Five Key Features of a Successful Hotel Website

When your hotel’s web design is completed, do you feel an “uh-oh!” feeling? Are you unsure how to market your property online? This is the place for you. To make sure that your guests click the “book now” button, we outline key strategies for hotel website design.

Responsive Design/Mobile First

Your guests are busy. They are busy and don’t have the time to log on to their computer every day to make a booking. Mobile devices are increasingly popular, so your website must look good and make sense of those devices.

This is possible with a responsive web design that adapts to any device. Your website will look great in all sizes.

It is a mobile-first approach. You first design your website for mobile and then add features to the computer version. This allows you to focus on the important things for a faster, more user-friendly experience. Don’t reduce, but increase. You could end up with a website with great features on desktop but not on mobile.

A website is not necessary for guests. A website that is easy to understand and use is essential.

Branding

Your website should tell a story. Your guest’sstory should be included on your website. Your guest should be able to picture their stay at your hotel. Let your guest go on a journey that ends with booking.

The colors of your website should tie this journey together. It is better to use a minimalist color palette that complements rather than distracts. Consistency in colors is key to the trustworthiness and avoiding confusion. We used lots of white space and light grey in our redesign for Forest Home Cabins to let the green photography shine. The rusty red accent color is used in contrast to the green imagery to make the call-to-action buttons stand out. The result is a harmonious combination of colors that is just as soothing as a vacation in the woods.

To give your guests an idea of the hotel’s personality, you should also use language that reflects it. Avoid using long sentences if you are a minimalist hotel. Don’t use run-on sentences either way.

Include calls to action to guide guests on their journey. If your website isn’t clear to visitors, it won’t work.

Your online booking engine should reflect your branding to match your website. This will ensure your guests have a seamless experience.

Online Booking Engine

Your online booking engine (OBE) should be accessible from every page on your website. It will be available for guests when they book. Include a “book Now” button in the header or main menu. Your OBE can be added via a booking widget or availability calendar. You also have the option to add unit/rate-specific booking hyperlinks. 

Make your booking engine easy. Don’t ask for unnecessary information. Remember the last time you filled in a form that was too long? Did you complete the form?

We thought so.

If the process is too slow, guests will cancel their bookings.

Integrate your online booking platform with your property management software (PMS). 

Secure your booking engine data using an HTTPS connection, SSL encryption and a PCI compliant payment gateway integration. It can be nerve-racking to send your data out into the aether. Guests must ensure that their data is headed to the correct place and only to the right location.

Images and video

Images should be compatible with text and each other. Quality is more important than quantity. Your site’s speed can be hampered if you have too many images. Keep in mind that guests are busy.

Instead of trying to do a poor job, hire a professional photographer to take your photos. These photos will be the online face of your property. This face should look as professional and polished as you do.

At a minimum, show the inside of your hotel (the guest rooms, lobby, restaurant), the outside (your entrance), and your location (the town/countryside/lake your hotel is near to). 

You can also put videos up. You can easily share and consume them, so your guests will love them. Do you need inspiration? Need inspiration? Check out our article about creating compelling hotel marketing videos.

SEO

Although SEO may not be the most glamorous aspect of web design, it is crucial! You’re already halfway to success if you have quality content.

While keywords are an important SEO strategy, they should be used naturally. Consider current trends when choosing keywords. Many people take wellness vacations. If your property has a spa or other wellness-related amenities, you can include this in your story.

Your guest segments are what you should be thinking about. A guest segment is a group that is more likely to book at your hotel than others and to whom it makes sense to the market. Guest segments can include families, business travelers, and weddings. You should use keywords and content relevant to the needs of your guest segments. Business travelers will be interested to know if your company has meeting rooms.

Create an FAQ page. This page allows busy guests to easily find the information they need and provides another place for you to add keywords. An FAQ page is written in question-and-answer format and responds to the voice/conversation search trend. It makes SEO simple.

Secure your website with an SSL certificate. This will boost your SEO and protect your guests’ data. It’s impossible to remember every time your data was kept safe. But can remember when it was compromised.

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