Don’t lose out on online bike rental bookings. How to turn your bike rental website visitors into paying customers.

Digital Marketing Made Easy Series: Part 3

You have created your awesome looking bike rental website and made sure you have got the 9 Bike Rental Homepage Must-Haves. You are hoping it will get you more visitors, especially those from outside your local area and capture the growing online rental market. Are those visitors your target market i.e. high quality? And what can you do to turn those visitors into paying customers?

1. What is the most important part in converting your visitors into customers?

According to conversionsxl.com the most important detail is your “value proposition” and how to communicate the value to your visitors.

What is “Value Proposition” and how to create one? It’s the primary reason why a prospect should buy from you. Customers not only want to know “What’s in it for me?” but “Why buy from you?” You need to understand which benefits are most important to your visitors.

If you had just 10 words to explain why people should buy from you instead of the competition, what would you say? And use that as your Value Proposition and have it written on your Home Page.

Communicate the value of your bike rentals. Value is far more than price. It’s the benefit the customer receives from your bike rentals. This includes customer testimonials and content on your website that answers their questions. One of the best way to communicate value is to show how your product is used with photos and videos by happy customers. Showing is more powerful than telling because it reflects the customer’s desire and the feeling they might get from using your product. Feeling sell, not products.

It is a common mistake not to give enough information about your bikes. The best way to rent or sell a product is to add as much information about your products as possible. Maybe most people won’t read it but those who do, will be your target group. If they read all the information and don’t buy, you have a problem. Up to 50% of potential sales are lost due to inadequate information, says IDC, a global research group.

You need to provide enough information to let your visitors convince themselves.

2. Where are your visitors in their customer journey and the booking funnel?

Most visitors won’t be ready to book on their first visit. Most follow the typical booking funnel stages:

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It is important to understand your customers journey to help them make their way to the goal = booking. Travel website booking abandonment rate was 81% in 2014 so don’t be alarmed if your conversion rate looks low.

To guide them through the booking funnel you can help them by providing your visitors with guides, reviews, testimonials and other resources (or content) that we covered in the part 2 of the series 9 Bike Rental Homepage Must-Haves in point 9.

3. Address any hesitations and objections.

People will always have some hesitations and objections about booking your bikes. It’s easier to answer any questions in person but online it takes more effort. Solution is to address all possible issues with information on your website.

Create a list of all possible hesitations and objections customers might have. Then add all the answers to your website to help alleviate those concerns. For example:

  • What if the bike I booked is not suitable after all?
  • Can you deliver bikes to our accommodation?
  • What happens if the bike gets a puncture, how will you help them?
  • I need a babyseat, can you guarantee I get one with my rental?
  • Will I get a lock/helmet etc. with the rental?
  • Are the bikes well maintained and comfortable to ride?
  • What are your opening hours? Are you open every day? What happens if I return late?
  • There are cheaper bikes on offer nearby, why should I book from you?
  • Visitors might be thinking bringing their own bike rather than rent. Give those customers something to consider. Like how much it will cost x to transport your bike on an aeroplane. Or persuade them to try a new type of bike. Or they don’t need to buy a bike carrier to their car or worry they will be stolen from bike carrier etc.

Come up with as long list as possible and try to answer them all somewhere on your website, for example FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) if you need to. This will make it easier for your visitors to make that booking.

4. Increase trust and offer proof.

There are only 4 reasons why people won’t buy from you according to Sales Guru Zig Ziglar. 1. No Need 2. No money 3. Not in hurry 4. No trust. We can’t do much about the first three but we can build trust.

Make your website personal. Add “About Us” page including the story why you are renting bikes. Ideally include names and photos of people who work for you.

You can build trust by creating an overly obvious and well-presented “Contact us” feature or page listing your contact details, especially your phone number. Most likely only the ones who are serious will use it.

Show that others trust you by adding your social media buttons, customers testimonials and customer reviews. Read more in our blog: Build trust with online visitors: How to get a satisfied customer to leave an online review for your bike rental?

It is much more convincing what others say about your rentals than what you say.

5. Make it easy to book!

Booking your bike has to be intuitive and self-evident with as few clicks as possible. Do the “Grandma” test! Could she figure out in two minutes how to book from your site?

Tell visitors what to do next on each page they have to go through to get to the booking. Ideally you will have a visible CTA button on your homepage to make it extra clear.

6. Remove distraction.

Are there any items on page that could divert visitors from booking? Minimise unnecessary product options, links and information. Ask yourself? Is there anything you could take off the page that doesn’t contribute to conversion?

7. Compare yourself to competitors before your visitors do. 

Everybody has got competitors. Research shows clearly that people do their homework before purchasing a product and compare. Most likely your visitors will check your competition out. Compare your rentals to competition before they do.

What do they look at? Price and main features, people are lazy so they might not look at things you are especially good at. So, tell them. If your bikes are new, mention that. Or if they are well/better maintained, or you offer wider selection of bikes or accessories like pedals and baby seats. Tell your visitors what you do better than your competition.

When YOU do the comparison, you can point out the things you feel are your biggest advantages over competition.

