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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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A Website Audit Could Boost Visits and Bookings – And They Are Free!

10/04/2016
In my last few articles, I have stressed the importance of hotels branching out and creating a custom website that offers guests a brighter picture of their properties and what they offer. But what happens if after your site is up, you are still not able to see the grand results you were expecting? All is not lost! 

For those of you who were smart enough to hire a company and have a professional site designed, congrats! You’re halfway there. That’s right, that’s what I said, halfway there. Having the site is just the first step: The most important part is utilizing all the features and advances in technology that your site should be implemented with in order to attract guests. 

A site is only as good as its features, dropdowns and the information that it is being delivered to your customers. If you are underutilizing your site, then performing an audit is the next step for you.

A website audit by a specialized web design company will help you to see whether you are using all of the feature-rich options that a professional hospitality website should have. It will not only let you know what is working, but most importantly, it will let you know what is not working and what might need to be fixed or updated. You do not want a site with features that you are paying for but are dead weight.
 
So what is an audit, where do you get one, and what will it really tell you?
 
I’ll do my best to outline these answers here to help you make a better decision on whether a site audit is a good decision for you. The first step is to search on Google for web design companies and find a company that is confident enough with its services that it is able to offer you a free website audit. Next comes the understanding that an audit is not and should not be a high-expense gimmick to have someone tell you everything that is going wrong. An audit should provide information to help you use your site to the greatest advantage, so that you are maximizing the number of visits and giving guests the proper tools to book in the most efficient way possible. A well-planned website should do that for you already. 

An effective audit should:

  • Evaluate whether the navigation tools are effortless for guests.
  • Ensure that the onsite booking process is fast and efficient.
  • Confirm that your website is simple, yet designed with a modern and contemporary feel.
  • Evaluate dead-weight content or pages that distract guests from what they really need.
  • Determine that the social media links are effectively placed and used.

There is so much more that can be found in an audit depending on how your site was designed.  Take the time to at least look into an audit. It’s free and could mean the difference between guests booking or flying on to the next hotel website. If you are reading this and wondering why your site is not attracting guests, then pick up the phone, open the yellow pages, or search Google for a web design company to do your site audit now. You have nothing to lose and it is important to be informed. Good luck!

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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