An operator recently contacted me wanting to know how to increase bookings and when I had a look at their website, I couldn’t even see how to make a booking, and I consider myself pretty tech-savvy!
When was the last time you looked at your own website through the eyes of your customer? It’s important to ensure your website is a clear representation of your business as you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Do a self-audit of your site
There are plenty of companies who will charge to do an audit of your website, but with a keen eye and some helpful tips you can make some simple changes that may increase traffic and potential bookings at no cost.

The following are some questions you should be asking yourself about your website:

  • What is the first thing you notice when you visit your website? Is this what you are trying to portray to your customers?
  • Is it obvious where customers can make a booking and how? Ideally the booking page should be no more than 2 clicks away
    Do all the links work?
  • Have you integrated Facebook & twitter so people can easily like your product and see what others have written about you?

Make it work on mobile devices
As screens get smaller through the use of smartphones and tablets it’s important to view your website from these devices to see how your website reacts. A common issue is a website may work perfectly on a desktop computer, yet on a mobile device with touch capabilities the user experience is just plain horrible.

Here at Trade Me, 50% of our traffic now comes from mobile devices and this is something a business needs to consider as smartphone use continues to increase.

Keep track of your site analytics
If you want to get into the nitty gritty of your website you could sign up with Google Analytics to give you data on what visitors are doing on your site, which pages they spend the most time on and numbers of visitors. More importantly, though, is to track your bookings back to referral source to see which sources are most valuable.

Customise the bookings pages
Another way to enhance the booking experience for your customers is with a custom template. This matches the BookIt booking page with the look and feel of your website to give your customers a seamless booking experience. It adds an element of trust to your site as the customers feel like they haven’t even left your site. Check out Sailbarbary and Discover Waitomo as examples of custom templates in action.

Some other tips:
Don’t forget to add the BookIt facebook booking button to gain additional booking exposure
Increase the value of each booking by using BookIt add-on’s. These can be anything at all and our most popular add-ons include packed lunches, additional tours, photo/video packs, transfers or even t-shirts.
Don’t forget to check out the competition to see how your website compares to theirs. Is it obvious to a customer comparing both sites why yours is better and offers something different?
It doesn’t have to cost the earth to build your site. Sites like Weebly offer free website building tools, or hosting with Go Daddy even the totally un-technical can be the master of their website domain.

What have you done recently to improve your site? Share your ideas with us.