Written by: Mar Reguant
Your website is not for you, it’s for your customers. Let’s think for a moment that your so carefully built site is not user friendly. What would happen? You most certainly will be losing a potential guest. And you don’t want that.
Each hotel’s website is different. So its target. Every company is aiming for a different kind of traveler. You should know yours perfectly. That way you would use the right way of communication.
Therefore, you must know very well who your audience is: what are their needs and interests and, most of all, how do they surf the network. Are they Internet experts? Or do they surf the Internet every now and then? Your web must be adapted to their needs, not the way around. An inexperienced user will certainly not stop to learn how to navigate your website. If you don’t make this process easy, he will simply leave.
Although each target is different, there are some web usability features that all hotels should share. Take the test to find out what your weaknesses are and to be able to improve, not only usability, but also your website user-experience.
You will be able to know your result at the end of the post once you have answered the questions.
This is the first step before creating or updating your hotel’s website. A buyer-persona is your ideal client. In order to have specific profiles and shared them with your marketing and commercial teams, you should create semi-fictional representations about who your potential clients are.
These profiles must be made from real information, not assumptions. Ask and survey your current guests and create a buyer persona for each of the groups.
You can download free templates to create a buyer persona by clicking the red button. Starting from these templates it will be much easier to know how to structure these profiles.
Currently not having a booking engine on a hotel’s website means losing sales. If you are able to attract your potential clients with your valuable content, do you really need to send them to a tour operator or an OTA in order to complete the booking?
Offer an optimized and responsive booking engine (perfectly manageable from any mobile device). In addition, your booking engine should be simple: ask only essential data.
If you want to know more about the booking engine, here is a checklist to choose the most suitable one for your site.
Categorize, order and prioritize your content. Your website should be intuitive. According to experts, a website should only make the user click three times to reach any of its sections. He should not get lost in too much information. The simpler it is, the better.
According to Google data, the optimal time to load a page is 1.5 seconds. In addition, Google’s algorithm takes into account a website speed of loading to position it in its search results.
A responsive web adapts all its texts and elements to the screens sizes of different mobile devices. That is, it resizes and repositions all the elements and functionalities so that the user can navigate your website comfortably no matter the device he uses.
You should keep in mind that your users don’t want to spend a lot of time completing a booking process, even less if they are using their Smartphone. So, don’t ask them for data that it’s not essential and, in case they make any mistake, never make them to fill all fields again. Save correct data and clearly mark the section they have to fill again.
Credibility is one of the key factors in converting visitors into guests from your website. They will like to see actual images of your hotel rooms and facilities. In addition, this is an excellent technique for your potential guests to be able to see how your hotel’s experience is going to be and decide if they want to live it.
Video marketing is an excellent option to work on emotional marketing and catch the user attention. Think that netizens are more and more audiovisual. Minimize your website text and use more images and videos to communicate.
An overloaded website won’t do you or your user any favor. If you want his attention to be focused on a particular element, such as your booking engine or your last offers, don’t add information that will get in his way.
The clearer and simpler your website is, the better. For example, an image carousel place in a page header will distract the user’s attention from what you really want to show them and will also provide no value according to recent studies on web usability.
Prioritize and organize your content. That is, create categories in order to get your hotel’s website well organized and understandable for your user. You should also categorize your blog posts and create tags so that your user can find what he is looking for in the quickest and easiest way.
The website’s menu should not be gibberish or include too many fields. As we have already said, simplicity will be your best friend.
Information architecture is the discipline in charge of analyzing, structuring and presenting information within spaces, such as a website. The objective of the information architecture is that the user can find and understand the content that we are offering.
If you feel ready to go one step further, here is an SEO positioning test for your hotel’s website.