What your website design tells about your hotel3 min read
Nowadays the web has become a powerful search engine tool for travelers. In order to have a successful online business, hotels must make sure that their websites transmit quality, professionalism and credibility together with a good design and comfortable look-and-feel.
Because people are so busy these days, you only have a couple of seconds to attract someone’s attention and transmit your message. A “not-up-to-date” (Latin for “bad”) website design can wipe out any chance of online success for your property.
What will make visitors leave your website?
- Lack of content – you have to make sure your website provides the main information visitors are looking for. They are not looking for literature, but they do want to know about you
- Messy navigation – visitors aren’t treasure hunting. They need to know where to go so don’t make their life’s difficult
- Out of date information – So you had a $45/day promotion back in 2001?! That is just great, but it doesn’t really help much today’s visitors…
- Cluttered information and design – I’m sure your nephew is a great kid specially since he downloaded the trial version of Photoshop, but does that make him an experienced designer?
- Lack of images – the best way to sell your property is by showing visitors your property and the surroundings. With today’s technology, taking a picture got easier than ever. With a good website design, any picture can look good so if you don’t have the budget for a professional photo shoot, do it yourself. Just make sure you tell your web designer that this is the way you are doing it
- Broken website – check that all the pages of your website are working properly. Broken links (links on your page that go nowhere) aren’t popular in search engines like Google.
A great hotel website design is all about getting the layout, photos and content to show the real look-and-feel of the property (or at least how you want it to be foreseen). In these next two examples you can see the difference that a new website design can make.
Your website must really show how good your property is, transmit confidence, and engage visitors in order to convert them into guests.
How to achieve this?
- Regularly update the website content – make sure you don’t have your Christmas promotions during spring
- Make sure that the name of your hotel and logo are visible
- Do not overload the home page with information
- Make sure that your website layout transmits the look and feel of your property
- Your website navigation should be intuitive, it must guide your visitors through the website
- Show images of your property and the surroundings, let your visitors experience the property through their eyes
- Provide an easy to use online booking system with real-time availability and pricing
It is important that whoever creates your website is able to provide you with an easy to use online reservations system. Having a website without it doesn’t really payoff. The home page of your website is your business card, not only because is the first contact that visitors have with your property but also because it is the one that engages visitors. A professional website design can provide that extra engagement needed to visitors to book directly on your website, and you have to make sure you provide them with necessary tools to keep abandon rates at a minimum.