August 10, 2010
New Episodes Released!
Several new episodes have been released on the increasingly popular podcast for Hoteliers. The latest one is about website design.
Rohit talks about the many pitfalls that can easily be avoided and gives tips on selecting the right partner to work with.
A must listen. Click here to listen to it or subscribe to it via iTunes.
August 13, 2008
As humans, we’re an impatient lot. The Internet has made us worse. We want all the information we need NOW ! And if we don’t find it, we’ll simply click our way to someplace that does have it.
As hoteliers, you have to recognize this key consumer behavior and adapt accordingly. When a visitor arrives on your site, are you presenting all the “important” information to them right away? Or are you making them hunt for it?
Above the Fold
Most people already know what they’re searching for. Once they arrive on your website, you have about 5 seconds to convince them that you’re the ones they’re looking for. You might have what they’re looking for, but if its buried deep down the home page (or any other page they’ve landed on), then chances are that they may not even notice it. You see, people notice the information a lot more before they have to start scrolling down. The part of the screen that is visible without scrolling down is known as “Above the fold“. Consequently, the part that needs scrolling to reveal itself is called “Below the Fold“.
Lets say that your property has a swimming pool. If the majority of your business comes from the “leisure” segment, then you would do well to prominently feature a good photograph of that pool right on the home page or the amenities page. It HAS to be Above the Fold to be really effective. Several studies have clearly shown this to be true. Given that an average person will visit 3-4 sites before making up his/her mind, you’re clearly in a battle for their interest.
Interestingly, photos have the ability to convey much more than words (which take time to read). So if your photos are good, you’re already off to a good start. Show them off !
This is simply a matter of showing your best side (literally). Scan your website and see what information is Above the Fold and which is Below the Fold. And if you see a problem, call your designer and get it fixed. You’ll see the difference.
April 3, 2008
Hotels have it good when it comes to finding places where they can feature themselves. There are a million places where you can do that. However, extended stay companies or those that offer furnished apartments get a relatively raw deal.
But take heart… there’s a new kid on the block that can help you get some great exposure for your website for free – FurnishedResidences.com
This site is for Canadian companies only but hopefully, they’ll expand to include the US pretty soon. The design is very nice, the navigation is easy to use and the graphics are easy on the eye. They’ve covered all the provinces pretty extensively and they don’t charge for inclusion in their database.
Of course, if you’re in a crowded segment like Toronto or Vancouver, you might do well to shell out the nominal $25/month to get a premium listing which ensures that your property goes right to the top of the page.
They also have interesting articles on tips for selecting the right accommodation and what to do if you’re traveling with pets. Common mistakes are explained and the advice is generally good.
And lastly, it never hurts to have another inbound link to your site from another site…. It only helps your search engine ranking. So get over there and check this site out !