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  • Writer's picturesarahhabsburg

9 Ways to Increase the CTR on Your Website

Driving your target customers to your website is a job in its own right, but once they are there, you want to turn them into paying customers as efficiently as possible.

One way to do this is by getting really strategic about the Call-to-Actions, or CTAs, that you add to your site.

For sure you have experienced the joy of seeing that perfect t-shirt on a webpage or a Facebook ad. You click on it with your mind made up to purchase it right away if they have the right size, but then your find that the click through actually takes you to the home page of the site and not to the actual t-shirt itself. Are you going to start searching for that very t-shirt through all the available products? Probably not. Sale lost.

It is absolutely crucial to make the customer experience on your website as painless and intuitive as possible. This is called reducing the customer mental load.

Analysing your CTAs to drive the decision-making process is a brilliant way to get ahead of the game.

So here goes with 9 tips to get your started on your CTA analysis mission!

#1. Leverage your image galleries

Adding image galleries to your website increases the time a user stays on the site by 4x, and results in a 30% decrease in bounce rate.

Get specific by adding product-specific galleries where the end image directs the customers to the action you want them to take.

An example is, if you sell activities, add in an image gallery that showcases the best of each activity. Then, in the last image, add a call-to-action button that, when clicked on, takes the customer straight to the place where they can purchase that activity on your website.

Don’t be afraid of using more than one standard image gallery where pictures of your rooms, lobby, views, breakfast, and activities are all lumped together.

Separate them out and place them on each relevant page on your site, and then add in that CTA button at the end of each one.

#2. Take visuals to another level

Did you know that 92% of internet users say that the ability to view a 360° tour is essential when browsing online, and hotels with a virtual tour are clicked on an average of 10 times more than those without one?

You can create a virtual tour with your own Smartphone or consider investing in a professional 360° option.

Another option to get smart with your visuals is to start your own YouTube channel! It is easier than you think and given that YouTube is used as a search engine, by titling your videos with questions that your guests have about your destination, you can really start to drive organic traffic your way.

Add in some videos of the customer experience at your property and the activities available in your destination, set them all to public, embed them on your website and watch your CTAs increase.

#3. Get creative with your CTA labels

“Book Now” is a great converter but does it really make you stand out from the crowd?

Take a look at the texts you currently have on your CTA buttons and ask yourself if they make you feel inspired?

Get bold and swap out the standard ones like "Reserve Here" and "Book Now" for something like “Ready to Eat?” or “Feeling Hungry?” as CTAs for restaurant reservations.

What about “Be our Guest” as an alternative CTA for booking your rooms?

Use this opportunity to incorporate elements of your own Unique Value Proposition and company ethos.

My most popular coaching programme, Amplify Hotel Marketing, covers how important your Unique Value Proposition is to your marketing strategy, as well as exactly how to define it. Find out more here.

#4. Use the language of your target customers

This strategy is super powerful and worth spending a good 15 minutes thinking about.

Reflect back to the words that your target customers use when they speak to you. Take a look at what they write in their emails when enquiring about your accommodation or services.

Do they say or write “reserve” or “book”?

Do they call your rooms “rooms”, “units” or “cabins”?

Do they ask about “tours”, “activities”, “itineraries” or “excursions”?

By using their language in the text of the CTAs on your website you create an immediate connection with your customer. They subconsciously feel that you “get them”, and this can be enough to drive that decision to go ahead and take the action that you want them to take.

#5. Change “Book Now” to “Check Availability”

We already said above that “Book Now” is the standard default. There is nothing wrong with it, and for some target audiences it works.

However, there is research that proves that by swapping out “Book Now” for “Change Availability”, you can increase engagement by 42%!

Take a look at this 3-minute video here.

There is one caveat though, my suggestion is that you use the "Check Availability" button only when it takes you to a list of all your rooms, and not when you are driving the customer to one room type only.

The reason for this is simple.

When the “Check Availability” button takes a customer to the full list of rooms, they can review which of the rooms they prefer and can immediately see if there is availability for that room.

If there is availability, that is where your “Book Now” button comes in (or something more inspiring like “Be our Guest”), and if not, they then still have the option to choose one of your other room types.

I also received some great feedback about button switching from a valued member of the Building Tourism Resilience Facebook group. Roy at The Funky Dodo Backpackers Hostel in Belize shared how he switched the "Book Now" button to a WhatsApp contact button on his Facebook page, and that that generated loads more engagement.

Often the smallest changes have the biggest impact!

#6. Add in an element of scarcity

Scarcity is one of the biggest psychological drivers when it comes to customer buying decisions.

Don’t do this all the time, but by using wording on CTAs like “Valid until…”, or “Available until…”, you instil a desire to buy something while it is still available.

“Register here for immediate member discounts” is also a great way to get people onto your email list and to compete with the member options offered by the OTAs.

#7. Add blogs to inspire further

Leverage the power of providing more relevant information to your target audiences by adding a blog to your website. Use a problem-solution path structure in your text that presents the concern, worry, objection or problem your customer has, and then present a solution that then leads to the relevant call to action with a link directly from the blog itself.

An example could be:

  • Target audience is a family with small children

  • Problem they have is not being certain there will be enough Covid-friendly things to do in the destination

  • Create a blog called “Top 5 Covid-friendly activities with kids in [name of destination]”.

  • Acknowledge the concern, offer solutions that you know are tried-and-tested and reliable, and then add in a "Check Availability" button on the blog that takes the customer straight to the family rooms on your website.

To learn more about adding a blog to your website, check out this previous post here:

#8. Use a website heat map

Work out where best to place your CTAs by using a website heat map that monitors cursor and/or screen activity.

Most simple heatmaps monitor clicks. Each click on the site is one data point. The more clicks there are on a specific area, the “hotter” that area is.

On a technical level, a heatmap is generally a script that runs on a page, tracking aggregate data about clicks on the page. Some are more sophisticated than others, but they all generally just monitor user session information, to help you get an idea of how users are using your page.

The best on the market is Crazy Egg, so if you want to get serious about using heatmaps, sign up for a free trial.

A free alternative is Plerdy so if you want to just play around, this is a great place to start.

#9. Go through each CTA as if you were a customer

Check, and then check again.

It takes time to overhaul your website and it can be easy to stop when you have completed the update. But it is an absolute MUST to spend some time checking that all the CTA buttons work, and that they take you where you want them to go.

It can be so frustrating when, as a customer, you are finally ready to make that purchase, and then you click on the button to find an Error 404 page, or a page opens that is not that one you expected to find.

So, there we go. Loads of food for thought!

Spending the time to review your website CTAs can have an immediate impact on your click through rates, so carve out some time this week to take a look at yours.

I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences of overhauling your website CTAs. Scroll right down to the bottom of the page to leave a comment.

And if you need a bit more inspiration, check out this Top 5 Consumer Travel Trends video by clicking on the image below:


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