In this Tourism Marketing Quick Tip:
Learn about the distinct roles that your website and your booking engine have and how to use them correctly.
One of our clients recently changed their main call to action button on their home page. Rather than bringing people directly to the list of tours on their website, it opened up the booking engine so that people could browse the tours from there.
Now, that sounded logical, the booking engine did a fair job at presenting the tour options, but as soon as this change was made the conversion rate dropped. As soon as we reverted the change, the conversion rate rebounded.
Why would such a small change make such a big difference?
The Role of Your Booking Engine
The reason is that your booking engine and your website have distinct roles. Your booking engine’s job is to facilitate a fast booking process, keeping people confident in their decision throughout that process. It’s designed for people at the bottom of the market funnel who already know they want to book with you.
The Role of Your Website
Your website is designed for people higher in the marketing funnel, where their needs are different. They’re learning who you are, how you differ from the competition, what your tours look like, whether your cancellation policy matches their needs, whether they trust you, what other people say about you, and your overall value proposition.
What a Successful Website and Booking Engine Looks Like
A successful tourism marketing website incorporates elements like high-quality visuals, engaging brand messaging, persuasive copy, customer reviews, star ratings, book with confidence assurances, and other things.
A good booking engine has some of those things, but on a very limited basis because they focus on keeping the transaction moving forward. It’s important to make it easy to book as soon as they are ready, so we’re not suggesting hiding those call-to-action buttons, just make sure they’re not the first thing that you are asking people to do. Allow your website to excel at its role at the top and middle stages of your marketing funnel, and let your booking engine handle the bottom stage of your marketing funnel