How to fix 4 of the most common mistakes on your hotel’s website

Hotels, villas, resorts and even vacation rentals work towards providing unique experiences throughout their services and accommodations. As a result, hotel websites need to make sure that these experiences are consistent throughout their websites, applications and other online interfaces that may be available.

If you noticed your resort’s website is losing booking, it might be due to these four user experience mistakes that are easily created when building a website.

Many of the new modern websites have flaws that are hidden at first, but through time, they will end up hurting the hotels’ conversion rates. From being difficult to navigate, poor call-to-actions, not able to implement the brand’s message to slow loading websites, we will go through each one of them and show you how to fix them.

This blog post is for:

  • Hotels, Resorts and Villas owners who are looking to enhance or create an online presence
  • Marketing Managers looking to find ways to increase the conversion rates of the hotel’s website

If you are now starting to build the website for your hotel, resort or villa, I strongly recommend downloading our free guide on how to choose the right platform for your hotel’s website. It goes in-depth on all the technical elements you need to have a smooth, high converting website for your hotel.

On this blog post, I will be assuming that your website has already been created. Later on, I will be writing on my step-by-step process towards building a perfect hotel website. Where I will share with you how to create features and designs that help you win your guest’s hearts.

Let’s start with slow loading websites

Almost 76.3% of users looking to book a vacation at a resort, expect the websites to load between 2 seconds to 3.5 seconds.

Hence, the loading speed of your website is extremely important.

Guests want to see photos, videos and a lot of them! At the end of the day, one of the best ways to enhance your website’s experience and increase conversion rates is by showing them what they can have if they stay at your accommodation.

If you are having this problem, it is mainly due to the technical part of your hotel’s website. Look at how big the images and videos are and if they have been optimized to load faster on your website.

I also recommend keeping images, videos and other technical files of your website on a Content Delivery Network, which will help you increase the speed of your website. As a result of your potential guests, will be able to accomplish their objectives faster.

    When trying to fix the loading speed of your hotel’s website look for the following:

  • Is the website part of a website care plan that ensures everything is properly maintained?
  • Are the images and videos all stored on my website’s back end?
  • Can the hosting company handle the speed we need?
  • If using WordPress, are there too many plugins on my website?
  • When last did we monitor the website’s speed

Difficult to use Navigations

On many of the resorts and villas I have worked with, one of the biggest tasks was to design graphics signage that showed guests where everything in the resort is located. From pointing to the direction of beaches, bars, bathrooms, boats, fishing rods and most importantly their rooms.

The reason for this is that guiding your guests in the right direction is part of the experience businesses in the hospitality industry need to offer. As a result, you need to translate this signage and guidance to the hotel’s website.

Today, guests may have multiple hotels websites opened at the same time. Hence, your website needs to be the one that guides them towards the right decision, choosing your accommodation over the rest.

When building or enhancing your website navigation system follow these steps:

  • Stay away from Burger Menus, unless your target market understands what it is. Many users know what to do with it on mobile, but are lost when seeing on a desktop
  • Make sure your menu is clear, fonts are visible even if on top of images
  • Stay away from faded backgrounds on your navigation. The idea is to make it easy for someone to read
  • Add the top pages you want your users to access at first (Rooms, Amenities, Activities)
  • Create a clear CTA with a Booking Option
  • Use different colors for the page your users are currently in, in other words on your active page
  • Create a fixed or sticky menu, but take advantage of adding other menu options that will push the guest towards finding out more about your hotel
  • If you can, create a sitemap with all the links on your website. Just make sure you categorize them properly
  • Build an actual 404 page for when guests find themselves on pages that are not available on your website

Make booking forms clear where they can be found, but are not on the face of the user who is not ready to make a booking yet.

Just like in any other business, not everyone is ready to commit. Hence, we have to give them the option to commit to a wonderful stay at your hotel without scaring them away.

In many modern hotel websites, we can experience pop-ups showcasing a booking form or a request form. The reality is that not many users are willing to book to right away, so we can keep these pop-ups for other purposes.

Keep your forms, where they can be easily found.

On pages like your Home page, there should be one form available for any guests who are fully ready to start their booking process. Also, you can have booking forms for the individual room types.

On other pages, you can have buttons that once clicked will pop-up a form or send your guests to a booking engine.

When looking at your booking forms think about the following:

  • Are my booking forms easy to find?
  • Are they able to collect the right information?
  • Do you have any form of analytics attached to the forms to see which are converting higher?
  • Are there too many steps or sections to fill in the form?
  • Are there other options on my websites such as buttons to access booking forms?

Your brand can be colorful, your website doesn’t have to be

Having your brand’s identity showcase on your website is key!

From elements that may be found around your resort, like how it was done for 473 Grenada Boutique Resort to having the strongest colors display on your website.

For a hotel’s user experience design, you want to stick to a maximum of three colors. Furthermore, you need to make sure they do not contrast with each other to the point that it causes the website to look disorganized.

When looking for the right colors to fit your hotel’s website keep in mind the following:

  1. Are the colors on my website adding strength to my message? For example, having red and a bright green with blue will make your users have confused emotions towards your website and brand overall.
  2. Are the colors you have chosen able to bring to life your hotel’s brand adjectives and personality. A good example is Sandals Resorts, their colors are part everything you see around
  3. Which of all of your brand’s colors are the most suitable to be on your site?

Tips:

When I have worked with hotels, resorts, and villas towards understanding their brand. I usually create a workshop to find their ‘X-factor’. Here, I run an exercise to find their brand’s attributes. As a result, I am able to find colors and shades that go hand-in-hand with the main adjectives. This gives a better connection between the brand and the guests.

Another tip is to take advantage of Arial photos. Once you have taken high-quality pictures of the resort, use color picker tools to choose colors found in your hotel. This will help you bring the user’s experience from the resort into the website.

All the four mistakes above are easy to make and can lead to constantly changing the overall look of your brand and online experience. Changes that are done due to analytics and for enhancements are always beneficial for your hotel’s conversion rates.

Does your hotel, villa or resort website have any of the issues found above? Do you think it is a lot easier to find them and get them fixed now that you have read this guide? Let me know by commenting below.

Changing the way you have built your website and customer’s experience is not always as easy as it sounds.  If you require help in better understanding your website, goals and the way client’s interact with your website, you can hire me as a freelance consultant to have a one-on-one session (s) to really understand your customers and how we can create a better experience for them.

Get your website ready for the holidays in just 5 simple steps

Download this free guide to help you get your website ready for the holiday's sales this year

Your checklist is loading