Setting Priorities for Hotel Website Improvements

By Tema Frank CEO, Frank Reactions | January 27, 2012

Site Goals Are Key

How you set priorities depends on what your goals are for the site. If your main goal is to get more conference and event bookings you'll focus on different aspects of the site than if you are primarily after foreign tourists, which will again differ from a target market of repeat business travelers.

Website Statistics

One of the most useful ways to get clues about what changes are needed is to look at your website statistics. These are also called "metrics" or "analytics" , and you probably have access to some of this data already through your internet hosting company (or "ISP", in the industry jargon).

At a minimum, your hosting company should be able to tell you where people found your site, how many visitors you are getting, and how many visited each specific page. If there's a page you think is crucial but almost no one is seeing, that's a good indication that either your site structure needs changing, or what you are saying is simply not compelling enough for people to want to read it and continue on your site. Change is needed.

The cost of site analytics packages ranges from free to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how sophisticated you want to get. At the more expensive end, you can find out what exact paths people are taking through your site, and details such as where their mouse traveled and/or where most users' eyes rested on each page. This will give you further clues about where trouble spots are.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.