Having a website is vital for any hotel in the 21st century, be it big or small. Would-be guests expect to be able to look up information about accommodation online, as well as to make bookings via their PCs or other devices without having to pick up the phone. Thanks to good hosting services and tools that almost anyone can use, designing a hotel website and getting it up and running isn’t difficult.
However, many brands make mistakes at this point and end up with a site that, although functional, doesn’t reflect their property in the best possible way. When carrying out website design for hotels, owners or marketers need to ensure that the finished product communicates the right kind of message and accurately reflects their brand throughout. Here are a few tips on what needs to be considered at the design stage so that your website achieves the effects you desire: more traffic and hopefully, more bookings. Know your audience the most important thing when you’re trying to sell any kind of product is knowing the audience you want to sell it to. This means doing research on the bookings you take and working out who your visitors are – you can use the popular marketing technique of persona profiling here to draw up detailed information.
Next, put yourself in your guests’ shoes and consider what you would like or expect to find on a website if you were them. Do you need a 24-hour contact number or city guides? If you think you do, add them to the list of essentials. Take inspiration from your competitors There are thousands of hotels across the globe and while they may be your competition, they can also offer up some useful information on what to do – and what not to do. Take a look around and see what brands are doing well in terms of content and design, then use them as inspiration. And if you see something that you think definitely doesn’t work, take note and be sure to avoid it when designing your own site.
Consider content carefully Having engaging, useful and interesting content is essential for any hotel website design
, as you want to encourage people to make bookings by being as persuasive as possible.However, it needs to be carefully written and tailored for your audience if it is to succeed. It’s no good having trendy words and information about local nightclubs if your guests are all older people or families with young children, for example. You can add videos, text and much more to your content portfolio, but ensure the result isn’t too cluttered, as blocks of text and little boxes everywhere can be off-putting. Organisation is key User experience is a vital thing to consider when designing a hotel website, as would-be guests need to be able to find exactly what they need as easily as possible. If they can’t, they are likely to abandon your site and fail to make a booking.
Remember to put calls to action on every appropriate page and use tools like tabs at the top so that navigation is really simple.Remember that although your aim is to create a thing of beauty, this should never be at the expense of usability. Think about the aesthetic appeal The look and feel of your hotel’s website is hugely important so it’s essential to take plenty of time over this. Think about colours and what them imply psychologically – golds and silvers can exude luxury, for example, while simple colour schemes are fashionable at present.
However, don’t make your website colours a complete departure from your usual branding, tempting though it may be to utilise all the free shades at your disposal. This can result in guests not recognising who you are, which is detrimental to your goals.Think about typeface too, as fonts that look great on paper may not be ideal for online. Serif styles, for instance, are less suited to the web than sans-serif typefaces. Stylised fonts are also best avoided as they can be difficult and irritating to read on a screen.
Finally, there are images to consider – and this section is worthy of an article in itself. Photos are essential for any website in the travel industry because you want to create a feeling of desire in would-be travellers. Ensure yours are high-quality and that little bit different than the usual view of the bedrooms and lobby. Consider adding snaps of your smiling staff, resort highlights and amenities to really sell your property above all the others nearby. These days, with plenty of tools at your disposal, website design isn’t too tricky and you should be able to create something professional-looking in a relatively short time.
However, if you aren’t sure this is within your capabilities, then it’s well worth calling in professional help. After all, your website is your shop window – and it’s essential to have it well-stocked and polished.