Competition for room bookings is always fierce, and any advantage you can get over other local hotels means extra revenue for your property. More than half of all hotel bookings are made online, totalling revenues around $150 million. Designing a professional website that’s simple to use and easy to nvavigate, builds trust, and provides guests with a sense of what is unique about your hotel is essential.
A well-designed site creates a seamless experience for people to find what they need and get what they want. If the process is confusing or the offers don’t appear to be worth it, people will leave your site without making a reservation. Get them to stay on your site and increase bookings with these hotel web design tips:
Design with sales in mind
Your property’s website should reflect your sales goals and brand experience. Incorporating your hotel brand is more than including a logo. Do you want to convey to guests that your property is serenely elegant or relaxed and family friendly? You want your site to look good, but the ultimate purpose of the site is to generate sales.
In this respect, a website that is user friendly and gets potential guests to click the ‘Book Now’ button is more important than a site that is creative but loses track of the message. Make sure you draw attention to any features or special offers that can tempt guests to book immediately. Keep business goals in mind when creating your design and simplify your page to focus on essentials.
Create a professional experience
Your website is the first contact that potential guests have with your property. A high quality professional site lets guests know they can trust you to provide a great travel experience. Highlighting awards and showcasing glowing guest testimonials builds trust. Make your reputation a priority.
Use professional photos and video footage to let guests “try before the buy”. Stock photos are good for blog posts, but you want the best for your main site. High quality media helps differentiate your property. Why should guests choose to book their travel at your hotel instead of the competition?
Less is more
A site that is too cluttered confuses guests and can be difficult to use. Too many items on your homepage can also cause it to load slower, a consideration when thinking about guests on mobile devices.
By keeping things simple, you’ll ensure that guests don’t get distracted or frustrated. A guest may lose interest and leave without making a reservation if he has to backtrack or stop and try to figure out how to navigate your site. Remember the goal is to make the booking process quick and seamless.
Create a clean design for desktop and mobile usability. Continuous scrolling design found on the Arizona Grand Resort hotel website shows everything on one page. Incorporating tabs and expandable content helps keep the visual clutter down for users who are accessing your site on small screens.
Share don’t tell your story
Use immersive storytelling to create a compelling feel for what your property is like. Often, people read the titles and headlines but don’t click for the story. Adding an image slideshow catches attention up front and keeps it. Already they’re reading the story as the photography scrolls, taking them deeper inside your hotel. Include photos of every aspect of your hotel- the golf course, the dining, and the suite balcony and so on.
If your property is part of a chain, emphasize the hotel for what makes it special. Presumably, guests are already familiar with the quality and value of your brand name, but what makes this hotel unique?
Keep social media subtle
You want guests to be able to connect with you easily, but social media icons don’t need to be a prominent part of your site design. Using small icons in your footer or sidebar on each page is enough; guests know by now to click on the Twitter or Facebook icons if they want to reach your staff through social media.
Be easy to contact
Remember that the ultimate goal is getting potential guests to book immediately. This is your call to action (CTA). There are a few visual tricks you can implement to make your ‘Book Now’ button stand out from the surrounding text and images. Use color psychologically when choosing complimentary hues that are opposite each other on the colour wheel which creates contrast between page color and the color of your ‘Book Now’ button.
Include a contact link on every page as part of your overall site navigation. Potential guests that have questions before committing may be just a phone call away from booking. All the information must be easy to see and find. Make sure it’s correct so that users and search engines identify your hotel’s address consistently on maps. Scan your site regularly for broken links.
Design with your team in mind
A hotel website is not static. Special events, new policies and deals change often and your website announces them. Good web design is easy to update for internal users. When creating a site from scratch or redesigning your current site, keep in mind that your team will be navigating the site frequently and should be able to make adjustments easily.
The top priority is to generate bookings. Create a professional website that shows off your hotel property. Design with simplicity and conviction. Your website can and will make your hotel be the obvious best choice.
If these tips have nudged you in the direction of a website redesign our team is here to help. Contact us today for a preliminary chat! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how cost effective a new website by hotelmarketingWorks can be.