Major factors impacting hotel website conversion and solutions
Traffic, devices, locations and rates are the four major factors that inpact hotel website conversion rates, but looking only at conversion rate solely can miss the bigger picture.
The conversion rate of a hotel website is determined by so many factors that one shouldn’t be fooled into trying to meet an industry average.
Dozens of variables play a role when it comes to conversion rate. One of those is the quality of traffic. As a general rule, the more pertinent the traffic the higher the conversion rate.
Retargeting tends to convert extremely well (2.19 % conversion rate), over twice the average conversion of display pre-targeting (0.92 %).
Advertising aside, direct traffic is, obviously, one the most qualified source and with its 2.20 % conversion rate, falls just behind Google Hotel Ads, Facebook display and TripAdvisor metasearch ads.
Organic search, on the other hand, performs averagely, with a 1.55 % conversion rate, this comes partly for the same reasons as the lower AdWords traffic and partly because organic search also includes long tail traffic such as "spa in London" or other such traffic which doesn’t convert into room nights.
At the bottom of the conversion rate podium, unsurprisingly, we have blogs, with only a 0.20 % conversion rate (to put data into context: blog conversion is 20 times smaller than Google Hotel Ads conversion), indicating how much blogs and influence marketing, in general, tend to affect the "I want to get away" micro-moment, when the traveler is still at the early stages of his planning.
This doesn’t mean the traffic isn’t important, it is part of your brand awareness, but since it is so early on the conversion funnel it is not often visible especially not on the last-click model.
According to web analytics company StatCounter, on October 2016, internet usage on mobile devices exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide in the western world.
Navigating on mobile devices is quite different from desktop devices. On a desktop one tends to be more focused on an action and completing it, whereas a mobile is used to check rates, images, information in small fleeting moments. While watching TV, on the subway and so forth.
To put things into perspective, desktop had a 6 times higher conversion, with 4.5 % in 2017 and 4,1 in 2016. Tablet conversion rate was in between the two devices, with 2% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2016.
Results were pretty apparent, with properties located in capital cities (2.56% average conversion) overperforming major cities ones (2.35 %) and seasonal touristic location (1.78%).
This is not entirely bad news for tourist locations, as it is important to highlight that, while capital and major cities hotels tend to sell their rooms directly to the final guests via their official website and OTAs, seasonal hotels and resorts rely more on intermediaries that sell the hotel indirectly to third parties (tour operators, wholesalers, travel agencies, GDS, etc.).
Another unsurprising factor that highly affects conversion rate is the average hotel price. Of the data set we analyzed, properties with daily rates below €150 per night have twice the conversion of the ones selling at €900 and above (2.74% vs 1.35%).
On the ADR variable case, the data we analyzed formed a clear descending curve: hotels between €150 and €300 ADR have a conversion rate of 2.41 %, hotels between €300 and €600 at 2.28% and hotels between €600 and €900 at 1.85%.
There are more factors that come into play on this which is how high end hotels also tend to have more sessions and often sessions for people who are just curious about the hotel. It often happens that they are mentioned in an article or on social media which inflates the website sessions.
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