7 Hotel Web Design Trends For 2012

Keep your hotel website relevant and improve the user experience for guests with these latest hotel web design trends.

Hotel web design trends reflect changes in technology and the way travellers research their accommodation choices. Savvy hotel web developers need to adapt and be responsive to these changes while still creating beautiful looking designs and respecting basic web principles. Here are seven ways your website can stay relevant and current, improve the experience for visitors to your site and increase hotel bookings.

Hotel Web Design Trends #1: Optimising for Search Engines

Hotel marketing teams have realised the importance of hotel SEO and that optimising websites is a specialised role better left to a dedicated SEO consultant rather than the sole responsibility of a design team. SEO experts are now being brought into the design process at the start of the design build, guiding the SEO web design rather than being employed to optimise the website after the website has been created.

Hotel Web Design Trends #2: Minimising the use of Flash

Hotel web designers are realising that Flash is not always the best choice when it comes to SEO-friendly design (see above), mobile-friendly design (see below) and fast loading sites (see below). Rarely these days is a website entirely made out of one Flash file as designers try and achieve a workable balance of form and functionality for visitors to the website. Flash unfortunately doesn’t play nicely with other technology such as Apple products.

Hotel Web Design Trends #3: Integrated online booking engines

Whether you are managing a bed and breakfast or running a global hotel conglomerate, integrating an online booking systems seamlessly with your website can give you the edge over your competitors or at least allow you to be on an even playing field. The current trend towards having the online booking engine on every web page rather than having a dedicated page for bookings is actually counter-productive; research has highlighted that directing visitors to a single reservations page that includes phone and enquiry forms as well as your web booking engine results in the highest conversions overall..

Hotel Web Design Trends #4: Mobile capabilities

Mobile web design for hotels is becoming an important consideration for website designers as more people research and book hotel rooms via portable devices. Best practice web design still applies including clear navigation and fast loading sites but there are specifics for mobile-friendly design that should be considered such as including a click-to-call button, minimising the use of Flash (see above), minimalist design and a simplified booking process.

Hotel Web Design Trends #5: Responsive web design

The hotel website design industry is recognising that travellers require the flexibility of being able to book hotel rooms from any number of desktop and portable devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets and creating a website design that is responsive to these needs. The current website trend is to create layouts using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)* that can adapt to different browsers and devices rather than creating different versions of the same website for different devices

Hotel Web Design Trends #6: Optimising your website site’s speed

A sluggish website can literally be the sole difference between securing a hotel guest’s booking and visitors leaving your website and clicking through to a competitor. Site speed definitely matters. As well as improving the useability for visitors to your website, page speed is now also included as a signal in Google’s algorithms – a slow loading site can lead to a lower ranking on a Search Engine. Google has outlined ways you can increase your site speed.

Hotel Web Design Trends #7: Integration with social media

As social media networking becomes an integral part of introducing new hotel guests to your establishment and encouraging previous hotel guests to return back to the hotel, there is a need to integrate social media into your hotel web design. There are several places you can put Social Media buttons; some web designers place them along the footer, along the top right of the screen or the right/left sidebar – test, test and do more testing.

It’s important to keep up to date in an industry that evolves so rapidly, but at the end of the day, web trends can come and go but the fundamentals of design do not change. At Hotel Website Designers, we have proven experience in creating hotel web designs that keep up with hotel web design trends but also demonstrate best practice hotel design so as to maximise conversion – contact us today if you are interested in designing or redesigning your website.

* Styles define how to display HTML elements


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