Hotel websites tend to have a standard format. They resemble a brochure of the property and provide a booking page for potential guests. Once the stunning images of rooms and facilities and food have drawn in the site visitor, they are presented with a book/reserve button. By choosing to book through the hotel’s website directly, they are redirected to the second part of the site to fill in the details. The booking section is usually a cookie-cutter format used by numerous other hotel booking pages. It’s dull, impersonal and doesn’t offer guests the opportunity to voice their personal needs. So, here are a few pointers that could well make your guests re-book time and again.
Online Travel Agency booking engines are far more intuitive to visitors needs. And this is one aspect hotel websites should consider adopting. OTAs tailor their content according to the requirements of the potential guest.
Dump the hard sell
If a potential guest is keen to reserve a room through your website, they will find the Book Now button when they need to. The information presented on the website should be clear, welcoming and relevant. Putting the sale option on every page is rather like a tenacious shop assistant following you around a store and asking; ‘is there anything you like sir?’ It’s irritating and off-putting. Equally, if you have a deal available, advertise it, but don’t go over the top. Bright, large fonts and background colours declaring ‘SALE’ might be great in January on the high street, but it can detract from the character and features of your hotel.
Personalise your content according to your traffic
Examine the data on visitors to your site. Which pages do they linger on the most? Is it the unique spa facilities? Or the five-star Italian restaurant your property boasts? Amend your website content according to the most popular pages attracting visitors and attention. Additionally, provide more than the standard gallery of rooms and booking page. Your unique hotel stay experience should be reflected in the content of your website. Adding easy-to-find and well-organized price lists and menus are also important. Guests want to be able to financially quantify their stay with you. If that is to include treatments in the spa and a special meal in the evening, make that information available to them.
Don’t dazzle guests with deals
Some choice is an excellent asset. But too much choice can be overwhelming and off-putting to visitors. You may have several discounts and offers available, but don’t bombard the potential guest with them all. Be strategic and only feature the main deals on your landing page. Additional deals can be revealed once your potential guest enters the booking section. Make sure this area of your site is considerate to their needs and intuitive enough to bring up offers that will benefit their stay. For example, if your guest books in children, let them know about the Kids’ Club discounts. If they request a restaurant booking for two, inform them of any F&B offers available.
Use creative copy
Make sure your website content is well-written. Positive, persuasive copywriting that is well-structured too, can help potential guests make booking decisions. Poor copy, badly spelled and poorly structured will only serve to confuse or put off potential guests entirely.
Make sure your reviews are visible
If your property has rave reviews on Google, Trip Advisor, and Facebook, etc, make sure that’s visible on your home page. Nothing sells something better than lots of trusted, third-party praise. Such recommendations provide a sense of belief in your brand. Equally, make sure any awards you have won or praise from a celebrity guest comment, is available too. The more recommendations, the better.
Make use of retargeting
Bring potential guests back to your hotel site with retargeted ads. Reminders of deals that pop up in their news feeds might well be just the push they need to revisit your website rather than searching through an OTA. Retargeted adverts provide a simple, one-click way back to your own hotel website. These can be run across multiple social media channels too.