Let’s face it: now that most travelers are researching their trips via the Internet, your property’s website is essentially your very own “storefront” allowing you to showcase your property and “sell” the potential guest to stay with you. The site must sell not just your features, benefits and services, but your entire brand experience. With the plethora of online advertising opportunities, all leading back to your website – it’s extremely important to ensure your site is “top notch.”
According to an article on HotelMarketing.com citing research from Gomez, “24% of online travel users had a negative experience on a travel website during the 2009 peak travel season.” Consumers are expecting websites to perform a lot better today. If not, they will look to competitor sites. This performance includes your website’s speed, its navigation and its content – especially from the starting point, your homepage. Ensuring your website presents your property in the most organized, visually appealing, professional way possible is vital to those researching vacation and/or business trips and for you to capture the most business.
Here are some examples of what to keep in mind:
• Poor color choices. If the colors you select do not reflect your property brand or “personality,” users will not connect your website with the true travel experience you’re offering.
• Improper use of motion. A website full of flashing banners might get attention at first. But travel is very personal, and if viewers get the idea that you are trying to sell too hard they will lose trust and go elsewhere.
• Disorganized content. Do not make viewers work too hard to research, plan and book their vacations with you. Content should be presented in the basic order in which consumers plan their stays.
• Hard-to-find links for reservations and inquiries. When a viewer is motivated to buy, you must have a response mechanism in easy and convenient reach. Your phone number, web form or reservation booking engine must be visible at all times.
Think about this – if a user has a negative experience on your website – it’s too slow, or they can’t navigate easily through pages, etc. – it’s very possible that they could share the experience with their friends and family. They’re speaking negatively about you – and they never even got the chance to stay at your property!
Essentially the consumer decide NOT to book with you because your site didn’t show the true excellence of your property. However, you as a marketer have the power to improve your website and display your property in the best way possible – ensuring travelers will want to stay with you and potentially share their GOOD experiences with your property instead.
If you are in need of a constructive look at your website design, you’re in luck! VEM Global™ is dedicated to communicating client brands and would be happy to evaluate your website improvement options! Please call 1.866.757.8229 for more information or check out our Website Design page.