With over 88% of Americans having access to the World Wide Web, the major difference between “offline” and “online” consumers have eroded. More than 71% of US online leisure travelers plan at least one trip to another country and stay at a hotel, which makes hospitality business a large, diverse market.
Today, hoteliers need to understand and act on market opportunities in a more precise, nimble way to turn lookers into converters. That’s when it becomes important to create a perfect first impression through your hotel website.
Planning a great website will help you connect with modern day’s younger, fickle, and research-focused travelers who are always on the lookout for a personalized experience. You should design your website using an integrated and data-driven approach, which should be about conveying the right message in the right place at the right time. Your customers will look for certain elements in a hotel website and then make a decision. Here’s more about it:
Your customers will visit your website to check photos of your hotel and location. Your homepage is the best place to use photos of your property or images that have some connection with your products, brand, services, and amenities. Having photos on your property and details will raise people’s interest about your hotel, but be sure to limit or avoid flash elements because it slows down your website and is often distracting. Say no to stock photography; instead use original gallery that tells a story and transports feelings.
The latest researches have confirmed that using your hotel website smartly is the least expensive way to receive bookings. However, only a website with good navigation structure will respond to and connect with your customers’ needs to make it easier for them to make a buying decision. Place buttons with common labels such as “rooms”, “amenities”, “facilities”, and “photo gallery” at the top of the page because people will read from top to bottom.
Before making a reservation, the customers will always check your contact details and directions.
More than 1.5% of users never make a booking without checking the hotel’s contact detailsand exact location.
They would want to know how far or close you are from the entertainment venues, such as beaches, museums, galleries, etc. So, be sure to highlight the address to make it easy for your customers to find it.
Mobile technologies, including smartphones, tablets, and other wearable devices such as “smart watches” and Google Glass are going to be the most important technological gateway for travelers in the next few years.
In fact, it already has its impact in the hospitality business with two in three guests having a smartphone. Your prospective customers will never go any further if your website doesn’t look good on mobile devices. They will go to your competition’s site if they cannot scroll it on smartphones, find relevant info, see images properly, or proceed with bookings.
It is therefore important to become “mobile-centric” business for which you need to ensure that website is supported through mobile technologies.
Your potential customers will read user-generated content and reviews to figure what others are saying about your service. Being able to publish info such as videos, photos, blogs, or comments through your hotel website leaves an impact on your viewers.
Encourage your past guests to share their views on your hotel website because anyone reading the info could potentially be your next guest. They will even consider TripAdvisor rating, so highlight it on your website to make your service look credible.
Your website is good when it has the potential to convert lookers into bookers. For this, you have to think like your customers and optimize your website in a way that answers all their needs. Remember, your customers will have a closer look at what you have to offer, spend some time on your site if it is visually appealing, and test out your navigation system in the process. So, pay attention to these elements and have a professional designer help you with them.
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