9 Web Tips to Enhance Your Hotel Marketing
About our guest blogger:Brie Moreau is a Digital Marketing Analyst for Hotel Marketing Works, which is a hotel digital marketing agency that designs, develops and markets unique boutique property websites to luxury five star hotel websites, across the globe. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.
Today, a hotel's website doesn't function simply as a virtual brochure -- it is more like a shopfront. A great website has the power to entice potential customers to make a booking, offers a better user experience, which can translate into profits.
Unfortunately, some hotels spend more on a bouquet of flowers in the reception than on web design, unaware that paying attention to online content, including photos and videos, can pay great dividends and alter the perception of customers.
Here are some tips for boosting the effectiveness of your hotel's website design:
- Incorporate large, beautiful images
- Don’t neglect your icons
- Make generous use of whitespace
- Include back to the top links
- Make sure to have a booking button on every page
- Check your mobile compatibility
- Structure the booking process
- Practice Conversation Rate Optimisation (CRO)
- Audit the booking channels
Professional photography is a necessary investment and can make your hotel look spacious, attractive and luxurious.
Internet users decide whether they are interested in a website within the first few seconds of viewing it. It is thus imperative that your landing page and layout be beautiful.
Many hotels are located in stunning locations and have impeccably-designed interiors. Ensure the full visual impact of your hotel is coming through on your website. Nobody wants to look at cramped pictures of a block of hotel rooms. Professional photography is a necessary investment and can make your hotel look spacious, attractive and luxurious.
Don't overlook the importance of having attractive icons on your website.
They might be small, but don't overlook the importance of having attractive icons on your website.
Users will be interacting with these icons when they navigate your site, so ensure yours are consistent with the branding of the hotel. The colour scheme and design of the icons should fit right in with the rest of the site.
Receive feedback directly from users to gauge the feel of your site.
Never underestimate the power of white space to influence the user experience. Cramped websites make users feel ill at ease when viewing a website.
As a hotel, you want to leave users with the impression that you offer a relaxing experience, so ensure the use of whitespace on your site conveys this. Receive feedback directly from users to gauge the feel of your site.
A good way to display a back to the top link is by making it float alongside the container or in the footer.
Your website is probably going to contain long pages of content in order to provide potential guests with as much information as they require. This large volume of content needs to be considered when determining your design layout.
When pages become too long, it is tedious for users to scroll all the way back up to get to where they started. If there is no way to return to the top of the page, navigation can become a pain. A popular solution is to include a back to the top link, although this isn't a strict rule and there are exceptions in the hotel industry.
A good way to display a back to the top link is by making it float alongside the container or in the footer. This makes it accessible to the user at all times.
As a hotel, one of your goals in maintaining a website is to facilitate bookings.
As a hotel, one of your goals in maintaining a website is to facilitate bookings. A high percentage of traffic often comes organically from search engines. As such, the pages that users land on might not contain a booking button. Make sure each page contains a clear call to action to book, so users can do so no matter where they land.
Ensure that your mobile site contains direct calls to action in places that can be easily found and clicked.
A growing proportion of internet use takes place on mobile devices. In fact, 52% of all online travel research is now done on mobile devices. As a result, a hotel's website absolutely needs to be mobile responsive. A poor user experience will drive users to a different establishment's website, one that is easier to use. Ensure that your mobile site contains direct calls to action in places that can be easily found and clicked.
Mobile sites are vastly different from desktop sites, and you don't want users to have to scroll around to find and click on a tiny “book now” button. Every aspect of your site should be responsive, from browsing the pages to completing a booking. Neglect one step and you can expect to see the number of online bookings fall.
It is crucial that users understand how the booking process works.
It is crucial that users understand how the booking process works. Anything too complicated or confusing will drive them away. From an e-commerce perspective, the most effective way to do this is to have a one-click booking process.
All information should be included on one page so guests can see exactly what is required. There is nothing more frustrating than having to click through multiple pages, not knowing how many more lie in wait.
Conversation Rate Optimisation enables you to gain a firm understanding of how your users interact with your site.
Any hotel that is serious about its online presence must be actively doing CRO, which offers the best way to receive accurate feedback on a website's design and usability.
CRO enables you to gain a firm understanding of how your users interact with your site. You can then identify problem areas and capitalise on your existing strengths. The more data you gather, the better you can tweak your web presence to maximise bookings and exposure. Consider using Google Analytics (a free tool) and setting up “goals” to test your conversion rates across pages.
It's important to monitor your booking channels to determine where the best ROI and conversions are coming from.
Your booking channels should not be running unattended, and it is important to monitor them to determine where the best ROI and conversions are coming from.
Often, you'll find that one channel performs better than another. Analyze why you've achieved success with certain channels. For instance, a particular channel may display better pictures or descriptions, or offer more attractive rates. Once you've determined what makes one channel work better than others, you can then adjust the other channels to boost their performance.
The user experience your hotel website offers can have profound implications for the number of bookings you receive. Satisfied users translate to increased profits, so always strive to make the online experience the best it can be.