Increase your hotel conversion rate with clever hotel web design, user-friendly navigation structure and engaging content.
Research from Skift.com shows that potential customers look at an average of 38 travel websites before deciding to book hotel accommodation and travel. So what crucial elements of your hotel web design and on-page content will increase the chances of them booking through your website? Here are some tips to help convert lookers into bookers and increase your hotel conversion rate.
Design and Site Architecture
This may be the most important impact on your conversion rate; structure your website so each page targets a single keyword theme with the most relevant content just one click from the homepage. Your SEO company will help you form the navigation structure through keyword research and develop your hotel web design.
As well as providing quality images of the hotel, your copywriting must reflect the quality of the hotel and help build a visual picture of the hotel. Booking a hotel is often an emotional purchase and the copy must be engaging and evoke an emotive response from customers browsing the website. This will help your customers feel an emotional connection to your hotel and encourage repeat visits and increase customer referrals.
Quality of Images
As they say, a picture paints a thousand words. Make sure you include large, high quality images of the hotel as part of your hotel website design. Focus on aspects like the hotel rooms, the view from the hotel, the amenities like the onsite gym, spa, business conference facilities and restaurant. The images must be optimized for the web with a fast download time. For some customers, appearances are everything and a pretty picture of the hotel accommodation can help nudge them into a decision and increase your hotel conversion rates.
Online Booking Engine
An online booking engine (OBE) allows site visitors to see real-time availability of hotel rooms and seasonal prices so they are able to book their hotel rooms now. The OBE must be seamlessly integrated on your hotel website and ideally include a booking option on every page of your hotel website design.
The OBE must be uncomplicated for visitors and very easy to use. It might be tempting to present different options for users such as ordering flowers on arrival and the like but this may simply confuse visitors. Try and keep the process as minimal as possible for visitors.
Remember, every extra step in your conversion process gives the consumer time to change their mind about their purchase. Try and minimize any unnecessary steps in this process to improve your hotel conversion rates. Make sure to have cross-domain tracking setup in Google Analytics as well in order to track your hotel website activity through to the booking engine.
Call To Action Buttons
Every page on your website should have either a ‘Book Here’ or ‘Online Inquiry’ button up toward the top right hand corner of your on-page text above the fold. This simple addition has been known to double hotel online revenues. Your website should be created with certain conversion goals in mind. This may be a direct sale, booking enquiries and registering for your newsletter and/or special promotions. Your web site needs to be a sales funnel, persuading visitors to buy.
Testimonials are becoming increasingly important in the hotel industry and it’s important to collect these to display prominently on your website; these may be from customers who have stayed at your hotel, held an event at the hotel such as a wedding or conference or had a meal at the house restaurant.
Add these to your site, either as a separate page in the navigation bar, or as a snippet at the bottom of each page. You will be surprised the impact that this will have on conversion levels as testimonials raise the confidence level of your online visitor and support their conviction towards a sale.
Everyone loves hotel packages or seasonal special offers; consider using value added packages as a way to increase your hotel conversion rate. Create a keyword rich page as part of your hotel web design for your weekend packages, romantic packages, mid-week escapes, special or exclusive offers, promotions, deals and more.
Make sure there is a link to your online booking engine above the fold (the portion of a web page viewable without scrolling) – visitors will not scroll down screen upon screen of information. These pages need to be continually updated with seasonal offers. There is nothing more annoying than clicking through to a special offer that expired a year ago.
Research shows that 80% of people use Search Engines to book hotel rooms. Contact us to be your hotel website partner and create a hotel web design that helps captures Search Engine traffic and drives visitors to your website, connects with your visitors and helps converts visitors into booking hotel rooms, decreasing your vacancy rates and increasing your return on investment.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.