A Guide to Understanding and Maximizing Your Hotel Web Site
By Brenda Fields Founder, Fields & Company | January 27, 2012
In understanding and getting the most from your web site, it is especially important to understand the difference between the two key components, i.e. the artistry of the design and the technology; and how to successfully integrate the two. Many times, web sites are created by technology professionals who do not understand the nuances of marketing; and vice versa, marketing professionals who design a web site only from a visual perspective, without considering how key technical components can drive demand.
An effective web site design and effective an on-line distribution strategy require expertise. The average hotel professional is bombarded with many ideas and is left wondering which approach to take. Therefore, if relying on expert advice, it is important to have a goal to accomplish specific short-term goals, as well as ensure that the web site is well positioned for future technological advances and for advancements with the search engines, in order to minimize financial risks.
In order to achieve the most from your web sites, it is important for owners and managers to re-think and evaluate the following key areas before and during their web site development and implementation:
Find the Right Interactive Resource
There are as many providers of interactive services as there are hotel sites on the internet. They all come with different specialties and price ranges - many which are a perfect match with your needs, and many that are not. It is important to ask as many questions as you can about their past work and billing methods. Also, don't expect them to give you a quote for your specific project right away. Instead, ask for two or three projects that may have been similar in scale and size to what you think you need, and ask what they charged their clients for those. This is an easy way to see if a resource fits your budget.
For smaller properties with limited budgets, an agency may not be the best resource. Instead consider hiring an individual designer or consultant who comes recommended by other professionals. As a smaller, single property, you might find you can get more mileage out of your budget and an even more innovative approach from an individual qualified professional. His or her ability to personalize and to think about your specific business needs in a more tailored way might enable you to get better work at a reduced rate. Sometimes the close proximity between you and this resource can lead to ideas that are much more successful than you would create with an agency which has many layers and internal bureaucracies.