Every website is different and so is its audience. Each company has its own target and must know it perfectly. If you don’t know who you are addressing, how will you know how to communicate?
For this reason, you must know very well who your audience is: what their needs and interests are and, above all, how they surf the net. Are they Internet experts? Or do they use the Internet only occasionally? Your website should adapt to them and never the other way around. An inexperienced user will not be entertained to learn how to navigate your website. If you don’t make it easy for them, they will simply abandon your site.
Although each target is different, there are some web usability features that all hotels should share. Take the test to find out what your weak points are so that you can improve not only usability, but also user-experience.
of your website.
You will know your result at the end of the post once you have answered the questions.
1. Do you know your target audience well? Have you created profiles of your buyer-personas?
It is the first step before creating or updating your hotel website. Buyer-personas are your ideal audience. To have concrete and shared profiles between your marketing and sales teams, you can create semi-fictional representations of who your audiences are.
These profiles must be based on real information, not assumptions. Ask and survey your current customers and create a buyer-persona for each of the groups.
You can download free templates to create a buyer-persona by clicking on the red button. Based on these templates, it will be much easier for you to know how to structure these profiles.
2. Does your hotel website have an optimized and simple booking engine ?
Currently, not having a booking engine on your hotel website means losing sales. If you manage to attract your potential audience to your content, why then send them to a TTOO or OTA to finish the booking?
Offer them an optimized and responsive booking engine (perfectly manageable from any mobile device). In addition, your booking engine should be as simple as possible: ask only for the information you need.
If you want to know more about the booking engine, here is a checklist to choose the most suitable online booking engine.
3. Is it possible to access any section of your hotel’s website in just three clicks?
Categorize, order and prioritize your content. Your website must be intuitive. According to experts, a website should force the user to make a maximum of three clicks to reach any of its sections. The user should not get lost among too much information. Simple is always better.
4. Is your website optimized for fast loading?
According to Google, the optimal page load time is 1.5 seconds. In addition, Google takes into account in its algorithm the loading speed of a website to position it in its search results.
5. Is your hotel website responsive?
A responsive website is one that adapts all its texts and elements to the size of the screens of different mobile devices. That is, it resizes and relocates all the elements and functionalities so that the user can comfortably browse your website regardless of the device from which he/she visits you.
6. Is your booking engine form intuitive and brief (minimum data required)?
You must keep in mind that your user does not want to spend a lot of time to finish the process of a purchase and much less if they are booking a room from their Smartphone. Therefore, do not ask for more data than strictly necessary and, in case you make a mistake, never make them fill in all the fields again. Keep the correct data and mark clearly where you have made a mistake.
7. Does your website include real images and videos of your hotel?
Credibility is one of the key factors in the conversion of your web visitors. They will want to see real images of your hotel rooms and facilities. In addition, this is an excellent technique for your potential guests to see what an experience at your hotel is like and want to experience it for themselves.
Video marketing is an excellent option to work on emotional marketing and catch the user’s attention. He thinks that Internet users are becoming more and more audiovisual. Minimize the text on your website and use more images and videos.
8. Does your website include only those elements that are essential? No functionalities that hinder the user during navigation.
An overloaded website won’t do you or your user any favors. If you want them to focus their attention on a specific element, such as your booking engine or your latest offers, don’t add information that gets in the way.
The clearer and simpler your website is, the better. For example, the carousel of images in the header of your website distracts the user’s attention from what you really want to show him and, moreover, does not provide any kind of value, according to recent studies on web usability.
9. Does your website have a menu in all its pages, well categorized and understandable?
Prioritize and order your content. That is to say, create categories that make your website an orderly and understandable place for your user. You should also categorize your blog posts and create tags so that the user can find what he/she is looking for in the quickest and easiest way.
Your web menu should not be gibberish or include too many fields. As we have already said, simplicity will be your best friend.
10. Does your website follow the information architecture criteria?
Information architecture is the discipline in charge of analyzing, structuring and presenting information within spaces, such as a website. The objective of the information architecture is that the user can find and understand the content we are offering.
If you feel ready to go one step further, here is a SEO positioning test for your hotel website.