Website checklist to capitalise on the holiday season
Posted by RezNext Digital Marketing Team
The festive season has begun. Unarguably this is the most productive phase for the travel and tourism industry. People across the globe are looking to take a break and head-out for a vacation. As a hotelier, you have also made special plans to attract these travellers to your property. You may have exclusive discounts, customised packages, exciting events and more lined-up to entice guests to your property. However, the biggest challenge still remains – are travellers aware of your hotel and the special offers that you have ready for them?
According to recent reports, 57% of all travel bookings are made online. A significant number of these bookings are made using smart phones. Also, recent statistics suggest, 65% of hotel online bookings are directly made through the brand website. This means a huge share of your business depends on your online presence. As you would have rightly guessed, the first step towards capitalising on this opportunity is to have a brand website. But is having a website enough? Or do hoteliers need to do more to drive bookings through their own website?
Top tips that will help improve bookings through the website during this holiday season:
1. Ensure your website is fully responsive:
Hotel reservations using smartphones is on the rise. Many travellers are making last minute plans and are also searching for accommodation on the same day. Be prepared to capitalise on this instinctive community of travellers who would make plans at the drop of the hat and execute them using their mobile phones. It is therefore imperative to have a mobile-friendly website that displays flawlessly across all devices and screen sizes.
2. Use keyword optimised content on your website:
First, travellers should be able to find you on the internet. Only then can you convert them into a customer. To achieve this, it is essential that your website is optimised for the search engines. Use keyword optimised content, refresh your website on a regular basis, keep the navigation simple, display relevant information and regularly track analytics to identify scopes of improvement. A focused SEO strategy will help you rank ahead of competition on the search pages and drive more traffic to your website. Pay-per-click ads can also be leveraged to market the hotel’s website.
3. Display relevant information and attractive imagery on the website:
A traveller’s most important criteria for booking a hotel is the ‘value’ he will get from the stay. Hence, capture the attention of the traveller upfront by speaking of the uniqueness of your property and how it can add more value to the guest’s experience. What are the room types, facilities, local attractions nearby and so on. Support your content with inspiring images. Photography can have a huge impact on decision-making. So, ensure you hire a professional photographer to shoot the essence of your property and present it to travellers through the website.
4. Convey rates and special offers clearly:
Room rates and discounts need to be mentioned clearly. There should be no ambiguity about pricing as that can be a huge put-off for travellers. Have a well-defined section for your offers and packages. Also leave scope for customisation. Today’s travellers know exactly what they want and the closer you can deliver on their expectations, the better are your chances of being booked.
5. Your website should be easy to navigate and interactive:
Structure your website so that it is simple to navigate across all pages. Considering many people view it over the phone, your website should not take too long to load. There should be enough scope for travellers to contact you through the website for further queries. Have a contact us form and respond to all queries immediately. Or install a chat application so that queries are resolved real-time which may improve conversions.
6. Allow people to book directly:
The most prominent element of your hotel’s website should be the Book Now button. After all the main purpose of your website is to drive reservations. Ensure your website is seamlessly integrated with a guest-centric booking engine and a payment gateway. This way you can aim for immediate conversions.
These are some of the most useful tips to ensure your website is prepared to drive higher bookings this holiday season. Along with the ones mentioned above, do not forget to list the events that you may have planned at the property. Also, integrate guest reviews on the website as good reviews can influence decision-making positively.
This holiday season adopt a focused online approach with your website being the focal point of all activities. It should be an integral part of your marketing plan. If you’re short-staffed, engage a creative agency who can help you implement a profitable digital strategy for your hotel. Check out the comprehensive set of digital marketing services offered by RezNext that can redefine your online marketing strategy and boost your profitability. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about how we can partner with you to help you drive greater online revenues.