When is the time to get a website, or re-vamp an older website? Having your own website will reduce your reliance on large booking sites… as seen in the case of a recent customer of ours, who up until now received the majority of his bookings via HomeAway. Recent changes in HomeAways policies has had such a negative impact that our customer has decided it is now a good time to invest in a website of their own. For owners who already have a website, it’s time for a revamp if their website isn’t bringing in plenty of bookings… if YOUR website isn’t working, keep reading – we’ve identified the main reasons below! (Likewise, if you’re new to websites, you will want to make sure your new website will cover all the above points).
At all times, your own website should be at the centre of all your online marketing activities for your accommodation. As such, the relatively small investment you made on your website SHOULD provide you with amazing returns right from the very first year….
If your website isn’t bringing in a good return on investment, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:
Does your website engage, encourage and analyse?
Is your website striking? Your website should show off your accommodation in the best possible light. Recent years have seen huge leaps forwards in both computer processing power and general internet speeds. Websites can now boast large, striking pictures that encourage greater engagement from your site visitors.
Is your website Information Attractively Shown and Easy to Navigate? One of the great advantages your website has over a listing or booking engines is that it is tailor made for your accommodation. You can show the information how you want to instead of the ugly big blocks of text as seen on booking engine listings. This allows you to provide all the important information to your site visitor quickly, yet in an attractive way, increasing the likelihood of them booking. Additionally, it’s providing a great platform to talk about your local area to potential guests as well as provide valuable answers to frequently asked questions. In an age where we expect easy access to information, your website should provide all the information a visitor needs. And crucially, a visitor shouldn’t have to ‘hunt’ through your website to find the information they are looking for.
Have you got an email list? This is an important tool for any accommodation owner and if you haven’t yet started one then do so asap! There are two angles this can be tackled from. Firstly, if you are an existing accommodation owner then you should already have a list of happy guests from previous years. This list is one of your strongest assets… you should be in contact with them letting them know what’s going on in the local area (upcoming events, attractions etc…), informing them when you release dates for the next year and of course letting them know when you have special offers or last minute deals.
The other and equally important approach is to be collecting emails addresses from those visiting your website. Persuade them to provide their email address in exchange for info on special offers etc….
Can you Track Your Web Site Visitors? – Did you know that you can actually track everything that is happening on your website if you have analytics installed? You will be able to see lots of interesting data such as how many people visited your site, which pages they visited as well as where these visitors came from. This will help you make business decisions as to how well certain adverting campaigns have worked, which listings are worth renewing and which social medias are worth spending more time on etc…this can save you hundreds of pounds each year by only renewing listings on sites that are passing you traffic.
Do you Keep Your Website Fresh? Smart accommodation owners will be wanting to include a blog on their website. Before you recoil in horror, take note; having a blog to post fresh content will keep your website attractive and fresh as well as provide great content for you to post on social media and include in your newsletters! Don’t think there is nothing to blog about… remember that you are trying to sell your area as much as your property to potential guests, so talk about wonderful walks, pubs, restaurants, attractions and days out.
If your website doesn’t do all the above, then it’s definitely time for a new website!
If you would like us to take a look at your website to let you know where it can be improved, simply visit our contact page and we’ll take a look for you! Visit: www.webdesignforaccommodation.co.uk/contact