a lot of topics, it is by no means conclusive, and there are many other aspects that you can consider. We hope that this has given you a good introduction to how you can make small improvements to your website can make significant changes to your income.
1. Unreal prices
Pricing can be a tipping point for many potential guests. If the property is priced too high, your similar quality competition is likely to get the booking. But likewise if you underprice it creates a doubt that the property is as good as it looks. Look at your competition and evaluate their pricing structure, look at local events and festivals which can influence demand, and look at your bookings over the past couple of years.
2. Turn off pages
What do we mean by this? We mean, what pages on your website are turning visitors off your property portfolio? Perhaps 50% of visitors go to your About Us page and then leave the website. Or 40% of visitors look at your Contact Us page and then disappear. This is key for you and your first step to understanding and track where your visitors go on your website using tools such as Google Analytics as discussed in our first article. Review these pages with friends, family and colleagues to identify reasons why this page is turning visitors off your company. Including links to move these visitors back to the important pages, such as your booking forms can also redirect their attention back to the goal of the website.
3. Lack of urgency
A visitor may be in the browsing stage, looking at a number of your competitors too at the same time. Peaking their interest through special offers can move them quickly to the purchase stage, for fear of missing out. Consider the careful placement of 10% discounts, or special offers such as ‘buy 6 nights get a 7th free’ in order to create that sense of urgency. This can also help with increasing demand for properties that are underperforming.
4. Property descriptions which don’t create demand
When writing a description for your property it is all too easy to fall into trap of writing factually descriptive text, ‘2 bedrooms, terrace, large kitchen’ style. Consider trying a different style and allowing your visitor to imagine themselves in your property. ‘A 2 bedroom property perfect for a young family or two couples looking to spend the evenings cooking in the large modern kitchen before enjoying the evening sitting on our stunning terrace overlooking the lake’. Test some different writing styles out and see how visitors respond.
5. Uncertainty about the location
All too often a guest books a property to be near something of interest for them, whether it is the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland or Big Ben. If it is not easy to identify where your property is in relation to this point of interest, a booking may not be made. By including a map of your property location visitors can visualise where the property is with reference to the points of interest for them and make concrete plans about how they can travel from your property to their activities for the day. Images of local attractions can be included in the property photo portfolio to further enforce local facilities.
Avantio provides specialist websites designed especially for the vacation rental market. We hope you have enjoyed and benefited from reading this series of articles. 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.