Discover the most helpful tips from Hotelier Academy that will help you turn your website visits into direct bookings13 mins read
Hotel websites are one of the most important sales sources, since the majority of the travelers visit them before making their final decision. Regardless of the channel they will finally use to complete their booking, travelers use the hotel’s official website to find more complete information about the property, but also look for the potential of a better offer.
Based on the above, hotel websites present significant potentials for boosting a hotel’s revenue. Therefore, they should reflect not only their level of services, but also the level of the final experience that the customer will live. The creation of a successful hotel website, however, is a dynamic procedure, particularly as the online world constantly changes and evolves. Consequently, for the optimum results, a hotel website must be constantly upgraded, following the technological developments as well as the consumers’ behavior modifications.
For this article, we collaborated with one of the most famous online marketing companies in Greece, Abouthotelier, that provided us with extra tips and information regarding a hotel website’s optimum performance, and enriched the article with more examples and ideas.
In this article, we will present the main points of a hotel website’s development, trying to help Hotelier Academy’s audience to turn their online presence into their property’s strongest sales outlet, through comprehensive methods and easily understood examples. In addition to the main steps that every accommodation has to follow, you can also find in this article practical examples as well as smart tips, that will help you even more in your efforts for creating a competitive Hotel Website.
TOOLS THAT WILL PERSUADE TRAVELERS TO BOOK DIRECTLY THROUGH YOUR HOTEL WEBSITE
Price comparison widget to enhance your direct bookings
Regardless of the way a traveler ended up on your website — either through an advertisement or following a Google search after locating your hotel on an OTA, one thing is for sure: that this traveler is searching for the best price and is aware of the fact that your hotel can be booked from several other sources. In the modern online world, there are special widgets that can inform your website’s visitors about the real-time prices they can get on the various OTAs as well as on your official booking engine, emphasizing the fact that you have the best price and thus enhancing your direct bookings.
However, the use of this tool requires particular attention, since if there is a big differentiation between your official rates and the ones on the various OTAs, this may create suspicion to the traveler and lead to negative results.
Ratestrip by Abouthotelier
Ratestrip by About Hotelier is one of the most popular and effective Price Comparison Widgets for hotel websites.
Using the Ratestrip, hoteliers can:
- Inform their website visitors about the lowest price in their official Booking Engine compared to the ones on the OTAs, and present the traveler advantages of booking directly, enhancing the direct sales.
- Present their hotel rating within the various review channels & websites. This has a huge impact on the travel audience, since, according to recent research, 93% of the travelers are interested in reading reviews.
- Show all comments on the hotel’s collaborating channels (real-time and chronologically), giving visitors the chance to easily read all the relevant comments directly through the property’s official website.
- Prevent the situation where an OTA will give lower prices than the agreed ones, since the system sends an alert when a lower price is spotted.
- Receive specialized statistics that help draft a better price policy.
Ratestrip integrates completely within your website’s Design, hiding the channels that give better prices than your hotel’s official Booking Engine, and informing you with a special alert.LEARN MORE →
Loyalty Programs through your Booking Engine
As mentioned above, providing a competitive price requires additional attention, both for parity reasons and keeping the right impressions. A solution to this problem can be the loyalty programs that certain booking engines provide, which ensure more privileges or special prices to the registered members of each hotel’s relevant loyalty program.
Travelers register through the hotel’s booking engine, giving to hoteliers the opportunity to increase their direct bookings, while collecting more information about the travel audience.
The creation of a successful hotel website is a dynamic procedure, since the developments and evolutions in the online world are non-stop.
Offer publishing tool for boosting the low seasons.
Offers are undoubtedly something that the travel audience loves. And, of course, it is one of the strongest tools that will help you turn your website’s visitors into real customers. The specification of a mechanism that will instantly inform the audience about your existing offers, is one of the most important tools for increasing your direct bookings.
This feature, is now provided by several booking engines. However, in case your own booking engine does not support this, ask your collaborating IT partners to build a similar tool for your website. Of course, it is important that the relevant pop ups that announce the offer appear on the right spots without hindering the easy navigation, ensuring, at all times, the offer’s visibility.
Special environment for the travelers that have already booked.
Besides the audience that is still making a research, hotel websites are also visited by travelers who have already confirmed their booking, in order to find more information about the property. The creation of a special Section for this audience, can not only collect details about travelers who have booked through a third-part source and then visited your website, but also inform them about the available activities and things to do inside and around the hotel. This upgraded service can increase the travelers’ satisfaction even prior to their arrival, and even boost your spa and restaurant’s sales.
THE MAIN FEATURES OF A HOTEL WEBSITE
To be fully responsive and achieve a high loading speed on mobile phones and other portable devices, for enhancing the SEO and ensuring the travelers’ optimum navigation experience.
