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Advising the hotel industry how to increase their online revenue

How hotels improve their websites and service

A recently published article by Hotels Magazine looks at examples how hotels or rather hotel chains have improved their hotel online marketing. The argument is that 31% of the people who visit an online travel agency site, book directly with the supplier and therefore the supplier websites need to be providing a good service. I’ve made a similar argument in a recent blog entry: Why hotels need an individual website.

The Hotels Magazine article explains how hotel chains start optimising search results, make download times faster and provide more graphics on their websites.

For example, the Sonesta Collection has moved images and flash content from its server to a content delivery network which makes their website download twice as fast. A content delivery network employs servers strategically in multiple geographic locations, each of them containing a cached version of the website, so that delivery time is speed up dramatically.

Another good example they give is the new E-Wave feature on the Paradise by Marriot website.
Marriott has created an interactive kit for the leisure traveler or meeting organiser, including maps and video. They thereby significantly increased the time people spend on their website (+25%). Moreover, users can upload their own video, generate their own itinerary and send it to a friend or travel partner.

To read the full Hotels Magazine article, please click here.

e-conceptory creates responsive websites for hotels using the latest technologies: HTML5 and fluid web design for all screen sizes from mobile phone, to tablet, to desktop computer.

Filed under: Hotel Online Marketing, Hotel Websites, , , , , , ,

Should you use Flash as the basis of your hotel website?

The answer is a clear and distinct NO!

While most agency clients love animated websites because they are so stylish, economically an all-Flash website just doesn’t make sense. This is for the following reasons:

1. Search engines hate Flash and how can your website generate business if it doesn’t get found?

2. Loading screens are annoying most people. In the past website optimation was a lot about download time. Even though most people now have broadband, they still don’t want to sit and wait for an entire website taking minutes to download. And even worse if you have to download a splash page first, with an intro movie you don’t want to see, before getting to the next loading screen for the actual site.

3. Flash doesn’t work on most mobile devices and they are becoming more and more popular. Who wouldn’t want to be able to book a hotel room on their iPhone?

4. Animation, if used excessively can really distract and annoy the user to the point that he leaves the site. After all, they just want information about your hotel and look at some pretty pictures. They don’t usually care about singing and dancing hotel logos.

5. Accessibility is not possible with Flash. Do you really want to lose customers that cannot navigate a Flash site?

However, while your website should not be programmed entirely in Flash, to use Flash elements is totally legitimate: Flash photo tours, for example or replace a static mood shot at the top of your page with a Flash animated movie. Even functionality can be programmed in Flash if you don’t programm for mobile devices, for example a quick reservation booking form, a location map etc. Important is, that the elements download fast and that there is enough text on the page to make it legible by search engines.

Filed under: Hotel Online Marketing, Hotel Websites, , , , , , , ,

About me

Corinna Witt : e-commerce, hotel internet marketing expert for hotels and the travel industry

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