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September 19, 2019

Building a Better Hotel Website, Part 1

Do you know how much business you're getting as a result of your website? Probably not, but could you increase your business by improving your site? Probably so.

Over these five blog posts we're going to look at five areas of improvement for most sites. And first up: Show people what they want to see. According to travel industry marketing maven Joey Egan, these are the four things every hotel website should make obvious:

1. What makes you different? Why should they stay with you?

2. What do the rooms look like?

3. Are you offering any deals?

4. What do the reviews say?

Number one, then, decide what your hotel's real selling point is, and don't assume people will just see it for themselves, or figure it out for themselves. Tell them. Ask guests and staff what it is that stands out about your property and use that. As Candace Green says, "The more you understand about why guests love your hotel, the better you’ll be able to frame your story in your marketing and advertising efforts."

Two, clear, up to date pictures of all rooms -- clearly marked. Do not allow guests to think the Presidential Suite is available for the Economy price. Don't use the fisheye trick to make them seem bigger than they actually are, either. You'll get slammed on TripAdvisor for "smaller than expected rooms" when the room size is fine, but the guest's expectations were not.

Three, hey, everyone wants a deal. If there's anything at all that would qualify as a way for guests to save money, make sure they can see it clearly on the site.

And four, it's just a fact, that today, reviews are of utmost importance. Half to two-thirds of guests won't book a room in a hotel without reading reviews first. Now this can be personal recommendations from friends and family, but failing that, it's TripAdvisor or another site of that ilk.

Next, we'll look at how to make sure the content on your site is pulling its weight.