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Key tips to turn more website visitors into bookings

Key tips to turn more website visitors into bookings

Our last blog post gave our readers a clear plan on how to attract visitors to their website using search engines and track performance. This week, we will focus on converting those new visitors into buyers!

How many of you have landed on a website and found it too cluttered, not user-friendly and went back to Google looking for another website that makes it easier to find what you want? Unfortunately this is too common in the tourism industry. You can have well optimised website sending lots of traffic from Google but once visitors land on your site it just gets too complex and they leave. It’ similar to paying for a lot of advertising which generates many phone calls or walk-ins and having a grumpy receptionist who turns people away.

Benchmarking your tour business against Australian competitors

  • Do you currently offer a tour map on your website?
    Only 60% of tour websites have a map!
  • Do you offer online booking and online payments with instant confirmation?
    Currently only 4 out of 10 tour operators do this in Australia
  • Do you use online reviews on your website to entice visitors to book?
    Less than half of tour websites currently use online reviews.

Step 2: Attract your visitors to your website

(if you are looking for step 1 refer to this blog post)


Your website is live, your Google Analytics reveals that it’s getting traffic but you are not quite sure how many of those visitors convert into buyers… You definitely know it can be improved and are looking for solutions on how to make quick fixes that will maximse the return on investment (tell me how to get this done for my website)

Case study

One of the most cost-effective ways to ensure you turn as many website visitors into buyers is to look at what is happening when they visit your website. For less than $170 you can get 3 independent users to review your website and they will video their experience as they navigate your website AND give you clear pointers on how to make simple yet effective changes. We find it’s a real eye opener for most people.

For example, is your buy now button hidden in the menu or just a small link below the page fold that the majority of visitors simply miss. Take a look below:

turning visitors into buyers - example

Where is your book now button located on your website? Is it on every page AND below the description of each and every one of your tour?

Location of the book now buttn

Quizz: how customer-friendly is your website?


  1. Phone number clearly located at the the top  (1 point)
  2. Contact us button included in the navigation (1 point)
  3. Book now button included in the navigation that stands out (2 points)
  4. Image of your key product and options visible above the fold, without scrolling (2 points)

Main product page (e.g. rooms or tours)

  1. Listing that neatly presents the different rooms and/or tours available with quick reference and price (3 points)
  2. Each room/tour also has a separate page with further information (2 points)
  3. Testimonials are visible (1 point)
  4. You display your TripAdvisor testimonials (1 point)

Other pages

  1. You have an up-to-date photo and video gallery (2 points)
  2. You have a specials/packages price (1 point)
  3. You have a map of your tours (1 point)
  4. You have a facilities page (1 point)
  5. You have a things to do page (1 point)
  6. You also have an FAQ page (1 point)

Important conversion elements

  1. Your website has a LiveChat button (2 points)
  2. You have tested all the email addresses and contact forms listed on your website (3 point)
  3. You have a call to action at the bottom of every page and within the text (e.g. the book now is not only located at the top of the page) (3 point)
  4. Your website is mobile-ready (2 points)


There is a total of 30 points.

  • 25 points and above: well done, your website conversion rate should be as high as your phone conversion rate. Is this the case?
  • 15 points and above: your website lacks key elements that travellers request and use all the time. Your conversion rate could dramatically be improved
  • Less than 15 points: there is some serious work to do. At the moment your website isn’t being the sales and marketing sales machine your business requires.

Is your website going to support the improvements required?

Hopefully by now you have identified some quick changes you can make to your website and realise that your website needs to be your top-performing sales person. The question remains: is it physically and economically practical to improve your website?

The first element you need to look at is your content management system, which is the engine powering your website. Is it like an old Renauld car or can it be tuned and oiled? If you are not sure what website CMS you have take a look at or talk to your web developer.

If you are using WordPress, Drupal, DNN, Joomla, SilverStripe well you are in luck as these systems come with lots of little applications that can be plugged in to make your website conversion-friendly at a low cost. If your website is powered by systems such as Dreamweaver, FrontPage or god forbid Flash you are better off investing in a new website as it will be much more cost effective!

What system do we recommend?

Here at Untangle My Web we have been training tourism operators for 5 years and we have heard and seen horror stories when it comes to websites that don’t and simply can’t convert. We have seen it all. For instance, one of our workshop attendees was told by her graphic designer that he was not going to add their phone number to their website homepage as it would “break the design”. Well that’s clever. How were clients going to book a table at that restaurant?

Our directors Fabienne and Adam decided 3 years ago that enough was enough and developed the Smart Tourism Website which is a search engine friendly, conversion-friendly, mobile optimised and social media ready. Take a look for yourself at our tourism website designed for tourism businesses!  It has all the features travellers expect and operators need.

Smart Tourism Website

Next week we will look at how to use social media effectively.

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