Your hotel’s website is your dedicated corner on the internet – an online window into your hotel showcasing what visitors can expect should they choose to come and stay with you.
It’s also a point of purchase. In 2018 alone, 82% of all travel bookings were made online. So if you have been looking at your website as something that’s nice to have but not too important, it’s time to start treating it as the valuable resource it really is – or can be.
The first impression of your hotel doesn’t begin at the check-in desk in your hotel, but on your hotel’s website. So you want to make it a memorable one.
However, I know that keeping your website in perfect shape, while also running a hotel can feel overwhelming, and it can easily slip off the to-do list.
It’s essential not to let that happen, however. You just need to approach your website strategically, understanding its importance and working out how you can keep optimising it. I promise, once you are clear on this, it won’t feel like too much of a hassle.
To help you, I’ve put together a list of tips to help you optimise a hotel website. So keep reading to find out what will make your hotel website run smoothly and help you to keep it – and ultimately generate more business through it.
Technical tips to optimise a hotel website
Good web hosting
A cornerstone of any website is web hosting. Web hosting is the server that stores your website, making it accessible to be viewed on the internet.
There are a lot of reasons why having good quality web hosting is important.
Firstly, it’s largely responsible for the loading time of your website.
We all know how annoying waiting for a website to load is. In fact, 40% of users will abandon the visit if the loading time is longer than 3 seconds – which isn’t long at all.
But, it’s not just people who will punish you for a slow website – your google rating will be affected too, and not in a good way.
The better your hosting server is, the faster your website will be served up to visitors – so don’t settle for an average solution here.
Secondly, good hosting will make your website secure – all sensitive, private information from your website will be protected from any hacker attacks.
In addition, it will boost your website’s reliability. By that I mean you won’t have headaches with your website being unavailable due to poor hosting services.
If your potential customer wants to visit your website and sees it’s unavailable, they almost certainly won’t return. Having a reliable web host can prevent you from losing potential customers. It will also save you countless headaches as you scrabble to get your website back online, as it drops out at the very worst moments – which it inevitably will.
There are many other benefits to a good web hosting service, but the bottom line is – if you don’t have good web hosting, you should change it sooner rather than later.
Which web hosting do we use?
We personally use Stablepoint for our website. You can learn more about them and our experience with their services in this review. We honestly cannot recommend them enough, which is why we have partnered up with them to give you a special offer – just use code J5GJ6YJFZ8 and you will receive a 20% discount!
Responsive and user-friendly design
A responsive website design is essential in this day and age.
Your site needs to offer a great experience on screens of any size – from mobile to desktop and everything in between.
According to the latest statistics, 45% of travellers research, plan and book their trips using mobile only. So having a mobile responsive website is becoming more and more important.
If the website design is not responsive, your website will look weird on some devices. This can make the page unusable if you are not careful.
A hotel’s website needs to be attractive and easy to navigate and use. This goes for the entire website, but especially the booking engine. As this is the selling point on your website, it needs to be functional but simple and user-friendly.
Need a help with web design?
Whether it’s a design from scratch or facelift of the existing one, we can design the perfect, manageable website to take your business to the next level! Contact us and let us take care of your web design!
When you make changes to your website, you need to collect the data that will tell you what is working and what isn’t.
This is where Google Analytics comes into play.
With the help of this free tool, you can see how people found your website, their behaviour, the popularity of each of your pages and track whether they book with you or not.
It’s completely customisable – and you don’t need to use or understand all of its many features – to create reports with the metrics that you want to track.
Google Analytics can help you get to know your visitors better, not only from a demographic perspective, but also their behaviour – what pages do they visit, the reason they are leaving your website, how did they find your website, etc.
You will also know which social media platform is bringing you the most traffic so you can tweak your social media strategy accordingly.
Collecting data like this can help you to increase the number of bookings you make, and really hone your website – based on real data and evidence.
Content tips to optimise a hotel website
When it comes to your site’s pages, it’s a thin line between having just the right number of pages and making the website too busy.
