02 Dec In Hospitality? You Need a Guest X Website, here’s why!
In Hospitality? You Need a Guest X Website, here’s why!
Websites can differ enormously, there are no two that are the same, they differ in design, functionality and most importantly the purposes they serve. Some are a source of information, others are designed to sell (eCommerce), while others are looking to attract attention and create brand awareness, there are many purposes, but for a business in the industry of hospitality and the “guest experience”, where sales come down to trust, good relationships and guest loyalty, your website needs to be SPOT ON!
It is the first place where guests look for information about your accommodation. So it needs to be available at all times not to mention how vital the visual presentation of your website is too – images, colours, and typography are all highly important because you are trying to sell a lifestyle or “sell dreams” so to speak, these visual aspects need to make a guest feel like he wants to be in this space without hesitation. It will be the main platform for communication between the guest and yourself, so it should be designed to offer the most intuitive form of communication (telephone, mail, live chat, etc) regardless of whether guests use a desktop or a mobile version of the webpage.
Just like your car, your website needs to be maintained to ensure optimal performance. If you want your car journey to be smooth and to drive easily, it requires routine servicing and valeting, a change of tyres, valid insurance and the works, the same goes for your website, it needs frequent reviews and updates as well as secure hosting and a registered domain name to not only keep it published online but in order to be SEEN and rank highly in Search Engine Results Pages (AKA GOOGLE!) This is called SEO, which means Search Engine Optimisation! To keep it short and sweet, if your website is optimised well, it optimises your visibility online. You will rank higher on search engine results pages (aka Google), which means that more people will see your website, and your website traffic increases, improving your chances to provide your gorgeous accommodation to guests all over the world.
We focus on three aspects:
3. Direct Sales
The main task of your website is to increase the percentage of direct bookings by connecting an efficient booking engine. Today, increasing your direct sales is a huge challenge, because OTA usage is becoming so prevalent, it’s increasingly difficult for anyone in the hospitality industry to compete for bookings on their own sites if you can get your website and marketing channels aligned for direct bookings, this saves you the cost of commission that you would have to pay to the OTA for mediating the sale (which can be up to 30% in some cases), using your own sales channel on your website is the most cost-effective solution and it also allows you to build a lasting relationship with the guest – WIN-WIN!
2. Building the brand image
BE AT THE FOREFRONT of guests’ minds, they think “oooh it’s a long weekend”, YOUR accommodation should pop up in their thoughts immediately, and instead of finishing off that report for the boss, they check out your website for some information, are there any special offers?!
First and foremost your website needs to be user-friendly (intuitive, simple, clear, easy to use and well-designed), it needs to be competitive in terms of content, especially when competing with OTAs. And it needs consistency and uniformity with your brand colours, tone of voice, logo, and the elements throughout the website, and these should align with all your marketing efforts across whichever channels you are using. (FYI – a great way to maintain ties with guests is also a well-designed and regular newsletter. An upcoming newsletter explaining the benefits is heading your way shortly so keep an eye out for this!)
1. Being a well of information
Your website is a source of information for guests and yourself. Providing a wide range of information builds a big, beautiful image of your accommodation, its history, available attractions, distinctive traits, restaurants and amenities nearby, and the list goes on.
With tracking pixels, we can learn about your guests’ behaviour, do they check room availability, special offers, and packages, do they make a booking anywhere on the site, do they send a Whatsapp or fill out a form, or hover on a particular page? Thanks to this knowledge about guests’ behaviour, we can then learn what is working and what is not, what is popular and not so much, thereafter we evolve and refine.