As it is already known, Google constantly announces new rules for improving a website’s SEO, which are usually connected to the audience’s best online experience. One of the most important upgrades in Google’s algorithm is the “mobile first” rule, that revolves around the importance of a website’s compatibility with portable devices (since the audience mostly uses them during their research), and paying particular attention to its mobile loading speed.
Talking about hotel websites, the issue of speed becomes even more important, since the audience is located all around the world, visiting the website using different internet speeds. This increases the work of your Web partners, since they have to ensure increased mobile speed all around the world.
To offer enriched photo material in all the necessary sections and be translated in the languages of all the targeted audiences.
It is a fact that we live in the age of image, where visual messages have the greatest impact than ever before. It is important for the website’s design to emphasize on the photo material that thoroughly presents each facility or service. Moreover, the relevant texts and descriptions should be focused on providing “to-the-point” information that instantly passes the message we want to share with the travel audience.
The lack of adequate photo material, does not only ‘hide’ a facility’s image from the travelers, but it can also drive the audience to a third-party platform, where they are more likely to find the information the seek, resulting to the hotel losing a potential direct booking. The same thing happens with the lack of the correct website translation: if your audience can not understand the information, they will more likely choose one of the major OTAs, where they are certain they will find all the information translated. So, it is important to translate your Website content to the languages of the markets that we are mostly interested in.
To have its own Booking Engine for direct sales and availability, as well as visible contact details throughout its pages
Real-time availability and the possibility for direct bookings clearly increase the sales potential and boost the hotel’s revenue. Even though it is considered as a standard feature, it is important to mention that having an official booking engine is more than necessary for almost any hotel. The booking engine must always be visible throughout the website pages, allowing the travelers to easily search for prices and proceed to their bookings.
Apart from the booking engine, what is also very important is to have the hotel’s direct contact information at a visible spot. Recent research has shown that the percentage of direct bookings through direct communication ways, such as email and phone, has increased up to 40% in several hotel cases.
One of the most important upgrades in Google’s algorithm is the “mobile first” rule that revolves around the attention we pay on the websites’ mobile performance.
To have the appropriate Optimization on Meta Titles, Descriptions and Photos, both for search engines and the Social Media.
The meaning of SEO is something that concerns hoteliers quite a lot. However, something that is not known is that SEO does not only refer to organic results, but also affects PPC costs in Google Ads, as well as your performance on Social Media.
Therefore, it is important to make a thorough SEO specification when setting up your website. You must always keep in mind all the other channels that this procedure will affect and emphasize on the appropriate writing of Meta Title and Descriptions, as well as on the relevant photo material for each landing page. Discuss in advance with your collaborating Web company about the keywords that need to be used, as well as the Social Media strategy you are going to follow.
In order to help Hotelier Academy’s audience as much as possible, we collaborated with the online hotel marketing company Abouthotelier, presenting real solutions to all the above examples, and creating a direct communication service for any questions that may arise.
For more information or questions, you may contact Abouthotelier directly, filling the below form:
CEO – CO-FOUNDER
THE IDEAL CONTENT OF A HOTEL WEBSITE
Hotel-related Blog content for SEO boost
Your hotel’s on-site SEO depends on a great extent to the content you have posted. For this reason, it is important to create a special Blog section in which you will post interesting articles about your hotel and the destination.
Concierge section for high-quality after sales
Hotels are undoubtedly the strongest point of reference for travelers, since they use them to organize their whole trip and learn about the “things to do” at the destination. Therefore, it is important to have a special section with the relevant to your hotel’ profile “things to do” at your destination, since they can even become a reason for booking.
Besides the audience that is still making a research, hotel websites are also visited by travelers who have already confirmed their booking. Therefore, you should always have relevant content for them as well.
Emphasize on your hotel’s experiences for efficient Upselling
In hotel websites, it is common to simply present the various hotels’ facilities, as well as their technical features. However, travelers are mostly interested in the experiences they will live during their stay at your hotel, therefore a major focus of the content (verbal and visual) should be given towards this direction.
You can read more about Hotel Websites and Hotel Online Marketing on Abouthotelier’s special Blog section.SEE MORE →
KEEP IN MIND
Every article related to Hotel Websites refers to the data that was valid during the time it was written. Therefore, it is important that hoteliers are constantly informed about the new trends in Digital Marketing, as well as about what travelers are asking for according to the travel market’s evolutions.
Nikos is the person behind successful tourism startups like Travel by Interest, Destsetters & Hotelier Academy. With his important experience in the Hospitality Industry, he helps both hotels & companies to succeed in the tourism market while at the same time he loves sharing his knowledge with professionals around the world. Hotel Concept Making, Travel Digital Marketing & Tourism Strategy are few of his habits and he is always open to fresh collaborations! You can find him as an author in Hotelier Academy or as a C.E.O in Travel by Interest or directly to his LinkedIn profile for new challenges!