Making Your Website Drive Traffic That Converts Into Bookings

By Pedro Colaco President & CEO, GuestCentric Systems | January 27, 2012

Website sales focus: the conduit to success

In the last article of this series we discussed tips for having success in online visibility and driving traffic to your site. The second indicator to ensure e-commerce success is making your website sales-oriented i.e. ensuring your website engages users and drives willingness to book. A sales-oriented website incents "good" visitors to book and filters out "bad" visitors.
The questions to ask about your website are:

  • Is the website design representative of your property and the experience you sell?
  • Is the website navigation easy and what the visitor expects in a hotel website? Do you keep visitors on your website or are you incenting them to navigate away from your property?
  • Is the website a "brochure" or is there an actionable sales/book/contact message?
  • Do you provide trust mechanisms to the visitor, e.g. do you embrace your TripAdvisor reviews?
  • How many visitors are looking for rates and availability?
  • Can you launch special offers without a 3rd party intervention? How can you react to demand changes?

Match site design to property experience

One of the most visible characteristics of your website is the design. This will be one of the more debated elements, and although an important one, it is not the decisive factor in a sales-oriented website. Hence, choose colors you like/dislike and a simple web design that matches the experience you convey at your property: charm, boutique, corporate designs are examples of styles you should choose from. Then, leave it up to the web designers; they are the professionals.

Website navigation and usability

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.