RESORT AND VILLA MARKETING TIPS
How to structure your resort website to increase direct bookings
WRITTEN BY: LEOPOLDO PIRELA
Of all the elements that make up a resort’s marketing campaign, having a great website is the utmost priority.
Not just a beautiful website, but a website that helps to push those direct bookings your way.
Think of your website as your 24 / 7 receptionist and salesperson who does not run out of energy and is always willing to put on a smile for your guests.
With this being said, let’s find out what your resort’s website needs.
Cornerstone content that your guests will interact with the most
In simple words, these are the pages you have to focus on the most. If you already have a website, you have to revisit these pages to ensure that they are performing as they should be. These pages will help you convert website visitors to direct bookings or push them back into the research part of their journey.
The pages your resort’s website MUST have are:
- Home Page
- Rooms Page – Show individually each room
- Specials or Offers Page
- Book Direct Benefit Page
- Events Page for events your resort will be having. Not a must for single villa websites.
- Activities Page – This page will help you segment your target market
Before we dive into each of these pages, let’s talk about two main parts of your entire website. That is your header, where your navigation is located at the top of the page and the footer which is located at the bottom of the page.
Here are a few rules to follow for the Header:
- Keep it simple
- Only give the user main menu options they will need to make a decision
- Keep your logo in the middle or on the left side of the website
- Keep the right top corner for the Book Now call to action (CTA) and your bait piece CTA
- Use clear fonts that are easy to read, as well as a color that can be read easily
Here are a few rules to follow for the Footer:
- Make sure the footer stands out as the footer and not a continuation of the page itself
- Use this footer to add navigation menus that did not need to be on your main header
- Keep it clean and consistent
- Add your contact information and social media link buttons
Now that we have the header and footer figured out, let’s dive into the pages.
Your resort’s home page Structure
There is a saying that it only takes 3 seconds for someone to bounce off your website, but if you get their attention for 3 seconds, they will give you 3 minutes to continue selling your resort to them. As a result, your Home Page needs to make them fall in love with your resort from the start.
- Hero image or video with an unforgettable catchline. In other words, let them know what is in it for them if they continue to scroll
- Introduce your resort – Here you want to showcase the benefits of your resort, more than the features. Remember, most resorts have similar features, but your resort’s benefits are what make you stand out.
- A carousel or just the best rooms you have at your resort. Mainly, you want the top $$$ rooms that you need to be occupied here. Make these images appealing, and provide the benefits of each room along with a CTA to explore the room.
- Find a way to add your target market options here. For example, honeymoons, family vacations, adults only. Your home page will start to guide them in the right direction
- Provide the benefits of booking directly and of choosing your resort over anyone else
- Give clear testimonials of past guests
- Guide them on where to go next, it is not good practice to let your guests click on the ‘Go back to the top link’
- Add your click bait here to get their emails
If you follow this structure your Home Page is on the right track to closing some bookings.
Room page structure
Make them feel as if they just walked into the room.
Think about what the main benefit of that room is, then translate this into a photo.
Your resort’s room page will need to have the following:
- The full name of the room type or category
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- A full description of the bedroom
- Features and amenities of the room
- A gallery to scroll through the images of the room
- A book now CTA or a reservation CTA
Your Rooms Page needs to be simple, catchy and ready to be booked.
Specials and/or Offers Page
Your website needs to provide offers or specials that increase the value of your property; remember this is what the OTAs cannot do, and so you have the advantage for direct bookings with this.
Your Specials and/or Offers Page needs to have the following:
- A headline that grabs attention
- A description of how you have structured these offers
- For advanced performance: Break it down into customer segments again and the create offers for each segment
- Create at least 3 offers
- Give them a title and a description
- A book now CTA and the conditions that apply to this offer
If you want to get more advanced here, you may want to use the following strategy:
- Show the different customer segments. For example, honeymoon, water adventures, and explorer edition
- Then, give them 3 options to expand this offer. If you have a golf resort, you can have offers for the ladies who may not want to play golf and rather do a massage, one of the kids to learn to play golf and then an offer to take the guests on a golf journey
- Once they click on it, they should be directed to a booking page.
P.S: I am not sure if there is a Golf Journey or tour, but you get my point.
Book Direct Benefits Page
This is another page you want to keep simple, but eye catching. You can also have these benefits living in other parts of your website and pop-ups.
- Have at least 5 benefits that a guest will have if they book directly
- Show some testimonials from previous guests
- Showcase some photos with people having a great time
- Give them a ‘Seal the Deal’ CTA
Keep it simple, your entire goal here is to give them your resorts benefits.
You should be thinking about at least 5 events that match your buyer personas to host through the year. Whether they are parties, cocktails or simple get-togethers, they will drive visitors and keep them entertained.
What is important with this page is to keep it up-to-date. So if an event has passed, you can either put a label ‘Passed’ or delete it from this page.
The structure of this page should be as follows:
- Catchy tagline
- Description of what to expect and what your events are like
- An image related to the event followed by a description of the event
- If they need to purchase tickets or RSVP, make sure you have it in the description and add a CTA button for them to proceed.
Keep it simple, choose fun images and get them ready to party.
Your resort’s activities page
This can be called activities, but it really is a page to help define your target users. If you have 6 buyer personas, you want to give these 6 categories an opportunity to explore a page especially for them. Then you will push them to directly book with you to get the benefits we spoke about above.
The structure of this page should be as follows:
- Catchy Headline
- Description of what to expect
- Customer segments
- Once they click on any segment, there should be at least 3 activities your resort can offer
- Showcasing your best rooms for each segment
- Benefits of directly booking with you and a BOOK now CTA
- Add testimonials wherever you need to create social proof
There you have it, these are the top pages you need on your resort’s website and the structure that each of them should follow to help you increase the numbers of direct bookings.
To recap, here are the 8 elements you need to keep in mind when reviewing your website.
- Does it have clear headlines?
- Is your website trustworthy and has enough social proof?
- Is the text on your website short and sharp?
- Is your website simple to navigate?
- Is your copy reader-centric? Meaning you concentrate on your benefits and not on the features
- Does it actively guide the visitors?
- Do you capture email addresses?
- Do you keep it up-to-date with relevant content?
- How is your resort’s website performing? What are some of the pain points you had on your website? Let us know by commenting below.