How to Build a Better Website
Ensure your resort makes an unforgettable first impression with these tips for redesigning your website.
A lag in bookings, decline in page views and slow load time could all point to a need for a website redesign. According to recent eMarketer research, 51.8 percent of travelers are using mobile devices to book their vacations, so now is an opportune time for resorts to reevaluate their online presence. Create a specific plan for improvements before getting started, advises Leon Wallach, senior director of global e-commerce and consumer insights at RCI: “It’s important to determine your objectives and identify your goals and performance indicators.”
Here are four best practices to help create a sleek, seamless website that gets prospective owners and guests (and even current owners) excited to stay at your resort:
- Make it responsive. Code your website to adapt to the varying screen sizes of smartphones and tablets. “Users have little patience for bad experiences,” says Ty Saunders, product designer. “If you can’t provide the same experience on all devices, then a large amount of sales will be lost.”
- Augment SEO. Make your resort as easy as possible to find via search engines. Mobile responsiveness, again, is crucial: Google, for example, seeks out mobile-friendly sites and rewards them by ranking them higher in search results. “Once the site is live, resorts should evaluate content and pages on an ongoing basis to see if their Google ranking is improving,” Wallach says. Try keyword-checking tools such as Freshkey or Wordstream.
- Maximize visual interest. “Photography tells the story of a resort,” Saunders says. “It’s the first touchpoint and sets up the user experience.” Because a resort’s website often creates the first impression for owners and guests, investing in quality professional photography can help provide a much better idea of what the resort will be like in person.
- Increase scanability. Accurate, up-to-date and scanable text on a resort’s website increases its ease of use and helps provide owners and guests with easily digestible information about the property. “Travelers want to know about the rooms, amenities, services and dining,” Wallach says. “Make sure it’s written clearly and is easy to find.”
Image credit: iStockphoto