With the amount of different devices consumers use today, from smartphone to tablets, it’s no surprise that the travel shopping journey has become more complex. With so many travel tools and resources now available online, how can you make sure your hotel stands out and conveys your true value to potential guests?
It turns out, most leisure travelers make their final decision on whether to book by visiting the hotel’s website! Hotel websites are influential in the booking stage of the shopping journey, so it’s essential that your hotel website tells a compelling hotel story.
Here are three key features travel shoppers want to see on your hotel website.
Big, Rich Visuals
The days of websites being mostly text, with a few pictures here and there, are long gone. Today, travel shoppers want compelling visuals. Studies show that 55% of travelers list photos as helpful content when looking for trip ideas and 81% of online travel bookers consult videos before deciding to purchase a product!
Ensuring you have a wide array of rich visuals – photos, videos, and virtual tours – in the hotel story you’re telling online can help travel shoppers make their final decision.
Share The Experience
These days, what’s around your hotel is just as important as what is inside it. If you’re not showcasing your hotel’s unique local attractions, you’re missing out on telling a key part of your story. After all, which traveler visits and stays in their hotel room all day?
Travelers are now looking for more of an experience and connection with their vacation’s surrounding area. They want to learn the history, the culture, and all the fun stuff too!
Skift, a travel news and trends website, recently released an entire report that underscores the rise of the growing trend of experiential travel. Therefore, make sure your hotel story, as told on your hotel website, includes information and visuals on the many things guests can experience when staying in your hotel and its area. These visuals will help travel shoppers better understand the kind of experience that they will have when staying at your hotel.
And if you think there is nothing special about your hotel’s location – think again.
Social Media Buttons
With social media becoming more and more popular, it only makes sense that travel shoppers are beginning to prefer to connect with hotels via social sites, such as Facebook.
In fact, 55% of people surveyed by LifeThink said they “liked” Facebook pages specific to a vacation of theirs. On top of that, 76% of travelers post vacation photos to a social network, including photos of their hotel!
Adding social sharing buttons to your hotel website makes it easy for travel shoppers and guests to connect with you and see a more personal side of your hotel story.
Spotlight: Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
A hotel that knows how to appeal to its online travel shoppers is Little Palm Island Resort & Spa. The minute you go on their website, the beautiful visuals of the hotel are instantly presented in a prominent and eye-catching way.
In addition to the rich visuals of their hotel features, they also feature visuals of the experiences guests can expect to have if they choose to book and stay at the hotel. Stunning images of the spa, salon and near-by activities, such as sailing and dolphin encounters, are visually-portrayed on their website. They even include a calendar of events so that their guests can be sure to get a full experiential vacation when in the Florida Keys area.
Lastly, every single page on the hotel’s website has social media buttons which make it easy for travel shoppers to connect and get to know the Little Palm Island Resort’s hotel story through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages.
These three, key website features will help satisfy your travel shoppers’ online needs and wants and make sure you’re catching their attention during the shopping journey.
While these three tips will definitely help improve your hotel’s website, they aren’t everything. For even more information and tips on how to make a hotel website that attracts travel shoppers, download our free eBook: Anatomy of a Visual First Website Experience: Best Practices for Hotel Marketers.