Quality hotel web design inspires confidence in people booking your hotel online and may mean the difference between a high bounce rate* or a high conversion rate. Web savvy travelers are given a wide choice of ways to book online either directly through the hotel or via numerous travel portals – here are 10 essential design principles to earn trust in your website design and make it an easy decision to book through your site.
The overall look of your hotel web design is a very important factor in obtaining the trust of the consumer. A website needs to be professional looking to convey trust – this means a clean and clear navigation, no broken links, large quality pictures of your hotel, large call to action buttons and good use of white space.
Online Booking Engines
Most people understandably are wary of booking online and will only complete the conversion process if they feel the website is secure. You can minimize risk for your customers by incorporating an online booking engine in your hotel web design which has a secure server, encrypted credit card transactions and gives increased protection.
Images of Your Hotel
An easy way to convey trust is to have large, clear and professional images of your hotel as part of your design. The Arizona Grand Resort is a great example of a hotel website with a gallery featuring images of their property amenities including the golf course, bedrooms, spa and wedding venue sites.
Quality copywriting will inspire trust in people to book your hotel. People are quickly turned off a website which has typos, bad grammar, copy which hasn’t been updated in months or copy spammed with keywords. Every aspect of your website should work to establish trust with the visitor including your copywriting.
Peer Recognition & Testimonials
Displaying awards on your website that are voted by industry experts, voted by your peers or by the public is a great acknowledgement they have trust in your product offering. Showing testimonials and reviews from previous visitors who are voluntarily endorsing your hotel are also a great way to show trust in your hotel.
About Us Pages
By learning more about the company and its history, this will give people a sense of familiarity and comfort and evoke a feeling of trust. By also displaying genuine images of hotel staff rather than stock images on your ‘About Us’ page, people will be able to put a face to a name and feel more at ease with booking your establishment.
A typical hotel website usually has a Contact Us form but people will have more confidence in booking a hotel that lists alternative contact details such as an email address and telephone number so they can speak to an operator straight away if they have an urgent inquiry and require an immediate response.
Terms & Conditions + Cancellation Policy
When booking hotels, people want to know all the finer details and terms and conditions before they decide on their purchase rather than waiting until they made their booking. By forcing people to check a box stating they have read the website’s ‘terms and conditions’, this will ensure that at least you have people aware they exist on your site.
Partners or Affiliations
Hotels or companies in the tourist industry who are not yet established in the marketplace can also borrow authority and trust by listing partners and affiliates that are well respected within the industry. These may include entertainers, hair and makeup artists and car hire companies for instance.
One of the biggest concerns among visitors to hotel websites is what personal information will be collected on the site, how it is going to be used and how users information will be protected. This may be enforced by legislation in some countries. Here is an example of a privacy statement on the Hotel Carmel website.
hotelmarketingWorks has proven experience in creating beautifully designed and trustworthy websites for leading hotel brands that not only have low bounce rates and high conversion rates but also rank well in Search Engine results for industry-relevant keywords. Contact us to find out more about how we can collaborate with you on your next your hotel web design or redesign.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
*Bounce rate: Web surfers leaving a hotel website within a few seconds (approx less than 10 seconds). A high bounce rate would indicate your site is not relevant to the search they performed or they judged your site to be poor quality.