Supercharge Your Website and Watch Your Revenue Grow mobile friendly website


NB: This is an article from Leonardo

Remember the days when the only option for your hotel guests was to either phone your hotel directly or book through a travel agent? Things seemed so simple. Today, not so much. Your guests can book on any number of travel websites and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and can do so using their smartphone or tablet, browsers or apps. What you ultimately want is for your guests to book through your own hotel website because it’s your lowest cost booking channel. Your hotel website is the virtual front door that travel shoppers use to “enter” your property. It needs to engage, inform and convert.

One of the major obstacles hoteliers face to increasing direct bookings is a defeatist attitude. “Listen to your colleagues at other properties. Maybe even at your own hotel.  What you hear is a general attitude of defeatism.  ‘There’s nothing we can do to stop the OTAs. They’re just too big and too close to the consumer to ever beat them.  We might as well just get used to this new reality.’ That attitude is the single greatest obstacle to spotting what you actually CAN do.”

– Scott Yankton, Management Consultant

Wow them.

93% of people say that visuals are the most influential factor in their purchase decision. Let that sink in for a second. Considering the fact that you have less than 10 seconds to make an impactful first impression, it highlights the importance of bringing your gallery into the forefront and meeting the expectation of the modern travel shopper instantly.

A great example of this is the Mare Vista in the Greek Islands. The moment you land on their website you’re greeted with stunning, crisp visuals of the hotel and surrounding areas, you feel as if you’re already there. They organize their media into easy-to-navigate web galleries throughout their website so that you can really see what it’s like. Highlight what makes your property unique – whether that’s your award-winning chef, proximity to local attractions, or the best burger in town.

Mare Vista Vizlly SiteSource – Mare Vista

“Focus those efforts on increasing your conversion rate (i.e. actual eCommerce transactions). Increasing the conversion rate of those visitors you already attract to your website is the quickest way to increase your direct bookings.”

– Scott Yankton, Management Consultant

Be your ideal guest.

Too often, we fall prey to our own thinking and forget to view our website from the perspective of our ideal guest. Navigate through your website as if you were one of your target guests – does it speak to your wants and needs? For instance, if one of your target groups is vacationing families, your website needs to address what they want and need quickly and impactfully (visuals can help with that).

The Mare Vista uses visuals to target specific travelers extremely well. They have curated media to show that they’re family friendly (anyone who travels with children will appreciate that) and that they they’re a hot spot for trekking and surfing.

“Visitors to your website need to satisfy their questions about your property before they book a room. The key is to facilitate this on your site so that they aren’t tempted to go elsewhere for answers. In other words, find out the information travel shoppers want in order to book a room and deliver it.”

Mare Vista targetingSource – Mare Vista

Make booking easy.

This might be a no-brainer, but enabling booking on your hotel website is a top priority. The ability to check availability and book a room should be embedded on every single page of your website to encourage reservations at every turn. Eliminate as many barriers in the path to purchase as possible. Today’s consumers want to do what they want, when they want, and if they want to book your hotel but can’t do it quickly and easily on your website on their device or screen of choice – whether it’s their desktop computer, tablet or smartphone – you’ll lose them.

Booking widgetSource – Mare Vista

“It’s all about control. The consumer wants to sit behind the wheel and drive the car.”

– Howard Tullman, CEO, Social Media Week

Short and sweet.

Nobody wants to read a dissertation on your homepage. Remove yourself from the academic mindset and hit home with words that puncture people’s attention. Help advance travel shoppers through the buying journey by providing a framework around what they’re looking at. Create narratives that describe all facets of your hotel experience. Use catchy adjectives instead of the same redundant and boring phrases seen on your competitors’ websites. The Hoxton in Shoreditch, London loves to play outside the boundaries and write descriptions in their brand’s voice and authentic style. “Wanna know more? Hit us up…” their meeting page on their website reads. They know their guests, and this casual tone appeals to the travel shoppers that are browsing their website.

The San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel is a popular wedding destination and they know their couples well, using language that uniquely resonates with this target audience. In their media galleries, instead of simply writing “Weddings” or “Events” they get creative with phrases like “I Do.”

San Juan WebsiteSource – San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel

Break out the thesaurus and find some energetic words that jump off the screen to breathe life into your story. Play around with your headlines and captions to get away from the ordinary. Remember, why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Read more articles from Leonardo