Travelers today want a stress-free booking experience with the accessibility and convenience of booking their accommodations on-the-go.
There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to your website and the booking engine you’re utilizing for your hotel. In this article, we will provide you with ten things to watch out for.
- CURRENCY VS. LANGUAGE
An essential but often overlooked detail on your website or booking engine is to make sure the visitor is being shown their country’s correct currency. For example, if a user is checking your website from the Netherlands, your website and booking engine should automatically be translated into Dutch and should be showing Euros as the currency. Depending on the platform your website is built on and the booking system you use, this is not always feasible. In that case, it is important that you provide an extensive list of possible languages and currencies to match.
User experience is a vital aspect of any website or booking engine. Making them easy to use saves a lot of time and effort for travelers. It is also extremely important that they are compatible with mobile devices, as this is where most users will start the “exploration phase” of their booking journey.
- FAST WEBSITE
A slow website causes bounces. Let’s be real; nowadays nobody has the time to wait 10 seconds for a website to load. It is important to make sure that your website is fast, so that your users can browse and find the information they need quickly. A slow website is a major inconvenience for users during the booking process and may cause them to seek another booking alternative.
- THE WEBSITE MUST BUILD TRUST
Users often provide a lot of personal information when they create their bookings. Your website must be trustworthy and provide every individual with a sense of security when they are providing their information. It is also important not to overwhelm the user by asking unnecessary questions, as this makes the booking process seem longer than necessary.
- CLEAR ROOM TYPE DESCRIPTIONS
Transparency and honesty are major factors in customer satisfaction. Clear room-type descriptions and visuals give your potential clients realistic expectations. This rule also applies to other areas where your hotel is being displayed for bookings. Setting the right expectations across the board will help users make conscious decisions when booking.
- CLEAR PRICING STRUCTURE
Transparency and honesty also apply when providing the room prices of your accommodations. Make sure that the user can understand what they are being charged for in a quick overview. For example, if your hotel charges tourist tax, make sure this is noted on the check-out page on your booking engine, especially if it’s not yet included in the total. This same rule applies to deposits, cancellation policies, additional children, and other fees your user needs to be made aware of prior to finalizing their booking.
Websites with a blog page create an opportunity to introduce a content strategy and create a killer marketing plan. Content strategies are an excellent way to build trust and keep users engaged with your website and your property prior to and even after finalizing a booking.
- GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Analytics allows you to track and understand your customer’s needs and desires based on statistics. The statistics allow you to study your user’s behaviors and improve your business so you can further cater to the needs of each user. Not measuring means not knowing!
- COOKIE NOTIFICATIONS
Using pixels is important in measuring your marketing strategy performance. But since this often allows a third party to track user behavior, it is important that a cookie notification is installed on your website. This is especially vital when your hotel is catering to the EU market, as GDPR requires you to notify users of what you are doing with their data and how you ensure security.
- INSTALL GOOGLE TAG MANAGER
Google Tag Manager allows for easier connection of platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook, Google Ads, User Session recording platforms, and more. Having Google Tag Manager also makes it feasible for someone with a limited developer’s knowledge to install tags, thus making it easier to move forward without needing constant assistance from other parties. Making sure that your website has these essential tools will aid your business in operating with ease and save on time and money.
About the Author
We help independent hotels increase their occupancy rates and reduce OTA commissions. Starting with discovery, we identify ideal customer personas, dive deep into their unique customer journey, and make sure to create the right touch points that trigger direct bookings.
The average independent hotel relies on tour operators and OTA’s for 75% of their bookings, which costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, while not being able to engage with the visitor before their arrival.
We help hotels get back control of their bookings and achieve high occupancy rates year-round.
Contact me for a free audit and to learn how our discovery process works.