Learn the web

In the industry of boats and especially when we are looking at the leisure boating industry pictures/images play an incredibly important role in making a website successful. Getting a prospective client to fill in a form and enquire for more info is the name of the game. Ultimately, it is about motivating people enough to make that first move on your websites. Have you ever heard the sentence ‘an image speaks more than 1000 words’  well that is very much the case with all sorts of communication but when it comes to luxury items it’s exponentially true. Not to mention that in these times we live in a lot of the content (images, text, videos) are consumed on-the-go on mobile devices.

 

Some of you may think we are stating the obvious; good images = better communication however, on the web ‘good’ images can come at a ‘high price’ which means a lot of KB or even MB (kilobytes or Megabytes of data) to load on each page when a web visitor is browsing your website. The key phrase here is PAGE LOAD SPEED. 

Why is load time so important ? Because it directly effects your conversion rate

Converstion Rate VS Load TIme

Did you ever use Google Page Speed Insight, or the Pingdom Speed Test to check on the load speed of your website. Well if you haven’t already these are free tools and you should have them at your fingertips and weekly check the performance of your website. You can rest assured that your prospective customers are NOT going to wait for your website to load if it is slower than they are used to. In the Image below you can see that the speed test has some main indicators:

  1. The load time

  2. The Page Size in Megabytes
  3. The number of requests
  4. The location the website is tested from


Among these 4 points the only one that isn’t not self explanatory is number 3: The number of requests.

The number of requests (a.k.a.: number of Calls ) is the total number of request that a browser used by your website visitor ‘asks’ your server to load in order to put together the full page and display it. Think of it (metaphorically) as the number of pieces of a puzzle that you need to display the whole home page for your web visitors.

In the image below you can see the number of calls sorted by load time.

RC Calls Pingdom Speed Test

The load speed ultimately is the total time it takes to deliver ‘answers’ to these requests/calls (in our case 89 requests or pieces of the puzzle to get back to our metaphor)

Now what you want to know is essentially how do I get my website to perform better in terms of load time (say under 2-3 Secs and ideally in the region of 1.5sec or lower)

We can guarantee that you traffic will increase and your leads will increase as a consequence as soon as you website is speed-optimised.

These are some key things you can do

  1. Most important is your hosting server (the place where your website lives):
    1. HOSTING: We  highly recommend SiteGround but you can try many other services and see which fits you best. The reasons why we love SiteGround  are numerous and quite technical so we won’t go into too much details, however, it is incredibly simple to migrate a website to them because the will assist you step-by-step and their customer support and speed is second to none especially if you are using wordpress. If your website is of the size of Netflix or YachtWorld.com you will probably need AWS (Amazon Web Server) but chances are you will be already on AWS paying 20-30 times what Siteground would charge you.
  2. Make sure you images are of reasonable size, you don’t really need anything above 150kb. You can use an image optimiser that is compatible with your CMS and if you are using wordpress you find a lot of them
  3. Make sure to minify or inline the CSS, and eliminate render-blocking JavaScript
  4. Lastly, you can use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as CloudFlare to make sure your website display from the closest server possible to your web visitor

If you need help migrating your website or optimise your conversion don’t hesitate to contact us

A yacht or a boat valuation is no ordinary process and it can hardly be compared to other vehicles  like cars or even planes simply because most boats are built in very small series or one-off and even those that do have a production line are hardly identical to one another and without a doubt the way that have been maintained can make two identical models can be seen with prices that are different by 2x or more. (exceptions can be made for some personal watercraft and a very few more modern brands).

A lot of vessels, often some of the most beautiful you will ever see, have only been built once and never replicated therefore it is hard to compare them to another similar vessel.

The way we approach valuations is essentially a combination of a technical valuation of the vessel and its status together with a market valuation based on some comparable boats from comparable [or the same] designer/shipayard. However, in this [apparently] simple equation there is one element we take into account very seriously and that is that the yacht market is relatively illiquid [not easily convertible into cash] at least in several size segments, therefore, the rarity of buyers gives them the opportunity to have an advantage on the price. On the other hand, it can be counter argued that those who buy boats, especially above the 50 feet segment, are generally not desperate for cash, and therefore can afford to play hardball on their sale price.

