Guest Post: Maya Hasson
Uncovering visitors' usage patterns and adapting their online experience is essential in today's saturated and competitive eTravel industry. At the same time, a lot of time and effort go into the upkeep of a travel website.
The fruits of your labor are in the website's conversion numbers. What if there was a way you could analyze how users scroll and click across your website? Clicktale's Mouse-Tracking Suite lets you see your site through the eyes of your visitors. By tracking their mouse movements and optimizing their experience you can increase conversion rates and maximize your ROI.
After you analyze how people move with the mouse around your website, you understand their behavior, and can make simple changes that will keep them coming back.
Here are several recommendations that will help your website to stand out and you to maximize conversions.
The most important tool in a travel website is the search box. In addition to the search query itself, there should be a lot of content surrounding the search box, such as Most Viewed, Recently Viewed (depending on your history), Recently Searched, and Promotions.
A great deal of money and resources go into this content to try to catch your visitors' attention. However, by analyzing how people move with the mouse or scroll up/down in thousands of travel webpages, we learned that a great majority of visitors focus their attention on the search query only. They search for the specific destination they had in mind when they came to your page. So focus your energy in the search box. Provide at least three filters (no more) to cater to different user preferences, and don't go overboard with the number of results on each page (the average visitor scrolls through only 10 results).
Today, web salesmanship is all about personalization. Your visitors need to be swept off their feet and encouraged not to check travel prices elsewhere. Design and tailor your pages according to the specific profile, usage patterns and behavior of your visitors. Segment your audience by age, gender, geography and many other filters. The more you segment and break down your visitors, the better your chances are of narrowing down specific customer profiles. If you want to sell travel packages to the Caribbean, for example, maybe your target visitors should be residents of London where it's always raining.
Learn in this blog post more about online personalization.
Calendars usually have either a drop-down menu or an actual calendar appearing when people click. Visitors tend to interact more with an actual calendar than with drop-down menus. Make sure the functionality of the calendar is such that the search is made easy, without causing frustration or page abandonment.
If they are looking for a flight, for example, after they select the departure date you want to automatically update the arrival date with a day +1 to be the default. This is a great practice that enables them to go through the process as quickly as possible. The same applies to hotel booking. After they select the check-in date, provide them with a range of prices within a period of, for example, ± 3 days. This prevents them from going back and forth to compare offers and makes their navigation more flexible and pleasant.
If you want to reap benefits from analyzing the way users scroll and click across your website, Clicktale has a plan for you. The Clicktale Priceless Plan* offers everyone the possibility to maximize their website's potential, obtain insights about how their visitors interact with their web pages, and increase conversion rates – all free of charge. The Priceless Plan offers four types of heatmaps – Mouse Move, Mouse Click, Attention & Scroll Reach – for all your webpages – so you can better understand how hundreds of visitors behave in aggregate.
*Terms and services have changed since the publication of this article