“Failures are stepping stones to success” or so the saying goes. Whether it is in hotel marketing or life in general, these stepping stones carry valuable lessons.
There are tonnes of resources focused on successful hotel websites and what we can learn from those triumphs. From the success stories we have learnt that travellers have the following minimum expectations:
Ease of Access – Bookers need to be able to find and book hotels with ease in multiple formats. A balanced website design, engaging visual and textual content, providing a user friendly experience on all devices (desktop, mobile & tablets) is expected.
Ease of Navigation – Websites are the moments of truth in hotel marketing. The navigation needs to address the most important questions the visitors are looking for. The most important are 1) What does it look like? (rooms & leisure areas) 2) Location and 3) How much does it cost? 4) What are my peers saying about it?
Easy to Understand – Content that is authoritative, reliable, informative and up-to-date. People want information they can trust. Wide variety of high quality images representing all aspects of the hotel facilities and services. Website management does not run well on autopilot.
Easy loading – Visitors are gone in half the blink of an eye. That is today’s Online Travel Shopper. A study by Google found that anything lasting over a second is jarring enough to break a user’s flow. With unstable and unreliable mobile internet across the globe, Google says that there’s only one thing to do: cut your website’s load time to below two seconds, or face the consequences
Ease of Use – Seamless online experience for your guests with minimum number of clicks viewing a full range of products on offer, including special and last minute opportunities will turn your website lookers into bookers.
Then we decided to look to the other side to explore what some of the common failures teach us. If you are an independent hotel and working on generating some extra love for your website, please read through the selection of articles below and avoid the common pitfalls:
[pullquote]Websites are the moments of truth in hotel marketing.[/pullquote]
Pages that take forever to load – We have all been there: searching the web, tapping our fingernails on our laptop, roll our eyes and eventually exiting out of the browser with a sigh of frustration. So what can we do to ensure that your direct bookings are not penalised?
Cluttered Website – Having a cluttered web page makes the viewers experience difficult. Nobody likes a page which is hard to navigate because it implies a lot of effort from the visitor. Viewing and interacting with a page should be as easy and relaxing as it can be.
Bad Imagery – Hotels need to customize the images on their websites to fit the interests and preferences of different demographic and geographic audiences. The more relevant images you deliver to your website visitor, the higher the level of engagement, conversions and revenues. Although this article is about OTAs, the requirements are similar for hotel websites.
Static website content – A lot has been said about having the right content on hotel websites, but many independent hotels still find it difficult to pin point the actions they need to take. Here is a scenario.
Too much room types & rate choices– Most customers when confronted with too many options will abandon bookings. Think about room capacity, location and rearrange your room types to sell in sequence and profitable order: