Last couple of weeks I mentioned the importance of Google Local to attract more potential guests to your hotel website. In the coming posts I will give you tips how to convert these potential customers into real guests. Because website visitors who only stay on your website a few seconds and leave without booking a room or making a restaurant reserveration equals a lost in revenue. Let us begin with optimizing the hotel homepage!
The hotel homepage is the most important page of your hotel website. It’s one of the most visited web pages, and a first entrance to the rest of your site. You can compare the hotel homepage to a reception of the hotel. So a first good impression is a must! However, it is also one of the most difficult pages to design, for a couple of reasons:
- On average web visitors only spend a few seconds on the homepage
- In large organizations departments often have conflicting goals concerning the homepage (politics)
- Functioning as a starting point there is very limited space to inform visitors and point them in different directions
Considering the importance of the hotel homepage you will find here a bunch of tips how to design an effective homepage. If you already have a new hotel website try to pick up a few tips, implement and test them. And see your conversion rate rising!
1. Communicate your brand message
Website visitors should be able to see the brand message in a split second. So:
– put the logo of the hotel in the upper left corner
– include a tag line near the logo to inform visitors about the organization (e.g. The largest hotel in Amsterdam)
– tell your audience why they should book at your hotel and not at the competitor (from a guest perspective!!)
2. Give plenty of information about the organization
Potential guests make a booking decision largely based on their perceived trust of the organization behind the website! So:
– put links on your homepage that lead to pages with information about the organization (e.g. history, vision, employees, press items)
– designate one specific area with links containing information about the organization such as “about us”, “press”, “news”, “jobs” (a good area is in the upper right of the page)
– embed a link to a contact form on the homepage and/or show directly the phone number to increase sales
3. Emphasize the main task of the hotel website = booking
Visitors must be able to search for a room (for a specific period) directly on the homepage and it must be clearly visable. So:
– give the “online booking module” the most prominent place on the homepage such as the upper-middle area!
– use a dinstinctive color for the online booking module
– don’t give the online booking module a lot of visual competition, otherwise nothing draws the attention from the visitor
– keep the number of mian tasks limited with a maximum of four (e.g. book a room, book a meeting room, make a restaurant reservation, sign in)
4. Use the homepage as a unique page
Website visitors see the homepage as the starting point of the visit, also when they want to discover a new part of the site. That’s also one of the main reasons that the homepage is the most visited page. So:
– Use a slighly different page structure and design for your homepage compared to the underlying pages (of course, in line with the look & feel of the total website)
– Designate one page as THE homepage of the website: avoid having multiple homepages and multiple “home” buttons or links that go to different pages.
Next week I will elaborate on this post and give you more homepage tips on navigation, structure, social media, trust and much more. So stay tuned!! 😉