The web and sloppiness
The web is a bit like the mirror of the soul: just as we would hardly expect to see a maniac with a Italian tailor's jacket coming out of a dirty and badly repaired car, in the same way it would be difficult to convince ourselves that behind a web that is sloppy in technique and content there is a hotel that meets our expectations.
I'm often asked for an opinion on the cause of the very low conversion rate of the hotel's website and I usually respond with a question: "have you ever tried to make a reservation from your site"? Almost always the answer contemplates an embarrassed face.
Let's tell the truth: by now the world of the web has become a swamp where self-styled web professionals lurk like alligators.
A sort of poor man's Silicon Valley.
It happens that you come across a web agency that has become such thanks to public (and free) platforms with which it is possible to create a site in just a few hours. But it also happens that you meet web professionals who, however, lack the real support of the hotel owner, of those who should convey a message to their potential guests, telling them about their structure. And again, haven't you ever looked for a structure online and seen images of very bad quality, upside down and maybe with a nice toilet in evidence? Sometimes it's the booking engine that's done wrong, often it's a foolish pricing strategy: maybe too many variables that negatively affect the decision-making process of our guest.
But to really understand why a site isn't converting, you need to get the overall perspective.
Sometimes it's not just a matter of technology or content exploration pleasantness, but it can be a lethal mix of all the elements we've talked about.
How much time do our potential customers spend on our site? What are the most visited pages? What is their engagement?
What are the exit pages, i.e. those where they leave our site? Where do visitors come from and how do they find us?
More importantly, what is the purpose of this data?
Simply to plan a good investment and not throw money away.
Do you simply want to be present on the web in a decent way and delegate the sales to the big players of the on-line? Very well: a nice template will be more than fine and should not cost you more than a few hundred euros.
If you have decided to give it a try and you have invested in a booking engine and maybe even have the right pricing strategy, then continue in this direction and contact the real web professionals without forgetting that you, only you, can provide your website with valid content.
Remember that all elements of your new website are critical.
Language versions made with an automatic translator are unlikely to be appreciated by a guest who does not speak our language. Similarly, photos taken with a smartphone will not always succeed in impressing the visitor: shooting rooms is not at all easy and requires specific equipment. In this case, the advice is always the same: go to the professionals.
I still get outraged when it happens, as it happened a few days ago, to start working with a new customer who has recently spent a lot of money for a new site and find that he has thrown it away: US data formats (the web consultant said it couldn't be done differently!!!), the same pages completely different in different languages, terrible translations and enormous difficulty in simply finding the page where to display availability and prices.
Someone tells you that it is useless and your site will never sell anything because Booking.com, Expedia, etc. are too strong?
Forget it: it means he's already given up!