Not that long ago, I discussed how 2 simple analyzes might reveal problematic steps on your website. The inevitable step after finding such places is to test different variations in order to find the one with better performance. Usually, this gold digging is done with the use of A/B or multivariate testing.
A/B testing allows you to show the different version/s of your website to a sample of your visitors at the same time. The objective is to find a variant that contributed to the website’s goal accomplishment in the most productive way.
I recently read a book by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen that inspired me to provide you with some ideas about what to test on your website. This ideas can be mostly applied even to test your hotel mobile application.
Calls to action (CTAs)
Many people’s perception is that A/B testing is about testing the buttons on your website. Nevertheless it isn’t, testing your buttons (calls to action) is definitely the important (and many times the first) step of the testing process.
Here are some idea questions to ask prior the testing:
- Could change in the copy increase the number of direct bookings? Would Reserve now, Book now, or Make your reservation make a difference in my booking conversion rate? Could be found any difference if I change the size, shape and color of the button?
- Could the placement of the button make the difference? Should I prioritize particular call to action over the others?
- If I would reduce the number of calls to action, would the booking conversion rate increase?
- Would my potential guests click rather to hyperlinks or to buttons?
There is a lot of emphasis given towards the content. Content quality is perhaps the only factor that has been unchanged in terms of Google Search ranking. It can also bring more guests to your table.
Try to ask these questions in order to find ideas about what to test:
- Do my potential guests prefer to scroll down the page or do they rather click through to another page in order to learn more?
- Is the tone of the voice I use appealing enough? Could I get more guest bookings if I would spoke to them differently?
- Do potential guests find information about your hotel (with the particular emphasis to “About us” section)? Could we get more bookings by providing more information about our values etc.?
Over the long time of website testing, copy itself proved to be responsible for the most dramatic changes in conversion rates. Ask yourself these questions in order to find some inspirations to test:
- Is the headline on my website persuasive/attractive enough?
- Should I use longer description of my services and rooms, or would the shorter description work better? Would bulleted lists work better than paragraphs?
- Do the behavior of my guests change if I change the website font to a larger one, add higher/contract colors or different type of font?
Photos and videos
The majority of information is consumed by human’s eyes. However, you certainly know from your experience that not all the visual content made you ever purchase the product. Changing this elements on your hotel website might also have an impact to your booking completion rate.
Here are some questions to ask prior the testing:
- Would guests prefer more pictures of my hotel over the 360° tour?
- Which image on our landing page is the most attractive one that makes guests scroll down?
- Is carousel performing better than static images or video on my website?
- Do people like more the video with male or female voice?
Yes, one of the most important things if your potential guests decide to actually become ones. Some critical questions to ask are as follows:
- Should I reduce the number of steps in my booking process?
- Should I keep the process on one page or should I spread it over multiple pages?
- Is the booking completion rate higher if I hide the navigation?
- Is the booking completion rate higher if I provide more/less room options?
- Is the booking completion rate higher if I provide more/less payment options?
Forms are the worst parts of your websites (for your visitors) because it requires visitors to actually start using keyboard. However, no booking could probably happen without passing this step. This is why you should ask the following questions:
- Can I reduce the lenght of the form? Are there any unnecessary information I ask that might prevent my guests from booking?
- Would adding a reassurance about guest’s data security increase the conversion rate?
- Would adding a special offer or discount contribute to the higher conversion rate?
There are additional areas of your website that might be tested, such as navigation, the mobile version of your website, or pricing. However, after asking abovementioned questions, you will probably have enough hypotheses to start testing and improving your hotel website.
Question 1: What are you going to test first?
Question 2: What experience with A/B testing do you already have? Share your findings and results in comments!