Tips & Tricks

3 ways to improve your site today

by Daniel Steele

The UK is now on lockdown. That means no foot traffic, and your business now has to function entirely through its online presence. I'm Dan, chief techie at eola, and I want to share some ideas that I think everyone in our industry can hopefully take away something useful from.

Audit your site

Let's take a look at the things you can do within a few hours to really boost your online presence, without spending much, if anything.


The number one thing that's going to affect the number of bookings you get is the quality of your site. If you're sat on your computer on home wifi, and you notice your site takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, then that's going to have a negative impact on sales. I've written before about the importance of site speed - it really does matter. If your site is slow, you'll come up less favourably in Google searches, customers won't wait for the site to load, and you'll end up loosing bookings.

If you're unsure about your site speed, you can easily check this using Google's free site speed checker. A score of less than 65 or so isn't great.

How to improve your site speed

Firstly, if you're using a custom build website and you're not sure how to change it, I recommend considering switching to Squarespace. You can get a high-quality site set up in just a few hours, and they're pretty cheap.


  1. Easy | Make sure your images are compressed as large image files will slow down loading speeds greatly or not load at all for customers on a slow mobile connection (here's a free online compressor). All this means is reducing the size and quality of images (mostly imperceptible) so they're faster to download.
  2. Easy | Put less on the page and only keep to the essentials. Do you really need that carousel of 10 images at the top? Are customers going to view all of them?
  3. Moderate | If you're using plugins (in Wordpress, for example), ask yourself if you're using all of the plugins you have enabled. Some of them can really slow down load speed.
  4. Moderate | Take a look in to caching. Whichever service you're using for your site builder, there's usually some caching configuration you can do. Caching simply means having your webserver return a pre-computed copy of the page, which is faster than working it out on the fly.
  5. Hardcore | Use a CDN. Content Delivery Networks will help deliver pages and assets to your customers rapidly. Cloudflare is free and pretty easy to set up (eola uses it too!). You should be comfortable with basic DNS or get a developer to spend an afternoon doing this for you.

Navigation and user experience (UX)

Your site loads fast, but how to improve the customers journey towards making that booking? Where can they find more info? Where's the book now button? Where are you based? This is a constant challenge. Making sure your site is easy to use and navigate is the key to secure a successful purchase.

Take a look at how we've designed the eola widget - there's nothing in there that doesn't need to be. A few filters, smart grouping, information, and if you're on the page of an actual activity, we display a call to action 'See dates' if the booking section of the page is ever off-screen. It's very hard for the customer to get lost.

You might think that when it comes to pages, the more the merrier. I'd argue the opposite. If you're ever feeling like you're struggling to come up with ideas to fill the page with, that page probably doesn't need to be there - give the customer fewer but essential options to choose from, and make sure those pages are great quality.

How to improve your UX

  1. Easy | Take a step back and really consider if a certain page needs to be there. You might like the page, but crucially, does it help the user make a purchase.
  2. Easy | Make sure your menu is clearly visible (on mobile too!) and easy to use. If there are dropdowns upon dropdowns, you might need to simplify that.
  3. Easy | Ask an older relative to visit your site and give them a few tasks (find info on X, go book Y). Can they navigate your site easily? 
  4. Easy | Visit your site on your phone. ~70% of your traffic will be from phones. Is everything still easily accessible?
  5. Moderate | Make sure your formatting makes sense. Huge titles, images and walls of text are going to leave people confused (or even worse, uninterested).


Right! So you've got your easy to use site that now loads fast. Let's think about what you're actually putting on it.

Content (imagery and writing) is very much a honed skill. It's interwoven with your brand and will very directly impact the success of your business. Have a think about what your brand is trying to convey. Is it serious or lighthearted? Adventurous or calming? Wild or structured? Have a look at how to use images to inspire and engage to learn more. You probably have a pretty good idea already, but if you have a team putting together various bits of your site, you need to make sure they're all aligned, or it can create a really jarring experience for customers. When it comes to what to put on the page itself, think about the following exercises (really, it will pay off immediately).

Content exercises

  1. 10 second rule. This is the biggest and most difficult one. Imagine I've searched for "hiking experiences near me" in Google. I've opened the top 5 search results. When I visit your page, can I get a clear understanding of what makes a hike with you exciting and enticing? You have 10 seconds of my attention, and if it's not clear I'm going to go to with one of the other 4 tabs I have open.
  2. Does the content interfere with itself? Especially on mobile, that beautiful big video you put on the page might actually make it really hard to read the text. Sometimes images, text and video can appear broken. Make sure the content is not only useful, but well-organised and working!
  3. Don't break the rules. If you're using a site builder, people who dedicate their careers to design and content layout have most likely put together that theme you're using. Using whacky fonts, crazy backgrounds or walls of text hurt the customer experience. Follow the theme's lead!
  4. Create a list of your 3 stereotypical customers, define their experience, age, and demographic as best you can. Now, navigate your site pretending to be one of them. Are they enticed or intimidated? Have you used acronyms they might not understand? For beginners, maybe you need a more comprehensive description of what they'll be doing, for example.


Creating a solid site is easy. Depending on the size of your business (and therefore your site), you can massively improve your site within a few hours. You don't need to pay someone to do it for you, unless you're really looking to stand out from the crowd.

For more tips and tricks, have a look at our academy where we list everything from how and why it's good to push vouchers right now to useful links to government resources.

As always, we're here to help. Do get in touch if you have thoughts to share or questions to ask. We'll happily take a look at your site too, and let you know some quick tips to improve it!  

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