Whether you are a seasonal hotel destination or a property that runs at 98% occupancy throughout the year, providing your potential guests with a stellar website experience from landing to making a booking is essential.
NB: This is an article from Travelboom
The initial website exposure is the first step in convincing guests that your hotel is their perfect match and that exposure begins on the landing page.
Landing page optimization is incredibly important for any website type – not just for hotels. Though our article will include examples specific to the hospitality industry, these same principles apply to websites across any industry.
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First, let’s cover the actual definition of a landing page before we continue. According to Unbounce, a landing page is any web page that a potential guest can arrive at or “land” on. While a landing page can technically be any page that someone lands on, it is common in marketing to refer to a landing page as a dedicated, standalone web page focused on a single objective. Today, we will discuss it in more of a general sense and provide a more broad analysis.
“The goal of any landing page is to have the potential guest complete a pre-determined conversion event“
Why did you bring them to this exact page? What did you want them to do while they are on your site? The only good outcome is for them to complete the conversion you intended them to. If they don’t, then your landing page did not accomplish its goal and the customer probably left your site. This could be anything from an email signup to a sale or booking.
4 Steps To Customer Action:
1. Grab Attention
The first step is to grab the customer’s attention. This can be done through various forms of advertising, including:
- Media Buy
- Search Engine
- Pay Per Click
- Print Ad
- TV Commercials
It is important to know the perks and differentiators that your hotel offers so you can use these in your advertising to draw people in. For example, you might have a holiday or seasonal special you would like to promote or your hotel might offer amazing amenities that you want to highlight. Figure out what it is that you want to advertise and make your property pop with visually enticing images and a clear call to action.
2. Keep Attention
If the potential guest made it to your landing page, this means you must have gotten their attention. When they first get to your landing page, what do they see?
“Consistency between the off-site experience and the on-site experience is crucial“
If the potential guest came to your site by clicking on an email that you sent them with ad copy that reads “Bring Your Kids to Enjoy Our Indoor Pool & Water Slide” but you take them to a page (possibly your home page) that only shows a picture of your hotel with the outdoor pool, you are not going to keep their attention. They will most likely leave your site immediately rather than clicking through pages trying to find out if you actually have an indoor water slide. But, if you take them straight to the page that shows a picture of the actual indoor pool with a water slide, you are much more likely to keep their attention.
Think about it, if you clicked on an email where the indoor pool with a water slide for kids intrigued you, which page would you most likely stay on:
- Home Page with a picture of the outdoor pool
- Indoor Water Slide Page
Don’t get us wrong, the outdoor pool is probably gorgeous! But, the potential guest specifically clicked on an email that mentioned the indoor water slide. What if this particular searcher has children that cannot be out in the sun? Or, what if they are clicking the email thinking this would be perfect for their winter vacation when it will only be 40 degrees outside?
To really keep the customer’s attention, we suggest creating advertisements that look very similar to the landing page they are promoting. This should include using:
- Same header
- Same image
- Same description
- Same call to action
Give the searcher no doubt they are in the right place. If it was a particular special you were advertising, take them to that exact special’s page, where they can book that exact special from that page. Your goal is to take the customer straight to the landing page where they can most easily complete your desired call to action.
3. Target Attention
You have gotten the customer to your website. They can tell they are in the right place since you are presenting them with exactly what you originally did in order to get them to your website. Now what?
Now, it is your job to get them to look at the precise spot on your landing page where they can convert. You don’t need to overwhelm them with too much content; they already know what they want.
This can be achieved by simplifying the page as much as possible without eliminating crucial information. If the page includes too much information – text, images, videos, links, etc. – the potential guest could become overwhelmed or distracted.
For example, a potential guest typed “hotel in (destination) with 2 bedrooms” into the search engine, and they have arrived on your 2 bedroom suite page. You want to be sure you have provided them with a simple but effective rooms page layout. It should include several room images, a virtual tour if available, a small amount of text and bullet points on room features, and a “Book Now” button that stands out more than anything else on the page. Do not make them have to scroll down the page or have to search for the booking button.
Rather, make the conversion event seamless and intuitive. Give the customer the information they need to process the decision, making it fast and easy to move to the next step down the conversion funnel.
Tip: You should be doing simple A/B testing on your landing pages to achieve the best possible conversion rate. Performing A/B tests can ensure your landing page is always adapting to fit the customer’s wants and needs. Read all about Improving Conversion Rates with A/B Testing here.
4. Entice Action
There are many types of landing pages with different purposes. Your landing page should fit within one of these seven categories:
- Lead generation – Contact us, newsletter, any form (which can be a stand alone page)
- Purchase – Product, hotel room, airline ticket
- Product Detail – Room type, item description
- Informative – Blog, news, about us
- Social – Pages that don’t necessarily represent your company, but may possibly be funny or at least seen and shared. Could also be your actual social media pages.
- Portal – A page that may redirect you to many other websites
- Home Page – The most basic landing page option available
“Whichever type of landing page yours is, make sure that the call to action stands out and is immediately identifiable“
Tip: There are many places throughout the booking conversion funnel that you may lose a customer. Check out our blog and podcast episode regarding “Deconstructing the Conversion Funnel” to learn the different levels of the conversion funnel plus tip on where and why you might be losing your customers during the booking process.
Final Landing Page Tips
- Consistency is key – Have the landing page match the campaign/advertisement the customer clicked on to get to your website
- Have your call to action the only action available on the page and make it stand out
- Use a simplified layout with high-quality photos and catchy, descriptive headlines
- Always be testing! Don’t just assume the colors, text, buttons or photos you are using are the best for conversion
- Make sure all landing pages & forms are mobile friendly