Why Meta-search, Search, Social, Local, and Mobile Conspire to Kill Conversion Rates

What's happening to your conversion rate?Paid search. Organic search. Metasearch. Email marketing. Daily deals sites. Ratings and reviews. Social and local and mobile. How in the world is a poor travel marketer to navigate the myriad choices facing your customers today?

For that matter, how is your poor customer supposed to navigate that landscape?

Anyone familiar with “The Paradox of Choice” understands why this creates a challenging environment in which to try and sell travel.

It’s not all bad news, of course. Savvy travel marketers are using these very tools to engage their guests and get customers to tell stories on their behalf. But, there’s little doubt this “paradox of choice” environment will affect one part of your online marketing: your conversion rate. I explain why in more detail in my latest Travel Tuesday post on Tim Peter Thinks: “Kiss Your Current Conversion Rate Goodbye.”

And if you’re interested in learning more, egister to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Oh, and, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of growing your conversions (and your conversion rate), including:

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What Voice-Powered Search Will Do For Travel Marketing

Changes in searchThe drive market (i.e., folks traveling by car with no reservations booked) has long represented the holy grail for travel marketers, an almost mythical creation, promising fabulous rewards if only someone could figure out how to reach it.

Not that no one’s tried. Obviously, outdoor media has dominated the push for drive market travelers. But the returns from print and outdoor have proved mixed and attribution almost impossible (and, yes, there is some correlation there).

But, there’s hope on the horizon. Search is changing in a big way. And with those changes comes the opportunity to reach drive market travelers — as well as loads of other folks, too.

You can read all about this development in this week’s Thinks Travel Tuesday post: What Watson, Xbox, and Google Are Telling You Right Now. Check it out if you get the chance.

You can also register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web, including:

The Rise of Mobile and What You Can Do About It

The rise of mobileTravel Industry Wire has a must-read on five online travel trends set to explode. Here’s their take on mobile:

“…mobile services must fulfill a basic need. So apps may not be for everybody but firms should be optimizing for mobile. Before doing so they must carefully consider their target audience.

You can’t really talk about mobile without thinking about social and of course local. If any further proof is needed: in March this year 350 million Facebook users (who are also consumers!) had accessed the social network via a mobile device.

Hotwire President Clem Bason argues that: ‘A number of companies have integrated social media into their mobile offerings, but no travel company has completely nailed it yet.’ ” [Emphasis mine]

Additionally, recent research from the Pew Internet & American Life study suggests that mobile has reached its tipping point while Google provides clear insights into the mutli-screen world. So, if mobile’s so important, why aren’t more travel companies — a sector where mobile’s a no-brainer — nailing it?

The worst part? It’s not actually that hard. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to belittle the work needed. It’s real. But the fundamentals of a mobile strategy remain clear. For instance, check out the following:

If you’re looking at how mobile can work better for your brand in 2013, give me a call or drop me a linel. I’m happy to help.

Mobile strategy tips from HEDNA

Anyone who’s been around the travel industry for long knows about HEDNA, the organization dedicated to easing distribution for hoteliers and distribution channel operators. I was fortunate enough to keynote HEDNA’s spring meeting in Spain last week and can honestly say I learned at least as much as I shared with the audience. So, today’s recapped 5 amazing mobile strategy tips from HEDNA over on the main blog. Check it out.

And, please remember, I’m available to speak at your next event, too. You can read all about how I can help you have a successful conference here.

BBC – Travel – The free Wi-Fi war

The BBC looks at free WiFi (or the lack thereof) among hotel brands in an article called, “The free Wi-Fi war”. The article opens:

“Ask any business traveller about his or her biggest travel-related gripes and you’ll undoubtedly find hotel fees for in-room Internet access near the top of the list.

As much as travellers (and travel writers) squawk about how wrong it feels to have to pay for something that has become as basic to a hotel stay as hot water, the hotel industry has resisted – especially at the high-end.

But I think we might have reached a tipping point in the war against these fees.”

Expedia’s expansion plans for offline channels: Expedia opens its first CruiseShipCenter (Expedia CSC) franchise location this month,

TravelTrade has an interview with Paul Brown, president of Expedia North American and Expedia Partner Services Group about Expedia’s CruiseShipCenter franchises specifically, and Expedia’s offline plans in general.