number of UK hotels on the Internet soaring along with the numbers
of potential guests who use the web, it is crucial that your hotel
or guesthouse has an online strategy which presents your property
to the world in the most effective way possible. This means more
than just having an all-singing all-dancing website with lots of
fancy bells and whistles. More important is that people are able
to find your site and once they do so they can then book online
or check prices and availability of your hotel.
At Hotel-Pro we understand the importance of getting visitors to your hotel website and turning them into bookings. Many graphic designers will design you a wonderful site but, because they do not always understand search engine optimisation or place a value on turning your web visitors into guests, they will not result in enough visitors to your web site (it is estimated that only 1 or 2 visitors per 100 browsers turn into guests). We will incorporate an online strategy aimed at attracting browsers to your web site in sufficient numbers to generate bookings and give you an excellent financial rate of return on your web site investment.
Hotel Website Design Basics
The design of your website is the first step on your property becoming accessible to literally millions of web-surfers and potential guests. More importantly, it is also the first part opportunity for you to demonstrate the facilities and hospitality which you extend to your guests. Look after them, give them a warm welcome and clear up to date information about your property, and start to engage them in dialogue which leads them to want to stay with you. As a guesthouse owner or hotelier your hospitality should extend to casual visitors to your website therefore it is important to design your site with this in mind - another reason to come to Hotel-Pro for web design.
The Evolution Of a Hotel or Guesthouse Web Site
So what is the process involved in getting your hotel or guesthouse on the Internet? Firstly, get yourself a domain name (a domain name takes the form of www.yourhotel.co.uk) for your hospitality web site. By doing so, you provide yourself with an identity and credibility on the web. It also means that you can move your web site to any hosting agency you wish to. Hotel-Pro can help you secure a suitable domain name for just £5 per year.
Having sorted out your domain name you need to find a web host. A web host will, for an annual fee, host your web site on their servers (a server is a large computer, often with many web sites stored on it, which is connected to the Internet). Again, Hotel-Pro can perform this service for just £5 per month subject to the size of the site.
But of course you need to have a web site. The design team at Hotel-Pro understand how to create web sites specifically for accommodation providers which will demonstrate the feel and ambience of the property. We will work with you to help design the content which will include both information about the property as well as about the local vicinity. It is crucial that a web site is configured to sell the destination as much as, if not more, than the hotel or property itself. After all, most visitors are staying with you for your location and not just because of what you offer. We understand this crucial difference between developing web sites for the hospitality sector and for other commercial organisations.
The final stage of the hotel website is the ability to take bookings online from the website without relying on e-mail. Guests now expect to be be able to look and book their website at the same time, they do not want to get into e-mail ping-pong. This is because people make their travel arrangements (flights, trains, holiday time off work etc) in one go and do not want to wait for hotels to get back to them with prices and availability. Those that are prepared to wait often send the same e-mail 'courtesy copied' (cc) to dozens of hotels (we have seen examples of these!) - you need to be reading your e-mails as soon as they come in and very quick off the mark replying to succeed with this!
WebEditor Content Management System - Edit Your Own Web Site
A common problem for business owners is that they pay money to have a web site created and then it costs again each time they wish to update it. This conflicts with the advice given by web gurus and marketing experts who urge web site owners to keep content fresh, relevant, and current as well as not being helpful to hotel owners who want to advertise seasonal offers and menus. We have recognised the difficulties this causes and can offer you a solution: WebEditor.
WebEditor allows the owner of a web site to select areas of their web site which they wish to be able to update as often as they wish. Find out more about how this works here.
If you wish to get an idea of just how cost-effective a hospitality web site from Hotel-Pro can be, visit the pricing page and compare our costs with your traditional print media expenditure. The Internet for hospitality is all about today - don't delay.