How to Make First Impressions Last
Is your website costing you guests? If you haven’t updated your restaurant in the last five years or added new content in the last year, chances are it is.
As a hotel, your guests’ first impression of you is online. Take a look at your digital footprint. Is it compelling? Would you be impressed?
First impressions can be the difference to a booking or someone who looks elsewhere.
It takes 0.05 seconds for your website visitors to form an opinion about the visual appeal of your website. This opinion determines whether they stay on your website or leave.
In this article, we look at how to make first impressions last. Your guests’ first impression of your property is online, so you want to make it count.
Update Your Design
First impressions are usually design related, so it’s vital you have a good website design.
You want your landing page to have a modern, clean look with professional photos that are as compelling as they are beautiful.
Your fonts should be easy to read and consistent in size. For example, you’ve set your heading and paragraph styles.
You want a website that flows naturally for visitors as well.
Concentrate on User Experience
Making it easy for your website visitors to move around your website is also vital to your first impressions.
After all, you want your users to move past your home page and make a reservation with you.
To compel your visitors forward, you need to consider the following:
- Easy to use and understand navigation. Your website’s navigation must be clear to your users, or they’ll leave your website. It should also be intuitive so there is no thought necessary on your visitor’s part. In other words, they can easily find what they are looking for.
- Contact information that’s readily available. This means having your contact info including phone in a prominent spot on your website.
- Clearly defined room details, prices and booking information.
Bottom line: simplicity is key. Anyone should be able to get around your website without having to think about it or do any searching.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
This really should go without saying, but there are websites out there that are not mobile friendly. This is not okay in the 21st century.
Why? Eighty-five percent of adults think a businesses’ website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website.
If your website visitors have to pinch and zoom to get around your website on their mobile phone, you have a problem. You can basically count these folks as lost business because they are sure to leave your site.
Show respect for your website visitors by offering mobile-friendly responsive web design. This means your website looks equally as great on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers because it “responds” to device size.
Digital video is hot, and you can use it on your website to make a good first impression. (tweet this)
In fact, when you have mere seconds to convince your visitors to stick around, video allows you to get information quickly to your potential guests.
Consider using an introductory video as your main image on your website.
This grabs their attention and shows them quickly how wonderful your property is and why they’d want to stay there.
Video can also help reduce bounce rates (the rate at which your users leave from the page they landed on without going further).
By condensing your most important info into a video, you compel your guests to stay on your website and explore it further. This is because most people would rather watch a video than read the text.
Keep your video under two minutes in length and make sure it’s professional. It should give a beautiful overview of your hotel compelling website visitors to book their stay with you.
Don’t Worry About Scrolling
For years people have been screaming about the fold – “Keep your most important elements above the fold.”
While this was a very important design element in the 1990s, it is no longer so.
This is because there are so many device sizes these days, making the fold different on every device.
Basically, you can ditch any past notions of the fold. Today’s website visitors expect to scroll. In fact, they’d rather scroll than be directed to multiple pages that are short and overcrowded.
As you design your website, consider the flow of your page from top to bottom. That flow may look different on desktop and smartphone, so consider that as well.
Keep user experience top of mind while letting your website visitors scroll through your pages.
With a longer page, you have a better opportunity to highlight all the benefits of your hotel, reviews and more.
Use Strong Calls to Action
Another part of the good first impression is the call to action.
Obviously as a booking property, you want to make your reservation button and call to action stand out. Don’t make your guests hunt for it.
How do you know if your calls to action are working? Check out your Google Analytics. Make note of your bounce rate. If it’s high on your home page, it may be because you don’t have a strong enough call to action telling your website visitors what to do.
If you want a visitor to take an action, make it easy and clear for them to do so.
Consider testing different button sizes, color sizes, and the positioning of your call to action button. These can all affect clicks, so make sure you know what works best.
It’s also a good idea to let your call to action breathe. In other words, don’t crowd text and images around it because you want it to stick out.
The goal of your hotel’s website is to get bookings. To do so, you must make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to find your information and take the correct action.
Use your website design to not only make a good first impression but to direct your customers to the desired action on your website.
At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites that utilize your star ratings to help you stand out in the crowd. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website and compel visitors to make a reservation. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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