A hospitable service from Web Foundry

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Phil
5 Minutes

How to optimise your hotel website

A hospitable service from Web Foundry

Over the last few years, we have had the opportunity to work on amazing projects within the hospitality sector, helping our clients find their niche within a highly competitive market.

We are aware of how difficult it can be to get exposure in this sector, and how the market has become very competitive with the current growth in digital marketing.

However, this challenge can be overcome: there are ways to make sure your business gets more than a proper online reputation, but first, you need to know what you want to achieve with your business.

What the hospitality sector needs

What can a business within the hospitality sector hope to achieve with a website? What are the main needs or challenges they can encounter along the way? Given our recent experience, we thought we would share the key aspects that find their way to the heart of the conversation when it comes to the development of a website, or just the relationship between clients and agencies.

Traffic and time on site increase

The most obvious one, and yet, businesses often lack the necessary expertise required to achieve this task.

Traffic increase is triggered by a good content marketing and SEO strategy. Finding the relevant keywords, and getting across the right key messages will drive users onto your website. When Queensferry Hotels realised they needed to increase their traffic, we helped by carrying out keyword research specific to its local market (i.e. within Edinburgh), and also by organising a content marketing strategy displaying promotional offers, enhanced with great quality visuals for a greater user experience. Once completed, overall traffic increased by 8% over a 3-month period for one of the group's websites (Bruntsfield Hotel) and the mailing list grew for the Bisque Bar & Brasserie.

Once a great digital marketing strategy is in place, you should see the time spent on your website increase accordingly, and the more time users spend on your website, the more opportunities you have to sell your services. The Chester Residence needed to ensure users appreciated the quality of luxury accommodation they provide through their website so, we delivered a website which would mirror the high-end level of services offered by the Chester Residence, and worked especially on the visual aspect to attract customers and encourage them to remain on the website for as long as possible. This enabled our client to up-sell their services via the booking of packages displayed on the website.

“Web Foundry are fantastic to work with, they have a great dynamic in the sense of they are happy to sit down and discuss all the different elements to make sure that the actual website is specific to our own needs”
Jill Darling, Chester Residence

Responsiveness

This one has been at the centre of the attention these last few years. Having a responsive website is no longer optional if you want to continue attracting new customers, since it also plays a role for your ranking on search engines. Knowing that more and more people browse the internet via their phones or other mobile devices, it becomes very important to develop adaptable websites which give an equal level of browsing comfort as the desktop version. As an example, traffic to the Bruntsfield Hotel website is divided 51% from desktop and 49% from mobile and tablet.

We pride ourselves in delivering websites that are fully responsive. We make bespoke templates to ensure every business gets a website which will offer a unique experience to its users. As an example, being able to book a hotel room from a phone or a tablet is expected of any hospitality business website: the importance of setting up a responsive booking system onto your website will naturally have a major consequence in the amount of bookings you will receive. Yet, there is also a notion of ‘target’ which is implied in the process: if you’re trying to reach younger generations who use portable devices on an everyday basis, then yes, get responsive now! All of our clients’ hotel websites are integrated with the MICROS-Fidelio booking system which enables users to book their rooms online, from any device - this includes Queensferry Hotels, The Chester Residence and The Chester Hotel.

“More than 25% of our room reservations comes through the website so we need to be well-organised in web reservations - it is vital for us.”
Russell Imrie, Queensferry Hotels

Partnership

Clients in the hospitality industry are busy providing first-class service to their customers so often don’t have the time or resources to manage projects. An agency is here to bring its expertise and experience to get the best out of projects; and this, can often be finding a way of working that suits the availability of the client. We live in a time where it is more than feasible to work with a client remotely but still make them feel we are next to them every step of the way. In the case of The Chester Hotel - a luxurious hotel which is based in Aberdeen - we provide them with ongoing support and training, on top of website development and design. Although we ensure regular face-to-face meetings where possible, collaborative online tools including Basecamp (project management) and Skype for meetings and training sessions, ensure we make the most of the time the client has available.

We can help

Competitiveness in the hospitality industry is tough and needs a well-thought strategy to be at the top of your game. Web Foundry can offer you the tools to make your website easily findable on search engines, up-sell your services online and make sure that users get hooked on your website, no matter the device they use to browse it from.

Making your business flourish is something we have experience with, so don't hesitate to contact us and we will see what we can do for you.

One connected team. Endless possibilities.