What does a ‘conversion rate optimizer’ do?
CRO is the abbreviation for ‘conversion rate optimization’. The special thing about online marketing is that it is often much better measurable than traditional marketing communication. One pleasing consequence is that more and more hotels put the question whether their website in combination with the webshop or the booking engine brings reasonable results. For that, the key figure of conversion is especially suitable.
Here two different values are a bit mixed up:
- The conversion from a visitor of a website into a booking or requesting guest.
- The conversion of a user of the booking engine or of a webshop into a booking guest.
- A third key figure derived from that is certainly very exciting: A portion of the website visitors start the search for availability and exact offers through a professional page design with good usability.
Those who want to optimize the conversion should keep an eye on all the three key figures.
Conversion Optimizer is a new profession
When a significantly large market has to face a new challenge, then out of the experience, fast-moving specialists show up, who want to help with knowledge, advice, and technology, to meet this challenge. Some develop a piece of software that allows the price comparison of the direct offers of the hotels with external sales channels.
Other providers promise a comprehensive problem solution and offer numerous possibilities aimed at reaching the following:
- To keep the visitors longer on your page
- To draw the attention and direct them to specific messages – also individualized.
- To get the contact data of the interested party, so that possibly, with further communication, one can still generate a booking at the end.
- To enter into dialogue, e.g. using chat tools
- A better measurement of the entry channels and exit points
Unfortunately, the use of numerous tools is not always completely risk-free. If for example through the implementation of such an application, the general performance is very much affected, then this can quickly prevent a good conversion. The risk does not only lie in the useless purchase of a software and possibly in the payment of relevant annual contracts. The risk is that the visitors will simply change their mind and book a different hotel.
Do you ask the right questions when it comes to software?
- Through which functionalities the visitor will be influenced (hopefully positively)?
- Which conversion do you use as a basis? How do you measure the results of your CRO measures? Which optimization cases can you describe/demonstrate? How do you change in these case studies, the cost per transaction? How do you determine the return on investment (ROI) and prove it?
- What are the technical requirements? Where does the implementation of your tools take place (website, booking engine?). What tools do you already have experience with?
- Which example pages can we look at?
- What support and consulting services are part of the implementation/use?
- How are the implementation and use calculated? Is there a trial period? What are the cancellation terms?
- And the most important question: How can we measure the success of your tools?
A good conversion has many reasons
To make a good conversion is a complex topic. So be warned against quick solutions. Using a tool to optimize the conversion often cannot solve the fundamental problems which we must tackle first:
Examples of general conditions of a good conversion:
- Current know-how of the website operator, the focus on results, the resources for implementation of optimizations and the measurement of the outcome.
- Modern, responsive website with tracking of results. Optimized visibility on Google and clearly addressing the target groups. Design, skillfully and from every useful point (and over every hardware of the user) leads to the dialogue and buying process.
- Modern, well-furnished booking engine with perfect, always up-to-date availability and preferably with fewer clicks to a completion of the sale.
- Up to date and strategically planned prices and tariffs, tailored to the specific needs of the most important guest segments. No better offers in external sales.
- Clever, traffic generating campaigns that put emphasis not on quantity but on quality.
- Always planning clever test scenarios (such as new landing pages with a different call to action variations), and review of the results.
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