Why People Aren’t Buying on Your Website & How to Fix It


Your site has a low conversion rate. It may seem like a mystery – but it is not. Following researched and repeatedly proven best practices takes the questions out of online tourism marketing and brings the dollars in. Here are 8 reasons your website is not converting as well as it could or should be.

1. You Aren’t Immediately Telling People What You Do

Unless you are a global brand akin to Expedia, American Airlines or Hilton, when people come to your site they should be immediately told what you do and what your value proposition is. Don’t tell them what the latest promo is, don’t tell them what publication you were recently published in – tell them what you do and why they should care.

2. Your Site Lacks Confidence

Nothing says we are not totally confident about what we are offering than a page with multiple CTAs, multiple product offerings and multiple messages. If you want people to do one thing you must be very clear about it. People need to be told what to do and where to go. How successful you are in doing this is directly related to the success of your site. 

3. You are Choosing Hype Over Humanity

One advantage smaller tourism marketing initiatives have over Expedia and TripAdvisor is the ability to put a human face on their business. This human connection piece is a competitive advantage small business have and are not readily leveraging. To encourage this:

  • Use human conversational language on your site
  • Write as if you were talking to a friend or neighbor
  • Provide details and human-interest factoids about your team and staff
  • Create videos to introduce the different people, places and products customers will interact with

4. You Aren’t Reducing Risk

If you are not a readily recognized player in the travel industry you need to instill confidence in customers.  This involves everything from having a visible and easily understandable privacy policy to detailed information about your site security. It also, as Enterpreneur.com outlines, requires creating a fair return policy, price match guarantees, warranty information (if applicable) and a reasonable cancellation policy. 

5. You Aren’t Using Customer Language

One of the biggest mistakes made in tourism marketing and all marketing is to use terminology customers would never themselves say or understand. If you haven’t heard the language from your customers – do not use it – ever. Pay close attention to the words people use when they call you, analyze chat logs, review internal search logs, look at Google Trends and search volume data. This is free information, that if used well, will prove to be invaluable. 


6. You Don’t Provide Evidence for Your Claims

These days people can (and do) say pretty much whatever they want online. This makes the rest of us skeptical of almost everything. To combat this, you must provide proof that you are who you say you are. Add testimonials, case studies, information on prominent partnerships, company history information, certifications, press, awards, details about your team and numbers of social media followers. Ensure as much of this information is as visible as possible – throughout your site. This proof, as ConversionXL points out, can yield substantial results. Voices.com saw a 400% increase in conversion rate by doing just this.

7. You Aren’t Effectively Using Chat and Contact Functionality

Often people are ready to sign up with you or buy online because they have a lingering question that needs an answer before purchase. The ability to answer this question quickly and personally is another competitive advantage smaller tourism companies have over the big guys. If possible, employ chat functionality, even if the hours are limited at first. If that is not feasible, consider encouraging email with a visible guarantee of when they customer will get a response. (a few hours to less than a day). A readily accessible toll-free number or the ability to ask for a call back can else be extremely helpful. 

8. You Aren’t A/B Testing

There are universal best practices and then there are best practices for individual websites. The only manner to identify these unique nuances is via testing. A/B Testing is one of the most popular and effective techniques to identify the often game-changing subtleties of individual websites. A/B testing is done to test different images, taglines, button designs, button language and many other factors which may feel small but can yield wildly effective results. 

Need help with your accomplishing your travel, hospitality and tourism marketing goals? Get in touch with us - Touristy, your tourism marketing agency.

Meredith Cook