As an independent hotel operator, your website is your most important marketing and sales tool. Travelers rely on hotel websites for property details, such as guest rooms, amenities and services, as well as other helpful tips. At first glance, travelers can instantly tell which hotels invest in their websites, as well as which hotels seemingly forget about theirs. In today’s competitive market, independents cannot allow their website to be the reason why travelers book elsewhere. Check out a few of the things travelers look for in hotel websites, then ask yourself, “Is my website providing travelers with what they want?”
A little personality
The phrase, “a little personality goes a long way,” also applies to hotel websites. Independents should use their websites to showcase their unique personalities and provide travelers with a glimpse of their on-property experience. Use well-written content to highlight features, special offers, events, location, history and other interesting information that helps it stand out. If you’re not a strong writer, hire a freelancer to take on the job. Your website is most travelers’ introduction to your property, so it’s important to “Wow” them with a great first impression.
When travelers visit your hotel website, their eyes should be greeted by great-looking images or fast-loading video. Great imagery stirs their curiosity and pulls them into the site to learn more about the property. In addition to the homepage, descriptions of guestrooms, communal areas and special features should all be accompanied by great photos and/or video to help travelers envision themselves at your hotel. Independents should consider hiring a seasoned photographer to create an image library for their property. Great images sell hotel rooms, so investing in your website photography will help you earn faster returns.
Ability to book now
Ok, so you’ve enticed travelers with a great-looking website and now they’re ready to book their stay. But your website doesn’t take direct, online bookings. Uh oh…
Instant gratification is the new normal, so if your website isn’t prepared to take travelers’ dollars when they want to spend them, they’ll simply find another hotel that’s ready and waiting. Independents, don’t let the hard work you put into your website go to waste! Enhance your website with a booking engine so you can capture direct, commission-free reservations. It’s the final and most important step in an independent hotels’ online sales and marketing cycle. You can learn more about our website booking engine here or by chatting with our sales team.