Whether you’re launching a website for your new bed and breakfast, or planning to redesign your existing hotel website, you know that an effective online presence is key to your success. But if you’re new to the digital world, you may not know what makes or breaks a hotel website.
In this article, we’ll review the 7 essential hotel website features that can turn your visitors into guests.
Stunning Visual Content
As an independent hotel or resort, you’re not just selling a service—you’re selling an unforgettable experience. And whether your guests are traveling for business or pleasure, they’ll want to know what the room will look and feel like before they book.
Some of the most successful hotels and resorts let their visuals do the selling for them—because it works. As you develop your new website, be sure to allow ample real estate for photos, videos, virtual tours, and anything else that will showcase what your hotel has to offer from a visual perspective.
With Google’s recent algorithm update, affectionately known as “Mobilegeddon,” mobile compatibility is even more important than ever when it comes to organic search. But, mobile friendliness is also crucial when it comes to user experience.
Think about all of the apps and websites that allow travelers to book on the go, like HotelTonight and BookIt.com. If your website doesn’t allow the same ease of use from any device, you’re likely to miss out on guests who need a mobile-friendly experience.
Whether you’re part of a hotel chain, or a lone bed and breakfast in a scenic spot, you’ll want to make sure that your hotel website features some degree of local flavor. At the very least, you’ll want to include directions and a map to your hotel.
We recommend going one step further and including information about local weather, events, and even history. Not only will this help your hotel website rank organically in your area, but it will also provide guests with much-needed information about local restaurants, hotspots, and other attractions.
Ability to Compare and Contrast Rates and Rooms
This is an essential hotel website feature, especially in a time when users can find anything just by searching online. Your visitors should have the ability to select different rooms, and compare features, rates, and amenities.
Remember: if users can’t compare rates and amenities on your website, they won’t stick around. They’ll simply go to another travel or hotel website that provides them with the information they need.
If you aren’t able to implement the functionality needed to compare and contrast features, rates, and amenities, you can at least provide a clear, accessible list of pricing and rates for all the rooms in your hotel or resort.
Guest Reviews and Testimonials
Although every hotel website can benefit from the addition of guest reviews and other forms of social proof, this is especially important for small, independent hotels.
Before they book with you, travelers will want to know more about the experiences that previous guests have had at your establishment. You’ll want to include testimonials on the hotel website itself, and be sure to link to social media and travel websites that include additional (positive) reviews of your hotel.
Social media is really two essential hotel website features in one. It is a great way for your guests to connect with you online, and it can serve as another testament to your quality. Everything from the way that you respond to comments to the relevance of your latest post can influence guests as they decide whether or not to book a room at your hotel.
Essential social media platforms for hotels and resorts include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
A User-Friendly Online Booking Engine
You have great prices, a beautiful hotel, and all your guests have written fantastic reviews about their experiences. Now, you need to make sure that potential guests have a simple, user-friendly way to book a room online.
Most property management systems, such as WebRezPro or Frontdesk Anywhere, come with an online booking engine. Make sure that your hotel website features this functionality prominently. On every page, you should include a link or call-out that encourages visitors to book their stay.
With these 7 essential hotel website features, you can create a user-friendly experience for potential guests and improve your bottom line.
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