Ways to Improve Your Hotel Website
Without a website, any hotel these days is going to disappear into obscurity. Most people prefer to book online when they want a hotel room, and even if a hotel appears on one of the major booking portals, it is still important to have a dedicated website.
Why is It Important to Improve a Hotel Website?
Customers usually want more information than a booking website can provide. In addition, offering your own booking system ensures you’re not wasting money paying commissions to a third-party provider.
Creating a website for a hotel is a lot more than looks and, in most cases, an existing website can be improved. In addition, if you eventually decide to sell the business, a website that performs better is more valuable, as this article on the right way to do a valuation explains.
There is a lot to think about, which we’ll look at in this guide.
Search Engine Optimization
Hotel websites must be SEO optimized. This is a specialist area so you may need to seek professional advice but things like keywords and website speed all make a big difference to where a website appears in the search engine rankings.
Since a hotel website will have a lot of images (or it should have!), focus on optimizing your images. Too many heavy images will slow down the site’s loading speed, which in turn will hurt your search ranking. People expect websites to load within a couple of seconds; any longer and they are likely to click away.
Poorly written code also negatively impacts a website’s loading speed. Plugins are a common culprit, so read reviews before downloading plugins.
Look at the site’s functionality. Is it easy for readers to navigate? People won’t be impressed if they can’t find what they are looking for.
Have a clear navigation system with buttons above the fold.
Include a search function so people can find exactly what they need with just a click of the mouse. If you have an online booking system, make sure people can filter by date and room type, and use a tool that only shows available rooms/dates.
Advanced search options are useful if you offer multiple options, such as suites, twin rooms, pet-friendly rooms, rooms with a view, family rooms, etc.
Keyword Optimized Content
Keywords are critical. Without the right keywords, search engines won’t show your website to the people searching for those keywords. Do some keyword research to identify phrases people search for. Keywords like ‘hotel in New York’ are going to have a lot of competition, which makes it hard for smaller sites to compete. But by drilling down into more specific long-tail keywords like ‘boutique hotel in Manhattan or ‘pet-friendly hotel in Times Square’, you have a better chance of appearing higher up in the search listings.
Include relevant keywords in all your website content, but make sure they appear naturally. Keyword stuffing is bad for SEO. Include keywords in your meta tags, as these offer an overview of your hotel website and make it easier for people to decide if the site is what they are looking for.
Link to Reviews
Reviews matter a lot in the hospitality sector. Most people look at reviews before they make a booking. It’s a way to check the hotel is as described and isn’t overrun with cockroaches or a work in progress, aka a building site.
The easiest way to link to reviews on sites like TripAdvisor is by using a widget. These automatically show reviews, but the downside is that they can slow the site down and contain prominent ads for the review site.
Finally, is your hotel website targeting the right audience? High-end hotel websites must appeal to a more discerning audience whereas family-friendly hotel websites should prioritize family-friendly facilities like babysitting services and discounted children’s meals.