Waffling Hotel Websites
Its no wonder that OTA' website often out-perform hotel websites. The OTA's give viewers the 3 or 4 bits of key information they are interested in on one page ie Rates/Availability/Location/Reviews, without the viewers having to wade through pages of info they dont need. In addition Hotels and Website Designers (yes that includes us) often load content onto a website without giving any thought to what are their key markets. For example if your hotel focussed primarily on Families and Weddings you would expect your website, on first viewing, to emphasize these two areas wouldnt you?
Recently on a visit to a customers property we learnt that their key markets are;
- Families - Over a quarter of their rooms are large 'family sized'.
- Golf - They sit at the crux for four local Golf Courses.
- Rail Visitors - They are a 5 minute walk from a Major Train Station that has 5 trains a day from the Capital City.
A quick inspection of the website revealed that although relatively attractive and well fed with content, there wasnt really any content about Golfers, Families and their proximity to the Railway Station. These 3 things should be jumping out from the homepage.
The first point should be to ensure that the homepage images/text/icons/menus etc focus strongly on their key markets. For example there should be a map on the homepage showing the proximity to the local train station.
The next logical step was to build 3 key Landing Pages that emphasized what they offered for these target markets in short, 'bullet point' format, with an attractive/related image but most importantly a bookable offer. We are amazed how many hotels go to the trouble of creating an attractive webpage but dont give them a reason to 'convert' ie have a bookable offer or promotion on the page.
The advantage of creating these landing pages is that any marketing they do ie on FaceBook or Google Adwords can be pointed direct to the relevant landing page. So an interested customers can go from your ad, to your landing page, to booking your offer in the shortest/quickest route possible.
Mark Twains words “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
was absolutely designed for the short attention span of Web Browsers. If you hold in your head the idea that customers are only going to be on a webpage for 15 seconds, this will guide you to produce useful, short web content.
Imagine you have taken the fancy of going off on a walking weekend and in your lunch break you have a few minutes to browse hotel websites for walking breaks. Which one of the below is going to get your attention and make a booking?
In short take a hard look at your website. Is it really emphasizing your key points or is it waffling?. Can your customers find what they want when they land on your website and book in the shortest possible time