NB: This is an article by Rebecca Pokora of TrustYou
In today’s world, travelers suffer from information overload and too many choices. Online travel agencies are popular not only for price comparisons, but also to sort through options quickly. By presenting necessary information in a consistent, easy-to-find format, individual properties can provide the same advantage.
Since customers tend to skim information now, these facts don’t need to be detailed. Use white space, checklists and/or bullet points to pinpoint answers quickly. Business travelers in particular are focused on facts, so state those first and then provide links or supplemental descriptions to appeal to emotions. When information is split between multiple pages, make those links easy to find.
So what should you provide at first glance?
Overview: Every hotel should have a 1-2 sentence “elevator pitch” that shares why travelers should choose this property. Pinpoint it to your target guest (business, leisure, or events) and share what makes the property stand out.
Location: Location is the #1 criteria travelers use to choose a hotel. Travelers may not be familiar with your city, so an address isn’t enough. Let them know what’s in walking distance and how long the drive is to the nearest restaurant, highway or metro, or local attractions.
On-Site Amenities: Breakfast and wi-fi are the first amenities travelers look for, so display these items if you offer them. Quickly list other amenities like airport shuttles or on-site parking as well. Adding in whether they’re complimentary plus hours of operation can also be helpful.
Reviews: Social proof is a huge factor in purchase decisions: more than 80% of guests say reviews make them confident in their travel decisions. Display your average review rating so travelers know what to expect. If you’re not proud of your rating, show a trend toward improvement.
Photos: Start photo galleries with what a room looks like or special features like rooftop bars and event facilities. Put your best foot forward
Hotel Policies: Be upfront about check-in and check-out times, pet policies, or other restrictions that may impact their stay.
Added Value: If you offer extra benefits for direct bookings or email subscribers, don’t be shy. Since direct rewards correlate with higher revenues, the added value can be worth the extra cost. Tell them about extra rewards or a free welcome drink before they have a chance to click away.
As you pull together this information, reach out to local hotel staff. Front desk associates or your concierge can provide insight into what travelers most commonly ask about. Those frequently asked questions can and should be answered in advance.
Guest demographics also play a role in what information you should provide. Business travelers usually don’t have as much time to dive into the minor details. On the other hand, some leisure travelers love to look into on-site spa treatments, restaurant menus, and anything else that helps create their dream experience. Keep this information on a separate page but easy to find.
And finally, website usability keeps guests on your page instead of leaving to Google more information. Give them a reason to commit and turn your web visitors into paying customers who book directly. Good luck and happy editing!