How to Use Location Search to Increase Conversions on Your Travel Website

by Louisa Bainbridge
on Jan 23, 2017

Does your website convert about 1.6% of traffic? If so you’re about average for the industry. Whether you’re looking to get closer to this number or be an industry superstar, there’s one trick your competitors aren’t using yet.

Before we begin, we should give a shout out to tried and tested tools and tips that every hotel and travel industry website need in their life. It won’t make you different, but it will make sure you’re keeping up with the industry.

The conversion rate checklist every travel website should follow

  • A/B test the landing page: play around and figure out the best CTA, imagery, form fields, and copy.
  • A/B test the results page: figure out which criteria lead to actions, whether it’s ratings, pricing, location and more. Adjust where they’re listed and how.
  • Customer reviews are essential: customers no longer take your word for it, don’t risk them bouncing to visit a review site, integrate them into your page.
  • Mobile optimised: make sure that your mobile site isn’t just your desktop one fit to a mobile screen, edit it down.
  • Offer an incentive to book with you: it can be price, extras, points to make sure they don’t book their selected accommodation elsewhere.
  • Find more ways to convert using site search

Now to become a hotel conversion superstar

78% of travellers want to be able to interact with maps on travel sites to understand what’s nearby. They want to be able to see if they’re close to the points of interest that matter to them. In order for users to make decisions based on the location, they need to be able to understand the area. Try out these strategies using your favourite points of interest and travel time search providers. Our favourites: 

Search locations by travel time, not distance 


Add an accommodation search bar that is truly tailored to the searcher. Ask them what they’d like to see, which transport mode they’d like to use and how far they’re willing to travel to see it. For larger places such as London, it’s hard for a first timer to know where to begin – even more so when they don’t know which areas are impossible to reach vs. the transport hubs.
The stats – this method of searching is proven to be 60% more relevant than distance based searching. Read real case studies here. This increase in relevancy has a knock on effect on conversion rates. Early adopters of travel-time-based searching, such as the real estate industry, have recorded increases of up to 300% and the recruitment industry.  

List nearby attractions by time

Let users know how long it will take to reach the most important things to them – attractions, transport links, places to eat and more. The ability to explore the area like a local means that they can make a decision on that location quicker.

The stats – Between 2011 and 2015 the phrase ‘near me’ increased 34 times. Show those unfamiliar with the area the options for eating, drinking and visiting stuff they want to see nearby. Combining TravelTime and Foursquare means that users can see place ratings as well as journey times to the location.

Use maps to help searchers understand the area


Many accommodation sites draw radius to help their users understand what’s around them. But we know that real people can’t go as the crow flies. That’s why isochrones (travel time shapes) are a better way of displaying what’s really within reach. Displaying different shapes is also a great way of getting users to explore a little further out of their usual search zone. 

The stats – by using a simplified circle, up to 50% of the suggested locations may be irrelevant to the user because they can’t reach these suggestions easily. Similarly, it’s likely that by using a circle you’re ignoring all the result that are located along fast transport lines, but appear difficult to reach when just using distance. Take a look at some more techniques for increasing conversions here. 

Learn more:




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