The Top 9 Website Mistakes Hoteliers Make

Catriona Ward
05th Jun 24 . Catriona Ward . Hospitality

The Top 9 Website Mistakes Hoteliers Make

How to perfect your website user journey and fix bad habits for increased performance and conversions.

In digital marketing, your website is the face of your business. Not only is it the hub for all the information users need, but it’s also the place where you can lead potential customers down the marketing funnel and secure their booking. Whether that’s a room booking, a table or a spa booking, it all starts on your website. According to a 2023 article from tandfonline, you have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression when users land on your website. That means you have to make an excellent impression and make it quick.

Is your hotel utilising every aspect of your website? Is your user journey converting? Are issues such as hard-to-read copy or a lack of backlinks putting potential customers off? invisionapp found reports that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, highlighting the importance of an attractive and easy-to-use website for users on all devices.

Not sure what you can improve? Well, we have what you need. We’ve put together the top nine mistakes that hoteliers make on their websites and provided solutions to ensure your website is performing as it should. Read on for insights into hotel-specific website tips and tricks from the experts in hospitality digital marketing.

Hotel Mistakes Your Hotel Brand May Be Making

When it comes to your website, we know a lot of work goes into the maintenance of it, as well as adding SEO pages and up-to-date information and content. As much as it can be tempting to simply add more and more content to your website to increase conversion rates or search results, there may be a few areas where a simple fix could see massive changes in your results.

Poor Quality Videos and Images

As we mentioned above, your website is the digital face of your brand. In a sense, it’s the cover of your book and, in the case of website designs, your book will be judged by its cover. According to recent data, judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics and your assets play a large role in that.

When designing and populating your website, ensure that you’re collaborating with your developers to get the correct dimensions you need for every media pod on your website. You can then apply these dimensions to your assets library to ensure your images and videos are of high quality and attractive for a user. For example, try to avoid using images that are sized 1080px x 1080px for hero or banner media as they will stretch and may cause pixelated images or awkward cropping. Having a variety of assets of different sizes will ensure that your website not only looks good but conveys the right brand message and style.

Cluttered Navigation

Your navigation is one of the most important parts of your website and its layout should not be neglected. According to KoMarketing, after landing on a company's website via a referral site, 50% of visitors will use the navigation menu to navigate your website. Forbes reports that users spend an average of 6.44 seconds focused on the main navigation menu, so you have very little time to present your offering to a potential customer. Ensuring your navigation is clear, uncluttered and easy to use is a key factor in your user experience.

Although tiered navigation can be a good way to map out your pages, nesting information too deep can put users off and force them to bounce. Ensure your content is easy to find from your navigation and isn’t hidden under lots of dropdowns. Placing your most important pages at the top will help users with their journey and ensure your most visited pages are clearly viable.

We always recommend no more than two levels in your navigation, ensuring these levels drop down with clear indicators of where the user is going next. This means keeping the titles of your navigation items simple and easy to read, avoiding long sentences or confusing titles, such as “Plan your special day” over simply “Weddings”.

A well-thought-out nav can help your brand increase trust and credibility - if users can find what they’re looking for easily, they’re more likely to have a good impression of the company.

Slow Loading Times

Did you know that 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load? This means your loading speed is an important factor in your design. Long loading times can lead to user frustration and a higher bounce rate with no action.

To avoid this and to keep users on your page for as long as possible, ensure you’re testing your page speeds every time you add, remove or change any content. Every millisecond counts, so experiment with images, or design elements to see if you can shave off those precious seconds to improve your website performance.

You can use tools such as Page Speed Insights and others to check your loading times.

Uninspiring Content

This mistake is especially important for hotels. Sure, you can list your menu items and spa offerings on your website but, with hospitality marketing, the art of storytelling must be a focus. For hotels, you’re not selling a product so much as a complete experience. The readers want information on your rooms and offerings, yes, but how you can present this information should be explored. This is where persuasive writing comes into play.

When presenting your offers to potential customers, concentrate on immersing the reader in the complete experience you can provide. Instead of telling them what they can do, show them by using copy that helps paint a picture of your business and allows them to envision themselves already on their stay.

Hotel marketing is a highly competitive sector, and this persuasive copy that aligns with your brand tone of voice will go a long way in helping you stand out to customers and tip the scales in your favour. In short, persuasive writing can transform your website from a static brochure site into a powerful marketing tool that drives bookings so ensure you make the reader feel included as you populate your web pages.

Neglecting Calls To Action

CTAs are the most important element in your marketing messages and should never be overlooked when striving to improve Conversion Rate Optimisation. Research by PNDEnagage shows that CTAs on a landing page increased clicks by 80%, highlighting the importance of these pieces of copy.

