The top four user experience KPIs that travel brands should be tracking

How to measure UX of travel websites: it’s a perennial problem for the marketers that work for these brands.

I’ve talked to so many travel marketers who are still in a state of confusion over how to measure something like user experience, which on the surface seems like it would be difficult to measure quantitatively.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

NB: This is an analysis by Duncan Keene, UK managing director of ContentSquare.

Marketing and product development teams are currently testing in the dark, unsure of whether the latest website optimisation they’ve implemented will actually make a difference.

They’re testing in the dark because too often they’re guilty of making A/B tests based either on just best practice or their intuition rather than making them based on actual insight into their customer’s behaviours.

Any marketer will have a basic idea of what is going on with their website at any given time.

Simple metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, session duration or page views are essential information points in any marketer’s arsenal, and they are generating KPIs that are similarly, important baselines of website performance.

However, marketers should not stop there. While these metrics give marketers a good idea of what’s going on on the site, they give far less understanding of how and why users are behaving the way they are online.

Here are four new KPIs designed with UX in mind which should help you have a deeper understanding of how your customers are shopping for travel.

1. Click repetition

Click repetition is the number of clicks users make in a row on the same page element. It’s common sense really: when users are frustrated at something that’s not working, they’ll click on it repeatedly.

There could be several reasons for this repeat clicking: the particular element on the page could be technically malfunctioning, the call to action could be unclear, or there could be some other misconception with the design of the element.

For example, as a travel site you might have a large banner image of a popular location that’s generating a large number of repeat clicks.

Perhaps those repeat clicks are being made because the image looks like it ought to be clickable, or because the link is broken.

This kind of insight is not something that is available using free tools like Google Analytics, and is vital for keeping track of potential annoyances for your visitors.

Travel is a highly considered purchase, so travel brands want to minimise all potential points at which visitors might exit the site.

2. Activity rate

Many businesses will be measuring time spent on page, and for travel brands this can form a key metric for determining how well each page is inspiring an intent to buy.

Activity rate measures the time spent interacting with things within the page, rather than simply the time spent on the page from entry to exit.

It is a less measured gauge of success, but can actually tell you more about how your website is being used.

Measuring the time users take to actually complete tasks on a web page is far more useful than simply measuring how long users spend sitting on the page – the user could have opened another tab, or left the computer.

3. Engagement rate

Crafting the perfect CTA is very much an art, however, that doesn’t mean that measuring its effectiveness can’t be a science.

Engagement rate is the number of visitors that interact with a particular CTA, as a percentage of the number of users that visited that page, and it’s of the utmost importance to keep a close watch on this metric.

It’s vital to monitor your CTA engagement rate over time: if you don’t, then you won’t know whether changes to its phrasing or positioning are making a positive or negative change.

When you track your CTA engagement rate as a KPI, you’ll find it’s much easier to optimise and reorganise your menus and CTAs.

4. Time before first click

The first click: very often, the most important click. The time between landing on a page and clicking on something is a key time for the user.

It’s the time when the user is forming an impression of your brand, processing the information they’re being presented with, and deciding what action to take.

This all takes time, and this is what marketers really need to focus on.

A short time before first-click, combined with messy user journeys, could imply that perhaps a big sale is leading users down the wrong path, or that a hero image is too attention-grabbing.

A long time before first-click could mean the opposite: maybe the input forms or calendar selection tools are too complex to use, and driving users away.

More marketers are realising that traditional analytics solutions like Google Analytics are no longer enough: we need to think more about why users are behaving in certain ways, and react accordingly.

These new KPIs are behaviours that you should be tracking on an ongoing basis.

They’ll help you stop making changes to your website “from the gut”, and start making real data-led decisions for your website.

NB: This is an analysis by Duncan Keene, UK managing director of ContentSquare.

NB2: Lego image via Pixabay.Lego image via Pixabay.

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