The 5 most important factors to consider for a modern hotel website in 2022. These tips apply to all lodging websites, whether you manage a small independent hotel or a multi-property hotel chain.
The goal is to help you provide a better user experience to your website visitors. If you are an existing client, you may skip steps 2, 4 and 5 as these recommendations are applied by default and are regularly enhanced and maintained at no additional cost as part of the hotel website hosting package.
Hotel Branding And Web Design
Strong hotel branding should be a key aspect of your company strategy, whether you’re planning to open a new hotel or analyzing your present market position. Hotel branding allows you to better communicate your hospitality mission and compete more effectively with your competitors. Hotel branding is more than just a hotel name or logo. Your hotel brand defines who you are and welcomes customers who share your values to stay with you. Long before guests set foot in your hotel, branding allows you to show them what to expect.
The importance of website design in branding
Website design is one of the most important tools in establishing your hotel’s brand. Branding gives your hotel an identity and adds personality to your business. Hotel website design begins with the hotel’s name/domain and incorporates branding, which includes a variety of elements such as:
- HOTEL LOGO
- BRAND COLORS
- TYPOGRAPHY (FONTs)
- Tagline / Slogan
- Web design & layout
- Hotel Images
What are the benefits of a well-designed hotel website?
The hotel website is the first impression of the hotel and hence the most important aspect of its positioning and marketing. The hotel website is more important than anything else in today’s digital word. A better-designed website improves the user experience and helps generate more direct reservations, lowering OTA commission costs and minimizing reliance on third-party reservations.
Hotel Website Development
Around 80% of reservations are made online and the majority of guests prefer an immediate online reservation. Online bookings are increasingly outnumbering walk-ins and phone bookings. Having your own website means you may sell directly to customers without paying a commission.
Responsive mobile first design
More than 60% of online traffic is generated by mobile devices. This pattern is becoming more pronounced with each passing year. Not only will your website’s ranking and performance improve, but it will also improve the user experience. You might be wondering what Mobile First Responsive Design is. In layman’s terms, Mobile First Responsive Design is a method of developing websites for smaller displays first, then gradually adapting them for larger ones.
Easy user friendly navigation
Easy-to-use navigation is essential for any website, including accommodation websites. A clear separation between lodging, facilities, and extras should be made for the convenience of website visitors. Always have a book button and a phone number or symbol displayed. There is no reason to hide the booking button or phone number if the purpose of your website is to help guests and generate more reservations.
Hoteliers are noted for their courtesy, friendliness, and outstanding service. However, the hotel’s website, which refuses access to persons with disabilities and displays intrusive popups or aggressive data collecting, does not necessarily reflect this reputation. Make your hotel’s website accessible to all so that online visitors have the same wonderful experience as in-house guests.
Why is web accessibility important to a hotel website?
It’s important that all visitors to your website can use and interact with your website regardless of disability. The hotelier’s philosophy of making guests feel welcome and providing a great experience should be reflected in digital interactions as well. A user-friendly website can also help converts more visitors. An accessible website not only makes it easier for people with disabilities to access information, but it also makes the online experience better for everyone.
For hoteliers, HotelCrux is launching a free web accessibility widget. Keep an eye out for it and subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when it becomes available.
Hotel Website Marketing and Sales
Creating an online presence is the most effective way to get recognized. It’s all about leveraging hotel social media and content marketing to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
However, having a lovely Instagram or Facebook profile isn’t enough. You need to make your hotel a desirable destination across all channels. Integrate your social media pages with your website to take advantage of retargeting and other marketing options.
Social media marketing
Social media sharing of gorgeous images and posts helps boost the desire to travel and traffic to your website. Engage travellers by sharing posts and stories showing the gorgeous photographs of your accommodation or view. The more information you can provide on the location, cuisine, and activities, the more likely people will make a reservation. The following are a few essential social media channels to consider:
While TripAdvisor, OTA’s, Google, and Bing are not social media platforms, you will need to monitor the quality and activity regularly. Responding to reviews is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate that you care about your guests and guest feedback.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving and promoting a hotel website on search engine result pages (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing). It allows you to enhance website traffic and generate more reservations by increasing your hotel’s online exposure.