The type of hotel, its features and offers will influence the final number of pages you need, however, we can categorise the following types of pages as mandatory for all hotel websites:
- INFORMATIVE/DESCRIPTIVE PAGES
- BOOKING PAGE
Think of the homepage as your book cover – this is where you want to catch visitors’ attention and invite them to explore the other pages.
The about page is very often underestimated and created as an afterthought, but 52% of visitors will check this page out. So not only do you need to have it, you should put some thought into writing it.
Tell your visitors the story behind your hotel – your mission, vision, values, and why are you running the hotel.
But don’t forget to include them as well – it might sound counter-intuitive, but the about page should be less about you, and mostly about how you serve your guests.
Informative & Descriptive pages
When it comes to the informative and descriptive pages on your site, this is where you will present your rooms, apartments, features, services, packages, and so on.
Put yourself into a visitor’s shoes and think of all the questions you might have about the hotel – like room types, hotel features, room service, is it pet-friendly, is it adult-only?. You want to answer any questions that the visitor would have.
Being a hotel, you want to make it very easy for your audience to contact you.
If you have a dedicated contact page, put a message form they can use to send you a message.
Be sure to check regularly on the contact form to work properly and not sending messages to your spam folder.
Put any relevant email addresses too – even if you have a form – some people avoid using them. Add responsible staff members’ names and phone numbers with hours when they can call you, and other ways they can contact you via phone – SMS, WhatsApp, and so on.
People also love live chat – so explore adding this feature to your site, so visitors can easily ask any questions.
If you don’t have a booking engine on your website, explain clearly how they can get a quote for certain dates and book a stay. You want to make this as easy as possible for them!
When it comes to your physical address, it’s always good to have it shown on the map with an explanation of how it can be reached from the airport, bus/train station, port, etc. This can be an opportunity to promote your transfer service if you offer them or recommend your partners who do.
If you don’t have a blog yet, the best time to start one is now. If you do have it but don’t post to it often, then the best time to start posting consistently is also now.
In case you are worried about what to blog about, remember that every hotel has its own story to tell – its vision, mission, values. All that helps your customers to connect with the hotel on a deeper level.
In addition, you know your destination, so you know all the best spots, hidden gems, must-visits, do’s and don’ts.
Travellers love local recommendations and tips, so don’t hesitate to share your local expertise with them. Finally, you can always use that space to introduce your services and offers in a more descriptive way, as an experience.
Writing the blog won’t just help you to bring your hotel closer to your audience, it will also help you to attract a new audience as well. Posting regular, SEO-optimized blogs will help you climb up Google’s ranking ladder and make your website easier to discover.
Also, by tracking the travel trends and responding to them quickly, you are building the authority in the market and your audience will see you as a hotel they can trust. Lastly, the fact that you can repurpose every blog into social media posts, videos, newsletters is just the cherry on top.
Would you like to have someone reliable to take care of your hotel blog?
We understand managing a blog just cannot fit on your to-do list. No worries though, we got your back – contact us and we will happily keep your hotel blog up and running with fresh and SEO-optimised articles!
We enjoy travelling with all our senses, but travel is incredibly visual, so having high-quality visual content is mandatory.
Low quality and unprofessionally looking photos will add the same adjectives to your brand from the customers’ perspective. If your photos are not at the same standard as your services, you need to change them ASAP.
In addition to photos, consider including video footage to highlight your features, and showcase your hotel’s experience, or introduce the destination in a more engaging way.
Other visual content can also help you to stand out, with animations and illustrations proving particularly effective. For some ideas and inspiration, check out my article Visual content ideas that will help you stand out.
In need for a visual content creator?
One of our fields of expertise is creative visual content – illustrations, creative videography, animations, infographics – whatever you have in mind, we can create it. Just message us and let us create scroll-stopping content for you!
I hope these tips will help you keep your website top-notch. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to reach out and please let me know in the comments below what tips from the list are you planning to use!
Stay safe and healthy,
Until next time,