Do you run a small hotel, guest house or a bed & breakfast and are thinking of having your own website or redesigning the old one?
Assuming that the main goal of your website is probably to get more bookings, below I have listed some features and tips that a great hospitality website should contain.
1. Know your target group – Firstly you should know your target audience, as this will influence the text, colours, mood and pictures of your website design.
2. Photography is important – Potential visitors who do not know your hotel have to rely on the pictures you provide on your website. So it is important to have good quality, professional photos of your accommodation. These photos will pre-determine guest expectations, images must be a genuine representation of the hotel and show the accommodation as it really is. Programs like Photoshop should not be used to drastically manipulate images to avoid future disappointments. Use only your own pictures and do not include any stock photos. It is also a great idea to include some video tours on your website.
3. Social proof with testimonials – Reviews of your satisfied guests are great tools to convince the concerned potential visitors about the worth of visiting your accommodation. Ask your guests to write a review and request their permission to include a photo, name and the country of origin.
4. Online booking / Availability calendar – It goes without saying that in today’s digital world it is vital to have prompt access to the availability calendar and the prices of your accommodation, so the potential guests can compare and decide where to stay. Include the availability calendar on all of your pages with a clear Call to Action (CTA) button.
5. ‘Contact us’ and Google map – It is important to put your contact details and the map of your hotel in a visible place on your website.
6. Guest room features and amenities– Describe your rooms in as much as detail as possible, include pictograms for visual engagement.
7. About the hotel – People like hearing personal stories, so why not include the history of how your building was transformed into its current state, whether it is an old property which has been refurbished or a new building. Include a story and attach pictures about the process.
8. About the people – Even if you have a tiny hotel with a small number of permanent employees you can also present the staff on the website so the potential visitors will know who will welcome them when they arrive at the hotel, or who will serve them the breakfast in the morning.
9. Special offers and promotions – Even if you are not a big hotel you can make special promotions for different occasions, such as Christmas, New Year and Easter. Include these deals on the homepage of your site.
10. News – Your accommodation might not have a lot of happenings, but you can include everything that is going on in your area. If you know your target audience you can provide them programs which might be of interest to them.
11. Social media, blog, newsletter – Be active on social media and keep in touch with your guests. Write a blog and have a newsletter to inform the visitors about any upcoming events, special offers or other happenings in your hotel or your area.
12. Responsive website design – It is important that your website adjust its size according to the device of your visitors. Whether they are looking at your site from a smart phone, tablet or a laptop they should have the same experience.
13. Search Engine Optimization – Working on your SEO will help your website to improve its position in the search engines, so the potential guest will find your website online more easily.
I hope you found these tips useful and that if and when you decide to create a website for your own property you will know what details to pay attention to. If there is anything else that you think should be added to this list, do not hesitate to comment on the post.