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Tips for independent properties to convert lookers into bookers

July 8, 2010 3 min read


Tips for independent properties to convert lookers into bookers

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Turning lookers into bookers

Nowadays the web has become a powerful search engine tool for travelers. Hence hotels must make sure that their websites transmit quality, professionalism and credibility together with a good design and comfortable look-and-feel.
One of the most important aspects for e-commerce success has to do with the way the business is presented and the services are sold. Creating a sales-focused website is not trivial but there are many important details that must be taken into account.

Attractive graphic design
For obvious reasons the most visible characteristic of a website is the design. Although is not a decisive factor in a sales-oriented website it is the first connection of the person with the brand, therefore it influences their “looking” behavior. When creating your new website make sure you have open conversations with the web designer about the preferences in colors, textures and the experiences that the property offers. And then leave it to them; they are the professionals.

Navigation and usability
Having an easy-to-use and user-friendly navigation on your website can be a decisive factor for how long your visitors will stay in your website. Bad navigation and usability can lead to visitors abandoning the website within 2 seconds thus not converting into bookings. It is important to keep the navigation of a website simple and to the point, preferably just one level of navigation with a clear menu that feature items that users recognize.  It is not recommendable to try to innovate and distinguish this area of the website from your competitors.

Photo gallery
Studies indicate that images are the second factor right behind pricing in terms of influencing the choice of property to stay in. With today’s technology, taking a good picture is easier than ever. With a good website design any picture can look good and you don’t need to spend money in a professional photo shoot. But you need to make sure your images transmit what you want to sell to your customers.

Promotions and special offers
It is important to provide incentives to website visitors so they choose your property over the competition. Creating special offers on your website can help you sell distress inventory in a way that it doesn’t cannibalize your regular sales and you can optimize your search engine ranking by offering fresh content on the website. Make sure your promotions are visible on every page of the website and promote your special offers in different social channels.

Stimulate visitors to stay on the website
Many hotel websites include links to external sites like for users looking for 3rd party information. However, once users leave the website they will be attacked with advertising of competing offers. So, it is critical that once you leverage content syndication technologies like RSS to provide the turnkey package for decision making on your website and turn that looker into a booker.

Provide real time rates and availability
Two factors are always included in the decision of travelers: price and availability. It is critical that the website displays prominently, in every page, the ability for travelers to check rates and availabilities for the travel dates. Moreover, many travelers nowadays have flexible dates and are actively bargain hunting and willing to trade off some convenience for a better price or package.
Make sure your calendar overview displays a longer-term view of the rates and availabilities so travels can choose the perfect vacation or business trip according to their needs and possibilities.

Best available rate to ensure rate parity
According to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, hotels that are listed on third-party distributors’ websites like online travel agents, or OTAs, can expect to capture additional direct reservations. In order to leverage the full marketing potential of distribution channels, it is extremely important for your website to offer the best available rate always.

Facilitate instant online booking
Having a website that offers instant booking is crucial to decrease the abandon rate and increase online bookings. You must make sure that your website booking engine offers and easy and quick online booking process for guests to reserve a room.

Provide trust mechanisms
Providing security and privacy to your website visitors is crucial for the success of your online business. You must guarantee visitors that their personal information will always remain private, this will provide them confidence to book a room directly on your website.

Your website is your best sales representative, therefore it is important for it to provide the proper tools to engage lookers and turn them into bookers. But keep in mind that a sales-oriented website will only generate results if it has bookable offers.

One Comment
  1. Myrna Sondrol

    This product actually looks genuine, I haven't tried it yet however I may give it a try.

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