Resources
20142013201220112010200920082007
A Hotelierís guide to Website Design and Usability

June 25, 2008

Did you know that 1/3rd of visitors looking for travel online abandon their searches because the web page takes more than 5 seconds to open? Did you know that a websiteís design and ease of navigation plays a part in retaining the interest of the visitor? Did you know that every design decision you make effects your conversion rates?

If the answer to any of the above questions was ĎNoí, then here is a comprehensive checklist you can consult while designing your hotel website. If you already have a website thatís up and running, you can evaluate your website, to ensure that these standards are met.

If the answer to any of the above questions was ĎNoí, then here is a comprehensive checklist you can consult while designing your hotel website. If you already have a website thatís up and running, you can evaluate your website, to ensure that these standards are met.

Website Design
A hotelís website is its online sales engine, information guide and brand ambassador. So, you should ensure it will not only appeal to visitors but also leave a lasting impact on them. Here are some questions; you need to ask when selecting a design for your hotelís website:
  • Is the website design a continuation of your hotelís brand identity?
  • Will your websiteís design appeal to them aesthetically?
  • Does the website clearly indicate its purpose? Will the visitor know the purpose of the website without in-depth reading?
  • Do the colors and graphics used enhance your website?
  • Does your logo stand out or does it blend into the website design?
  • Are the fonts used easily readable? Will visitors who do not know how to adjust their browser settings be able to read your content easily?
  • Will the page load quickly? Have you ensured that all the graphics are optimized to increase download speed?
  • Is there a clear call to action on every page?
Website Navigation
Good navigation is fundamental. If visitors to your hotel website cannot locate information easily, they will get frustrated and head straight for your competitorís website. You need to ensure that your website navigation is noticeable and accessible. You can do this by asking a few questions:
  • Can visitors navigate through your website easily?
  • Are your main navigation keys clearly and consistently labeled?
  • Is your navigation structured for easy accessibility?
  • Can the hyperlinks be distinguished easily from your remaining content?
  • Do you have a user friendly search engine? Will visitors be able to locate hotels or packages easily?
  • Do the text links provide clear direction to where they will take the visitor?
  • If you are using images or flash as your navigation mode, then have you added a text alternative for visitors whose computers do not support those modes?
  • Have you added secondary navigation tools such as a site map to help visitors navigate through your website?
  • Have you double checked all your links to ensure there are no broken links?
  • If you have a real time reservation option, then do you have direct links to your reservation page on all pages?
  • How many clicks will it take your guest to reach the information he is searching for?
Web Site Content
Once you have driven visitors towards your hotelís website, you need to capture their attention and the best way do this is with excellent content. To write content that will appeal to your audience; you need to answer these questions:
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Will the content style appeal to your target audience?
Once you know who your audience is and what type of writing style will appeal to them, the following should be implemented:
  • Ensure that your website content is informative and error free.
  • Display current and valid rates and packages. Outdated information will cause the traveler to seek out other hotel websites.
  • Ensure the type face, font size and color font on your website readable. Nothing puts off visitors more than illegible text.
  • Ensure that the contrast between body text and the background color make it easy reading on the eyes.
  • Visitors get irritated when they have to scroll both vertically and horizontally. Ensure that visitor do not have to scroll horizontally to view the text.
  • Ensure that your content is broken into small, readable chunks separated by headings and sub-headings. This helps visitors to scan your pages quickly and easily.
Website Responsiveness
Surveys indicated that 1/3rd of users looking for travel online abandon their searches because the website or page takes more than 5 seconds to open. So, it is important to have a fast loading website. Here are a few questions you need to consider when selecting your website design and service provider:
  • Will a flash website help attract a larger audience?
  • How long does your website take to load?
  • Is the speed of your system costing you sales?
  • Is your system provider meeting your requirements?
  • Is it time to upgrade your program or more to a better provider?
Video, social networking and user-generated content
In the past few years, there has been an explosion of video, social-networking and user-generated content in the market. You need to carefully consider what value each of these elements would add to your visitorís experience before adding them to your website.
  • Will value additions such as video, social networking and user-generated content add value to your website?
  • Will it enhance your visitors experience or will it simply reduce your download speed?
These are just some steps that you need to take when designing and maintaining your hotel website. By taking these factors into consideration, you enhance your website to appeal to both search engines and visitors.

Please Note: This checklist should be used as a guide and not be seen as a list of must dos on every site.

Back     Top


Direct Connect


Our Clients


Testimonials


Request A Quote


Frequently Asked Questions
Our Partners