Can You Leave A Bad Review On Booking.Com What Happens Hotel Chains Have the Worst Websites

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Hotel Chains Have the Worst Websites

If you’ve ever tried booking a hotel room from a hotel chain, you won’t be surprised that hotel chains score the lowest on customer usability among travel-related websites. The report comes from eDigitalResearch, the results summed up by Travolution:

EDigitalResearch said hotel chain websites were too corporate for their leisure users. They lack key accommodation and destination information and do not include customer reviews.

Online travel agencies are stealing direct reservations away from hotels, and particularly chains, due to the poor usability of those websites. Hoteliers must invest in their own, branded hotel website in order to retake direct online reservations from OTAs. eDigitalResearch took the following things into account when judging websites:

Ease of Navigation Information architecture (IA) is the structure of a website–where important information is placed. If your website has good IA, it is easier to navigate. The best websites have all the important information, such as photos, rooms, locations and a reservation button, right where the browser expects to find it. Websites with poor IA force the browser to hunt for the information he needs, which reduces his chance of actually booking a room.

Travel Inspiration What inspires a guest to book a room? Photos! Most people are visual learners. They need to see what a hotel is like before booking a room so that they can make their decision. Hotel websites need large, glossy photos front-and-center on the homepage, immediately showing off what that hotel has to offer. They need easy-to-find photo galleries with interiors, exteriors and local sights.

Social Media With social media booming–Facebook, Twitter and now Google+–hoteliers must embrace it, because that’s where the guests are. It doesn’t matter how scary, intimidating or confusing social media is. You run a hotel, your hotel needs guests, and your guests are on Facebook. It’s as simple as that. Good web design incorporates social media into every page so that guests can easily share your hotel with their friends and leave you their thoughts.

Easy Booking Process

The worst thing a hotelier can do is make the reservation process confusing. I’ve seen this on innumerable hotel websites. Calender pickers that don’t work or have unexplained prerequisites, reservation engines that offer sold inventory, unclear reservation confirmations, a reservation button buried beneath five sub-directories–and so on. Good web design simplifies the reservation process and places a reservation button on every single page, so that guests can book a room wherever they are. This sounds obvious, but you’d be shocked how many hotel websites completely miss it.

Contact Info

When guests have a question, hoteliers need to be there to answer it, so they can secure a reservation. Having hidden contact info frustrates your potential guest and keeps him from booking a room. Instead, place your phone number, address and email address on every single page, in the footer at least, but also above-the-fold, if you can.

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