Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 196: 10 Reasons To Redesign Your Hotel’s Website

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Have you recently asked yourself “Do I need to revamp my hotel website?” With so many components to website design and development, the thought of starting over can be exhausting. But do not fear, redesigning your site doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, if you plan the redesign properly it can be quite easy.

On today’s episode we’re going to be discussing the recent article, The Who, What, When, Why & How Of Hotel Website Redesign. What the article covers is when you’ll know it’s time for a redesign:

1. Age

Have you ever heard the phrase, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”? That doesn’t apply here.  We recommend a new hotel website every two to three years. This ensures that you’re aligned with industry standards, on par with your competitors and taking advantage of new features and functionality. Waiting longer than three years could impact your bottom line.

2. New Industry Standards

Are you following current hotel website best practices? Digital marketing is constantly evolving and so is the way consumers behave.

We’re regularly seeing Google algorithm changes as well as some massive announced changes like the Page Experience Update (episode 160). Not only are there marketing best practice standards your site needs to live up to, there are also legal standards like ADA compliance, CCPA, WCAG & more. 

3. Performance

Do you know what your hotel KPIs look like? Are you meeting or exceeding your goals? Your site may have been meeting the KPIs you set years ago, but are they still relevant to today’s market?

4. Lead Generation

You’ve done it. A visitor has reached your website and landed on a highly coveted request form. Do you think your hotel’s website has forged enough demand to secure a form completion? 

Go through this process and test it for yourself. If you’re frustrated, your potential guests probably are, too.

5. Conversion Rate

The job of your website is to funnel visitors down a path that leads straight into your hotel lobby. If users aren’t even making it to your booking software, there’s likely a problem with your website.

Here are OUR secrets to optimizing your hotel website conversion rate. (episode 177)

6. Data Collection

Is your website still doing a good job of collecting data? You may be surprised to find that your data collection rates are not what they should be and have gotten worse over the years. Typically, when deciding to look at a new website, are you optimizing your data collection for:

  • Email: An email address is like gold to a digital marketer.
  • Demographic / Geographic Information: Are your hotel website analytics implemented properly? If so, you should be mining this data for gems. Check out our three most important Google Analytics goals for hotel websites.
  • Retargeting: Whether you’re running digital paid advertising or not, adding retargeting pixels to your hotel website will ensure you collect valuable data from visitors.
  • User Behavior: Is your current site taking advantage of user behavior analysis software to collect visitor information? Think heat maps, rage clicks, dead clicks, user recordings, and other important data that you should know about your largest money maker. Free tools like Microsoft Clarity can help expose areas that need improvement.

7. Are you rebranding?

Though this doesn’t happen often, a rebrand certainly warrants a hotel website redesign or development of a brand new site/URL.  We typically see this when a flagged property turns into an independent property or vice-versa.  We have also seen many businesses change their names to avoid cultural insensitivities. If your hotel needs to change its name you also need a new site. 

8. Improve User Experience

When was the last time you used your own website, from the eyes of a guest? We already know that Google’s Page Experience update is forcing hotel web developers to hone in on delivering a good page experience. But, what else establishes favorable UX?

9. New Features & Functionality

  • Technology is constantly changing, which means there are already new features and functionality that you probably aren’t taking advantage of. Does your existing site have the ability to effectively and efficiently use virtual tours, urgency messaging, review systems and more.

10. Flexibility

How easy is it for you to manage your hotel website?  Can you edit content easily?  Consider that your content management system may be primitive, limited, or worse, owned by someone else. 

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In The News:     

  • Google Rolls Out A Three Strike Policy:
    • https://www.searchenginejournal.com/googles-new-3-strike-policy-the-checks-balances/414137/ 
    • For now, these penalties are only applicable to three categories: Enabling Dishonest Behavior, Unapproved Substances, and Dangerous Products or Services. These are policies that monitor deceptive behavior, hacking services, spyware, drugs, weapons, etc. Google has plans to expand this. 
    • wrongful violations that are successfully appealed will result in the removal of the strike
    • Starts with a warning. If you violate the same policy within 90 days you get a strike. If you receive another violation within 90 days of your first strike you get a second strike. If you have another violation within 90 days of your second strike you get a third. 
    • Strike 1 – temporary hold for 3 days. Strike 2 – 7-day temporary hold. Strike 3 – account suspension
    • Problems:
      • Algorithmic 
      • Can you get multiple strikes at one time?

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60 Seconds To Success

Audit your mobile and desktop booking process.  Better yet, get people who are not familiar with your hotel or resort and have them take 5 minutes to try to find and book a room.  I guarantee you will find at least one way to improve your conversion rate.

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Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or [email protected]

IN ADDITION TO THE PODCAST WE HAVE A BUNCH OF WHITEPAPERS AND STUDIES YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE

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