When travellers find your hotel website during research, you don’t want them to leave. You want that direct booking – and you want it quickly.
To stop them going elsewhere – or at least returning once they’ve made a final decision – you need to make sure your website is offering a seamless, frictionless experience.
Users want to be able to browse on any device, performing every action as normal. If certain options aren’t available, links don’t work, or pages load slowly, this means your website is not fully functional and is providing a sub-par experience.
Here are some features you can implement and how to make sure travellers don’t get frustrated with your website:
Hotel website feature #1
Mobile is quickly becoming the most popular way to search and book accommodation, especially in younger generations.
To be mobile-friendly your website must:
- Adjust to the screen size of the browser without the need to pinch or zoom to see your content adequately
- Include all the functionality of your desktop site, including booking a room
- Limit pop-ups and the use of flash players
- Feature a click-to-call button and Google Maps integration so guests can easily interact with your hotel
- Display a linked hotel logo at all times so it’s easy to return to the homepage
If travellers are browsing your hotel website on a mobile device or similar, they shouldn’t have to pinch or zoom to see your content. It’s just irritating.
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Hotel website feature #2
Speeding up load time
Slow load time is a pet peeve for website visitors. Almost 75% of users say they’ve encountered a website they considered too slow to load.
It doesn’t take long for people to become impatient and go looking elsewhere for their solution. For them, there’s plenty of hotels in the sea so you don’t want to lose a guest just because of a slow website.
Any page that takes longer than a few seconds to load will already annoy guests. Optimum load time is achieved when:
- A web page loads within two seconds
- Images are not too large and in JPEG format where possible
- Videos and other big files are limited
- Caching is enabled so information is stored in a user’s hard drive
- Redirects and plugins are reduced
Hotel website feature #3
Establishing website structure
The internal structure of your website can be quite complex, but it has a huge impact on many of the features we’ve already listed.
Any errors within your site structure can have dramatic effects and cause ‘bugs’ to pop-up on your website, resulting in a poor user experience and a drop in booking conversions.
Optimised websites pay close attention to:
- Hosting that is faster and more flexible than a shared hosting service, such as Virtual Server Hosting or dedicated sharing
- Cutting down on HTTP requests caused by pop-ups, commenting systems, or icon boxes
- The presence of a cascading style sheet (CSS) that helps keep website information in its desired display format
- The creation of an optimised sitemap
- The right content management system (CMS) that is in use
It’s a pretty basic expectation for users that your website performs without hiccups so if there are any issues with yours, it’s something to resolve quickly.
To find out what other areas of your website might need improving, take our new hotel website grader quiz and get started on optimising your direct bookings.