With the 2016 Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Association Show just a few days away, we thought we’d share some tips on how to improve your web presence in the hospitality industry.
Being Mobile Friendly is Key
The first thing to understand with websites for hotels and bed and breakfasts is that many people are searching on their mobile device. Nearly 70% of travelers are starting their search on a mobile device. Especially with bed and breakfasts, people are searching for last-minute accommodations on their mobile device. Services like AirBnB and CouchSurfer have increased the popularity of searching for a place to stay on your phone. So if your site isn’t responsive, this is the first area of improvement. If you’re not sure if your site is responsive, check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly test and find out!
Important Plug-Ins and Features
Now that you understand the importance of having a responsive website, here are some must-have features for your website.
Make sure that you have excellent photos on your site and that they’re optimized for mobile usage. This means that the images will be compressed for loading time on a smartphone. If your site doesn’t have pictures or they’re low-quality, there’s a good chance users will bounce off your site.
Ease of Booking
Once people have perused all the great photos you have featured on your site and determined they’d like to stay at your B&B, it’s time for booking! Making this as easy as possible is crucial to avoid users bouncing off your site and likely never coming back. Mobile cart abandonment is a problem in e-commerce and simplifying UX (user experience) is the only solution. How do you do this? Have different payment options such as accepting different credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal and the ability for customers to scan their card information rather than entering it manually.
Plugging in your Google Account to your website will only reap rewards. This will enable your location to connect to Google Maps which will make your website show up higher in search results when users are browsing in your area. People will then be able to easily access directions to your business!
The final step in enhancing your web presence is to take advantage of the social media tools out there. Having these accounts active will make you relevant and stand out among your competition. We recommend Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All three of these are great outlets to share activities on your events calendar as well as special promotions you may be having.
Upgrade Your Website Security
One way to get customers to your website is to provide them with a secure web experience. Upgrade your website’s security features by applying for an SSL certificate. This means that the transportation of the user’s information to the website is encrypted and secure. Having an SSL certificate is important because it adds a level of credibility to your website. It means an SSL Certificate Authority who has confirmed you’re using a secure and encrypted connection.
Not only does this help protect you and your website users from cyber security threats. But Google rewards websites that have an SSL certificate and improves your SEO rankings!
If you’re attending the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Show this coming weekend in Brainerd, stop by our booth to learn more about our web and merchant processing options! We want to help you and your business stand out in the seemingly saturated hospitality industry, and a great way to do that is to have an awesome website!