Four fundamental factors every Hotelier should know,
Turning lookers into bookers
A recent study has shown that consumers use an average of 6.5 sites and devices to do research before booking accommodation, so your website is the first experience customers will have of your hotel – it’s style, it’s professionalism, it’s service and it’s facilities. Make sure your website is working for you and not against you: follow to these four fundamental rules to make sure you turn your browsers into bookers.
Know your brand
A strong and consistent brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies every day. A brand should deliver your message clearly, build your credibility, connect with your target audience and motivate the buyer. This warrants spending some time and money investing in researching, defining and building a brand, and ensuring that this is carried through to your website. Your branding is, after all, a promise to your customer and a foundational piece in your communication. Be true to your hotel, otherwise you risk disappointing your visitors which can have an adverse effect and create a mistrust of the brand.
Make it user friendly
The primary goal of any website should be to provide it’s visitors with a pleasant and fulfilling experience. Visitors who have a positive experience will be much more likely to return to the website and this will build a foundation for what customers can expect when visiting a hotel. When developing a website, the user’s wants and needs should be at the forefront of the decision making process. It’s easy to get caught up in the design and development process and, whilst it satisfies the designer or owner, is not very user-focussed and doesn’t provide visitors with much value.
Make it easily accessible
The amount of time and money consumers are spending on mobile devices is growing rapidly. For example, 41% of travellers research travel using mobile devices and, according to Eye for Travel, mobile users accounted for 20% of all sales in 2013. So, quite simply, why wouldn’t you want to mobile optimize your website?
Mobile friendly sites lead to mobile purchases, making customers more likely to book with you if they can access a site on their mobile phone or tablet. If a website isn’t mobile-optimised, customers will go elsewhere, preferring the convenience of booking on a mobile-friendly site than re-locating to a PC to revisit a web page. Bear in mind that if customers have a poor experience when visiting a non-mobile site on a tablet or phone, creating frustration or annoyance, they are likely to avoid it in future and this can be damaging to a hotel’s brand.
Make it visual
Undoubtedly and unarguably, good quality photographs sell hotel rooms. Surveys have shown that customers value a high quality image over a detailed written description and are unlikely to book a hotel without viewing photographs of, at the very least, the bedrooms. Understand that photographs evoke an emotional response from your viewers and then make it a positive one. The quality of these photographs is fundamentally important as it speaks to the levels of professionalism and quality that a customer can expect from a stay at your hotel.