As you know, your hotel’s website is your online showcase. It is essential for your establishment’s reputation to offer a web experience that meets the new habits of travelers, but that also meets SEO (Search Engine Optimization) criteria, so that you appear in a pole position on search engines and increase your direct sales.
Below are some tips to improve your SEO and generate traffic in 2019.
A website that can adapt: be “mobile-friendly”
We can never stress this enough, your visitors are mobile! As Edward Lines, Hospitality Industry Manager at Google pointed out during London’s Hotel Digital Lab, 71% of travelers used their smartphone for travel research in 2017, up from 56% in 2016. You need to answer the questions that travelers ask themselves wherever they are, regardless of the device they use to come to you. Therefore, your website must adapt to all types of smartphones and tablets on the market.
Being “mobile-friendly” is all the more important today because Google is working on its SEO algorithm to focus on mobile search: if your site does not offer adequate and adapted content, it will not reach the first page of the search engine.
Want to evaluate the “mobile-friendliness” your hotel website? Use tools like Google Mobile-Friendly test.
A website that’s fast: don’t let visitors go
“More than half of visitors will leave your hotel site if it’s slow, so make sure you have a fast, fluid customer experience,” says Edward Lines, whose mission at Google is to help hotels increase direct bookings. “86% expect travel agencies to offer a fast booking experience” – don’t be outdone! Google recommends that a site load in less than a second and, of course, load time influences your organic search engine ranking.
A site that is too slow will be detrimental twice. First, when a traveler searches for your hotel on Google, since your official site will not appear in the top results, and then if the traveler lands on your slow-loading site and drops off before even accessing your carefully crafted content.
But how can you know if your site is loading at a satisfactory speed? Start by using a test tool such as PageSpeed Insights Google that tells you how long it takes your hotel website to load, especially on mobile, and gives you some areas for improvement. If your site is not efficient enough, contact web specialists who can take corrective actions, or even redesign your hotel site with you.
A secure website: win travelers trust
A traveler must feel confident to book directly on your hotel site. Trust starts with proving that you are offering the best price on your official website, for example, through price comparison widgets.
But still, you need to reassure them when it comes to the security of your website. Travelers share their personal data, and even banking info, with you; therefore, they are entitled to expect an optimal level of security from you.
Setting up an HTTPS protocol, which uses encryption to ensure that information received or sent by the visitor to the website cannot be read, even if intercepted, can reassure your visitors.
This is now the e-commerce standard.
Web browsers also treat HTTP and HTTPS websites differently. For example, Chrome now indicates on all HTTP sites that they are “not secure”:
In addition, Google said that HTTPS was now one of the factors taken into account in its algorithms for calculating SERPs (Search Engine Result Page).
Switching to HTTPS is therefore relevant for both the user experience and your SEO.
Your hotel website is not HTTPS yet? Contact the web agency that developed your website or get in touch with our Web Studio.
A geo-localized and “geo-personalized” website
Geo-personalization offers visitors a different experience depending on their location and preferences. Without the need for travelers to fill in their position, you can, for example, showcase special offers, display your site in your visitor’s language, etc.
Beyond geo-personalization, you should also consider highlighting the location of your hotel by presenting nearby points of interest. The Belleval Hotel, which entrusted its website development to Fastbooking’s Web Studio, provides a good example of making its location a winning card by using an integrated map to display different points of interest: museums, monuments, and shops.
Warning: Google Maps integration on your website now requires you to create your Google Maps API Key. If you have not already done this, you will find the procedure here. Make sure your information with Google is up to date; otherwise, none of your maps will work on your hotel website.
A smart website: live chat to better serve travelers
Integrating a live chat on your hotel’s website has many advantages. Firstly, from a customer point of view, they get answers to their questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, easily and without commitment. It’s a good way to reassure them and take them directly to the reservation funnel.
As founder of Hotel Direct Booster Eddy Mimoun explains, “2 travelers’ behaviors stand out on hotel websites: the uncertainty of making the right choice when booking and the need to be informed. Live chat reassures them and helps increase sales by 25%, while a chatbot informs travelers before and during their stay without any intervention from the hotel.”
It is also an asset for your front desk. Imagine all the requests that a chatbot can address on behalf of your reception staff: availability requests, questions about the facilities, etc. Leaving more free time to pamper your customers on the spot!
Want to update your hotel’s website? Contact our specialists from the Web Studio