With any business, your hotel's website is there to get customers. While creating and maintaining a website comes at a cost, it's definitely less expensive than commission-based third party services, especially when you consider the value it brings to the table.
With that said, here are some essential tips to make sure your hotel's web design is efficient and your website is performing at its best.
Make sure your website is made with SEO in mind.
These days, SEO should come with any website. However, how optimized a website is becomes more important, and more so for the hospitality industry-related ones like restaurants and hotels.
For these types of businesses, the bare minimum just won't cut it. After checking that your website covers the basics like meta tags, proper use of headings and HTML5 elements, also make sure that it's searchable on services especially designed for helping people find you.
A good example of this is Google Maps, while your business might eventually show up on the map by itself, it definitely won't have enough info, if at all. Take the initiative and submit the proper info. Make sure it contains great photos and complete information like contact details directions.
Don't ignore the important of UX.
The primary objective of your website is to sell to potential customers. One important way to achieve this is to ensure that your website user experience is excellent at the very least.
Having a responsive website is a must. To go further, make sure buttons are fully clickable (i.e. the whole button is clickable, not just the text inside it). They should also be big enough for even the biggest of fingers to easily click or tap on, Google mentions this in their responsive web design guidelines. Menus should also be easily navigable no matter what device is being used to access your website.
Once you're confident in your website's user experience, go through the customer flow yourself and make improvements. Rinse and repeat until you're completely satisfied.
Show off great user reviews and trust signals.
Getting potential customers on your website is only the first step. The second is convincing them to stay! After all, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish.
Include 5 star user reviews on your website to keep potential customers feeling confident and safe. If you are also using third party booking services, check if they have embed-able widgets that shows off reviews from their; this will add a sense of authenticity to reviews as customers will be more confident that they came from actual previous customers.
Don't forget to put any awards, badges, certificates or anything you're proud of on your website. Use only farm-fresh ingredients? Great! Each booking donates to a cause? Awesome! This removes the corporate feeling from your business and gives it a more personal or intimate touch.
Offer special deals and discounts, encourage on-website booking and reward loyal customers.
Any special deals or discounts should be highlighted on your website. Give your customers good reasons to book on your website instead of third party services. This will make customers happier while decreasing your business' cost at the same time.
Also make sure you have a loyalty or referral program in place for those frequent travelers. This ensures that customers will keep coming back and may even help your business grow by referring friends and family to it!
Basically, make your customers feel special, this gives the feeling that you actually care about them instead of just taking their money and forgetting about them.
Use analytics to constantly improve your website.
Like SEO and responsive design, analytics software should come with any website. This is used to track the whats and hows of your customers while they are browsing your website. This is useful for hotels as much as it is for any other business.
Know what pages are the most visited or need attention. Find out if the CTA in the header is performing better than the one in the footer. Discover what makes your customers leave your website without booking.
The possibilities are endless. Best of all it's software that just works once installed. You just need to look at the data when you're ready. With this information, you'll be able to continually improve your website's design and functionalities to better suit your customer's needs.
And there you have it, while there are definitely more things that you can do, the tips above should provide a great start whether you are planning on getting your hotel a new website, or you're looking into improving your existing one.
If you're looking for a professionally done website call us today and we'll give you a free quote (951) 479-5411.