Accommodation business is a niche where the right representation of your image can be crucial in terms of guests’ decision to visit you or not. Hotels should be displaying all their “best sides” to represent themselves on the website. This would ensure that the visitor won’t even think to go somewhere else. Using right descriptions, pictures, services and giving a possibility to book a room directly are the key factors that you should consider when creating or maintaining the hotel website.
Some websites remind just a simple document page with few pictures and look-a-like buttons. However, if you try to click on something, buttons turn out to be fake and not responsive, you can't click or enlarge the pictures, links are not working and take you nowhere. Various sources suggest that visitor stays only 30 seconds on the website. If you managed to catch their attention, you must use this possibility and convert a website visitor into a potential guest. However, a visitor will give up in just a few seconds and will go to look for something else if your hotel website will be non-responsive or eye-catching.
Branding and logo are absolutely needed on the website. But that shouldn’t be all, what visitors can see about your business. This rule especially applies to small hotels and B&B. Why? Because those people who are looking for an accommodation at B&B, they are also looking for an experience, human communication, and engagement with the host. They expect to be welcomed in person, interact with their hosts, get bits of advice, hear stories and etc. “About Us” menu should include host pictures, descriptions and other useful stuff that would help for the visitor to form their opinion. By simply telling your business story and adding a couple of pictures, you already appealing to visitor's feelings.
Another very popular idea is to place some video or music that starts automatically when someone enters the website. Not a good idea. People might be wearing headphones and sudden sound coming out might literally scare them. They also might be at the office with the speakers on and sounds might interrupt work of other people (or make their supervisors aware that someone is not focused on work :) ). I would consider this as a loss of the customer right away. Without quickly finding where to close the source of the sounds, visitors will simply close the website or browser in general.
It is absolutely necessary to have your hotel website in more than one language. You should always pick the language of those countries, where you are focusing on thriving/expanding. But always make sure to have translations made correctly. Also, present the same information in every different language. Majority of the websites that I've seen have all information in native language. However when you select additional one - there is no information at all, or the amount of it is significantly lower. If you will have spelling mistakes all over the website, this will show that you not taking your business seriously. Therefore there is no need to expect good service from you as well.
Of course, hiring website designers might be expensive so you decide to make the website yourself. No problem - just always ask an opinion of others and better, if those others have a bit of understanding of design. It is very important for the website to be pleasant for the eye and look attractive. Pictures have one of the most important functions in the image creating, so if they will be small or pixelated, nobody will generate a feeling that they want to see that in reality. Fonts and colours have to be matching and not changing as you go through the tabs. Keep the same style, use high-quality pictures and all will be fine!
Doesn’t matter if you have website developer working on your website or if you are managing it yourself. Just make sure it is visually attractive and informative. You should not expect that all your website visitors are well experienced in internet browsing. They might get confused between tabs and links. A website should clearly require a visitor to make the decision and that decision should be to stay.
Raise the action with booking engine widgets, create special offers and make sure they will continue to the reservation page without hesitation. Well adjusted and user-friendly booking engine will help to increase direct sales. If you are not sure about your website or booking engine - ask someone from outside of your business to make a reservation. Ask their opinion and tips: don’t be afraid to adjust the website based on the reviews. Other visitors might see the same disadvantages which will lead to loss of potential guests.