One more element that is to consider in terms of liquidity of the market is the very geographical area the vessel is located.

For example areas such as the South of Florida in the U.S. are far more liquid markets than the UK, therefore you will often see faster transaction and less tiring negotiations than in other parts of the world.

Do you want to start Yacht Charter operations with your boat?

This is not to say that you can’t get lucky and acquire a vessel for a significantly lower price that what a technical valuation would suggest.

Our history is full of clients acquiring their vessel at 30-40 or even 70% their value

however, these are often complex situations such as bankruptcies or even divorces at times and need to be handled with care. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find an owner who might not even know [maybe because he/she inherited the vessel] that the vessel actually comes with a £40,000 unpaid bill from the marina where the vessel was moored in the last 2 years.

Helping people acquire their favourite boat or their ideal charter vessel is something we have always been passionate about, therefore, we are in the process of building a free Yacht Valuation Form to help you acquire your next boat at the right price.

Increasing the conversion rate on a yacht related website is not a one size-fits-all job. The truth to be told is that the yachting industry is still strongly based on relationship building. Not many people really buy a boat online (over 20 feet) and even those companies who are very experienced in selling yacht charters like BoatBooking.com don’t believe that yacht charter holidays can be sold online with no human-to-human interaction on a 1-1 basis just yet.

Therefore,  it is crucial to increase and optimise conversion rate. Conversion rate is the measure of how many website visitors become leads and then again how many leads become customers. It is a numbers game but also a game based on relationship building.

Fortunately, technology is much better and more affordable than it was even only 10 years ago. There are plenty of tools that are aimed at improving and increasing the interaction between website visitors and the business behind the website.

One tool which has given us a lot of satisfaction with a number of clients including the one mentioned previously is the live chat tool .

Increasing conversion rate

The reason is fairly simple. It allows people to talk to the business behind the website they are visiting and ask them all sorts of questions. While it sometimes can be a huge waste of time on high traffic websites it is incredibly useful for websites who do not have traffic numbers in the tens of thousand every day. Furthermore, every conversation (chat) can be useful to understand how the business can improve its website and provide information (maybe as FAQs) that are get repeatedly asked in a number of chats.

On the other hand if you are an experienced yacht broker for example you will have immediately a sense for who you are speaking to (chatting) by the question one asks.

In one case of one clients the mere customisation of the live chat we did for them brought their conversion rate up by 4% in less than 30 days. The reason behind it was that real prospective customers who wanted to charter yachts could immediately understand from the chats that they were talking to real experienced brokers instead of a contact center in a developing country, that instilled the much needed confidence the HNWI web visitor requires to leave their contact info and follow-up with a the broker.

There are many tools we have tried and tested and a lot of them implied the operator (chat operator that is) to sit at his desktop/laptop with the backend of the website open waiting for chats to happen. This practice is of course not sustainable for the size of the teams of many companies in the yachting industry so we kept on searching for a better tool. In the end the one which we decided it is the best value for money and the most user-friendly for nontechnical users is from a company called LiveChat Inc.

They offer several features for advanced customisation of every greeting in every page and also based on the language of the user (yes the tools ‘knows it’ before hand based on where the web visitor is typing from).

LiveChat visitors
Lastly, the tool has a wonderfully designed mobile app which means that you can manage your chats just like you would manage text or WhatsApp conversations from your phone. It doesn’t hurt that they offer a free trial period so you can test it and decide whether it is for you or not.

The integration with your website is quite easy if your website is in WordPress, there is a dedicated plug-in for it. However if you need help contact our digital team 

If you want to try to implement the Livechat on your business website go ahead and use this link and let us know what are your first impressions in the comments if you like.

We liked the results we were able to achieve with our clients through the LiveChat tool that we decided to become their partner and help other companies achieve those results too

Live Chat Software