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Website User Experience Testing

Providing A Clear Path to Booking Direct

Theory

Garden of the Gods Club is a luxury resort in Colorado Springs, featuring 56 guestrooms with spectacular views of the Garden of the Gods landmark and the Rocky Mountains. Along with the luxurious accommodations, the private club offers world-class golfing, heavenly spa treatments and fine dining.

After analyzing site usage data in Google Analytics, we noticed high bounce rates and a high percentage of exits on the homepage. We determined this aspect of the resort to be essential in capturing online revenue and made it a priority to optimize this channel.

Idea

Our researching efforts were focused on identifying what aspects of the site could improve traffic to the booking engine. This consisted of identifying which pages had the highest bounce and exit rates, as well as identifying UX issues that could cause a delay in a user visiting valuable pages.

After reviewing UX on the website and analyzing data on top user paths, we were able to gain an understanding of where users were going and how they were getting there. This strategy to optimize the website was to start small in order to learn exactly where the problem areas were. The goal was to guide the user to our most valuable pages by increasing traffic to the booking engine, which would ultimately lead to a hotel booking.

Our primary marketing objectives were as follows:

    • Increase booking engine visits
    • Decrease bounce rate
    • Identify the Call to Action
    • Guide users through the booking funnel
    • Increase transactions and revenue for Garden of the Gods Club & Benchmark Hospitality

Garden of the Gods Club targets locals from Colorado as well as traveling families and business travel. With the average traveler being between 25-60 years of age, the resort & club attracts outdoor enthusiasts due to its location by Garden of the Gods and Rocky Mountains.

In order to get a large sample size for our marketing strategy, we targeted all website users that landed on the Garden of the Gods Club homepage. In order to A/B test site usage, we set up an experiment to target 50% of the users as the control group and the other 50% as the experiment group.

After identifying the change to the site that we believed would improve KPI’s, we created a Google Optimize account in order to run website tests. Google Optimize, which offers A/B testing, website testing and personalization tools, allowed us to connect our account to Google Analytics, and change the aesthetics of the website without changing the website’s HTML.

Without a clear CTA present on the homepage, we decided to increase the size of the “Book Now” button, and add color behind it to make it more noticeable. Although a small change, it would allow us to see what aspects of the site affect user engagement.

The goal of this experiment was to provide a clear, vibrant message to Book Now. The website was designed to showcase the great outdoors with bold colors and unique messaging. We wanted to continue that theme by matching the color to the hero image in hopes of directing users to a high-value page; the booking engine.

Result

While continuing to run the experiment, we were able to compare site usage data and transactions between the control group and the experimental group.

In 3 weeks alone, 700 more users went to the booking engine from the homepage, as well as an increase in transaction rate by 35%.

We noticed a decrease in bounce rate by 42%, which led us to conclude that a clear CTA provided users a path to take and ultimately to assist them in booking their guestroom or suite.