So it’s time to build a new website for your property. Where do you start?
With so many sites vying for your business, it’s critical that your site stands out in terms of design usability. Ultimately, these are the essential features that’ll increase your site’s potential for lead generation.
Designing this type of a site can seem overwhelming at first, but we’re here to break it down for you. In this article we’ll focus on six essential design elements your hotel website needs for its ultimate objective: converting users into clients.
1. Put Guests in the Picture
When customers research hotel websites, they are searching for a property they can trust to provide a great experience. They want to know that their vacation or business stay will be positive and enriching. By providing a high end professional site, you send the message that potential guests can trust your brand and that they won’t be disappointed if they book with you.
Hire professional photographers to shoot high quality photos and video that showcase the best aspects of your property. Steer clear of stock imagery but do include images of people enjoying your property. Guests can relate to others having a similar experience.
2. Bountiful, high-resolution imagery
“A picture’s worth a thousand words”. Captivating photos help to create an impact and tell a story more than text. A compelling cover photo can provide a quick visual display of the hotel and convey a lot of information in a single glance.
Rotating images can catch a user’s eye and invite them to click through and explore. Adding a slideshow draws more attention than a static image, but make sure that the format is mobile friendly and loads quickly.
3. Compelling Video
Video is a wonderful medium for story telling and is a very effective way of sharing the experience of your property with potential guests. By allowing them to experience what it will be like to stay in your hotel, they get to try before they buy.
Consider this option: replace an image gallery with a virtual tour or video tour to let guests see the beauty and grandeur of your location or amenities. Video testimonials from satisfied customers can also be effective.
4. Maximize on the Experience, Not the Stay
The best way to get potential guests to click on the ‘Book Now’ button is to create a web experience that inspires, so that the individual(s) start to fantasize about the wonderful experience they’ll have at your property. By including images of your location and lists of all the attractions nearby, potential guests can better imagine the experiences they’ll have on their trip.
But what if your property is not in an idyllic location or prime vacation spot? Play up strengths that will appeal to your customers. Business travellers can be enticed by easy access to the airport or your signature on-site restaurant. The key is in knowing your target audience and highlighting what they value most.
5. Simplicity is Key
As you add images, video and color to set the tone of your website, don’t overdo things. A site design that is too complex can distract and overwhelm, rather than entice.
Avoid pages with an over-abundance of and social sharing buttons. Keep the layout straightforward so that relevant information is easy for users to find. Don’t use animations or galleries that aren’t easily rendered on mobile devices.
Adding too many elements can lead to a longer load time, which can lose customers. On average, your site has less than 10 seconds to grab users before their attention shifts and they click away to something else. These first few seconds are critical, and a simple design can convey the maximum amount of information in a short time frame. As an exceptional example, visit Apple’s sight. It’s a masterpiece of design simplicity, and as such, effectiveness.
6. Be Informative
Although short and sweet is the goal, providing key information up front is essential. Users want immediate access to room availability, reviews, and pricing. Every page on your site should prominently display your property’s name and address along with a ‘contact us’ button and a phone number for guests who feel more comfortable talking to someone.
Hotel websites need to help hoteliers achieve their objectives – generating conversions and revenue. A good user experience is key to achieving these goals. It’s important for the user to easily navigate through the site in a short amount of time and gather all the information needed to make a decision. The bottom line is that your hotel’s website is a sales machine and should be treated as an opportunity to advertise and promote the best your property has to offer. For Hotel Web Design, Contact Us to find out if we can help you redesign or launch your new website today!