Help me, my website company failed me!
With the majority of bookings coming from online channels, the importance of website performance is paramount to your overall business success!
Many accommodation sites are designed by teams of people (web designers) whose jobs are to build websites that look pretty or mimick the accommodation's brochure. Oh hum! Why is this wrong you say?
Well, it’s really simple. Developers have one goal in mind; they build websites. These are generally created to look good but have no positive impact on bookings, because they don’t know the Five Stages of the Travel process and how to funnel website visitors through the process to booking. It is the end user experience and the end goal or objective of your accommodation website that is important.
Don't let any web developer build your tourism website until you read this
Success online for accommodations comes down to making sure that you generate the most bookings for your property directly. This means generating low cost, or no cost commission bookings! The best policy is to make sure that whoever builds and manages your website knows the tourism industry.
Using a business who specializes in tourism and has an active interest in accommodation will enable you to flourish not only in terms of bookings made but also help create ambassadors for your business.
So before you sign up and build your website, run your eyes over the following checklist. If your prospective web design company fails in more then one of these rules, walk away!
Rule 1. Unless they are experts in the tourism industry how can they build a website for your target audience? Think about it; if you want a website to perform, then work directly with a company that not only knows how to design and build a solid website but also knows how the accommodation industry works, the distribution options like OTAs and how tools like Google my Business can build bookings.
Rule 2. Unless they can support you in keeping up to date with changes in Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, AirBnB, Viator and other online distribution channels.
Rule 3. If they are only available 50% of your working day, stop! It's important to have a connection during your time zone just in case something goes wrong with your site.
Rule 4. Check out their reviews, their team, and their product offering. Do not get sideswiped by a slick salesman who wants to hit his or her monthly target and promises the world!
Rule 5. Does your website company understand booking engines? How will your booking engine integrate with your website? Does it feel streamline and natural or does your booking engine bounce to a new tab or look like a separate website because it doesn't align with your branding?