Designed to Deliver Results: Anatomy of an Effective, Profitable Hotel Homepage
Of all of the strategies, systems, offers or operations options available, your hotel’s homepage presents the single greatest profit potential for your business.
That may sound oversimplified or even overblown, but we cannot overstate how important your website’s homepage is for driving direct revenue for your company. But it can only do so if it’s designed with the right pieces in the right place, all working together to produce the right results.
If your homepage is designed effectively, prospective guests immediately know they came to the right place. They can find what they are looking for at a glance, see that it’s in their budget and available, and make a purchasing decision on the spot — all before they navigate to your booking engine.
Each of those elements combine to lower your homepage’s bounce rate, reduce reservation/shopping cart abandonment, increase the efficiency and quality of form fills, and improve the qualification of every prospective visitor. This Guest Experience design (GX) approach gives your homepage superpowers, dramatically increasing its ability to drive direct bookings.
Let’s take a closer look at the individual components that go into designing a hotel homepage that does exactly that.
On Your Hotel’s Home Page, Everything Starts With Positioning
Anyone who arrives at your website — whether they are searching organically or nudged via a paid campaign — should instantly see that they’ve found what they were looking for. That’s your positioning: Who you are, where you are and what you do.
A prospect should see your positioning reinforced in your messaging, beginning with the upper left corner of your homepage, where readers naturally begin scanning a page: “Four-star hotel in the heart of Boston’s historic theater district.” For someone booking a nice weekend in Boston to catch a show and hit some historic sites, they know your property is a good fit.
Everything on your homepage needs to reinforce that positioning as well: imagery, video, testimonials, headlines and text. You need to show and tell exactly where you are, what you do and who you serve.
Positioning isn’t about exuding a feeling or creating an atmosphere. It’s not about your fine furniture and fancy floral arrangements. That’s just photography. And it doesn’t give them the finer details of your offering.
Your hotel’s positioning on your homepage is the first step in the process of guest qualification: Is your prospect where they ought to be? If the answer is yes, let’s look at where your homepage design should lead them next.
Make the Essential Information About Your Hotel Easy to Find and Digest
Depending on your hotel’s offerings, a prospect should be able to identify their options directly on your homepage, whether they want to reserve a room, book an event or host a wedding reception.
If it’s a room, they should be able to scan room cards with imagery, information, price and availability for every room type without having to enter a booking engine. They should be able to see immediately that you have a room they want, when they need it, and within their budget.
The same applies to individual service offering pages as well, such as corporate events, banquets, or weddings. Prospects should be able to see facility information like layout, size, capacity and AV equipment, along with imagery, pricing and availability. Again, they are able to qualify themselves quickly and accurately with minimal frustration on their end or effort on yours.
When a prospect has all the information they need to make a purchasing decision on your homepage, they only need the booking engine to enter their credit card information and complete the transaction.
They aren’t bouncing out of your site. They aren’t abandoning their shopping carts. They aren’t quitting on a form-fill. They knew what they wanted before they hit your website, and then they were reassured, reminded and informed anywhere they scrolled or scanned on your homepage.
The Right Design Turns Your Hotel Homepage Into a Moneymaker
For years, hotel websites have made prospective guests hunt for what they’re looking for, only to quit and click away before making a reservation. When roughly 80 percent of hotel website visitors come and go without ever booking a room, you know you’re doing something wrong.
But the right homepage design addresses decades of hotel owner disappointment and customer dissatisfaction. The ability to show a potential guest all they need to make a purchasing decision directly from your homepage isn’t just a win-win for hotel owners and guests. It’s a victory for the entire hospitality industry.If you’d like a demonstration to see how effective a homepage with Guest Experience design (GX) can be for your hotel, we’d love to hear from you.