As a hotel marketer, you’re serious about growing your hotel business. So are we! Unfortunately, the internet today is crammed with information, and it can be hard to separate the gold from the gilt.

There’s an abundance of blogs, videos, reports and studies out there, and only some of them are going to have useful information. Even fewer are going to have information that’s useful to you, the smart hotelier. That can make it hard to find authentic sources that actually help.

So, in today’s post, we’re letting you in on a few secrets. Specifically, we’re telling you about a few of Net Affinity’s favorite resources on the internet for the modern hotel marketer. We’ll focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) tools and resources that will make you a smarter hotelier. Conversion optimisation is the art and science of tweaking each element of your site and marketing campaigns to drive up the percentage of visitors to your site that convert into real bookings.

With conversion rate optimisation techniques applied to your marketing efforts and website, you’ll be able to refine your strategy to drive direct bookings.

Let’s get started!

1. WooRank

woorank conversion

 

WooRank reviews and analyzes website to spot conversion issues, and makes recommendations for improvements. They also run a pretty great CRO blog for digital marketers like you and me. They don’t post as often as some of the resources below, but they post top-quality recommendations any hotelier can benefit from. From telling a brand story to making the most of your hotel website, WooRank is a great first stop on your conversion optimisation journey.

Here’s one of our top picks:

18 Conversion Optimization Tools To Gain More Clients With Your Website

This article is a resource within a resource, really. It give you 18 great tools to help you convert ‘lookers’ into ‘bookers’. Specifically, it addresses the problems of getting email addresses, messy landing pages, tracking booking abandonments and more. Those, in our experience, are key issues for many independent hotel marketers.

2. Book Direct SeriesBook Direct

This is one of our own resources. Our Book Direct series is designed to take you, the independent hotelier, on a step-by-step journey towards a successful book direct strategy. We do this by focusing on CRO throughout every aspect of your marketing, from your hotel website to a January sales campaign. Building direct bookings ultimately comes down to taking control of your product: by being protective of it and selective about who and when you sell to, you’re in control of the booking process.

Check out the series for information on holistic revenue management, paid search, website content, retargeting and more.

Here’s one of our favourite articles:

Analytics Unlocked: How to Use Google to Find Your Perfect Customer

One of the most important items you can have in your toolkit is a customer persona.

Customer personas are a model of your ‘ideal’ customer. They represent the person most likely to come to your site and book a stay at your hotel, and it isn’t based on guesswork. It’s based on raw, real data that you’ve turned to your advantage.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use Google Analytics’ demographic data to create personas.

3. Conversion XLconversion xl

ConversionXL is one of the strongest CRO blogs out there. It never fails to provide rigorous, data-driven content that you can put to use right away. You won’t find fluff-filled or generic content that’s been plastered everywhere else. Instead, you’ll be greeted with meaty articles that tackle topics like UX design, research, analytics, copy, testing, and more.

These topics are incredibly valuable for creating guest personas for your hotel, creating content for your website and marketing materials, and finding out what works and what doesn’t for your hotel site.

Here’s one of our favourite posts:

11 Things That Work More Often Than Not in A/B Tests

Split testing is essential for better conversions. However, what works for one website may not work for another. There are no guarantees in conversion optimization. This post takes you by the hand and shows you 11 tactics for improving your split tests and raising conversions.

It also features advice from leading conversion rate optimizers who are at the front lines of CRO . If you’re looking to quickly find tactics for improving conversions on your hotel website, this post is a must read.

4. The Five Second Test

five second test conversion

The five second test is a way to get a large number of first impressions in a world where speed matters. Making a quick impression is key with display ads, social media and on your homepage. If you can’t hook visitors in a just a few seconds, you’re going to lose them forever.

On Five Second Test, all you need to do is upload a design. From there, the site shows people the design for 5 seconds and asks them what they can remember. You get to see the full responses and a cloud of the commonly used words. The first 20 responses are free, and if you want more there’s a monthly fee.

All those responses can tell you if your design is soaring or falling flat. Do people understand why they should book a wedding with you? Do they understand your unique selling points for a family break? These are key points to pay attention to when you’re working on a campaign’s CRO. You can even submit a screenshot of your homepage to find out what’s standing out. Running a five second test can give you a quick answer to how your design is performing.

5. Conversion Rate Experts

conversion rate experts CRO

Conversion Rate Experts is a unique CRO blog. The writing team is made up of consultants from all around the globe, all with their own expertise in specific industries and topics. They have also been the “go to” guys for worldwide brands like Facebook, Amazon and Google.
With that kind of experience and expertise behind it, their blog contains extremely insightful content on a number of conversion rate-related subjects. Take a look, and find out how their articles can be turned to powering up your hotel’s marketing strategy.

Must Read Post For Hoteliers:

How we made $1 million for SEOMoz – with one landing page and a few emails

This fantastic article breaks down how Conversion Rate Experts boosted SEOMoz’s revenue by $1 million a year. You’ll gain a ton of marketing and CRO insights from this article that can be used to improve your hotel business, and you’ll be a step closer to thinking like a true conversion rate optimizer.

Your Turn

What are your “go to” tools and resources for learning about how to snag more guests and raise conversions on your site? How do you make sure your campaigns are on-target and sure to make an impression? Please share with us in the comments below.