8 Things Every Great Hotel Website Must Have to Attract Guests
Your website is often the first impression people have about your hotel brand. Even if you run a beautiful hotel with top-notch staff and amenities, your customers will book elsewhere if your website looks unprofessional and lacks the information they need.
If you want to draw in guests, your hotel website needs to balance detailed information with strategic selling. You need to let people know about their room size and amenities while selling them on the idea of your infinity pool or proximity to nightlife.
Here are the eight features guests need to see on your hotel website if you want to get them to book.
#1) Incentives to Book Directly
Over the past year, you may have noticed ads from Hilton encouraging guests to book with them directly. They claim that if you find a lower price anywhere outside of their website, Hilton will match it and give you 25% off. This is a push to encourage guests to go right to the Hilton website instead of booking on Google, Expedia, and Tripadvisor.
Example from hilton.com
Booking directly builds brand loyalty. If you are in the habit of checking for a Hilton in the area where you are staying, then you are less likely to look at other hotel chains or get distracted by boutique hotels on Expedia. The likelihood that you convert on their website is much higher, as is the likelihood that you become a long-term loyal customer.
You can tap into Hilton’s strategy in your website development process. Offer incentives for people to book through you, even if the incentive is only something small like a complimentary welcome drink or fruit plate.
#2) 'Book Now' Call-to-Action Buttons
While you are incentivizing people to book through your website, make sure it is easy to find the 'book now' button to make reservations.
After all, if potential guests can’t find your reservation widget, they are more likely to bounce to Expedia and keep looking there. Some hotels place the 'book now' button in several places on their homepage and across the site so guests won’t miss it.
You will also want to highlight how easy it is to book through you. Users don’t want a lengthy account creation and booking process – not when they can go on Travelocity and book with just a few clicks. Make sure your booking process is fast and simple so you don’t lose customers.
#3) Several Photos and Videos of Your Hotel
Your guests are highly-visual. A picture says a thousand words and your customers are more likely to book because of a nice photo than several paragraphs worth of descriptions.
Example from thehotelzamora.com
Make sure you have several photos highlighting your hotel. Show off different room options, the lobby, the hotel front, and your amenities.
#4) Guest Reviews
Along with selling guests on your hotel with photos, include reviews and testimonials from guests. Your customers will trust these reviews more than your branded content because they came from objective sources.
Pull a few reviews and show what makes your hotel unique. You can collect these reviews through your hotel social media presence or by taking screenshots from reviews on other sites.
#5) Google Maps Widget
Your guests want to know that your hotel is the best option to choose from in cleanliness, value, and of course, location.
Add a Google Maps widget to your website that potential guests can click on and navigate through. This is a great way to show how close you are to the top attractions in your area or the local conference center, airport, and business district. You can use Embed Google Map to get the HTML code that you need for your hotel website.
Example from hollanderhotel.com
For at least the next few years, Google Maps is really the only maps widget you need to use right now. According to Statista, Google Maps had 154.4 million unique users in 2018. The next biggest maps tools were Waze at 25.6 million users and Apple Maps at 23.3 million users. You can see that Google takes up more than 75% of the marketshare out of the top three brands. You can capture the bulk of your audience with a Google widget.
#6) Amenities Page
One of the most important features in a hotel website is the amenities page. People want to know what your hotel has that others don’t. Let guests know about your hotel and jacuzzi, your complimentary breakfast, your concierge service, and the amenities in the rooms. Each person has specific needs and looks for certain items when they are booking a room, so make sure everything is listed.
#7) List of Special Accommodations
You can use your amenities page to highlight any special accommodations that might make guests choose your hotel over others. For example, let your guests know if your hotel is pet-friendly, if you offer babysitting services or kids activities to let parents have a night out, or if you have specific ADA accommodations to help people with specific needs.
Example from hollanderhotel.com
These amenities aren’t always easy to find, so making them clear can help people who need to find them before they can book.
#8) Active Blog
A static website is a good place to start in the branding process, then your hotel needs an active blog. Websites with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads per month than those without, and blogs account for 434% more of indexed pages on Google. If you want people to find you, then you need a blog. The good news is that blog content is often easy to create for hotels.
For blog content ideas, check out our post 12 Boutique Hotel Blog Post Ideas That Engage and Attract Visitors.
Get Feedback on Your Hotel Website
If you are unsure about what you should have on your hotel website and want feedback on what is missing or hard to find, pull together a few objective friends and ask them to review your pages. They might be able to point out issues that you never noticed before.
Or, you can turn to the professionals to review your website and find ways to improve it. Contact MyArea Network today for a free consultation and in-depth website review. We will provide you with concrete steps to update your website and make it more appealing to potential guests.
Or, if you're ready to start marketing your updated website, check out our guide on 7 Smart Digital Marketing Ideas for Hotels and Resorts.