10 Best Practices for Hotel Website Design & Development

July 29, 2021

A growing number of hotels recognize the importance of excellent hotel website design, enabling them to become less dependent on OTAs. There are many advantages of making your hotel website your primary distribution channel. These pros vary from cutting down on commission costs to offering your guest a better booking experience and being in complete control of the first impression of your hotel. Hotel website functionality, usability, and design determine the quality of your website. So how can you optimize these three dimensions? This short read outlines 10 best practices to make your hotel website stand out and make it a booking generating machine!

1 Quality photos, videos, and maps

First of all, the visual elements on your website should be of fantastic quality! As hotels sell an experience, you want to WOW your potential guest with stunning pictures of your property, rooms, and F&B outlets, so the only thing they want is to stay at your hotel!

2 Professional 'on brand' website design
Your website is the first touchpoint in the guest journey, so you have to make sure to make a good impression! The way you present yourself online shows who you are as a company. Check that your design embodies your hotel’s brand identity to come across as competent and trustworthy and distinguish yourself from competitors!
3 Effective use of colors and fonts

Choose a color palette of max. 3-5 colors and max. 2-3 fonts. It should be aligned with your brand identity and make your photography pop. It’s incredible how much impact the colors and fonts can make on the perception of your hotel.

4 Simple navigation

One of the biggest pet peeves when visiting a website is not being able to quickly navigate through the website and getting to the right information with a minimum amount of clicks. However, don’t overcrowd your main menu, whether it’s a classic menu bar at the top or a full-screen popup. Keep the main categories simple.

5 User-friendly layout

Another major contributor to the usability of your website is the layout. Ensure that you create a good flow in your pages to lead through the website effortlessly. Think about incorporating the often used F- and Z-patterns to create a user-friendly layout.

6 Well-organized information
Another important attribute for your hotel website quality is ensuring that the information is well-organized. Suppose a visitor can’t find the information they’re looking for easily. In that case, chances are they will probably leave your website and look for the information elsewhere, like the website of an OTA. So, don’t use vague terms to refer to different pages and make the information on the pages straightforward and free of room for interpretation!
7 Responsive design

Hotel websites are visited from mobile devices more often compared to desktop visits. Therefore, ensure that your website design is responsive for different devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You don’t want to lose any potential bookings because the website doesn’t work well on smartphones, so double check your website on responsiveness! 

8 Information about reservation

Another best practice is related to the core feature of your hotel website. Your website aims to generate bookings, and for your website to generate bookings, it has to provide all the information needed about the reservation. So think about clearly explaining the differences between room types, presenting the applicable cancellation policies and incorporating a FAQ at the end of your page to answer the most common questions of your website visitors!

9 Include room prices

One advantage of the websites of OTAs is the inclusion of prices for every room type; this shows the potential guest immediately what they can expect price-wise. As your hotel website probably uses an external booking engine, you can’t always offer live prices directly on your website, as with an OTA website. However, incorporate some sort of price point like a starting price into the rooms page. This will ensure that your visitors don’t leave for an OTA immediately or have to go through the booking engine to see prices.

10 Showcase your promotions
OTAs often snatch the top searching results on Google to advertise the sharpest prices for your hotels. So make sure that your hotel website highlights the one-of-a-kind promotions that you can’t get anywhere else! Everyone loves to get the best deal possible, so be sure to include special packages exclusively on your website!

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