The importance of user testing hotel websites

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User Testing Hotel Websites

Day to day, we crunch a lot of numbers in the hotel industry, especially online where the wealth of data available can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. Evaluating the data provided by tools like Google Analytics gives us significant insight into the behaviour of website visitors, but we’re often left with questions like;

  • Why is nobody booking our fantastic new 4-for-3 nights promotion?
  • Why do so many people leave the booking engine after selecting their room type?
  • Why does the rooms page have such a high bounce rate (those that leave the site after viewing only one page)?
  • What are peoples first impression of your website? (Remembering that site load time can affect site abandonment)

Sometimes the answers are obvious and the data will signpost a solution, but often there’s a nagging question that the data cannot answer in isolation.

Getting an unbiased perspective on your website and/or booking engine can prove invaluable in answering these questions. User testing forces us to look at things differently; through the eyes of someone who may not be familiar with our business, or even our industry.

User testing hotel websites can highlight where we’ve assumed too much of our visitors, where we’ve used terminology only familiar to those in hospitality, where there’s major barriers to a visitor’s conversion from ‘looker to booker’ or where we might find opportunity to improve the website in general.

User test the waters

User testing can often be perceived as expensive, time consuming and overly complicated. Really, it’s as complicated as you want it to be. We recently came across this really helpful free tool, ‘Peek’ User Testing, that serves as a simple, straightforward, introduction into user testing.

It gives you a 5 minute ‘peek’ (a video) of a real person navigating your website and giving their honest and unbiased feedback. Intrigued, we signed up Hotel Speak for a quick ‘peek’; you can watch the results by clicking the video below.

Why not user test your site? Or even test a competitors to see what they might be doing better than you? Hotel Speak is not affiliated with Peek/User Testing in any way – we just think it’s a great tool to get you thinking about your hotel website’s usability. Request a peek of your own website at http://peek.usertesting.com/.

Hotel Speak Video Review


80 DAYS Benchmark
80 DAYS Benchmark
Sam Weston is an experienced digital marketing professional who has worked both client and agency side with a focus on the hospitality industry. Currently, he is Marketing Manager for a full service creative and digital marketing agency, 80 DAYS, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Any views expressed on this site are his own.