Your website has a huge impact on the viability of your holiday home or tourism business. Put simply, your website can make it or break it. A good website will engage consumers, educate travellers, and convert bookings. A bad website, however, has the potential to erode your credibility and destroy your online reputation, costing you bookings and money.
While you may enjoy your holiday home or simply being in the tourism industry, you’d also like to make a profit. This article is here to help you make sure your tourism or holiday home website is in top shape so you can get more bookings.
Here are the critical website mistakes to avoid if you want more bookings and booming business success.
Mistakes to avoid
When travel planning, customers search many sources, encountering numerous websites. Make sure your website stands out from the crowd by avoiding the following faults.
Not having an optimised website
Having anything less than an optimised website is almost as bad as having no website at all.
A poorly optimised website will rank poorly in search, be difficult for customers to navigate and use, and will get you fewer bookings. Avoid having a poorly optimised website by learning how to optimise your business’s website.
Using low quality or generic photos
If you want to have a website that attracts customers, avoid using poor quality or generic photos.
Photos have been proven to influence travellers’ opinions on accommodation, so don’t use low quality, low resolution or outdated images. Generic stock photos fail to show the uniqueness of your business, so only include photos of your property, guests (with their consent), activities, etc. on your holiday home website or tourism website. Committing to high quality images will be one of the best decisions you make.
Out of date calendars and availability
One of the most damaging mistakes to accommodation and tourism website design is an out of date calendar.
If you have a static, out of date calendar on your website, interested customers won’t be able to see your true availability. This will prevent them from making bookings, and will also result in overbooking for your accommodation or activities. Both are critical errors.
Prevent booking and calendar accuracy issues by keeping all of you calendars up to date. Rezobx’s cloud-based automated availability and booking calender synchronises your calendar across all listed websites, including your own, which is key to increasing your bookings.
Without uniform branding, it will be difficult for customers to recognise your business.
You must have consistent branding for your business in all locations, including your website, social media profiles, listings on external websites (TripAdvisor, Expedia, Booking.com, etc.), and other branded media. Create a simple style guide for your business, defining company logo, colours, fonts, and communication tools.
Lack of calls to action
One common website mistake that many people make is leaving out calls to action. This means that there are no cues telling website visitors what to do, such as “Book now,” “Check availability,” or “View Photos.”
In order to get the most bookings, your website needs clear calls to action. Help customers navigate your website by giving them a clear, straightforward path to do so.
Difficult booking process
If your website’s booking process is slow, time consuming or confusing, you’re going to lose bookings.
To increase your bookings make your booking process as smooth and simple as possible for customers. The fewer steps it takes for customers to book the better.
An online booking system like Rezobx helps streamline your booking process by displaying up-to-date availability, securely processing payment, and integrating booking functions on your website and social media such as your Facebook profile.
No prices shown
Neglecting to show your prices or out of date prices on your website will turn customers away.
Every aspect of your website should be user-friendly, so make it easy for potential guests to view your current prices. When travellers are shopping around for activities and accommodation, price is a key factor they’ll consider. If your website doesn’t show price or current rates, it’ll be easy for them to rule you out altogether.
In today’s mobile world, it is absolutely essential that you have a mobile-friendly website.
Most digital travel bookers in 2016 (51.8%) will use mobile devices to make bookings, according to eMarketer. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll lose customers and sacrifice bookings.
You simply must optimise your website for mobile bookings.
Lack of distribution
Using only a few websites to carry your products is a big mistake that will cost you bookings.
If you are only relying solely on your website to gain exposure to customers, you’re missing out on the potential to increase bookings. Many travellers book accommodation and activities through online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and meta search sites like Trivago, so if your business isn’t listed on these sites, travellers may never even know you exist.
A channel manager like Rezobx distributes your available bookings to over 200 channels, ensuring that those looking to book accommodation or activities will see you.
Booking systems or processes that are not secure
If your website lacks a secure booking process, you will lose customers.
Guests want to know that their payment will be securely processed and that their credit card details are not captured, stored or passed on and remain confidential.
Use an online payment facility and payment gateway to process booking payments to guarantee security. Payment gateways are the technology that processes and submits payments from customer’s credit cards to you. The best online booking systems utilise built in payment gateways.
There are many things to avoid if you want to maximise the bookings you receive. By recognising and fixing the mistakes we have explained, you’ll have a better, more user-friendly website that will increase bookings for your holiday home or tourism business.
For more helpful tips on how to get more bookings, check out Rezobx’s accommodation and tourism business blog.