The hospitality industry is a highly competitive market that is constantly adapting to meet the needs of consumers, especially in the digital space. Because the new tech-savvy customer is looking for immediate results, the first 15 seconds of a visitor’s experience to your site are critical. In a 2014 study conducted by MCD, 70 percent of travellers said that the quality of a hotel’s website influenced their booking choices. To maximise conversions here are our tips and best practices for hotel web design.
“Must Have” Site Features
The most important features are those that let customers quickly review your property and location, determine availability, and make a reservation. Potential customers want a no-hassle experience and are likely to leave a site that is slow to respond or difficult to use.
Clear and Prominent Reservation Button
Your reservation button should be prominently located on every page. Choose a design, font, and color that will make the button stand out. Marketers studying the psychology of colour recommend choosing a colour that is complimentary to the background of your page to make sure it grabs viewer’s attention. A/B and multivariate testing can help you determine the design that works best for your users.
Include the reservation button in a consistent location on every page of your site so that end users don’t have to search for it when they are ready to click. To make sure that your button stands out, keep the page design streamlined and don’t overload users with too much text.
Clear contact information
Include your address, phone number, and email prominently on your home page and also add a separate “Contact Us” page. An excellent approach is to include your address and phone number in your masthead so that customers see it at the top of every page. This ensures that they can easily reach out if they have questions during any part of the research or reservation process.
Clear Address with Google Maps
Adding a Google Maps link to your site is free and relatively easy. Or you can take it a step further and use map building software to create a custom interactive map that lets visitors explore shops and attractions near your property.
A map is critical for allowing customers see at a glance where the property is located. It’s also a good idea to include your map link in your confirmation email so that customers can easily get driving directions to your property.
Always include information about the surrounding area that might be relevant to your customers. Is your property near the airport or convention center? Do you have a great downtown location walking distance from restaurants and nightlife? Emphasising the benefits of your location can help your property stand out from the competition.
Quality interior and exterior images
Including high-resolution images on your site lets customers evaluate and compare amenities and lets you advertise and brag about the quality of your property. Many high-end hotels even include brief videos to let potential guests tour the property they are considering.
Showing off amenities and unique design features also lets customers build anticipation for their trip. The goal is to make the rooms, pool, and overall property so appealing that potential guests can’t wait to visit.
According to hotel statistics from earlier this year, over 148 million travel bookings were made on the Internet last year. Of those, 65 percent of users who booked same day reservations used their smartphone. This means you could be losing thousands of customers if your mobile website is cumbersome or relies on out-dated code. As of April 21, 2015, a site’s mobile friendliness affects its SEO rankings, making responsive design more important than ever.
The goal is to make the mobile experience as simple as possible. This means minimizing the information on each page when translating to smaller screens so that the overall look is less cluttered.
Make sure that each page prominently displays your property’s address as a clickable Google Maps link. Many customers who already have a reservation just need to access this data. A click-to-call button can also improve the mobile user experience. Use the “1 +” format with the country code to accommodate international users.
In addition, make sure that calendars display accurately and use a font that is easy to read on a small screen. Users should be able to easily select dates with their fingertips. Finally, check that your property photos still look good at the smaller sizes.
Following these best practices for hotel web design can maximize your digital presence, assist in generating leads, and increase customer conversion.
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.