Welcome, today we launch our new blog, in which we will dedicate each of our articles to talk about the hostelry world that we love so much. And are we going to talk about not only the hard-nosed business, but we will devote ourselves to learn about new trends, to give you tips for day to day business and much more; Always seeking and promoting the active participation from all of you, our beloved visitors.
We wanted to dedicate our first article to talk about something that affects all hotels so we will begin our blog talking about why it is so important to have a good website for our hotel and what features should have to be successful.
A few years ago, the question was whether our hotel should have its own website or not. Time passed and the technology was developed to take forward this question, leaving us with absolute certainty that yes, all hotel company, no matter its size, should have its own website.
Now, what content should the website have? What are the requirements that it must have to be successful? Which should be the purpose of the content? As you see, the questions are many and though some responses may be easier than others we will try to explain them all in the best way possible.
First, we will start with the last question, because without understanding this, it is impossible for the hotel to fulfill its mission: our website, like any other piece of communication, should always aim to sell more. If you expected a more complex response, you are in the wrong way.
The design, content, layout and every element of our hotel website should always seek to convert every visitor in a client. Create a website for anything else is a waste of money and resources that could be used for something else. For example, we could put that money toward looking for a web design agency, like Expedition Co. who can help us on our journey to establishing a professional website design. Even if our website does not have a booking engine (which would be a serious mistake) and has only been created to give information about the hotel, this information should seek to find new potential clients. This rule must apply for any other parts of the site.
However, answering to the specific question of what should a website have to be successful, and without naming redundant aspects, such as photos of the rooms, etc., we can name the following:
Quality photos and video: The man is a visual animal, and therefore usually makes decisions based on what they see. This affirms two opposite sides of the same reality that may look the same but are not: On one hand, we are more likely to be chosen if we offer a well-structured visual content. And on the other hand, that if the images and videos that we offer are not up to their expectations they will probably close the window.
In addition, it is important that all visual content we use is consistent with the identity of our hotel and the image we want to give to the public. Similarly, it is important that the logo of our hotel or resort have a visible presence, so that the association of the brand (logo) and the product (our hotel and its services) is made by an optimal and natural way.
Unless you have a high understanding of photography, we recommend that you hire a professional.
Quality content: The text that we will develop on the website of our hotel should not only be attractive and informative for the reader, but should be used as a weapon of sale, always looking to promote the hiring of our services by the visitor, and thus increase the conversion.
Online booking: If we want the hotel website to function as a sales force and as a key element for future actions related to e-CRM and CRM, it must have online booking available and it must be as simple as possible. Not having online booking will not only make us lose money, but also will tarnish our image making us look as an unserious and unprofessional company.
Contact Page: It seems obvious, but it never hurts to say: The contact section should not only be clearly visible and easy to access, but must absolutely provide all the contact information. Placing just a form to fill through the web without providing mail or telephone of the hotel, is a mistake that is repeated more than you would imagine.
Different languages: A website with only one language available is losing customers continuously. We need to get our message to as many people as possible. That is why it is necessary to have our website translated into many different languages using something like Lilt machine translation services that you can learn more about here. Of course, budget issues do arise that make it difficult to afford a translation to a variety of languages, English should always be prioritised and made available.
Now that we have appointed some characteristics of a perfect website, let us explain four factors that must be achieved to design level.
Usability: The website of your hotel should not only be attractive but also intuitive, agile and must meet the needs of the user. The easier the navigation is, the more likely that users become clients.
SEO: This is one of the pillars of any quality website. On the Internet, we compete against thousands of pages, and if we want to appear in the top positions of Google search results, it is necessary to optimize our content based on the parameters set by the search engine. A good SEO definition can make your website moves from absolute anonymity to the extreme popularity.
Responsive: Today, being responsive is one of the most important points for any website that wants to succeed. The percentage of people seeking information and services from their mobile phones is increasingly high. That is why it is essential to have a page designed and optimized for these devices, unless we want to lose potential customers.
Safe procedures: In any website where business transactions are made, security is a must and an obligation; Not only precisely to ensure user safety, but also because not having them affects our business in a negative way, making us lose both potential and real clients.
In short, our website should aim to look that visitors be attracted, informed and finally that they want to book our hotel online. For this, we should use all the tools at our disposal, specially the features that we have mentioned in this article. If we do it in an efficient way, our website will become our best sales force, giving us three substantial benefits (among others):
- We will increase the percentage of clients that book us directly, reducing the commissions to third parties, thus increasing the average price of our hotel or resort.
- It will reduce our dependence on search engines, online travel agencies, etc.
- We will expand our database, which it will result in more benefits when developing strategies and campaigns of e-CRM and CRM.
Finally, there is something we must always bear in mind from the moment we launched our website: Metrics. Tools like Google Analytics allows us to have all kinds of statistics from our website. This will be vital for us to analyze our performance, analyze changes, improve efficiency and usability design, implement possible new developments, improve the efficiency of online booking and improve the conversion rate (which we could always achieve by hiring a professional cro agency if we wanted to see positive results at a much quicker rate), among many other advantages.
We hope that this article has been useful and interesting for you. If so, share it with your friends and tell us: What else do you think a perfect hotel website must have?