Your vacation rental business needs a direct booking engine that fulfills one purpose above everything else: driving more direct bookings through the best possible booking engine conversion.
Signal is Beyond’s solution for vacation rental websites with a direct booking engine. We dramatically increase direct website bookings and margins with professionally built, beautifully designed websites optimized for discovery and conversion – check out a few Signal sites here and here.
This year we’ve been working hard to redesign and improve the Signal booking experience. I’m thrilled to share specifics of the ongoing work we’re doing to continuously improve conversion for all Signal clients.
How Signal Uses Data to Improve Conversion
While our Signal clients have always had access to their own Google Analytics data, with so many new Signal clients launching recently, it was taking longer for the Signal team to see trends looking at one client at a time. So, we’ve integrated new tools that let us aggregate guest usage data across all Signal sites, which allow us to improve all of our client’s conversion rates.
With this new data, we’re able to glean clear, specific insights into what’s working, and what still needs improvement. And after launching our new property page design across some of our Signal sites, we were able to aggregate guest stats and see how well the new design works.
Insight #1: Listing Pages Are the Stars
We noticed right away the property pages are the stars of the show. For a super-majority of users, a property page is the first Signal page they see – property pages on Signal websites have about 4x more unique users than any other page on the website. You might think that the booking engine flow starts with a search of all listings, but, counter-intuitively, this page has about 1/4 of the user base compared to the property pages.
This showed us where we need to focus our efforts for future improvements. Our team has done so many upgrades to make sure guests on search engines that are looking for a specific listing can find it easily.
Insight #2: We Determined Two Highly Used Features
Aggregated data also showed us that the quote request and the call-to-action (CTA) to proceed to checkout were two highly used features that are critical to successful bookings.
Every listing is unique with seasonal variations in pricing, demand, and availability – so there were a lot of moving parts here to arrive at this conclusion. However, by looking at guest usage data on mobile versus non-mobile devices, we spotted differences in guest success by device type that help us know that we’re on the right track.
Insight #3: Mobile Experience is Hugely Important
More than 55% of our booking engine's unique users are on mobile devices. Historically, guest usage data showed 85% fewer mobile users would reach checkout, compared to non-mobile users.
When we redesigned the property pages, the UX design team focused specifically on tackling this issue. They did thorough research and applied best practices for mobile design to improve the rate at which mobile users would reach checkout.
We are excited to report that after these improvements, the same mobile guests were progressing to checkout at almost seven times the rate of guests on the older desktop-only property pages. With a huge difference like this we can say our new design has made an impact solving the conversion problem we identified through guest usage data. Nice!
The Signal product team has had support from the great critical thinkers on Beyond’s User Experience Research team, and we’re continuing to look for new ways to improve the Signal booking experience by looking for errors in monitoring tools, and patterns in guest session recordings. Working iteratively to identify, prioritize, solve problems, then measure outcomes will increase booking engine conversion for our partners and help them drive more direct revenue. The Signal team is thrilled to bring these improvements to the broader market.
Are you ready to see what Signal can do to drastically improve your direct bookings? Let’s chat!