As the centrepiece of your owned media channels, your hotel website is your most powerful tool for driving direct bookings and growing revenue. To get your hotel revenue management software working at its optimal level, feed it with an abundance of bookings and data. To do that, you need this essential hotel website features, all of which are proven to be a hit with travel visitors.
1. Price comparison engine
The growth in online booking services means travellers are programmed to shop around and are accustomed to checking multiple sites to ensure they are getting the best rate possible. To avoid losing your direct traffic to third party sites, integrate a price comparison engine with your website booking engine. This additional feature can help to improve conversions and revenue earnt from digital channels by keeping visitors on site.
2. TripAdvisor integration
Online reviews are of paramount importance for consumers with 84% of consumers admitting to trusting an online review as much as a personal recommendation. Use TripAdvisor integration to display your reviews and ratings on your site. Good reviews are a powerful conversion optimisation tool and can encourage new guests to complete their room reservation.
3. Images and videos
Virtual and augmented reality are quickly becoming mainstream for digital marketers so the very least search users expect is a decent sized image gallery and preferably video footage. If you can incorporate augmented and virtual reality into your hotel site, you can be assured of setting the standard however, 360 degree videos are also a worthy addition.
Chatbots are set to be increasingly prevalent in the next 12 months. Yahoo research suggests that 90% of mobile screen time is spent on apps rather than web pages with Facebook and messaging apps amongst the most dominant. Integrating a chatbot to your hotel website not only taps into this consumer trend but can also help with your site’s conversion rate optimisation. You can use a bot to automate some tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions to provide an improved user experience for website visitors.
5. Newsletter subscribe
There is no better place to grow your email marketing list than on your website. Add a subscription widget to your home page, other key landing pages and blogs. This box can grow your opt-in email list by sitting on site, giving you sales opportunities further down the line.
6. Social sharing buttons on blog content
Make it easy for your visitors to share your blog posts and other highly engaging content by adding social sharing buttons. With just a click, your engaged website visitors can help you reach new audiences by sharing your best and most interesting content within their own networks. Social sharing can lead to more website traffic as well as increasing your own social likes and follower counts.
7. Google Maps
Add a Google Maps API to your site (along with each hotel’s full address). The full address is crucial for improving your local SEO but, the Maps API will also help visitors enroute to your property to find the hotel. In a similar vein, you could also add the Uber request ride widget to your hotel app, to make it even easier for guests to get to you.
8. App download
It can be difficult to stand out and make your app visible amongst the millions of other apps available to download on the App Store and from Google Play. You can counteract this by adding an app download widget to your own website. This should take mobile users directly to the app download function and is an easy way to get highly relevant, engaged eyeballs for your app from users who are already familiar with your brand.
In addition to your hotel revenue management software, these essential tools, apps and widgets are profitable, useful additions to your website and wider hotel marketing arsenal.