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My name is Sue Gregory and I am a  Director of a company organising tours within Sri Lanka (no flights involved) - The Company is 2 years old now and we had a pretty basic website from which we originally we weren't getting many enquiries. I asked the advice of the Forum last year -Andy Parr, Simon, Dee Edwards, Amalle Jackson, and Alex Bainbridge all provided extremely good feedback for which I was very grateful. We decided there were too many problems to try and rectify (one of which was we were using a web designer in Sri Lanka who was hard to get hold of). So we decided to design a new website which we have done....there is lots more information, not just about the Tours (we have now put photos up for each day of the Tour and lots more information) but there is loads of info about Sri Lanka as well. As the year went on(before the launch of the new website) business got better and just before the new website went live, we were averaging about 2 or 3 enquiries a week, and 2 usually booked.

With the launch of the new website at Xmas, there are more people going on the site - it is about 25% up on what we had before, and they are looking at more pages and for a lot longer - there were 470 visits last month from the UK, spending about 4.45minutes on the site. But the number of enquiries has plummeted. We have a Sign-up form from which we got 8 enquiries in January and 2 enquiries from the Contact Us page though about 38 people looked at it. February was even worse with 6 people downloading the Sign Up Form and 2 enquiries from the Contact Us Page.

Everyone that I ask, says the site looks great and really inviting and is easy to navigate. I know that some people dont like the name of the Company - but I really do feel we are unique - we personally support several orphanges and schools over in Sri Lanka. I go out for several months in the year and work in one of them............

We also know that for what we offer, we cant be beaten on price on the internet and those that book say they are amazed at our prices. The Testmonials on the website are all original - and if you read them, you can see that all our customers have the most fantastic time.

We are at a total loss as to what can be wrong with the website and why bookings are so down. I would add that hotel bookings are up by 30% over in Sri Lanka compared to last January and the hotels are full!

Any comments or advice would be much appreciated as I am starting to tear my hair out!
Sue Gregory

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Hi Sue,
The new website does look nice and it's good to see a phone number nice and big at the top for enquiries.

Going back to some of Alex's feedback on your previous topic you may want to consider offering a stage inbetween seeing the Tour on your website and confirming a booking. A simple "Ask us a question or request a quote for this Tour" type form perhaps, in this instance you would probably just want to request the bare minimum of information but provide scope for the customer to optionally provide more.

It could be you are seeing some leakage to your phones due to this (not the end of the world), you could track that somewhat if you had a different phone number on your website compared to elsewhere (you may have already?)

If you stick with your online booking form there are a few things that jump out usability wise:

  1. Customer asked to enter personal contact details but the form is not secure (no padlock, no https://)
  2. Form fields have a variety of background colours but there's no explanation as to what these mean:
    1. It looks like yellow may be "Required fields". This is usually indicated by an asterisk next to the form label, yellow backgrounds are generally inserted by browsers auto-complete functionality so this is confusing.
    2. It looks like orange may be for fields that shouldn't be edited by the customer, if that's the case then really they should not be form text fields (or at least styled to not look like text fields)
  3. "No. of adults" is a text input, unless there's a particular reason for this it's more natural to use a select box (as per the "Please Confirm Tour Date" box).
  4. What about children? Are some of these Tours not suitable for children?
  5. The form always requests the names for 6 Travellers even if I type 1, 2 or 10 in the box. If 6 is the maximum that can be solved by (3) above, then just hide/show the Traveller input boxes based on the number selected.

Also do take a look at TourCMS if you haven't already. We have a booking/enquiry/query engine that works reliably for lots of great Tour Operators and could be dropped in your site.

As far as general navigation goes there still doesn't seem to be an easy way to get to your Tours from the main navigation, I was expecting "Our Tours" to take me to them.

Finally, "Contact us" is clipped slightly in Firefox:


One question and one suggestion:

1. Where do people leave - what is Google Analytics telling you?

2. I think your booking form needs attention (as Paul suggests) - as a visitor I don't have confidence in it. It is the least professional part of your (otherwise really good) site. I would add 2 things to Paul's comments:

a. Get rid of the picture at the top of the booking form - I am booking - not browsing.
b. The Ts and Cs and the price boxes are all editable - that's very very unexpected and would be put me off.

I hope that helps.

Hi Sue,

Web site does look nice. I never saw the old site so cannot make a comparison, but it took me over 5 minutes to find the booking form (is this the same as the sign up form?)

My main problem was I thought that the banner "Your Holidays" were pictures taken by people that had travelled on your tours, perhaps it should be renamed "Our Tours" or "View Our Holidays"

Apart from the contact us page and the email address there does not seem to be a "form" to submit a general enquiry rather than the book now form. Perhaps under the "View Tour Dates" button and link you should also have a link to a "Find Out More About This Tour" enquiry form.

Hi Sue

I would echo things that people have said already, here are my 5 "top tips":

1. Homepage - is this leading people clearly to your products you want to sell? Unfortunately people don't care about your company up front, they are looking for holidays & prices. You can tell if your homepage is failing by looking at "bounce rate" in your web analytics package. More than 10% bounce rate and you have an issue.

2. Is the journey towards booking what people expect? Dates & destinations - choice of products & hotels - prices - passenger details - pay & book is the classic route.

3. Are the calls to action clear on each page? Suggest this page fails this test

4. Are you clearly telling people what they get (and don't get) for their money?

5. Prices - you say you're the cheapest. Are you demonstrating great value for money from the word go? Offering a "lowest price guarantee"? Or are the prices hidden where people can't find them or tell what great value for money you are?

Hope this is helpful.

David, just wanted to say that's really useful insight, great to have you as a fellow member of SFBO.
Hi Sue,

Your new website looks great and has loads of information about the company and Sri Lanka, and is nicely put together.

The two main areas that I picked up that you are missing an opportunity to sell are the "Highly Recommended" page and the "Our Tours" tab.

You have some great highly recommended tours, but there is no link from these into your tours. I really wanted click on to a tour that would take me to these places that you have described so well!

It may be useful to take a look at this page and compare the space the information takes up compared to the tours you offer. Hopefully you can link these together or change the focus to customer action.

In the Our Tours tab I expected a drop-down list of your tours, but there wasn't any. Again, I was really keen to see what you offered and that's where I felt I was being directed to.

I think your tour pages are great and have a lot of information, and there is a clear call to action regarding the dates and prices, and the visual map of the tour is really helpful.

The only other thing I would say as it might be good to add a Home tab on to the top nav so it's easy to navigate the site if I want to move from one tour to the other. It's good to have tours on the homepage too.

I hope this is useful and good luck! Hope to hear how you get on with it all!

Hi Sue,
It looks like you have taken on board some of the feedback in this topic, would be great if you could let us know if you see an improvement in your stats at all.

Hi Sue
I agree with everything that the guys have said here.However from experience I believe a video would work on your opening page .Videos are hot at the moment and all the movers and shakesr of the internet world are using them ..Have atry and test one out . Take care and good luck




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