Optimise hotel SEO
Hotel SEO can be optimized in two ways:
On Page SEO requires optimizing a website’s content on its own server. It includes things like quality content, careful keyword selection, keyword placement in the right places, and appropriate page names, among other things.
Off page SEO SEO involves, submitting to open directories, search engines, and link exchanges in order to build links and improve link popularity. This is done on websites that are not under your control or part of your website.
SEO optimisation techniques
There are two categories of SEO techniques:
- White Hat SEO are the tactics that are recommended by search engines.
- Black Hat SEO is a term used to describe techniques that search engines dislike and attempt to minimize their impact. We advise against using black hat SEO tactics.
There are a few other SEO factors to consider, such as page titles and descriptions, Meta Tags, optimization of image alt text, Keyword optimization, internal and external links, Schema markup for hotels etc.
In the past, OTAs obliged hotels to utilize the same rate and terms for a certain room type regardless of distribution channel. Higher OTA commissions results to less money in hotelier’s pocket. Now you can show clients the lower rates on your direct channel utilizing a rate parity widget, which will help you convert more traffic into reservations.
If you’re interested in a free rate parity widget, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll let you know when it’s available.
Booking engine integration
Having a web-booking engine integrated with your hotel’s website speeds up a visitor’s decision-making process. Because the bookings are commission-free, you can increase your top-line revenue per booking by converting the lookers into your guests.
If your property does not yet have a booking engine, you can utilize a booking form to receive reservation requests from customers. If you do not collect a booking deposit in advance or use a PMS or channel manager, a booking form may be sufficient to cover your needs.
Website Security And Privacy
The security of your website is critical to the user experience—and to protecting your business. Lodging businesses are frequently targeted because of the vast amount of personal and sensitive data they collect. Hotels are an easy and appealing target for hackers because security and data protection are poor to non-existent.
According to a 2017 Data Breach Investigative Report, the hotel industry is responsible for 87 percent of all point-of-sale data breaches. To make your website secure, the bare minimum and free thing to do is to use an SSL certificate. To ensure that your website is only accessible via secure means, redirect all non-https traffic to https.
Hotel website content security policy
Content protection policy (CSP) is an extra layer of security that aids in the detection and mitigation of certain risks. The CSP header allows you to specify a list of resources that are allowed. It’s better to figure out what resources you’ll need to tailor your security policy to help mitigate security risks.
Use a hosting company that provides extra security and protection against DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks.
Privacy and data protection
The first step is to learn about all of the personal data gathered by your property, why it’s collected, how it’s stored and handled and who has access to it. This will offer you a starting point for determining what has to be changed to ensure GDPR or CCPA compliance.
It is preferable to eliminate unneeded data collection and improve overall security. According to BBC News, Marriott Hotels was fined £18.4 million for a data breach. From personal experience, I can state that this is a problem of ignorance rather than money, as many large hotel chains do not care when and if they are informed of a security flaws.
Take your duty for your client’s data as seriously as you do for the comfort and luxury you seek to deliver to your guests.
Hotel Website Performance
The performance of the hotel website is the most crucial and final element. When website visitors abandon your site due to poor loading, all of your earlier efforts at good design and marketing to draw traffic to your site are wasted.
OTAs like Booking.com and expedia are direct competitors of your hotel website. Before making a reservation, travelers compare several sites to get the best pricing. Matching your competitor’s quality is the only way to convert an OTA client into a direct reservation.
The speed with which your site loads is critical to its success. Because hotel guests do not have access to high-speed internet when on the go, you must use cutting-edge technologies such as CDNs, Accelerated Mobile Pages, and progressive web apps to provide your website visitors with a speedy and safe experience.
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