The hotel industry is very dynamic and must keep up to date with current design trends and ‘hotel website must haves’ to stay competitive. A hotel website is like a concierge that directs visitors where to go, makes a great first and lasting impression and reassures visitors that they have come to the right place. Here are five fundamentals that all online hotel redesign teams should be implementing in their hotel web design.
They say that images say a thousand words and this applies well to hotel web design. When hotel rooms are sold on their images alone, it is fruitless to neglect this part of your design. It is money well spent to commission a professional photographer to take photos of your establishment which can be used throughout all your marketing materials. Display the quality images in a gallery or layered with separate copy and large calls to action.
As competition hots up in the hotelsphere, websites needs to lift their game in terms of site speed. As well as page speed being included as ranking factor in Google’s algorithms, it improves the usability of your website. If a hotel website is sluggish and loads very slowly, travellers will just bounce off to your competitor’s website. Images need to be optimised and web-friendly, they may be contributing to the slowness of your site.
Hotels can take control of bookings and maximise sales opportunities by including an online booking engine as part of their marketing strategy. Other advantages of having an integrated online booking system include minimised risk and augmented security by allowing visitors to book on your site rather than be directed to a third party, reduced commissions to third party websites, information in real time and increased traffic.
As more people book hotels using portable devices, hotel websites need to be mobile-friendly and compliant. Principles of mobile web design can lend itself to best design practice such as fast loading times, easy-to-use site architecture and a simplified booking process. Other design elements specific to mobiles include click-to-call buttons, minimal imagery and no Flash technology – Apple products for example do not support Flash.
Social media is another online space where hotels should make their presence known. Research shows that people are looking at reviews and doing research on the net before deciding on travel accommodation. Hotel websites need to take control of their online reputation by integrating social media into their hotel website design advising travellers of your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TripAdvisor accounts and so on.
In such an aggressive marketplace, a marketing team cannot afford any design hurdles to hold them back. If you are interested in finding more about how we have collaborated with hoteliers like yourself to build websites that are engaging, up-to-date, modern and relevant, contact us to speak to one of our team at Hotel Website Designers and learn more about hotel website must haves.
Hotel Website Designers is proud to recommend the SiteMinder suite of services as being one of the world’s leading Hotel Channel Management and Online Distribution products.
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