User experience is everything when it comes to increasing direct bookings on your Hotel website. A good user experience cuts down on booking abandonments thereby increasing your hotel’s profitability. Positive user experience comes down to website performance, ease of booking, and compelling content.
We’ve broken down these user experience elements into a checklist of things to look at when optimizing your website for more bookings. There are just 4 things to look at, but they can have a tremendous effect on your direct booking rate.
Look at Your Type of Hosting
Google knows just how important website speed is for positive user experiences and uses speed as a page ranking factor. Faster websites rank higher in search engine results. If a site is slow, your potential guest might make one of two choices after abandoning the booking. They might choose to book on another site or they might decide to abandon your Hotel altogether.
Website speed is composed of two variables. These variables are bandwidth speed and web server speed. Bandwidth used to be the primary constraint on speed, but not anymore. Slow web servers are now the primary constraint. Specifically, your website speed depends on the type of web hosting used. If you use shared hosting, your web server is shared with other websites and sometimes it can be shared with more than one thousand other sites.
It’s hard to believe that some hotels will save a few dollars a month by going with slow shared hosting when they can upgrade to fast VPS web hosting. VPS web hosting is a step up and gives your site it’s own private resources.
Check Your Website Performance
By far the most important component is website performance. A slow and unresponsive site can be frustrating at best. It will turn potential guests away from your property. Guests will access from desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones so the positive experience needs to extend to all platforms.
If you are using the right kind of hosting for your site, you can check the performance of website hosting through several different tools. There are dozens of tools you can use to check the performance of your site. Most of these check for two important characteristics. These two checks can give an accurate indication of how fast your website is.
Running your website through a performance check is imperative when ensuring that your users have the best experience possible. Just remember, when you check the performance of website hosting, it depends on the type of web hosting used. Shared hosting will always have drawbacks.
A website performance check will first check the ping time to your site. This is the time it takes to reach your server. Generally, these ping times are quite short. Longer ping times can indicate problems, particularly if the host is overloaded, has network problems, or is just too far away.
The website performance check will next check load time. This is the time it takes to load a page. It can be analogous to bandwidth speed but is more closely related to how long it takes for a server to create a page and deliver it. It shows how well the server creates the page and then delivers it. Too many elements or scripts on your page can have a huge effect on your website performance.
Provide Compelling Content
With a fast loading page that passes performance checks, you can check for compelling content. Your website needs to encourage people to want to stay at your Hotel. This includes providing all the information that a potential guest needs to make a booking on the site now. If your site leaves questions unanswered, potential guests may call or email with their questions, but they might just as likely click away to another Hotel.
Make the Booking Process Easier
A high-performance website is one thing, but how is the user booking experience? Customers want to book now and not waste time. Take a look at your booking process. How many steps does it take to make a booking? Think about potential guests trying to make a booking on a mobile phone or a slower internet connection. Are you making them jump through too many hoops? Try to reduce the number of steps needed to make a direct booking with 3 steps or less on your site.
Hosting performance, website performance, compelling content, and ease of booking represent the important factors in positive user experience. If you use this checklist to evaluate your user experience on your hotel site, you can find areas of improvement on your existing Hotel website. You can improve your direct booking rate and increase profitability and brand reputation.
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Wassana, a digital marketer at Andaman SEO. She likes blogging, using Social Media and traveling.
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