5 Simple Website Tips for a Big Boost in Revenue

Mashable recently featured an article about a handful of simple website tweaks that, combined, could increase a business' sales 300 percent.

While aimed at business websites in general, we think the five suggestions highlighted in the article are especially relevant to the websites of businesses in hospitality and tourism. Like the article says, these simple, low-cost website updates can have a big impact on attracting and retaining customers, boosting revenue and brand loyalty.

Here's a rundown of Mashable's smart website tips and why we think they're especially relevant to you as a lodging or tour operator:

1. Add video content.

According to the Mashable article, videos on your home page can increase conversion rates by 86 percent. Human brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than textual information and customers tend to stay longer on sites with videos, so adding video to your website is an effective way to increase customer engagement. Revinate (citing Google's latest Traveler Study) also makes a strong case for online video. The Google study found that 35 percent of leisure travelers and 56 percent of business travelers watched travel-related videos within the past six months and, of those, 54 percent viewed travel-related videos to help them decide on accommodation. While professionally made videos look very swish, an engaging clip doesn't have to cost you a lot. There are video production options for every budget, especially if you have a knack for filming and editing yourself! A video tour of your property in its best light, a short tourism clip of your local destination and even videos of your property made by guests are all great subjects for engaging your customers. In addition to embedding video on your property's website, make sure you also post your videos to YouTube and on your social media channels too.

2. Go global.

Making your website multilingual can improve your market potential by as much as 200 percent, says Mashable. The relevance of this suggestion to the hospitality and tourism industries goes without saying. For the most accurate and natural translations, manual translation by qualified translators is the way to go. You could use your reservation system data to find out where most of your international customers are from and have your website translated accordingly. Otherwise, translation management systems can be integrated with your website, producing instant, automated translations by machine. While we've all seen the unintentionally humorous results of automatic translation, the technology is improving and the odd translation hiccup may even be seen as somewhat charming (as long as it still makes sense!).

3. Prevent downtime.

In this online world in which we live, we take instant information for granted. Unlike the early days of the Internet, when we were content to sit and wait in anticipation for a webpage to unfold over dial-up, 57 percent of us now abandon a website if it doesn't load within about three seconds. A fast website can help keep prospective guests on your site — hopefully long enough to make a booking! Keeping things simple and employing the right Web designer plays a big part in improving your website's scalability, preventing slow load times and downtime. There are plenty of free website speed tests that can check your page load time. According to Mashable, a fast website has the potential to increase sales by 24 percent.

4. Use responsive design.

The Mashable article says that optimizing your website for all screens (desktop, tablet, smartphone and whatever else is coming) has the potential to increase sales by 29 percent. That potential will only continue to rise. Here at World Web Technologies, we've been advocating responsive Web design for a while now; it's an efficient way to cater to customers on mobile devices and desktop computers with just one flexible website. Optimizing your website for all screens is especially important now as 89 percent of travelers who research travel online move across different devices to complete travel-related tasks. Read our previous post, Don't Snub the Small Screen, for more on the case to optimize your website for mobile through responsive design. Google also prefers responsive websites (because they maintain the same URL across devices), ranking responsive sites higher in search results.

5. Post customer reviews.

Customer reviews are important for all types of businesses, especially for those in the travel industry. Nearly half of travelers check online reviews before booking a hotel room, mostly via travel sites like Expedia.com, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com. In addition to encouraging your customers to post reviews of your business on these websites, it's also a smart idea to post customer reviews directly on your own site. Whether you hand-pick reviews to post manually or embed a TripAdvisor review widget, featuring customer testimonials on your website increases trust and means that your prospects don't have to leave your site to read reviews that can help persuade them to make a booking. Adding reviews to your website has the potential to increase your sales by 18 percent. For the full Mashable story, read their 5 Tweaks to Your Website That Could Increase Sales 300%.