The Fueligans have returned from their adventures at the Internet Summit 2014 and have come back with several key takeaways. Marketing trends, particularly in the digital space, are continuing to emerge and evolve and it is our job to stay up to date with the latest and greatest and use this information to better our clients. Take a look at our Top 3 Takeaways from the Internet Summit this year:
Relevant Content Is King
I am just as sick of the whole “content is king” buzz-phrase as you are – but bear with me. YES, we all know that content is good. YES, we all know that great content is even better. But, what does having all of this great content mean if it is irrelevant to what your audience needs and wants?
From a hotel perspective, we might write great articles focused on selling a destination but on a property level site many site visitors are probably ready to book and really aren’t looking for general research type information. They are sold on the destination and perhaps even your hotel, which is great! That being said, give them the information they are looking for. Research-centric and more general area-info type articles work great for a portal site which is designed to capture searchers in the initial research and decision making phases. Once that person is filtered down to a specific property, serve them content to really sell them on that property and content that will answer any and all questions they might have.
Relevancy has several levels, including relevancy for different customer personas and relevancy for different levels of the sales and conversion funnels. Compiling this information and breaking content down on a more specific and relevant level will not only be better for your site because you are giving your guests exactly what they are looking for, thus increasing conversions, but also give you plenty of content to work with, thus increasing overall website traffic.
Example: Rather than posting a generic article on a property site about great restaurants in your area, consider breaking that into “best waterfront dining near (property name)” – thus making it more specific and more personal to that property. Better yet, reach out to your social following and ask them, “hey guys, what is your favorite waterfront restaurant near our property?” to give people coming to that property actual guest recommendations – personal and relevant.
According to a study conducted by Expedia Media Solutions and Compete, guests planning a destination vacation visit 38 sites (on average) prior to actually booking.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
If guests are doing that much research they are obviously looking for plenty of information; they could get that information from you or from another site. Which would you prefer?
Stop taking a single level approach to your content and instead create an actual content strategy with actual content driven goals.
Mobile First, Mobile Forever
2014 marked the first year that mobile has tipped the scale with more than 50% of ecommerce website traffic coming from a mobile device – a statistic that most digital marketers are familiar with. For hotels specifically, this number tends to be slightly lower with about 30% of overall visits coming in from a mobile device (based on Fuel Interactive’s research) but that number is continuing to grow. Consumers are on the go constantly and are conducting more research than ever on more devices than ever and your website needs to be prepared to shine across all devices.
Instead of thinking of your website from strictly a desktop perspective and then leaving a mobile-aware or responsive website design as an afterthought, the mindset is shifting to make the mobile design front and center. People use different devices in different ways and the layout of your website across these devices needs to reflect that with an intuitive and attractive layout and design.
Stop leaving mobile in the shadows and bring it to the forefront of your overall website design strategy.
User-Experience and Testing For The Win
Alankar Tayal hit the nail on the head when he said “The focus of website testing is to clean the windows of your website so visitors find it useful and useable.”
People come to your website because they want something, clear and simple. On average, people will abandon a website within the first 11 seconds if they cannot find what they are looking for.
In the age of uber advanced analytics, we as marketers and analysts sometimes find ourselves in an “analytic-coma”; we have access to vast amounts of information and data on our users but don’t quite know how to piece together the puzzle. Testing and working to simplify and enhance the user experience is the best way to use this data effectively.
For example, let’s say you run a hotel website and notice that your traffic via natural search has increased Y/Y but your revenue is stagnant, resulting in a drop in the conversion rate. After running several conversion path reports, you are able to nail down that guests who enter the site via natural search and then go straight to the accommodations page (which would indicate that this guest is still researching your property and isn’t quite ready to book yet) are dropping like flies. Great – we have narrowed it down to a specific path and page on the website. Now what?
Short of hiring a dedicated and experienced web psychologist, the best way to resolve this issue is to do some user testing. Websites like usertesting.com are an affordable and reliable way to get real, person to person comments and feedback on why your website is not performing the way you think it should be and what you can do to change that.
At the end of the day, a website should be asking four things to determine usability and focus:
1.) Can you see me?
2.) Do you understand me?
3.) Can you use me effectively?
4.) Do you find me useful enough to take action?
If there are any “no’s” to any of those questions, it’s time to do some testing and get to the root of the problem.
Stop sitting on mounds of data and start pulling the trigger on website testing and optimizations.
Have Questions? We Can Help!
Contact Fuel Interactive to learn more about how a great mobile site, content strategy, or user testing and optimizations can help you drive more leads and revenue for your website.