When it comes to hotel marketing, your official hotel website serves as the most important distribution channel you’ll ever have. Gone are the days when traditional word-of-mouth is the best way to get booked. In this digital era, potential guests tend to shop around for accommodation options online and your goal as a hotelier is to get your property right in front of their screens.
Think of your hotel website as an extension of your physical property in the digital realm. Like an elegant hotel lobby that establishes a strong first impression, you want to make your website look attractive to potential guests who come in to check it out.
Aside from putting relevant information about your accommodation property, amenities, and location, your website should also be visually appealing and easy to navigate. It should provide value to retain visitors, in the form of blogs, virtual tours, and speedy chat support. Lastly, customers should be able to make direct bookings seamlessly so you won’t have to pay commissions associated with third-party agencies.
That being the case, it’s imperative to invest in strategies that will make your hotel website not only attractive to online users but also stand from stand out from your competition. If you’re a hotel business owner, check out these tips and tricks for improving your hotel website to boost your online presence and potentially convert lookers into bookers.
1. Hire a digital marketing agency with hotel marketing expertise
Digital marketing covers different aspects that help increase traffic to your official hotel website, thus increasing direct bookings. These include paid search, metasearch, email marketing, social media campaigns, book direct campaigns, blogs and content marketing, and SEO. However, not all digital marketing agencies are created equal. If you’re hiring a digital marketing agency, you might as well hand them to the experts in hotel marketing.
This hotel digital marketing agency in Dublin, for instance, has worked with over 50 hotels across Europe. Next to their digital marketing expertise, they take pride in their specific hotel marketing campaigns that have helped their clients secure direct bookings on their official website and reduce OTA commission.
2. Nail your hotel website design
Establishing a good first impression is critical in hotel marketing. A first-time visitor can easily lose their interest when a website lacks visual appeal and is hard to navigate. That said, make sure your website has been designed with user-friendliness in mind.
Hotel websites that thrive today have an attractive, clean, professional, and fully integrated, website design. Examples include quick navigation, simple menus, and visually appealing themes that make an impact in keeping the attention of visitors.
Check out the emerging website design trends for 2022:
- Dynamic Scrolling. This innovative linear approach changes the way users navigate your website. Dynamic scrolling limits any distracting menus or navigation and provides a good opportunity for taking visitors through your content and messaging.
- Clean and simplified layout. Create a clean, mindful web design that avoids busy graphics and incorporates lots of white spaces (also known as negative space), With a simplified layout, online users can focus on the key pieces of content and important CTAs, making the conversion process faster.
- Bold and oversized typography. Big texts, usually with a stunning image in the backdrop, can be a graphic element rather than a part of the copy. These elements can stand on their own or be paired with minor sub-copies.
There are multiple themes, colour palettes, and templates you can mix and match to make your website look beautiful yet distinct.
3. Cater to your target market
Make sure your hotel website has been designed with your target market in mind. For instance, if you’re catering to tourists who have no idea about your destination, incorporate blogs (like travel guides) and eye-catching photos, selling the city, region, and all of its offerings in addition to the perks of choosing your hotel as their base.
Catering to business travellers? A professional, pared-back site design, as well as content on business travel with helpful links, can help ensure a speedy booking.
4. Check your website’s load time and responsiveness
No matter how attractive your website looks or how luxurious your amenities are, no one will ever see them if it takes too long to load. One of the vital steps to retaining visitors and securing direct bookings is optimising your hotel website’s loading time.
A fast and seamless user experience is non-negotiable. To improve your hotel website’s load time, consider optimising the following areas, which play a significant role to speed:
- HTTP requests
- CSS and JS files
5. Understand SEO basics
There’s no point in having the most beautiful hotel website in the world if you fall short of online discoverability. Your hotel website must pop up on the first page when potential guests are looking for a hotel in your area using Google or Bing. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in handy.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your site to increase search visibility, rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP), generate more traffic, and build authority.
An SEO strategist can focus on three areas:
- On-page SEO- SEO that focuses on the content that’s on-site pages and optimises them to boost the website’s ranking for certain keywords
- Off-page SEO- SEO that focuses on links directed to the website from other elsewhere on the internet
- Technical SEO- SEO that focuses on the website’s backend architecture, like site code, to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a web content writer during the day and a foodie, musician, coffee connoisseur, and plant mom when her day shift is over. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing. To know more about digital marketing, check out the blogs of SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin.