April 25, 2018
5 Website Must-Haves for Independent Lodging Operators
We've said it before, and we'll say it again; even with all the new tech popping up, a lodging operator's
website remains their most important marketing tool. And as such, it should be designed and maintained
with care. Content needs to be complete, relevant, and up-to-date. So what should you include? Of course,
your website should contain unit descriptions, prices, and compelling copy, but to get the most out of this
powerful platform, it should also include the following:
Integrated booking engine
This one is a true necessity. Customers expect convenience more than ever before and, they'll quickly
abandon a booking if it's not made easy. Having a booking engine integrated directly into your site means
users can complete a reservation with a simple click of the button - without being forced to navigate away
from your site. That makes for a positive guest experience before they've even stepped foot on your
property. And, of course, an integrated booking engine also helps you maximize those highly-coveted
commission-free direct bookings. Make sure to include "book now" call-to-action buttons on every page
of your website, so you don't miss any interested users.
Your guests want to know about nearby restaurants, tourists attractions, and events in the area before and
after they commit to a booking. So dedicate a page on your property's website to local recommendations.
Not only does it add value for users but it can also help maximize your search engine optimization and
bring traffic to your site.
Services and amenities
A lot of people looking to book accommodation have particular services or amenities that they're looking
for. Whether it's a businessman interested in free wifi, vacationers hoping for an airport shuttle, or a
wedding party in need of dry cleaning services - customers will pass-over a property if they aren't certain
it has what they need. So be explicit. Create a page of service and amenity descriptions or include simple
icons in relevant sections. You don't want to miss out on a booking simply because a user didn't realize
your property had everything they were looking for.
User-generated content (UGC) is the most effective form of marketing. In fact, 88% of online shoppers
use reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. Social proof matters. Use this to your advantage by
including a testimonial or two on your property's website.
Prospective (and confirmed) guests need to know where your property is located. And embedding a map
adds more value than just including your address. Users can zoom in and out, see the proximity of your
property to other sites and attractions and determine how to travel to your property.
Your website is your most important marketing asset. It's often where guest experience begins and is your
best tool for scoring direct bookings. So do a quick audit and make sure you're including all the content
necessary for a successful lodging operation. And if you decide your site is in need of a spruce up, contact our design staff today.