If you are considering a redesign for your hotel website but you don’t know where to begin, the first step is to find a professional web design agency to partner with. While researching and interviewing companies, make sure to ask the following questions.
Does the agency have experience building hotel websites?
Many companies can build a great all-purpose commerce site, but a web development company with expertise in building hotel websites will understand the competitive nature of the industry. A dedicated hotel web design agency understands hotel marketing strategies and has insider knowledge of the travel industry that general web firms can’t match.
Hotel reservation booking engines and reservation confirmation systems offer unique challenges and it’s vital that the design agency create an integrated system that’s easy for customers to use. The goal is to create a well-designed site that’s uncluttered, uses high quality images and video to give users a feel for your property, and is simple and intuitive for your guests.
You also want an easy to manage backend. For example, updating events, adding blog posts, and incorporating customer testimonials should be a quick and painless process.
To get a feel for the visual language of a design firm and see if their approach fits with your vision, check out their portfolio of past projects. Ask for references and talk to a few former clients to see how the work process went. Were the designers professional and easy to work with? Did they meet deadlines and stick to the budget? Was the client happy with the final product? These questions can help you find a company that you are comfortable working with.
Does the hotel web design agency offer responsive design?
According to a recent Google study, the majority of your guests will use mobile devices for at least part of their travel planning process, so it is vital that your website is mobile friendly. Making sure that users can access your site and book direct from multiple devices is key. Optimizing websites for smartphones, tablets, and desktops is imperative.
Does the agency incorporate SEO strategies into their designs?
SEO is becoming more integrated with web design. Factors like site loading speed and user experience factor into how high your site ranks in search, so good design becomes part of your SEO marketing approach. Mobile friendliness also plays a factor in Google’s ranking calculations, so responsiveness is tied to SEO performance.
Does the agency provide a project timeline?
Make sure the web design company is open and communicates clearly about their workflow. You’ll have more confidence that the design team will meet deadlines if they provide a detailed timeline with milestones for research and planning, design and documentation, and developing and testing. A well-defined project scope and timeline also provides a framework to keep a project from going over budget.
Does the agency ask the right questions about your hotel?
You should feel confident that the design company truly understands your business goals. The agency should ask specific questions about your property such as:
- What makes your hotel unique?
- Who are your top competitors?
- What are your overall business goals?
- Who are your typical customers?
- What are your goals with a new website?
Successful online marketing involves storytelling, and in the case of your site you want the design to tell the story of how wonderful a stay at your property will be. These questions can help get to the heart of that experience and also provide a way to differentiate your business from your competition.
By asking the right questions before hiring a hotel web design company, you’ll improve the workflow process and ensure a smooth transition to your new website. The finished product will be a high quality site that showcases your property. 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.