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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.