We all know having a strong online presence is no longer optional. What we sometimes still struggle to grasp is websites are an investment in the future success of your business, and it’s important to view it that way. It’s never ‘done’ or ‘final’ and it shouldn’t be. The nature of the web is constantly evolving and savvy marketers and companies need to evolve with it. Below are 7 reasons why your hotel may be in need of a website redesign.
1. Is your current site an “Out-dated” Design?
If your site was built years ago it could look a bit dated. Does it set the right tone for your potential guests? Most hoteliers agree that the guest experience starts before entering the lobby. With the rapidly changing design trends of recent years, aesthetics have changed. Cutting edge designs a couple of years ago may look tired to the guests of today.
Also, check your website compared to your competition. Where do you stand in relation? Do you have updated photography? Is your site easy to navigate? These details make the difference for bookings on a successful site.
2. Your Site is not Mobile Friendly
With more users searching the web from mobile devices in 2015 than ever before, targeting the mobile market is essential. Studies show that there has been an increase of 50% over the last year in mobile device searches. With that kind of growth, it’s no wonder that not having a responsive site is at the top of the list for needing a redesign. Ensuring a user can access content from multiple devices is key. Having a mobile friendly, responsive website, is crucial to looking professional. Optimizing websites for mobile, tablets and desktops is no longer just a nice site add-on. It’s imperative.
3. Hotel Rebranding
If you are going through the steps of rebranding your hotel, from a hotel name change or logo update to as significant as completely revamping the property, it’s a good idea to refresh your website at the same time. This will keep your online marketing tools in alignment with your brand strategy. It is important to keep the rebranding consistent by showcasing your brand with an updated and truly reflective website.
4. Your Site is too Slow
Today’s users are impatient. “Time is money” has never been more true than online these days. We’ve become so impatient in fact a study by KISSmetrics revealed that almost half of internet users will abandon a site altogether if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. That means if your site doesn’t load within 2 seconds you could be causing potential guests to click elsewhere! Don’t risk losing these bookings by frustrating users with a slow loading website. If you’re unsure of your site’s speed, test it here for free with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
5. Your Site is Not Showing up in Search Engines
Visibility in search engines is considered key to attracting site visitors. If you are practically nowhere on search engines, then it may be time for a new website to help boost your SEO and search engine visits. Make sure your web design company implements SEO best practices. Not sure what to be focusing on for SEO in your redesign? Check out this list of SEO competencies and tactics.
6. It’s Hard to Make Updates to Your Website
It’s important to make continual updates to your site by adding new specials, promotions, and things going on in the area. If updating your site is difficult, consider a redesign. Your site should not be hard to make updates too, or be too difficult to understand. Make sure to hire a web developer that can easily show you how to use a content management system that fits your experience and the goals for the site.
7. You are Losing Direct Bookings
Are you seeing a lack of conversions? This could be due to having a site that is hard to navigate, no clear call-to-actions, or having a difficult booking process. Maybe your users are bouncing off quickly because they are not having a good user experience. Remember along with the lack of patience, most users will not “look for” your booking channel.
If you think your site navigation could be streamlined or call-to-actions made clearer, it’s imperative to work with a web design company that understands the user experience and best practices when it comes to hotel web design. Using Google Analytics to understand where you are losing customers in the booking process can help to constantly tweak your website as needed. An experience web designer will not only use industry best practices and design aesthetics but also a solid analysis of your analytics.
If any of the reasons above apply to your website, it may be time to consider a redesign. Website design is never ‘done’ or ‘final’ and it shouldn’t be. You need to be constantly monitoring your website and analytics and tweak as needed. Work with a high quality hotel web design company while considering a website redesign. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, has clear call-to-actions, great photography, clear accommodation and amenity information and most importantly, easy booking steps.
With more and more potential guests searching online to book travel, it’s essential that hotels invest wisely in their website design. A lot of times guests will judge a book by it’s cover, so it’s important to make a good first impression and set the tone for the experience the hotel is trying to portray.
When it comes to website conversions, hotels tend to focus only on the numbers in the bank. Much like “heads in beds” it’s a great indicator of a successful site. But let us take a look at other important conversion metrics and a deeper review of optimization techniques that hotels can use to ensure a great user experience.
The main ‘macro’ conversion metric hotel marketers tend to focus on is revenue generated from direct bookings. That bottom line is key. However, let’s not forget other “micro” conversions that can lead to future bookings by capturing and engaging your audience. Micro conversions are goals, just like the important direct booking metric you’re currently measuring. But micro conversions are not direct bookings or sales. Micro conversions are goals that help to build relationships with your site visitors. These are relationship building goals that contribute to conversions (e.g. bookings!).
Attracting quality traffic is the ultimate goal for every hotelier and industry entrepreneur. SEO strategies change with every new release of a Google search algorithm, but getting high quality, relevant links to your site remains an indispensable way of driving web traffic.
Knowing who is linking to you and understanding how to build a quality link network can improve overall web traffic. Even more importantly, it can help you target the people most likely to purchase your services.
Despite the widespread implementation of Google Analytics, many hoteliers who have access to accounts don’t have much familiarity with the true scope of data available (beyond the summary traffic reports) nor insights into how they can dig deeper. With competition fiercer than ever, now is the time for hoteliers to take a deeper look at their online traffic and fully utilize Google Analytics – an incredibly powerful tool.
2015 is upon us! And what a year it’s going to be. With so many developments in the arena of hotel marketing, hoteliers are in for a busy year. Make 2015 the year you make the most of the new opportunities, tools and rules out there to leverage your hotel marketing efforts. Before you dive right in, have a look at some of the areas you should consider when devising your hotel marketing plan for 2015.
For hotels, holidays are busy, no matter what time of year it is. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year or Easter that’s coming up, holidays are a time when every hotelier struggles to juggle budgets, meetings and a normal day’s work.
During the holiday season, people prepare to go on vacation, and this means hoteliers need to brainstorm to devise creative ways to fill their properties. Here are our top five hotel marketing tips that will enable you to leverage your holiday marketing strategy all year round.
Web designers have a lot on their plates. The world of web design is changing so fast that what was once considered cutting edge has become obsolete in the space of a few years. For instance, while responsive websites were once unheard of, these days a website that doesn’t display well on mobile devices is considered backward.
Responsive websites automatically resize to fit the device being used to view them. Whether you’re viewing a site on a tiny mobile phone screen, a tablet or a desktop computer, the site morphs to fit the device. This can be a great alternative to creating a separate mobile site.
So you are planning the redevelopment of your hotel website and your web designer has created a stylish new design, and you love the way it looks. Now, before you build it, it’s time to focus on how it will maximise your revenues and deliver your Return On Investment.
These days, more and more people are turning exclusively to the Internet when researching travel and holiday destinations. A website is therefore one of the most important components of a hotel’s marketing strategy.