When designing or redeveloping your hotel website, you need to ensure you have some solid foundations in place. The first step is to carefully consider what information you want to communicate with people looking to stay at your hotel. Once this integral step is in place you can then start to optimise your website design and structure.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) should be at the forefront of your mind when designing your hotel website. Simply put, your web pages need to provide enough information and visual stimuli to trigger a click for ‘book now’.
There is a multitude of ways this can be done. We encourage you to put your best designer hat on and implement some of these key tactics when designing or optimising your existing website.
Visual storytelling is key
Visuals are the most important influential factor in a guest’s purchase decision so make sure they’re looking at something that elicits emotion and tells your hotel’s story. Remember, most visitors consume information visually, which is why using striking and memorable imagery is vital. Be sure to include high-quality photography and videos on your website that tell guests a story and showcases all aspects your property has to offer.
Make your branding memorable
Memorable and unique branding can bring amazing benefits to your business, including the ability to attract new customers purely because of your reputation. Logo, colour schemes and fonts – they all play a part in your property’s overall ‘brand’. It is also a strong driver for maintaining guest loyalty. It’s important to remember that your brand needs to translate on print and in digital collateral while effectively targeting both former and new guests. Your brand should say something about what you are offering and encourage guests to want to stay with you. It should set you apart from the crowd and show that you are unique.
Map out your site structure/ navigation
When you constructed your website, your foundation blocks laid out the most important messaging you wanted to portray to your guests. Imagine your site structure and navigation as the insulation to your property. Make it easy for users to find what they are looking for when browsing your hotel website by directing them to your relevant features. Your website is there to help them make their decision, and the more informed they feel, the higher the likelihood of them making a booking.
Think Mobile First
You’ve heard this one before, but we’ll say it again: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. A large portion of your visitors access your website from their smartphone while on the go. It’s estimated that 2.71 billion people will be using a smartphone in 2019. It is also estimated that the average adult spends 2 hours 49 minutes each day on their smartphone! Responsive design and mobile optimisation have to become the norm to facilitate a great user experience.
Create the best possible User Experience
Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your guest and, as we all know, first impressions last. A clean and uncluttered user interface which allows visitors to scan and navigate the website without confusion or hesitation gives a seamless browsing experience. Don’t forget to consider the path to purchase when mapping out your website. Website visitors may already have a booking with you, so instead of trying to sell them a room, talk about their stay and offer personalised upsells or experiences based on what they actually care about. If a previous guest is making a repeat booking, don’t push the online reviews as their direct experience of your hotel brand trumps an anonymous review. This is clearly a very different user experience!
Ultimately, your website should give users what they came for in the shortest time possible. From the moment they land on your website, to the moment they check out of your hotel, A positive guest user-experience is paramount. It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s just 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website.