Your website is crucial for attracting customers and encouraging them to make a reservation with your hotel. With travellers choosing to research and spend their cash online, it’s more important than ever that your digital presence reflects your brand and makes the booking processes as streamlined as possible. If you’ve decided it’s time for a website overhaul, working with a web designer can be a challenge but asking four key questions first can make sure you select the right professional to work with.
According to a report from ABTA, 76% of UK holidaymakers book their holiday online and even those that choose to book via other means are very likely to conduct some level of research digitally. It gives you an incredible opportunity to reach a wider customer base from around the world but also means there’s a need for your website to meet expectations. Online shoppers are impatient. If a website takes too long to load, is difficult to navigate, or doesn’t meet their needs they’ll simply look elsewhere. That’s why working with an effective hotel web designer that understands your goals is important.
Asking yourself and a web designer these four questions can help you identify the right hotel responsive web design for your hotel.
How will the website align with the hotel’s branding and target market?
Consistent branding is crucial for any hotel, be it a small B and B or larger luxury resort. For established brands, this is an important part of ensuring continuity. Your branding should significantly influence your marketing strategy and your website is a core part of customer awareness. It’s a good idea to have set out the main branding features that you want translated to your new website, such as colour palettes, approved fonts, and logos.
Will the website be responsive?
More bookings are taking place online and a growing share of reservations are coming from mobile devices. In 2016, 36% of consumers booked their holiday via a smartphone or tablet and it’s a trend that’s growing rapidly. It means that hotel responsive web design should be viewed as an essential. Responsive design adapts to the device your customers are using, ensuing a consistently great experience. Research shows that 56% of travellers have found the booking process through a mobile device more difficult compared to using a PC, a barrier that hotel responsive web design can eliminate.
Will the website be custom made?
There are two options when a web designer is building your website – to use pre-made templates or a fully customised design. While templates are the cheaper and quicker option, if you want a website that truly captures your hotel’s brand and style it’s a choice that’s likely to leave you feeling disappointed. Having a custom-made website gives you more freedom and the capability to build in the functions that matter to your business goals, such as integrating revenue management software.
How easy will the website be to maintain and update?
Websites need to be maintained in order to continue functioning as they should. In some cases, web designers will take responsibility for this for an ongoing fee but in others you may need to hire someone. Knowing where you can turn should technical issues arise or an update is necessary can make all the difference to the smooth running of your website.