1. It takes time to build a website
Good things come to those who wait. It’s very similar with a hotel website. It might be that you do many things a day in a very routine manner. Give up this habit when ordering the construction of a website. As soon as the planning stage it is worth dedicating time to it, thinking through every detail, rather than regretting speeding up with the process afterwards.
Before you start planning the details, think about the time you can dedicate to the project. Companies that deal with the design of professional solutions usually have a diversified deadline for their implementation. Remember that a good site requires a lot of work, and you need time - do not treat it as an expense, but an investment that will surely pay off quickly, attracting customers and increasing the profits of your hotel.
2. Collect the most important information
Before you sit down to the planning of the page structure, color matching or preparation of descriptions, consider a few seemingly trivial issues. They are often overlooked in the process of creating pages, and they can bring you great benefits.
Answer yourself the following questions:
- Who is the target customer of your hotel? Describe the person - his age, education, interests, sex, way of being, and the way of spending free time. For example, your site may be aimed at families with children who want to spend their holidays in a place with suitable facilities. Or to businessmen, 24-36-year-olds, expecting professionalism and facilities allowing for a meeting or conference.
- What are your biggest strengths? A wide offer for children? SPA offering a variety of unusual treatments? Write it down, focusing on the benefits of the guests' needs.
- What distinguishes you from the competition? What would make the guests come to you, and not to another, similar facility? This is also an important question.
Answers to these questions will allow you to add shape to how your website should look like in order to be consistent with the overall vision of the hotel and to ideally fulfil its role - which is - to encourage reservations.
Are you feeling confused? Do not worry! A good project manager during a briefing should help you find answers to these and many other questions.
3. A website is not just a graphic design
Remember that behind the great layout of a website stands all technical facilities and a lot of technological solutions that are the foundation of every page. At least they should be! Think about what functionalities your site should offer to you and to your guests. The answer to that determines the right choice of appropriate technology.
According to the MobiRank website, in 2018 over 50% of Internet traffic was generated by mobile devices. The mobile version of a hotel site is, therefore, a definite must-have.
Due to the very technical nature of this issue, be open to cooperation with professionals - people for whom creating solutions for hoteliers is a daily job, know and understand the needs of hotels and guests very well.
4. Simply doesn’t mean bad
Effective animations, amazing transitions, smooth scrolling, lots of pop-ups, so that the user certainly does not miss the latest special offer - do you also dream about these elements? Put yourself on the shoes of a potential guest. Are all these decorative additions really helping you to make a decision about book?
Unfortunately, this is a kind of trap, into which people planning to commission a website fall very often. When creating a website keep "less is more" in your mind. It’s the current trend and the need shared by users. In addition, all such "fancy improvements" often literally drain the power of the devices on which the page is viewed. The site takes a long time to load, the animations are freezing, there are problems opening the page on devices with weaker components, etc.
Do not forget about the user experience. A user who is bombarded with pop-ups, transition effects or animations feels confused and overwhelmed by the amount of "make-up" used on the site. The information contained on the website becomes unreadable and he/she quickly resigns from using the website (in other words such user goes to your competitors).
Considering all these aspects, remember that sometimes "less" does not mean "worse", and "slimming" the page from the so-called fireworks can have great outcome. A professional company should advise you on the best solutions.
5. The user doesn’t read, he is watching
A large amount of text can effectively deter the user from using a website. A study by one of the most well-known specialists in the field of usability - Jakob Nielsen - clearly shows that users read less and less texts posted on websites - usually, only 20% of the text is viewed
The same study shows that proper selection of photos and their presentation can increase the time spent on reading articles. And that's up to 124%! Why is this happening?
People usually look for answers to specific questions, by going to a website, they are motivated by a specific need. Therefore, most users don’t scroll more than 50-60% of a page's content and graphics are much more important than the actual text. Pay special attention to it and make sure your photos are of excellent quality and faithfully reflect your object.
6. You have to stand out
Once again, you should think about what your greatest strengths are and why you stand out from the competition. This time, however, do it more contextually.
For example, imagine that there are two hotels which advantages are a great location and a great restaurant. The first is located less than a kilometre from the airport in the capital, the second in the centre of one of the big cities. The first one serves dishes receiving high marks from guests, and the second one was founded by a qualified chef who enjoys a good reputation among the culinary environment. Both hotels have similar advantages, but for a hotel located near the airport, the location will be the one that will attract guests. In the case of a hotel restaurant run by a professional chef, this restaurant will become a place around which it is worth building your website’s main message.
Following the example above, think about what advantages can become your bargaining chip. Then set them in order from the most to the least important one. Thanks to that approach, you will know what values you should focus on, designing the website and creating content for it.
There are many similar techniques that will help you build a consistent image of your brand on the Internet. A good project manager will suggest you the best ones.
7. Specify your goals
The website acts as a virtual business card for your hotel. Therefore, before you commission its creation, think carefully what you want to achieve through it. It’s very important due to the further stage of work when you need to optimize the creative process and make sure that everything goes according to the purpose previously set.
8. Sleep peacefully
Earlier points often stated that it is worth handing over the site design process to professionals. Who are these "professionals" actually? It won’t be difficult to find an agency that can create and design good websites from scratch. But they will not always fully meet your expectations and carry out the tasks set in front of them. Why?
Due to the specificity of the hospitality market, hotel websites must contain functionalities to help to find a suitable room, contact the hotel, or efficiently carry out a booking. That's why it's worth handing over the website creation to a company that has experience in the hotel industry, knows its specificity and has many implementations (which you can look at right away). By working with such a company, you can be sure that your site will meet your and your guests' expectations in 100%.
Listen about the new Schloss Hotel website:
Author: Mikołaj Cwojdziński, Content Manager