Did you know that nearly 84% of travellers make their airline and hotel bookings through websites like Kayak or Expedia?
This worrying trend brings to light that maybe native hotel websites are lacking the “it” factor to attract the digital crowd. Fortunately, little tweaks here and there could put your hotel website back in the spotlight.
In this new age, where information is available at your fingertips, hotel websites are the first point of contact between you and your clients. Thus, it is of strategic importance to use it as a tool to leave a lasting impression. Whether you are building a brand new hotel website or revamping an existing one, it is essential to pay close attention to the layout and design.
With a whole new year ahead, here are some hotel website features and design trends in 2020 that are a must-have:
1. Seeing is Believing
As a hospitality establishment, you are not merely offering a room, but you are offering a lifestyle experience.
And the visual medium would convey precisely that!
Since the guest cannot physically visit your hotel and check out the rooms, you will have to offer a comparable virtual experience. Any seasoned website design agency knows that including high-quality photos in the website layout could increase the booking chances by a whopping 225%!
A survey by Skift highlighted how 67% of high-income travellers would rather spend their money on activities than for a fancy hotel room. The modern age traveller wants more value for their money through the medium of experiences. Thus, adding a dash of local flavours to your hotel website design can definitely help it stand out. You could create a theme-based list for various travellers and include different informational blogs to help them plan their trip accordingly.
For example, hotel websites in Dubai offer tailored experiences, which range from adventurous escapades to religious pilgrimages to titillating gastronomic trails. Guests can browse through hotel website designs used in Dubai to select a personalised experience according to their tastes.
Given that 90% of global travellers expect a customised experience, this addition will surely earn you brownie points.
3. Easy Contact & Online Booking Options
What’s the point of having a website when you cannot use it to convert lookers into bookers? Offer your visitors the facility to make online bookings with an easy to access single-click button that redirects the visitor to the booking page. Better yet, add it as a sticky icon that is available even when the visitors scroll through the site.
You may even incorporate a chatbot to engage the visitors. A 2018 survey revealed that 82% of online bookings were completed without human interaction. Further, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas reported a revenue increase of 30% through the customers who interact with their chatbot, Rose. Clearly, chatbots are the future!
Additionally, make your contact details available so that prospective clients can contact the reception and discuss any doubts or queries. While it may sound old-school, almost 66% of travellers above 55 prefer calling hotels prior to their visit.
4. Location Pins & Directions
You may have a hotel at a prime location, but how can you sell it to your guests?
Easy, through Maps!
Having an interactive map location can help your visitors locate your hotel with ease. Google Maps widgets not only give an overview of the location of your hotel but can be handy in accessing driving directions to your hotel. Plus, they not only allow your visitors to explore the neighbourhood and surroundings but also offers an insight into the local transportation networks.
5. Compatibility Across Devices
The Internet is no longer limited to desktops and laptops. Hence, it is crucial to make your hotel website mobile-friendly. According to TrekkSoft, 48% of travellers are comfortable with researching, booking, and planning their entire trip on a smartphone! Hence, making your website features compatible with mobiles, tablets, and desktop-platforms can expand your audience base.
Further, optimise your hotel website to enable it to load within 3 seconds to ensure visitor retention. Having a mobile-friendly and optimised website shall also boost your ranking in the search engine result page (SERP).
6. Event Calendars
Do you conduct special events or activities based on seasons or occasions? Do you want your guests to know about them? Highlight these by putting up an events calendar that gives an overview of these celebrations! As mentioned earlier, you could even share details about local festivals that may coincide with a visitor’s itinerary. Include the local climate data and weather conditions, and make relevant suggestions to your guests.
A whopping 57% of millennials are open to sharing their data in exchange for personalised advice or discounts under the loyalty program. These are the data metrics that you would not want to miss out!
7. Hotel Amenities
If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Follow this philosophy while luring in your prospective visitors with a dedicated amenities page. Display all that you have to offer like a meeting hall, wedding banquet, swimming pool, etc. that will present your hotel as the best place to stay! 77% of travellers say that amenities play a decisive role in the hotel booking process, so go ahead and show them what you’ve got!
8. Social Validation
Social media platforms are yet another powerful tool to bring your hotel in the spotlight. In addition to making social media links readily available on your website, you should include genuine reviews and testimonials.
96% of travellers shortlist a hotel after reading the online reviews. To aid them in this quest, you could compile various feedback, critical or rave reviews, and host it on your website. Remember, anything that is too good to be true could spark suspicion. So, maintain transparency and honesty by including even the negative comments while replying to them professionally.
Four out of five guests believe that a hotel that responds to guests’ reviews is more customer-friendly. A little effort from your end will make the guests feel heard and valued, and that can go a long way.
9. Web Analytics & Tracking
It is always important to track the performance of your hotel website. Google’s Analytics Tracking tool will give you an insight into the efficacy of your current marketing strategies. It also collects information related to the demographics of the visitors, such as age, location, etc., which can be monumental in understanding your audience base. With this data in mind, you will be capable of formulating highly effective campaigns.
The standard version of Google Analytics is free of charge, so why shouldn’t you make the best of it?
10. Rate Comparison Tables
The ability to instantly compare the rates and amenities of the various suites/rooms can help the guest decide which facility they wish to avail. Even if you cannot offer a dedicated interactive comparison table, publish it in the form of media that enlists all the pricing, rates, and amenities of the hotel rooms. You could also share promos and offers against these rates to encourage your visitors to make bookings directly on your hotel website.
With these little but significant website design considerations, you can make your hotel website useful and user-friendly. Make it a point to clearly outline and convey your requirements with the website design agency to enable them to transform your vision into reality and propel your hospitality business to stellar new heights!