In this digital age, the hotel experience that your hotel guests will have usually starts from your website. The typical guest journey starts from putting in keyword on a search engine, stumbling upon your website, and clicking on your URL to learn more about your hotel via your website.
Once they are on your website, guests will then search for rooms and will proceed to book and make payment to confirm their booking. As every step is an experience for your guests, as a hotelier your goal should be to provide an amazing experience for your guests for every touch point. For example, the speed of your website matters, and not just that, your website also needs to be user friendly.
Let’s look at some of the best practices for a hotel website.
Optimize Your Booking Process
If you know how many on average visitors that go to your website in a month but it somehow does not reflect in your total direct booking sales, it is an indicator that something somewhere is not right. We recommend that you start by having a deep look into your online booking process. This should be the most important aspect of your website because this is where the money comes in from.
Your booking process needs to be easy and straightforward and the payment process needs to be as easy too. Make sure your website especially the booking page loads faster and secured as well.
Visual is Key
Before any guests actually book your hotel, they usually look at all the images of your hotel that you uploaded on your website. Having this in mind, as a hotelier you need to upload quality images of your property, including your hotel rooms, the interior and exterior of your hotel.
You should also upload images of your hotel facilities e.g. your hotel gym, swimming pool, game areas etc. If you have a good quality video of your property you can also upload them on your website.
Bear in mind that the visuals of your website have the power to change customers mind for good or for bad. It’s not costly to invest in hiring a professional photographer or videographer so long that you know in the long run, it will impact positively on your direct booking sales.
Ensuring that your website only displays high quality photos and videos is not just it, it’s even more crucial to ensure that your website is mobile friendly!
In this era, if you don’t have a good quality user friendly mobile website you are actually missing out on a lot of direct bookings from travellers as research has shown that almost 50% of hotel bookings occur on a mobile device. Mobile is here to stay, and hoteliers should strive to offer a wonderful mobile user experience if they want their guest to book a room directly via mobile.
Provide Testimonials and Reviews
A greater percentage of travellers will always read your hotel testimonials and reviews before making any decision to book your room. So, having this in mind you need to make sure that you offer your guests a pleasant experience so that they can leave you a good review and testimonials.
By adding testimonials and reviews somewhere that is easy for the guests to notice (like on your homepage), you are infusing a human element into your website. Some website providers like Softinn offers customers with a CMS website where they can add and manage guest reviews from Google.
Offer Different Types of Communication Channel
It is important to provide different means by which guest can contact your hotel. Make sure that your contact information can be easily noticed on your website. This includes your phone numbers, email, live chat etc. Guest are likely to book a room in your hotel if they can easily contact you.
You don’t need to necessarily have a live chat. It can be as simple as adding your social media buttons on your homepage so that guests can go directly to your social media pages to chat with you.
As a hotelier there are some certain information that your guests are actually looking for whenever they visit your website. So, you need to make sure that these information are easy to find, else they will leave and visit your competitor’s website. Your room images need to be clear enough, your promotions need to be easy to be noticed. Your website visitors need to be able to contact you easily.
If a guest can easily book a room at your website with a smile on their face, that means you are doing something right and you should keep it up.
Softinn Solutions Sdn Bhd builds the next-generation hotel management system for boutique hotels in Asia Pacific. Learn how we help hundreds of hotels better manage their business and increase direct booking sales.