process improvement concept with business elements

Self Assessment: Improving Your Hotel’s Website Appeal

Performing a Self-Assessment of Your Hotel’s Website

Periodically, It’s important to set time aside to do a self-assessment of your hotel on categories including employees, procedures, website, customer service, housekeeping and everything in-between. Perhaps the easiest way to improve your hotels booking rate, revenue, public perception, and brand recognition is through your website. If your property doesn’t have a website, we will discuss easy options below for how you can create your own. Don’t know how to make your website better? Sit back as you read our recommendations on how to benchmark off other hotelier’s websites to learn ways to positively influence your own website.

1. Photography

Your website’s photos set the expectations for your guests entire stay. Do you have a full shot of the room? Do your rooms show easy accessibility? Based on research from HNN.com, color schemes, design style and décor are the key contributors to the attractiveness of the interior appearance of the hotel guest room. Guests love to see shots of the entrance, the lobby, the continental breakfast area, full shots of the room, and bathroom. While many hotels, motels, or B&B’s in the area may be close on price, a professionally done website will outshine the rest.

Our Recommendations:

  • See what other competitors in the area have for their websites
    • How many different shots of the room do they have?
    • Are they quality photography shots or outdated?
  • Don’t just have photography of your property.
    • Include local attractions and restaurants to display an overall experience rather than just a “guest room.”
  • Ensure your lighting conveys the right message (see example below)
    • Lighting can make the same hotel have two different impressions

Example: (Same Hotel, Two Different Rooms, Two Different Impressions)

BestWestern1

Versus:

BestWestern2

2. Functionality & Responsiveness

Does your website include all of the necessary information: contact information, reservation booking, amenities, local attractions, directions, and an about us page? Prospective guests are coming onto your website for a reason; they want to see if your hotel will be suitable for their vacation or business trip. Look at your competitors websites. What are they saying about the local attractions and restaurants? Do they have direct booking? How easy is it for you to book a room at their hotel?

Our Recommendations:

  • If you don’t have direct online booking for your property, look into it.
    • Majority of Millennials do NOT like to call people to make a reservation
  • Limit the amount of clutter on your website
    • Have a homepage
      • Have 4-5 main categories at the top for customers to get more information on key things such as room rates, room photos, booking a room etc.
  • Get professional SEO help for your hotel
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help search results gather customers at a higher rate and attract them to your website based on keywords your guests type into the search bar. Example: If your hotel is in Atlanta, GA and a customer types in hotels in Atlanta; Your hotel has a better chance of appearing on the first page with better SEO.
    • SEO Experts is the #1 recommended company by Fortune 500

3. Website Appearance

Website appearance is crucial for attracting customers. With technology constantly improving, website developers have built templates where companies can easily make them unique with their logo, photos, and information. The best part of making your own website nowadays, is cost. It’s very cost affective to manage your own properties website, and many companies will offer professional assistance based on the type of “package” or “subscription” you purchase with them.

Here are our recommended website builders:

A look inside Wix.com

To help you get an idea of the power of website builders, I will simply type in “hotels” in the template search and you will get to see the options that pop up, there’s hundreds! Once you have found a template you like, you can view the template. In the view mode you get to test out all the links and the functionality. With a Wix subscription, you can actually start to make the template your own with your hotel name, photos, and information! It’s as easy as that!

1. Search for hotels in Wix.com templates

Wix1
Click to View!

2. Choose a template you like (Retro Hotel)

Wix2

3. Hit “view” to test out the template

Wix3
Click to View!

4. Clicking on the top category “Rooms” displays the following:

Wix4

5. In order to edit the template to create your own website, simply subscribe! Free trials exist.

All The Tools You Need

Updating your website is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the local competition. With today’s technology, it should be fun and easy. Benchmarking ideas and information from other competitors website is a great way to perform checks and balances. Make sure you have all the necessary information! Photography is important to visually attract customers to your hotel. You may be competing well on price, but losing to others based on unattractive photography. Lastly, take time to develop an aesthetically pleasing website using one of the recommended website creators. Programmers have kindly made it very user friendly and convenient for all businesses to create professional looking websites! Get started today.

 

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