Earlier this month, I was honored to speak at the Digital Hotelier Masterclass in London, England. Hosted by Masterclassing Inc., I was joined by about 40 or so hotel professionals from the greater London area, all facing the same challenge; how to reach occupancy and revenue targets while being strapped for time.
The reality is, most hoteliers are busy with the day-to-day demands of running a hotel. They don’t have enough time to devote to their digital marketing, and therefore aren’t seeing results from their most important sales and marketing channel – their hotel website.
In a poll we conducted in 2016, 60% of hoteliers said their biggest challenge was driving direct website conversions. And STR found that, on average, only one quarter of room nights for independent hotels are made via their hotel website.
So why is driving direct bookings such a challenge? Well, in an effort to make a great website, hoteliers often unknowingly move further away from achieving the goal of their website – converting lookers into bookers. They focus on things that aren’t adding value, versus providing a great user experience that makes the site easy to book through.
So let’s review some of the best practices I shared at the Digital Hotelier Masterclass on how to build a high-performing hotel website that converts.
Give Travel Shoppers What They Want
This is fairly straightforward, but unfortunately often overlooked. The best performing websites show the right type of content to travel shoppers. Their content is tailored to their target audience and focuses on what the consumer cares most about. For travel shoppers, it comes down to 4 main “wants”:
First, they want to know what makes your hotel different than others on their list. What is it about your hotel that will make their trip more fun, comfortable or efficient? What experience can they expect to have at your property?