Hotel websites are a critical vehicle to confirming more online reservations. Without a hotel website, your hotel is missing a huge revenue source of frequent, repeat travelers. Not every website performs the same, however, so it is important to understand what makes a good hotel website, and how to avoid purchasing a bad one. Request a demo of buuteeq's Cloud DMS hotel marketing software to get started with your new hotel website or read on to learn more.
In this age of endless online booking options, some hoteliers may wonder why they should bother with a website at all. Simple: Confirmed reservations are cheaper for the hotel owner if made from their own hotel website, plus, guests crave detailed information like photos and videos from the hotel itself, not third parties. In addition, having your own hotel website allows you, the property owner, to tell your hotel's unique story in your own words.
Studies show that online reservations are cheaper if they come from a hotels own website and online booking engine. They are cheaper than reservations that come from third parties, and even cheaper than taking reservations by email or phone. The more ways you can automate the reservation process, the cheaper each reservation becomes.
Google reports that the average traveler visits 22 different websites over the span of 9.5 research sessions before making a travel related booking. This means that people may use an OTA to discover you, but they also are likely to search for hotel websites after the initial discovery in order to find better hotel marketing materials and promotions. Simply put, a hotel website will give guests more options and greater opportunity to spend their money directly with you instead of through a middleman.
Crafting your online marketing with a custom hotel website allows you to own your hotel’s story and tell it your way is the way to go. Hotel websites allow you to describe your rooms the way you want to, talk about local attractions that you think are important, and change things about your property or rates on the fly. Guests will have access to current, up-to-date information from your site because you’re in control of it.
Many sites were created in the late 90s and haven’t been revised or updated since.
This was the era of animated gifs, midi music that starts playing when the page loads, tiny websites designed for lower screen resolutions and websites built with Flash®—an outdated technology incompatible with today’s mobile devices, as we discuss here. Today’s web-based technology demands updated web development optimized for search, social media and mobile browsing.
Online search is still the #1 best performing tool for marketing your hotel online. Crafting a hotel website optimized for search engines (SEO) is important to give your property the best visibility you can. Hotel SEO is a huge industry filled with misinformation—what we here at buuteeq like to call Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Instead of FUD, which is used to intimidate people into paying a ton of money for dubious SEO services that have unsubstantiated results that could possibly even hurt you, our strategy is to provide ongoing SEO education and deliver Internet marketing optimized for search right out of the box. We explain more about SEO here.
With nearly one-billion active Facebook users alone, not counting the billions on other networks, social media has become a marketing channel we can’t ignore. Every day, people use Facebook, Google+ and Twitter as their primary information discovery tool. If your online marketing materials aren’t optimized for social media, you’ll miss out on this huge segment of the market. We explore some of the specific steps hotels can take to optimize their hotel websites for social on our social media hotels article.
Google predicts that by the end of this year, more than one-billion people will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point. Primary, as in, replacing desktop computers and laptops! Google further reveals that 95% of all smart-phone owners use their devices to perform Google search queries. This means that guests are searching for websites from their mobile devices, and that if your hotel websites are not optimized for mobile, you’re providing guests with a poor browsing experience. Optimize them for smartphones like the iPhone® and tablets like the iPad® to ensure your marketing materials are readily consumed by the billions of mobile browsers. Learn more on our mobile website article.
The only reason some third-party booking sites get a piece of the pie is because guests found them first, and your property through them. Having a branded, modern hotel website encourages more direct reservations with you, giving you a larger slice of the pie. Additionally, many online booking engines will skim a bit from the top. Owning your own hotel website allows you to select your booking engine of choice, including many commission-free booking engines.
A hotel website is an integral part of marketing your business online. A little bit of research will prove valuable when the time comes to craft your unique, branded Internet presence. buuteeq is here to help. With thousands of clients around the world who use our modern, top-of-the-line hotel websites, we have the talent and experience to help you promote your property, your way. Request a demo below for information on how we can help your property online.
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P.S., How can we end an article on hotel websites without showing off some of the most beautiful hotel websites from around the globe? Here is a small selection of buuteeq clients who currently enjoy beautiful hotel websites.
Beautiful Hotel Website: Le Quartier Français, Franschhoek, South Africa
Beautiful Hotel Website: Adrift Hotel & Spa, Long Beach, Washington, USA
Beautiful Hotel Website: Yangshuo Mountain Retreat, Guanxi, China
Beautiful Hotel Website: Hotel Ballard, Seattle, Washington, USA
Beautiful Hotel Website: Club de Mar, Bahia, Brazil