Hospitality Website Design Secrets
Your hospitality website is a powerful and dynamic tool. Once optimized correctly, it is a money making machine that does not quit. All you have to do is to follow these steps outlined below for guaranteed website conversion success.
There are four main areas of hotel website design concentration that this article will discuss. This blog is the first in a series of three about the strength of smart website design and functionality. This post will discuss these website tactics:
- Website content
- Website usability
- How to effectively use conversion tracking
- The foundation of hotel website designs
Use Well-Crafted Website Content to Attract More Customers
Be honest. Is your website living up to its full potential? Let’s start with first impressions. It only a few seconds for a website visitor to land on your homepage and decide whether to stay or leave.
Your best chances to engage a potential guest is with beautiful, professional photography that showcase your property and with helpful, well-written content. Do not assume you can accomplish these tasks on your own! Enlist the help of professionals who understand the complexities of camera equipment and lighting as well as writers who know how to craft concise text that is SEO friendly.
Less textual content and more visual imagery are key hospitality solutions for independent properties. Users now “skim” the web and video is taking the place of long-winded narratives. An increased conversion rate of 5-10% could be as simple as making changes to your website’s images, videos and text.
- Encourage visitors to look further by keeping homepage text to a brief, helpful 100 to 150 words.
- Text on individual accommodation pages should be limited to 150 to 200 words with a focus on top benefits of each lodging choice. Supplement with images that highlight features and amenities.
- Instead of writing one long activity page, create unique descriptive pages for each area of guest interest.
- Keep current with guests by creating monthly blog entries.
- Write context in simple language, convey information that your guest will find useful, and place the most pertinent information at the top of each page.
Make It Easy for Your Website Users to Make a Reservation
Let’s assume you’ve made a good first impression. Will users of your hospitality website design know what to do next? Great website usability facilitates the logical steps needed to make an online reservation. Make it uncomplicated for users to get the information they need to book a room!
The most effective practice is to limit overall navigation choices. Lead left to right on your navigation bar with what you sell first: Accommodations, Reservations, Specials, Activities, Events, Gallery, Blog and Contact. Use drop-down menus from these categories to streamline navigation choices. Most importantly, have clearly identifiable call to action buttons that make it simple to BOOK NOW.
- Clearly identify your property’s contact information on your homepage.
- Place prominent calls to action on each web page & “above the fold” so no scrolling is necessary.
- Download times need to be fast to maintain user high interest level.
- Booking engine access should be obvious with streamlined functionality.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and can deliver content on various devices.
How Conversion Tracking Can Increase Your Return on Investment
Thank goodness for Google Analytics. This multi-faceted FREE program is the perfect resource to point out the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing strategies, advertising campaigns and website design. Conversion tracking helps best figure out the behaviors of your customers based on the parameters you specify.
We recommend an advanced setup of Google Analytics. When configured in conjunction with your online booking engine, Google Analytics allows you to track revenue all the way to the source used by a customer. This vital information is paramount in letting you adjust what is and is not working on your website.
- Conversion tracking allows you to pinpoint revenue sources, track links (information offered to the user), track forms (information sent by the user) and track events (such as page views, downloads or video play).
- Google Analytics can detail most visited website pages; how much time is spent on pages; what and when pages are bounced off; the path taken to the booking engine; & when users make a reservation.
- You can also study and adjust tactics on your website from valuable information gained by a “heat map” tracker such as Crazy Egg.
- Marketing initiatives such as PPC versus SEO performance can also be measured.
Benefits of a Content Management System Website
Content management system (CMS) websites are the perfect choice for hoteliers whose website content changes on a regular basis. The benefit to these businesses is that owners/authorized users, instead of paying hourly fees to webmasters, can easily make the changes themselves. CMS websites empower you to review and refine your business and marketing strategies as often as you like.
In conjunction with data collected by your Google Analytics conversion tracking, now it’s simple to update components of your website that affect customer behavior. No longer is it necessary to wait on third-party resources to make these adjustments for you. The time you save on being in control of your website can be spent with your customers!
- Easy to learn platform—no knowledge needed of complicated website codes.
- Gain complete control over website content. Pages can be quickly added, edited and removed.
- Add new pages to coincide with current or seasonal marketing strategies.
- Manage photos, custom photo galleries, videos and blogs.
RezStream hopes that you will utilize these tips on why some websites almost always make more money. In the next blog of our three-part series, we will examine why using a content management system website could be your smartest business decision this year.
About the company: RezStream is a website design agency located in Denver, Colorado that offers hospitality solutions including Internet marketing, reservation software and booking engine solutions. Contact us today to receive a free custom website design quote!