For a hotel to succeed, ultimately it needs to increase the number and value of bookings and achieve increased revenue year on year. This can seem challenging, especially when you’re trying to keep on top of the day-to-day running of the hotel and give your customers the best experience that you can. By spending a bit of time to take these steps, you’ll find yourself much more prepared to grow your bookings and become a more successful hotel.
Create customer personas – Your guests aren’t just a number, they’re people. Who are staying at your hotel for a reason. Whether it’s for business or leisure, it’s important that you understand the needs of your customers, and why it is that they’ve chosen to stay with you. By developing solid personas of the type of guests who visit your hotel, you’ll be better equipped to target this segment with marketing campaigns. For example, if you have a lot of business travellers then you know that you need to target businesses and professionals, highlighting to them your capabilities as a hotel for a business traveller.
Speed up your website – Research conducted by Econsultancy shows that 75 per cent of internet users will leave a website if it is performing at slow speeds. If your website is slow, then you are literally handing business over to your competitors. Speak to a website developer to see how you can make changes to your website to keep it performing as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
Make your gallery stand out – Your potential customers want to know where it is they’ll be staying. They want to imagine themselves in that setting, and if they can’t then they’re much less likely to book with you. According to TripAdvisor, travellers are 150 per cent more engagaed with listings that show over 20 images. Make sure that the images on your gallery page show the personality of your hotel, and the level of luxury that a guest can expect.
Keep your website simple – Let’s face it, internet users are getting lazy. If something is complex, then they don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get what they want; instead they’ll just leave your website and go to another one. According to a study conducted by Google in 2012, websites that are visually complex are seen as less effective and less aesthetically appealing. By keeping the design and navigation of your website simple, guests will be able to more quickly find the information they are looking for, and are therefore be much more likely to complete a booking.
Optimise your website for mobile – The use of mobile isn’t just a trend. It keeps growing at rapid rates, and this is expected to continue. Over a quarter of money made by the travel industry comes from mobile bookings, so you need to make sure that you’re part of this. Making your website responsive for mobile devices is no longer a choice. Not only will you lose customers if they’re not able to easily navigate your website from their device, but Google now penalises websites for not being mobile-optimised. If you haven’t taken this step, then you’ll quickly find yourself dropping down the Google rankings and losing customers that might have otherwise booked. In addition, make sure that your mobile website has a separate concept to your main web page. A shrunken version of your website will most likely include too many elements and then become complex. This will confuse consumers and they will then leave your website. Keep it simple with all the relevant information.
Stay on top with Google Analytics – Google Analytics is filled with information about your potential customers. It allows you to see how they reached your website, their journey once they’re there and what it is on a page that they’re looking at. Make sure that you stay up-to-date with your Analytics and you’ll find the latest insights from your customers that you can use to boost your marketing efforts.
Keep your call to action compelling – Your website needs a call to action (CTA). Without it, you could be providing great content to your potential customers but then losing them to competitors. The CTA is the tipping point between a conversion and a bounce, so you need to make sure that it is noticeable and enticing. Experiment with this, changing the colour and the copy to see which creates better results. It’s often useful to use A/B testing to compare the results of two different options. Don’t make your CTA too complex. Give the customer the information that they need to make a decision and then use the CTA to finalise their decision to convert.