Give Hotel Guests what they want at First Glance

couple looking at hotel on laptop
Melody Ciria
Melody Ciria
November 21, 2013
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Hoteliers are always finding ways to increase the guest satisfaction before guests even set foot into the property.  Since the majority of travelers’ base their booking decision on the research they do online, it is important to present your hotel in the most appealing way possible. Creating a positive first impression is key to persuading the potential guest to book directly with your hotel.  By making a great first impression, your hotel will in turn have better reviews and generate more bookings in the future.  Here are some effective ways in which to entice an online visitor to book with your hotel:

Provide a Detailed & Accurate Narrative

Begin creating the guest experience with compelling content on your hotel’s website.  Keep in mind who you are writing to and make sure to cater to that specific target audience.  If you’re a family-friendly hotel then make sure to create detailed content highlighting your hotel’s spacious guest rooms and mention any nearby family attractions including theme parks, zoos, museums, beaches, and parks.   If you’re a hotel that attracts frequent business travelers then don’t forget to mention your hotel’s meeting rooms, Wi-Fi service, or/and computer room.  Despite saying the right things however, visitors will also need a final push before making the reservation.

Beautiful photography of the property can be that final push to persuade a visitor to book.  Showcasing your hotel through stunning photos can be a powerful way to sell your rooms.  Since we live in a very visual world, guests will appreciate seeing eye-catching photos of your hotel.  A hotel’s website will be the first impression a guest will have of your hotel, so make sure to include appealing pictures of all your guest rooms, meeting spaces, pool area, restaurant, lobby, and more.    Hiring a professional photographer is something every hotel may want to invest in especially if you are a resort.  Although it may cost you more to hire one, it will be a worthwhile investment because photos will sell your rooms more than any words can.

Be Informative

Your hotel’s website should act like a digital concierge for the guest.  A hotel blog is a great way to appeal to travelers looking for things to do near and around the hotel.  During the research process many travelers bounce around to different websites to find out the best hotel to stay in.  To minimize the bounce rate from your hotel’s website it is recommended that you include all information the guest would want to know about your hotel including specials, amenities, attractions nearby, rates, and reviews.  Keep your guests staying on your site longer by updating your site with special offers, images and any other hotel news using social media.  Consider posting about events going on around the area including festivals, concerts, conventions and more.  Even having an event calendar is a great way to inform visitors of the exciting things going on near and within the hotel.

Make Reviews Easily Accessible

Another way to minimize the bounce rate from your hotel’s website is including icons or feeds to the most popular review sites including TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google + directly onto your homepage.  An important part of the research process is looking at reviews.  Reviews have a great impact on a visitor’s decision to book with your hotel.  Many visitors look at reviews to validate their opinion about a hotel once they have visited the hotel’s website.  By including a TripAdvisor widget or feed on the homepage, visitors will be able to see the most recent reviews about your hotel straight from your site’s homepage without having to navigate to TripAdvisor.  It is also beneficial to include a Yelp “review badge” on your homepage which lets visitors know the hotel’s average star rating on Yelp.  By including these review icons, you make it much easier for the visitor to make a decision and complete the reservation process without having to bounce around to different websites.

Make Mobile Booking Easy

Visitors love the ease of booking especially when it comes to using a mobile device.  Mobile bookings has continual been on the rise in the recent years especially when it comes to last minute bookings. In order to capture these bookings, you must have mobile-optimized site.  Don’t make booking a hotel room a hassle for your mobile customers.  Instead cater to which ever device they are using to increase conversions.  Many OTAs and brand sites already have a mobile-friendly site and even a mobile app to make it easier for customers to book.  That said, it is vital that your hotel website is mobile-compatible.  When it comes to mobile, many people prefer to call to make a reservation.  Therefore, a click-to-call button is necessary for a mobile site.  At the same time it is also recommended that a “Book Now” button is offered that would navigate the user to the mobile-optimized reservation system.  Regardless of what you choose to offer, make sure to always keep the potential guest in mind and make the booking process as seamless as possible.

Photo courtesy of madaboutmarriage.com

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