The effectiveness of your website in driving online sales is extremely important. According to a survey by Statista, 88% of respondents prefer booking a reservation online!
However, creating and maintaining an effective design can seem daunting.
White Stone Marketing is here to help with the 9 most important aspects to include if you want to have one of the best bed and breakfast websites.
1. Stunning Design
One of the most obvious aspects is the design. Not only on the computer but on all platforms as well! White Stone Marketing employs the best designers to make sure your boutique hotel website stands out the way you deserve. Your first interaction with a potential guest is most likely going to happen online, so you want to make a good first impression. Your website should communicate who you are from the moment it is accessed.
Take a look at some of the creative and diverse designs we’ve crafted for our clients!
2. Exceptional Photos
Something all of the above designs have in common, are the exceptional photos. It is important to always use quality, high definition, and relevant photos in order to capture a visitor’s attention and communicate what your property offers in a matter of seconds.
To do just that, we recommend Jumping Rocks Photography. Their team has worked with over 200 inns, hotels, resorts and restaurants all over North America to capture the essence and individuality of each location. The best part, they come to you!
An SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificate is a way to let your site visitors know that they (and their information) are being protected. A website with an SSL certificate will have a small green lock displayed next to the URL on the website.
This indicates to the visitor that the website is secure, meaning information sent to and from the website is encrypted. Not only does this give visitors and you peace of mind but it also helps to build a positive relationship between you and the visitor from the very beginning.
4. Create the Experience
It should go without saying that the content of your website can make or break you. Visitors are there for a reason, to get information in order to fill a need or make a decision. That’s why it is so important to have killer content pages. The information should be relevant, accurate, and easy to find. Check out this clip from Sage Hill Inn’s website to get an idea:
5. Niche Marketing
Know your target market. Who are your guests? Do they travel for business, leisure, or special events? Knowing who your potential customers are is essential to successfully target your message to appeal to them. The narrower your market, the easier it will be to craft your brand around them.
White Stone Marketing works with many clients targeting a variety of markets with interests including; weddings, restaurants, and conferences. But being able to identify who is looking for your service, will allow you to uncover where, when, and how they are looking as well in order to be present during the process.
6. Email Marketing Integration
Number six on our list for creating one of the best bed and breakfast websites is email marketing integration. By integrating your email marketing efforts into your hotel website design you can drive traffic to your site. Email campaigns, like those created using MailChimp, allow you to carefully craft content and distribute it to the relevant audience with the goal of increasing reservations and maintaining goodwill.
By having a subscribe option available on your website past, present, and potential guests can voluntarily sign up to receive more information about your services. Chesterfield Inn is capturing attention and revenue with this easy to use sign up:
By providing an incentive, such as “insider deals”, Chesterfield Inn is giving visitors a reason to sign up on the email list.
7. Booking Engine Integration
Not only is it important to integrate your website and email marketing, but also your website and booking engine as well. In order to have a highly converting website, booking must be simple. Frustration when booking can easily lead to a lost customer. Avoid this by providing multiple opportunities for visitors to check availability, view your calendar, and book throughout the site.
8. Effectively Guiding Folks to the Best Pages
As we’ve discussed already, pop-up boxes can be extremely useful for visitors utilizing desktops. Pop-up boxes can be used to sign up for emails, check availability, book reservations, and capture the best deals by directing visitors to the right page.
Another great way to help visitors find exactly what they’re looking for is through segmentation. By clearly listing the various packages and options on your home page, you are able to direct each unique visitor to a more relevant page. Now, instead of making them search for it on their own which can create frustration, you are speeding up the booking process.
9. Effective SEO
Last but not least is optimizing for search engines. Search engines are constantly changing and updating their algorithms, without proper SEO you are leaving money on the table. The best bed and breakfast websites utilize strong SEO in order to appear at the top of search results. 95% of web traffic will never navigate to the second page of search results!
In order to get your webpage to the top of the list, you must have relevant information and keywords throughout your site. The information and keywords should be consistently matched with your brand and market. By really defining who you are and what you offer you are able to better understand why someone would be searching for your website. If you can match your website to the why, your chances of booking the reservation skyrocket.