28 Feb Top 5 Features Your New Enterprise Hotel Website Design Needs

Building a new hotel website can feel like pushing the proverbial stone uphill. Make sure our five must-haves make the cut in your design.

must haves for new websites

There are a lot of decisions that go into creating a winning enterprise website (too many to talk about in a blog post!), but good design comes down to a few key elements that make up the foundation of a great hotel website. Here, we put together our own list and then compared it with the “must-haves” our partner Shawn Tracy of The Atom Group came up with to present this combined top-five features to include in a newly designed enterprise website.

UX Design beyond the Catchy Term

User experience (UX) is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot, but oftentimes, the real work gets glossed over. Don’t just design a website because you “need a new website”; figure out what you want that website to do – and how it’s going to make you money. Before design is even breached, you need to really dig in to your site’s goals. Of course, there are multiple goals, but stepping back to define how you want people to convert into hotel bookings, where you present valuable info that booked guests can find easily so they’re not inundating your front desk with calls, and several other objectives need to be where you start. And perhaps, most importantly, expect that some of your plans and assumptions may not pan out. Build a game plan (and budget) so that you can make adjustments based on what the analytics show is working and not working.

Responsive Design

Though some would say this is so widely accepted that it’s not worth mentioning, there are still a frustrating number of websites that are not responsive. Ensuring your hotel website looks good, no matter whether your viewer is using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, is paramount. In the travel and hospitality space where tablets are a big play for future guests considering their hotel options, it’s even more essential. The average consumer isn’t going to have much tolerance for a less-than-optimally functional website, so make sure you don’t lose a potential customer because of your site’s outdated design.

Nurturing Lead Generation

Gated content is the holy grail of any marketer, mostly because it garners the all-important prospective guest email address. Sure, you get email addresses when someone books a stay at your hotel, but what about those browsing your site’s content? You want to be able to nurture them down the path to conversion, so be sure to include the kind of gated content – be it destination guides or special offers – that will successfully gather email addresses for automated drip campaigns and regular, recurring email campaigns.

Heat Mapping Tools

Wouldn’t you kill to be a fly on the wall, watching exactly what your enterprise website’s users look at, like, click on, and behave? With heat mapping tools, like Hotjar and Crazy Egg, you can. From heat maps to visitor recordings (watch what real website users do!) to conversion funnels that tell you where your site visitors drop off, the mystery is gone from analyzing user behavior.

Card/Tile Design

OK, maybe this isn’t a “must-have,” but is one to consider to stay abreast of a top design trend – and we don’t just mean trendy but relevant for the foreseeable future. Card or tile design is the kind of layout social media channels, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, have made wildly popular. It’s now migrating to website design because of its usefulness in organizing large amounts of content – blog posts, images, special offers, CTAs, main text, and headlines – on the same page. In essence, card design allows the user to select one specific topic of interest – a blog post, for example – to explore further. It’s a buffet spread out for users to choose from instead of a layer cake where the user’s desired content may be obscured by between other layers.