8. Reduce or remove risk and offer guarantees.

Whenever there’s a transaction, there’s risk. Usually the vendor has the buyer carry most of the risk. If the risk seems to big, the purchase won’t take place. So what you can do is it reduce the risk by offering guarantees. You could for example guarantee them they will get:

  • a well maintained bike or money back
  • the bike they booked or money back

It will be easy to keep these guarantees if you use Bike Rental Manager as you will have your bike maintenance under full control and easily managed. And you are able to allocate the exact bike they booked (if you wish) at the time of the booking so it won’t be available to anybody else.

9. Add incentives to take action right away by introducing scarcity.

It’s one of the oldest tools in a marketer’s tool belt. Every infomercial in history leans heavily on the “call now” or “limited time only” tactic for increasing sales, because it works! You could for example offer:

  • Book before (x date) to get free map/helmet/pedals/ x% off
  • Book 30 days in advance to get free map/helmet/pedals/ x% off
  • Book early to get a bike you want/to avoid disappointment etc.

But  you have to be careful here: the reason for scarcity has to be authentic.

10. Security.

People are very safety conscious so it is important that you tell them it is safe to book your bikes using their credit cards. Check with your online booking provider what security they have in place. Bike Rental Manager uses “Stripe” for online booking payments and they are certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

That was the Top 10 pieces of content you need to convert your visitors into customers. You will also need some website basics to make sure you get high quality visitors to your website or you won’t get bookings.

Where are you in Search engine results pages?

First of all, potential customers will need to be able to find your bike rentals online. Your website needs to be (SEO) Search Engine Optimisation and Google friendly so customers will find you. Your website needs to be designed for your target customers and for Google to be worth starting online marketing. Read more in our blog “4 Easy Bike Rental SEO Tips with powerful results in google ranking“. And here is a simple  guide to SEO from kissmetrics.com and one specifically for WordPress sites from yoast.com.

When is the last time you checked in google or yahoo where you are on the list? Why not check now!

Who are your visitors, are they high quality?

Do you know how many visitors you get to your website daily? If you do, that’s a great start for your marketing efforts and turning those visitors into paying customers. If you don’t, you need to start tracking your visitors. Google Analytics makes it easy to track and analyse your website, you should do it at least weekly. Find out how many visitors you get, where do they live, which pages they like etc. Here is an Absolute Beginners Guide to Google Analytics from moz.com.

Are mobile phone users able to make a booking?

If you get lot of traffic from mobile devices your website should be mobile responsive. Google penalises sites that are not mobile friendly, so it affects adversely your ranking in search engines. You will find how many of your visitors use mobiles from your “Google analytics”. In general, more than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobiles. What does mobile friendly/responsive mean? A site where a website resizes for a screen for tablets and phones.

BRM online booking is mobile responsive and you can link easily to it from your website, ideally from a CTA button to let your customers get a great online booking experience from their mobiles.

How quickly does your Website load?

Make sure your website is up to speed. Ideally, your page should load within 3 seconds or you risk losing a visitor.

Have you got your Call-to-Action buttons sorted?

CTA’s are important to converting your visitors so even if we mentioned them in the blog “9 Bike Rental Homepage Must Haves”, we are going to talk more about them here. CTA buttons are one of the most successful and common ways to increase booking conversion rates because they catch your visitors attention, directs them towards booking and gets them to take action. Trekksoft has got a great article  on how to create CTA’s that convert.

When creating CTA buttons, keep in mind:

  1. Create meaningful CTA’s by defining your CTA goals. What are the CTA’s for? End goal in case of bike rentals = Booking a bike. Then ask yourself. Who are my visitors and what do they want from my website? And design the buttons accordingly. End goal is a booking but they might just have started the journey in the funnel and are not ready to book, what else can you offer them?
  2. Show the benefit of your CTA. Rather than call your button “Click here” use “Book your bike/Reserve your bike etc”
  3. Add urgency to your CTA’s. “Book your bike before…”
  4. Your CTA buttons need to be highly visible, so use a colour (contrasting) that stands out from your page.
  5. Put it in a logical place. Ideally so your visitors see it as soon as they land on your page or after you have convinced your visitors to book. You can have the button in multiple places. You could add the button under each bike you list on your page.
  6. Let them have space around and make sure they don’t need to compete with other content.

You can link your CTA booking button to Bike Rental Manager online booking tool very easily to let your customers book your bikes against live availability and get paid immediately.

Remember to check your google analytics regularly to make sure you get good number of visitors, check how they convert and discover any changes you need to make to your website if the numbers fall down.

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More in the Digital Marketing Made Easy Series:

  1. 7 reasons why Digital Marketing is vital for your bike rental?
  2. Bike Rental Homepage Must Haves
  3. Don’t lose out on bookings. How to turn your website visitors into customers.
  4. Why you should send an email marketing campaign to your bike rental customers and how Bike Rental Manager will make it easier for you.
  5. Build trust with online visitors: How to get a satisfied customer to leave an online review for your bike rental?
  6. 4 Easy Bike Rental SEO Tips with powerful results in google ranking
  7. How to write Blogs and Content that your ideal customers want to read and will drive traffic to your bike rental website
  8. Tips to boost your bike rentals with Social Media
  9. How to create Pay Per Click ads for your bike rental store.