How to design a hotel website
Are you looking to improve your hotel website design or just create a new website for your hotel? Then you’ll enjoy reading this article. Here we provide an overview of the best practices for hotel web design, presented in a clear and succinct manner to help you organise your thinking. Whether you’re looking to go down the DIY route or planning to outsource this work to specialised professionals, this information will provide a robust framework to guide you to successful completion.
You may be surprised to find there are some important - but elusive - considerations that work behind the scenes to secure the success of any modern hotel website!
Modern people have no time to lose. When you’re creating a marketing plan to generate booking leads through a website, you must realize that time is of the essence. And by that, we mean, of course, spent by your potential clients browsing your website. You need to find ways to make this as productive and effective as possible, otherwise your visitors won’t hesitate to click back and keep searching elsewhere for what they want.
One of the fundamental considerations here relates to technical issues such as web hosting and the actual coding of hotel websites - these are the two most important underlying factors to ensure your hotel website is adaptive and useful. Since these are somewhat complex matters related to coding, you’ll either have to get the help of a specialist or brace yourself while plunging forward to acquire expertise. Briefly, you want a website that loads extremely fast and at least matches your visitors’ expectations for convenience in browsing and efficiency in booking.
Technical implementations aside, there is another crucial factor to keep in mind that is tied to usability and design. Your visitors must be able to navigate your website effortlessly and find the information they’re looking for. Once you catch their attention and warm up your prospects, you need to make sure they’re always 1-click away from booking. And when they actually proceed to book a room in your hotel, you need to make sure they won’t have any difficulties or delays.
In short, your website must be very mobile-friendly, easy to use and fast to book from. Having an integrated booking system is vital since it will keep your potential clients within your virtual property while giving them easy access to the purchase they want in the exact moment they make a decision to buy.
You must realize that OTA (Online Travel Agents) are both an important ally as well as a persistent rival, and you have to find ways to balance things out. You want to get listed in as many third-party websites as possible to expand your reach and potential client base, and you need to compel your guests to book directly your website so you can save on OTA commission rates. Do your math right, and surely you will find ways to get the best of both worlds!
Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of getting search engines to list your web pages as close to the top as possible. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider getting the help of a specialized agency to handle this work - a feature that is often included by serious web design firm as part of their service.
At very least, you should have some basic notions of what the best practices are. This involves work to be done internally and externally from your website.
Internally, you need to have a clearly structured website with a separate page for each room offering as much information as possible in an as succinct way as possible, using text, photos, and videos to your best advantage. Generally speaking, search engines give more authority to websites that keep visitors engaged by offering what they seek.
Externally, you should find creative ways to get other websites to mention your hotel website and link to it. Each link is regarded as a virtual authority point that will add to your own; getting mentioned in authoritative websites such as leading travel blogs will give you the most “points” and help build your presence online.
Another useful marketing tool that you may want to include in your website is a loyalty points club. All the really big hotels and conglomerates use this to great advantage since it’s a simple way to build up a list of regular clients and keep them coming back by offering incentives and promotions.
You can be creative in finding the terms and conditions best suited for your business and client profile. This may include special discounts available only through your homepage, as well as exclusive promotions offered to previous customers through your newsletter and/or social media channels; you may even choose to offer occasional freebies to your most faithful clients. However you choose to set up your loyalty points club, make sure to add this tool to your arsenal since it’s very easy to implement and will help strengthen your brand as well as your business.
These are the fundamental considerations anyone should keep in mind while developing a hotel web design project. Use these topics as reference as your hotel website design will be guaranteed to stand proudly on a firm foundation.
Your website will be a tremendous asset in generating leads to your hotel business, so you should make sure to put a lot of energy and resources into its development! Cut no corners and spare no efforts - your website should multiply your investment, if done well.