5 Essentials Every Hotel Website Should Have Create the best possible hotel website
Does your hotel have it's own, unique website, or do you rely on a franchise website or OTAs to drive bookings and business to your hotel? If it's the latter, you're missing opportunities for greater success.
Hotel operators face a number of industry-specific challenges in the digital world, namely a constant struggle to shift bookings away from the massive OTAs and aggregators that charge large fees for bookings, ultimately driving down profit margins.
Hotels that are part of a larger chain also face an unfortunate reliance on the franchise's centralized booking service and hotel landing page which typically don't leverage local sales opportunities or lead generation. In so far as a website should promote an individual property's unique attributes, these sites simply don't get the job done.
Hotels have the ability to strike down these challenges by launching an individual property website. Ideally a hotel website will drive bookings and leads that aren't affected by OTA fees, and allows hotel operators to showcase their property, create a localized experienced, and better connect with guests.
What does all this amount to? Exceptional ROI.
Before setting out to launch a new website, or reconsider their current one, hotel operators must consider these five essentials that every hotel website should include.
1) Property Showcase
The most fundamental means of attracting guests to your property and driving bookings is to showcase your hotel with a gallery of stunning, high-impact images and a complete listing of all amenities. These tangible images will give guests the peace of mind they need to make a booking.
Behind of the scenes of your glossy showcase, there should be an optimized SEO design, which means that images will be tagged with keywords that that are then pushed to search engines, increasing traffic.
2) Promotion of Local Events and Attractions
After offering potential guests a showcase of your property and its amenities, your hotel website should give them additional reasons to create a booking: by positioning the property as a destination through promotion of local events and attractions. For example, if your property is near a theme park, convention center, or concert hall your hotel website should make that clear, attracting consumers who want to be in proximity to those experiences.
3) Special Offerings and Packages
Everyone loves a deal, right? Be sure your website includes a section to promote special offerings and packages. These could be local rates, group rates, extended stay pricing, and special packages like a girlfriends getaway or couples getaway.
4) Customer Engagement & Analytics
Besides simply looking great, your hotel website must include tools for customer engagement that lie both front and center and behind the scenes. This includes functionality for a newsletter and blog, which serves to drive SEO and build deeper relationships with guests. Similarly there should be a means of managing social media tools and promoting positive online reviews.
Additionally your site should have a fully integrated CRM database that captures guest information as they interact with the website, allowing for low-cost email marketing and the creation of loyalty programs.
Finally, the website needs to offer managers sharp analytics and reporting tools that are thorough and easy to use.
Last, but certainly not least, there must be central reservation connectivity on your website that is available on desktop, tablets and mobile devices. This connectivity should also include click to call and click for directions functionality.
These five essentials will make your hotel website a welcoming tool for guests to connect with, and can dramatically increase ROI. The challenge then, is how to integrate these things into your hotel's website?
Yes, DIY tools exist, and its possible -- though quite costly -- to hire a developer and designer to create the website for you, there are also platform tools, like Hospitality Solutions from Ocoos, which offer concierge services that specialize in the hotel space and can help you launch a robust website that includes these five website essentials.