At Leonardo, we work with properties day in, day out, to improve their digital marketing. One of the many things we do is help accommodation providers build a great hotel website that drives more direct bookings. We’ve seen thousands of new Vizlly-powered websites go live, and with them, some truly creative ideas to make a website stand out! We wanted to share some of these examples with you, to help serve as inspiration for your own hotel website.
Can you “borrow” any of these ideas to make your website more memorable as travel shoppers move through the travel shopping journey?
Hilton Garden Inn Yuma Pivot Point
Most properties offer more than just a place to sleep. The Hilton Garden in Yuma Pivot Point has recognized this and the potential of its Event and Conference spaces. In fact, they’ve made it the focus of their website.
It’s a smart move that allows Hilton Garden to be more targeted with their segmentation. By focusing on their event and conference spaces, they are no longer competing with other hotels in the area just to sell rooms. Instead, they are targeting people or businesses looking to host an event, reaping in more ancillary revenue, while still being able to sell rooms to attendees.
Including floor plans on their website for their event spaces allows visitors to quickly determine if a space is adequate for their needs. And by featuring photos of how each space can be configured and decorated, web visitors can better imagine how their own event may look at this property.
Hotel Noir in Prague uses beautiful visuals on its homepage that really sell the local destination. This helps travel shoppers imagine the kind of experience they can expect in this historical city, and while staying at this luxurious property.
We particularly like the chat widget embedded on their homepage. From the moment a visitor lands on their website, they are able to communicate with someone at the property. A virtual front-desk, if you will. This level of service makes for a great first impression, and sets the standard for what kind of service can be expected on-property as well.
Of course, a chat widget is only recommended if your property has someone to manage it 24/7.
One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is properties showcasing their on-site restaurants in more prominent ways on their website. This allows them to target local residents as well as hotel guests, to drive more ancillary revenue. Here are 3 properties in particular we think are doing a great job:
Café Stubel is the on-site café of Stubel Suites & Café in Ecuador. The café itself is featured on their homepage, its own standalone page, and has a dedicated gallery under Photos. Website visitors can see beautiful images of their dishes, the café’s layout, and sweeping views of the Oriental Valley it overlooks.
Press Box Pub
Atrium Inn in Vancouver highlights the casual dining experience of their on-site restaurant, the Press Box Pub. Featuring daily drink specials, karaoke nights, and photos off their dining space and delicious food, the Atrium Inn has a winning recipe for driving local visitors to their property.
Hemispheres Restaurant & Bistro
The DoubleTree by Hilton Toronto Downtown hotel takes it a step farther with a separate website for their on-site Hemispheres Restaurant & Bistro. Having a standalone restaurant website helps drive ancillary revenue by marketing to local diners looking for a night out, and also helps improve the property’s SEO by back-linking to its hotel website.
Even if you’re not ready to adopt a two-website strategy, there is plenty you can take away from the Hemisphere’s restaurant website. They have embedded an OpenTable widget so that travel shoppers can make an online restaurant reservation. They have also embedded their Instagram feed on the homepage, adding striking visuals and another way to connect with customers.
The Hemespheres Restaurant & Bistro OpenTable reservation widget (left) and embedded Instagram feed (right).
Copperwynd Resort & Club
The Copperwynd Resort in beautiful Fountain Hills, Arizona uses a blog on their website to help improve targeting and drive more direct bookings. A blog can transform your hotel website into a tourism information source for travel shoppers. It allows you to reach customers earlier in the shopping journey, while they’re researching potential destinations, and stay top of mind through to booking.
A blog is also a great way to improve your SEO rankings by creating fresh content that is valuable to travel shoppers. The Copperwynd Resort creates content about the different activities and services offered at or near the resort, including golf, tennis, dining, spa packages and shopping. This content allows them to rank higher for long-tail keywords, which make up over 70% of all searches.
Long-tail keywords are search terms that consist of 4 or more words; for example, “hotels in Fountain Hills with tennis courts.” We recommended that you target long-tail keywords rather than more generic search terms, because they’re less competitive (so you can rank higher), they are transaction based in nature, and convert 2.5 times better than generic search terms.
These are just some ideas to help beef up your own hotel website and attract more visitors to your property (who aren’t necessarily going to book a room), as well as increase direct bookings from those who are.