Monday, August 4, 2014

Increasing Hotel Conversion With Web Design - Part 1

Increasing Hotel Conversion With Web Design - Part 1


In the highly competitive hospitality industry today there are so many online channels available to the traveling public to book hotel stays. Studies have found that consumers will look at a variety of websites, including hotel sites, before making their final travel arrangements. It is therefore highly critical for hotels to leverage their websites to the fullest extent possible. Hotel website design must be geared toward the goal of converting those site visitors to book their stay on-site. In this two part series we will examine some of the web design elements which will maximize the conversion rate for hotels.




How users navigate around the website to find the information they need to make an informed travel decision is probably what is most important to customers. If they find a site frustrating to use they will leave and book elsewhere, even if they prefer a particular hotel or chain. Simple, clean, clear and concise, these are all words which should describe a hotel’s website. The website must be easily navigated with information flowing intuitively in a logical manner. If the final objective of the website is to drive users to booking in house, then it must be an easy to follow process for them to get there. Everything a customer would need to see for booking the hotel, should be clearly visible on and navigable from the main menu.




The explosion in recent years of mobile technology and the myriad of different browsers used on the web today has created potential compatibility issues for any website. No longer can sites be designed solely around fitting on a desktop, or even a laptop, screen. Users expect to be able to view and book a hotel from any size device, especially smartphones and tablets. The answer lies in responsive web design which can detect and then conform itself to whatever device or browser the user chooses. Any hotel website which does not look and function properly on all formats will lose revenue as customers are driven to book elsewhere.





This is a touch and go area now with Google penalizing websites that use keywords in their sites. However, keywords centered around terms which customers find useful and add value to their experience are acceptable and encouraged by the search engine. This should include both broad search terms in addition to highly specific ‘money’ keywords. Use caution and restraint in their use to avoid conflict with Google. 




It is extremely important in the hospitality industry for guest testimonials to be displayed where they can be readily seen on the hotel’s website. This is crucial because it will instill trust in potential guests and build credibility for the hotel. Testimonials can be a powerful driving force behind increased hotel website conversion rates.

These are just a few factors to be taken into account on any successful hotel website. In part 2 of this series, we will consider some more elements.

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