The hotel Industry is a fast growing and highly competitive market. With tech-savvy clientele, it’s important to make sure that their first impressions when they visit your site are exceptional.
Your site has to stand out. An outmoded or clunky site that’s not user-friendly can make the difference in securing a booking. With this in mind, we’ve put together some best practices for designing your hotel website.
Visual Story Telling
An essential component in any website is it’s visual content. Remember, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This saying doesn’t even touch on video content. Videos can further draw in your guests to stay longer and find out more. Think about the last time you visited a page with compelling video. You were much less likely to click away until the video ended- capitalize on this behavior! Make sure the images or video clips on your site are high quality and illustrative regarding the look of your hotel.
Use the visual architecture of your site to tell a story. Ask yourself, “does this site tell a story about our unique offerings?” Use photos and video to inform this narrative. The use of imagery will have tremendous persuasive power. Web content is increasingly becoming more and more visually interactive, so tap into the visual power of the medium to work to your advantage.
Links to Social Media
As with any business website nowadays, engagement through social media is essential in terms of telling the unique story of your hotel. This is especially true when it comes to hotel web design best practices. Setting up an efficient social media calendar on popular sharing platforms creates buzz and enforces social proof.
Use Facebook to post announcements that are fun, whimsical and have the potential to be shared. Your facebook photos, videos and statuses are another great way to show off your brand’s personality. Instagram and Pinterest, as visual platforms, tap into the lead generation power of photos. Remember, hotels are, in many ways, visual by nature. Social media platforms have immense power to promote your message, as well as the scenic and luxury elements of your hotel.
Use Pinterest to showcase the fun and unique activities available to guests during their stay. Twitter offers mini “slice of life” snippets that can “trend” to build your brand.
Backlinks are one of the most integral components of any website. You need to have several relevant and engaging links that point back to your site. These links must be high quality – not just any links will do. “Blackhat,” “spammy”, or paid backlinking tactics are never desirable, as they can damage the reputation of your hotel and brand as a whole.
Backlinks help your site to rank on search engines, so a healthy link profile is essential. You can look to our SEO experts to help create a robust link profile for you.
When potential guests visit your site, they may not be aware of the special events that your hotel offers. Make sure that your site lists any special events in which they can partake while staying at your hotel. Display event calendars for nearby events as well as those offered by your property itself. Like powerful imagery, this will create more interest than mere addresses and phone numbers alone.
Also, event calendars can be used to create partnerships with local businesses. These partnerships can reap rewards in maximizing engagement. An exemplary model is the Stay Sky Hotels, a chain of Orlando hotels near Disney. They do a fantastic job of highlighting events taking place in the surrounding areas of the property on their “Things to Do” pages that appear on all of their sites. Also, when linking to the site of another business, it’s always a good idea to ask for a backlink back to your site.
To Sum it up
If you’ve detailed your offerings, showed off the local attractions and used photos and videos highlighting the best qualities of your hotel, what’s next?
You’ll need a direct and clear call to action as well as a prominently featured “Book Now” button. Securing a booking, is, after all, the primary goal of your website.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have a much better chance of creating an enticing and persuasive online experience for potential guests. Implementing these tips can add high lead generation and conversion power to your site. If you need assistance, contact hotelmarketingworks to get the ball rolling.