All Posts
Published by Sara Napier Burkhard | Oct 12, 2017 | | 4 MIN READ

Make your "book now" buttons more effective by fixing these mistakes

It's funny how it seems so simple to create a well-functioning website, but actually taking the steps to put it into motion can be a huge task. There's so much to think about, so many details to look into. And while separate details might look great on their own, they can be quite messy as a whole. 

As a tour or activity provider, the main purpose of your website is to be a platform for customers to purchase their activities with you. For this reason, your website should not only be easy to navigate, finding the place to make the purchase should be obvious and completely hassle-free. That's why today, we're going to go over some "book now" button mistakes that make your customer's booking process more complicated than it needs to be. 

1. Confusing buttons with links

To kick things off, it's important that we know what a button is and what a text link is. This might sound like something they'd cover in a class called Internet 101, but sadly most of us probably figured out our web skills ourselves. 

There are a number of technical details we can go into about this, but the important thing to remember is that for your tour or activity website, it's important that you use a defined button and not a text link. Simple right?

If you're not sure what the difference is, the folks at the Web Axe made this handy visual reminder: 

Button and link

Why does this matter? Because buttons and links are not the same thing. In the first place, the button attracts more attention and tells the viewer where the action point is while a link is easily passed over. Additionally, as Nathan Curtis points out in Buttons in Design Systems“button behaviours bring a whole host of distinct considerations from your simple anchor tag”

The key takeaway here is that your buttons serve a real purpose. They are not interchangeable with standard links. If you have any of your CTAs set up like a text link, it's time to change them out for attractive, practical buttons.   

2. Poor use of color and design 

When you think about the most successfully marketed brands in the world, you start to notice a few similarities. Their products are usually created to perfection, high-quality, and their customer service often does a wonderful job. But have you noticed something else?

Every detail of their presence online and in person seems to be well-thought. They use the same family of fonts, colors, and design across everything they do. That's why if we look at a blue background with white lettering, we might think of Facebook. If we see a yellow 'M', we probably think of McDonalds. If there's white lettering in the Spencerian script font, we probably think of Coke.

These brands put a lot of thought into their content and how it will be viewed by the world. Color is tied very closely to brands, so if you haven't given this much thought, it's time to start. Your designs can't feel random or they won't bring in any of the desired results. Here are some examples of poor choices in color and design for your booking buttons:

Book Now Button Examples
  • Using colors that are too bright makes your buttons look unattractive and sometimes even cheap.
  • Using monochromatic colors like gray, white, and even black are lovely in design elements, but if they're not placed well, these colors can make your buttons hard to find. They sort of blend into their background if you're not careful. 
  • Pastels can be a similar problem. They blend in, even on a white background. If there are stronger colors on the page, your eye sort of passes over those baby pinks and pale blues. 
  • Finally, using a button that only has a border (sometimes called a Ghost button) can not only be hard to see, it creates very little urgency for attention.
Ghost button

 3. No clear tone

The whole point of having a booking button on your page is so customers can purchase your offers. You need to present that offer as well as you can, making the purchase simple. If your website has a random arrangement and odd placement of colors, it can be very easy to miss the call to action. 

Here's an example of well-presented website – SANDEMANs NEW Europe's website for their Paris city tour.

Their entire website has a clear tone. Their main brand colors are well-represented and they keep that consistent throughout their website. As we mentioned above, bright colors can be very aggressive if they're not used right, but when it's used well (as it is in this example) it can help make the user experience easier by highlighting the key focal points of the pages.

One of SANDEMANs NEW Europe's offers in Paris

They found a professional way to incorporate that into their offer page. By leaving the background white, the text dark, and the titles red, it makes the selected date and the book-now button stand out. Not only is the button well-defined, it fits in perfectly with the company's branding.

Read: 5 tips for tour and activity companies to build a stand-out brand

4. Bad placement on the webpage

Websites offer plenty of space to speak to your customers, but you don't need to fill every inch of the screen. By placing the button in a random place on the page, you make it hard for customers to find what is arguably the most important part of your website – where to book their trip.

Each section of your pages should be clearly defined and your action points like links and buttons should make sense. Be careful not to hide your buttons within the text or too close to images. When in doubt, look at some websites from top brands and emulate their placement. Since most customers are used to making purchases online, they're familiar with the placements on most websites.

TrekkSoft customer Jetboat places the point of sale in their prices section under each of their offers. Not only is this the information most customers are on the website for, it's presented in a clear way.

Jetboat Interlaken

Some other good practices for placement:

  • Create a specific space for the booking options on your website. Whether the booking section has its own page, or just a prominent placement on your homepage, it's important to create a defined location where customers can book directly.
  • One should always be placed after the offer has been presented clearly. In many cases this will be at the bottom of the home page or other key pages.
  • Place one in the navigation bar, especially if your website offers several pages to select from. 

5. Too many

On the opposite end of the spectrum, instead of having poorly-placed buttons, you might have too many! There's no doubt you've seen a website that has buttons all over the place, wedged into content that doesn't make much sense. This will send people running because it looks a little odd and maybe even a bit like some sort of scam.

If you're unsure, live with simplicity: set up two per page – one in the header and one in a sensible place in the design. With TrekkSoft, you can design a clean, modern-looking website that's up and running in no time at all. It's complete with customizable booking buttons, integrated calendar, and an intuitive purchasing process.

Book Now GIF.gif

While you'll still get some customers using buttons, these mistakes could minimize the amount. For those who aren't used to making purchases online, it will be especially difficult. These errors make it so it's not only hard for customers to figure out where to make their purchase, it could make them question your credibility.  


Looking to update your website? Get tips from our free checklist:

 Website checklist download

All Posts
Sara Napier Burkhard
Published by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.
Succefully booking system used in 130+ countries
Free tourism resources to download
New call-to-action