A fantastic website can have a profound effect on your hotel’s marketing success—including the ability to dramatically increase direct bookings. Yet time and time again, we stumble upon hotel website designs that make us cringe.
You’ve only got a few seconds to make an impression online. And a lackluster hotel website is one of the quickest ways to send traffic back to OTAs and search engines to check out your competition instead.
Don’t lose bookings and revenue because of a poorly designed website. Here are five common hotel website design mistakes that could be holding your business back:
Note: We’ve put together a bonus resource at the end of this post that explains the ten things your website does need in order to convert traffic into bookings. Don’t miss it!
Five Hotel Website Design Mistakes That Are Costing You Bookings
1. A Non-Responsive Website
Love it or hate it, most travelers are glued to their mobile devices—before, during and after their journey. But that’s not all. The latest research now shows that MORE web traffic comes from mobile technology than from desktop computers.
If your website is not mobile friendly, then you are not providing a positive user-experience to some 60% of your potential customers!
Google has long realized the game-changing role of mobile devices. In fact, the search engine giant now favors mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. So if your travel website isn’t mobile friendly, Google could essentially ‘bump’ you down the search results list in favor of other websites that are mobile friendly.
You can check to see how your website looks on your personal mobile device, but know that won’t always give you an accurate representation of what your hotel website looks like across different screens of different sizes. Instead, we recommend using one of these tools:
2. Second-Rate Photos
Do you have trouble remembering what you read? If so, you’re not alone. This fascinating Infographic by Wyzowl shows that only 20% of people remember what they read. However, 80% of people remember what they see—and visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text!
Visual communication is important for every industry, but travel and tourism certainly tops the list for products and services that demand five-star photography. After all, travelers don’t just want to read about a destination, they also want to see exactly what their own experience could look like!
It’s always worth investing in professional photography to better capture the essence of your hotel. Of course you want to feature outstanding photos of your rooms and accommodation, but don’t forget to also share images of your location, surrounding attractions, and anything else that builds your hotel’s unique brand.
3. Clutter Over Clarity
Your hotel is one-of-a-kind. Of course you want to share with potential guests everything it is that sets you apart from the competition. However, never sacrifice clarity and functionality for bells and whistles.
The thing is, your website is not actually about your hotel. It is about your potential guests who are trying to decide if your accommodation is the perfect fit for their limited vacation time. Here are a few additional tips to ensuring your website is clear and easy-to-use:
-Keep your navigation bar intuitive and functional
-Include an FAQ page where you can easily answer your target customer’s questions
-Get a ‘peek’ into what users do when they land on your website for the first time. This free service give you a five-minute video of an actual person using your site so you can see if certain parts of your hotel website design might seem great to you, but are actually cluttered or confusing to others.
4. Lack of Social Proof
Social proof is paramount to the success of your hotel website. Travelers want to know that they can trust your product or service—and they don’t just want to take your word for it.
Include links to your TripAdvisor and Google+ reviews on your website. Feature testimonials from past guests. (It’s even better if you can get their permission to post their headshot along with it.) Ensure you’re active on social media, and then highlight these networks on your website. The more you can do to convey quick and clear credibility, the better.
Still not sure if social media is worth investing in? We encourage you to read this article What Every Tourism Business Needs To Know About Social Media ROI
5. No Personality
Travel is one of the most exciting things in the world! If your hotel website design is a total snoozefest with zero personality, then why would someone choose your hotel over the competition?
What makes your hotel or B&B different and unique? Do you have a fascinating ‘about’ or behind-the-scenes story? Special quirks and features? Take your unique selling points and feature them on your website. But even more so, be memorable and interesting. Be you.