Often the penultimate step in your conversion funnel, these CTAs give the user one last push into taking some sort of action. Reports by InvisionApp found that “in an evaluation of 200 small business websites, 70% of them didn’t display clear calls-to-action for anything on their home pages”. Your homepage is often the first piece of your content that the user will see, so ensure you’re adding clear CTAs on each section of your homepage that encourage the user to find out more information or book.

A good CTA is a signpost that leads a prospect through a journey to become a guest. Not sure what makes up a strong CTA? The first thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have a lot of space to get your message across, so start your CTA with a strong action verb. These tell your user exactly what you want them to do next and create a clear indication of where they are going. For hotels, verbs such as “Discover”, “Explore” and “Book” are a good place to start. Try to avoid just stating that something is behind the button or link with phrases such as “Click here for wedding venue information”. Instead, try something like “Discover Our Unique Wedding Venues”.

Missing Essential Information

Your website is your hub for your brand's information and should be attractive, persuasive and, most importantly, informative. Users tend to convert to your website from other channels such as email or social media to find out more about your location, facilities or offers. When they land on your website, they expect to find all the information they need to make a booking or submit an enquiry.

Depending on your business, this may include more info on F&B menus or operating times, wedding enquiries or open days, spa treatments and breaks, golf tee times and more. As mentioned above, these key offerings from your business should be clearly listed in your navigation menu as well as showcased on your homepage to help the user find exactly what they need.

As best practice, all hotel contact information should be included on your footer, where users expect to see it the most. KoMarketing found that 44% of website visitors will leave a company's website if there's no contact information or phone number which can negatively impact your revenue. No user wants to spend their time digging through a complicated nav or through pages to find what they need, so ensure when you are mapping out your website sitemap that you consider the user needs every step of the way.

Not Showcasing the Local Area

For most hotels, your location becomes a part of your unique selling points that can help you stand out. Whether you’re providing a tranquil country staycation or an adventurous city escape, your location should be showcased throughout your website content. Focus on content that highlights the local area, what guests can do, and how they can spend their days when enjoying a stay with you.

A ‘Things to Do’ section can be a great place to house this type of content. Alongside some keyword research, you can not only provide information to the guest on what you can offer them but also help along your search engine results for key terms to get people on your website. With persuasive and high-quality copy, you can keep them there and nudge them further down the conversion funnel to make a booking. From Munros, museums and local events, there is the opportunity for you to capitalise on your location and add value to your hotel.

Ignoring Website Accessibility

Making your website accessible to everyone goes a long way in helping to improve your user trust and brand credibility. According to, Just 3% of the internet is accessible to individuals with disabilities, excluding them from the digital world and stopping them accessing the information they need to make a booking on your website.

There are many ways in which you can improve the accessibility of your website. Firstly, ensure you add alternative (or alt) text to your images. Yes, this is usually implemented as part of a wider SEO strategy but it also allows those who may be using screen readers to have the image described to them. With this in mind, apply descriptive alt text to all images used across your site to include every type of user who might land on your website.

Secondly, use headings and subheadings correctly to properly introduce what a user can read on the page. Skipping these headings for design purposes may be a style choice to improve the overall look of a page, but it alienates those who are using tools to navigate your content. In addition, create text content as readable as possible, thinking about every reader during the process. Keep writing clear, avoiding jargon or slang, to include those who may not have English as their first language. Alongside this, it’s important to use correct spelling and grammar throughout your content to ensure text-to-speech readers can understand, and replay, the information.

Poor Booking Engine Experience

Your booking engine is the last step in your conversion funnel, so it has to function well. As we know, commissions from Online Travel Agents like and Expedia can be high, so a focus on direct bookings should be high on your list of priorities. Your booking engine can be a powerful tool for getting those direct bookings, alongside incentives like complimentary breakfast or arrival Champagne, for example.

Neglecting User Experience (or UX), can lead to confusion and frustration which could see the user exit your booking engine, resulting in revenue loss. Efficient navigation with a clear path will guide your guests seamlessly through your booking engine to secure the booking. Alongside the UX, several security measures must be in place for users to trust your booking engine. These include, but are not limited to, payment gateway security and compliance checks.

Identify users' patterns and use this data to learn where users are dropping off to identify pain points in your system. These can then be investigated and updated to make the journey as simple and painless as possible.

How Click2Convert Can Help

As a full-service digital marketing agency with a focus on hotels and hospitality, we are the experts. If you’re curious about how you can improve your user journey on your website or about any of our services from SEO to social media, get in touch with us today and let’s chat about the future of your brand.

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