For many businesses, your website is your biggest asset. This is particularly true for boutique lodging properties and wedding venues. However, many people fall into the trap of a cheap hotel website design. While saving money upfront may sound like a good idea, this decision can be a costly mistake that you end up paying for long after your new site is created. Learn how to evaluate a valuable website design and avoid throwing your hard-earned money in the trash.
Art & Science
A successful hotel website design is both captivating and fast. If you focus too much on loading speeds, you lose the high-resolution images and video that are needed to capture site visitors. On the flip side, if you focus too much on imagery, your site takes longer to load and you lose impatient site visitors. Depending on who you ask, you have 8-15 seconds to capture someone’s attention with your design.
- Utilize video in the headers instead of static photos to create the “wow” factor.
- Work with a designer who understands marketing to integrate speed checks and SEO.
- Understand your customer, beautiful photography is particularly important for event venues to stand out.
There is nothing more wasteful than a website design without proper revenue tracking. You’ve worked hard for your marketing dollars, so you need to be able to track where they’re working and where they’re not. Proper revenue tracking can show you which channels are bringing in qualified traffic that is converting to bookings or RFPs (request for proposals). Without proper tracking, you are throwing your money around blindly.
- Integrate Google Analytics tracking on your website.
- Create goals in Analytics to determine how far people are making it through the reservation process.
- Analyze the data frequently to determine what is working and what is not.
Easy to Navigate
As a site visitor, there is nothing as frustrating as not being able to find what you are looking for. A user-friendly web design not only anticipates what a site visitor is looking for but is also easy to navigate. Your site content should be easy to skim and relevant. Scroll through your own website. For lodging properties, how easy or hard is it to check overnight availability? For wedding venues, how easy or hard is it to request more information?
- Kick it up a notch with a well-thought-out gift certificate page.
- Update your photos with the seasons to really sell the experience.
- Make sure your Check Availability or Contact links are easily recognizable throughout your site.
A quality hotel website design must have SEO integrated into the site. Organic should be your top source of traffic and revenue. Without properly integrated SEO practices, you are making it harder for people to find your site and book with you. Not only is this frustrating for the people searching, but you’ll also spend more money to get that same traffic through paid channels.
- Partner with an SEO expert during the design process to optimize your site.
- Utilize internal links to connect relevant content.
- Understand your ideal customer and craft your content around them.
At the end of the day, your venue or hospitality marketing company should be bringing qualified people to your site, but if your site is not up to par you’re throwing your money out the window. Cut corners elsewhere, not with your marketing and design.
“Your team swept in and saved the day after we made a poor decision to use a less experienced company to do this serious work. We really can’t thank Katie enough for bringing that to our attention and helping us turn around the disaster that we found ourselves in at the end of 2021 with a thrown together website. ” – Lauren and Greg, The Craignair Inn
Designs That Have It All
Your hotel website design is an investment in your business. That is why it’s so important to partner with a company that truly understands the value of each of these components. But don’t just take it from us, read real testimonials from White Stone Marketing clients, and stop leaving money on the table today.