During the recent SES San Jose 2009 Conference, Benu Aggarwal of Milestone Internet interviewed Matt Bailey of Sitelogic, website and landing page optimization specialists. Mark gave us hard-hitting tips on what travel industry businesses can do to drive conversion rates and increase the effectiveness of a website. Check out the top conversation factors for your small business!
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- Usability Evaluation – Have someone outside the company or design team use the website and get their objective feedback so you can understand the user experience and see what your site may be missing and what could work better. Make those changes and you’ll see an increase in the conversion rate.
- Enhance the Experience with Clear Navigation – Make sure your home page is directional and guides users to information they are looking for. The faster you give answer, the more effective your site.
- Navigation Labels need to be clear, concise, and specific so you don’t confuse or lose people and you get them to the booking process. Have enhanced information.
- Only use flash as an element of the page or to enhance the design, not as the main focus. If your flash doesn’t give people the answers they are looking for, the bounce rate goes up significantly.
- Personality Conversion Factors – Look at personality types and mentalities of searchers.
• Sharp-shooter – They know what they want and you have to give it to them.
• Shotgun searcher – They have an idea of a destination, but are not tied to any specific hotel or activity, so they need to be persuaded and sold.
• Artillery – Information gatherers open to suggestions. Give them a good deal and sell the experience.
- Download time impacts conversions and speed is important – If your site takes more than six seconds on a DSL connection, it’s too slow! Manage and optimize your design and image sizes.
- Mix of Social Media – Use a marketing mix of social media (Twitter, Facebook) video and blogging to reinforce your brand’s marketing and visibility. By setting up fan pages, you get user-generated content, video and photo uploads and write ups on experiences and destinations, which then becomes an extension of your website and you can send emails to all of your fans.
- Send the Right Message – Whether on your site or Facebook, send the right person, the right message, the right call to action, at the right time!
While marketing, visibility, and search ranking are important to your business it’s ultimately conversion that impact’s your bottom line. Fine tuning your website means enhancing the user experience, giving people what they want through clear navigation and compelling content, and sending the right message. Throw social media into the marketing mix and build your fan base!
Contributed by: Benu Aggarwal, Milestone Internet Marketing