Your website’s ability to convert is a crucial element of any direct bookings strategy. In the final video of our 7-part Direct Bookings Video Series, we’ll provide a checklist—and show examples—of many of our top tips that we’ve seen make a real difference in conversion rates for tour, activity, and attraction websites.
We’ve included the checklist below, with some supporting notes; but this is intended only as a supplement to the video.
Tactics For Improving Your Tourism Website’s Conversion Rate
Invest in compelling images and videos. See Great Photography Creates More Bookings.
- Use a photographer and videographer with experience shooting your type of tour or activity. Avoid the temptation to hire your cousin’s nephew who shot your sister’s wedding.
- Consider including some audio from guides (story or joke) and guests (screaming on the zipline or laughing with friends on a raft)
Create policies that give people confidence rather than make them think twice
- Create the best cancellation policy that your finances and operations allow. Compare to the competition, including Tripadvisor.
- Use a well-placed book with confidence messaging
- Use positive policy wording
- Show some information about how many customers you’ve served or how long you’ve been in business
- Leverage the voice of customers in a multi-layered way
- Aggregated star ratings
- Top quote
Get calls to action right
- Make them easy to find
- Sticky booking bar
- Don’t count on non-traditional next steps; make sure a button is clear so people don’t have to hunt.
- Use the right wording. “Reserve” or “check availability” might work better than “book now”
Use a tiered writing format for progressive scannability
- Card layouts with images
- Tiered headlines
- Headings and bold text
- Collapsible sections for longer content
Write for your users
- Address your reader (“you” and “your” language) rather than talking about yourself (“we” and “our” language)
- Address questions and objections
- Not only through FAQs. Think about your core customer. What questions or objections might they normally have?
- When writing FAQs, make them contextual, and think through how to consolidate them. Avoid long, non-searchable FAQ lists.
- If a question is asked frequently, consider addressing the topic more prominently.
- Think about who they are, where they are, and what they’re hoping for. Get ideas from reviews of happy customers, and echo back the benefits, emotions, etc. in your copy.
- Personalize when possible. Example: use geo-targeted versions of your pages where it makes sense
- Geo location example https://highlandsaerialpark.com/atlanta/
Make pricing clear
Don’t make customers hunt for pricing.
Select a booking engine with good usability
- Intuitive date and ticket selections
- Modern payment methods
- Reasonable number of fields
Easily accessed discount codes
- Have your developers implement click-to-copy for any coupon codes you display on the site.
Work on site speed
Prevent dead ends, but don’t overwhelm with choices.
- Provide adequate cross-linking and cross-promotion (such as related tours that might be a good fit for the visitor), but not so much that you detract significantly from the primary call to action. The tricky balance is: have I done everything I can to stay out of the way of a conversion, AND is there an escape hatch for someone who decides to not book this tour, but might still be convinced to book something with us?
- Watch for actual dead ends (dead clicks) with Microsoft Clarity (free).
Design for the realities of mobile browsing
- Consider horizontal “swipers” (carousels) so that people can scroll vertically past sections they’re not interested in.
- Try multi-column layouts when the content allows.
Primary Principle: Empathize.
When you empathize with your users, you’ll automatically make decisions and take actions that will serve them well, such as:
- Write copy that is focused on the customer, rather than you
- Policy wording will be friendly and positive and will be useful to customers, rather than designed to protect the company.
- You’ll be speaking about them rather than about yourself.
- Address their desires and concerns early and clearly.
- What about bad weather?
- Is this too intense for my kids?
- What if I need to cancel?
- Test the website yourself to make sure it works smoothly
- See how people are using the site, to find out what’s working for them and what’s not.
Watch All The Videos In The Series
Part 1: Why Direct Bookings Fail and How to Change That
Part 2: Building a Search Marketing Plan Grounded in Real Data
Part 3: How to Use Search Marketing to Maximize Your Direct Booking Revenue
Part 4: Building a Plan to Optimize Your Social Media Presence for Direct Bookings
Part 5: Executing Your Social Media Direct Bookings Strategy
Part 6: Uncovering Opportunities on Your Website to Drive More Direct Bookings
Part 7: Top Tips For a Higher Converting Website
See all of the Growing Revenue Through Direct Bookings series here.