Recasting a hotel website: the Explorers case

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Recasting a site is an important decision: what criteria to consider before getting into it? What return on investment to expect?

Feedback from Frédérique Houpert, Head of Digital for the Algonquin Group, and Patrice Liebermann, Sales and Marketing Director of the Explorers Hotel, followed by the exclusive advice of Adnane Kassamaly, our VP Web Studio.

 

Ideally located near Disneyland Paris, the Explorers Hotel is the ideal stopover for families looking for a unique stay in the famous theme park. This year, the Algonquin Group and the Explorers Hotel teams have entrusted FASTBOOKING with recasting their site.

What were your goals in the recasting of the Explorers Hotel website?

Frédérique Houpert and Patrice Liebermann: Our main objectives were very clear:
1. Increase natural traffic and engagement rate
2. Create a showcase that reflects the uniqueness of our establishment and highlights the facilities and services of the hotel.

What did you change compared to your “old” site?

It was essential to better value our special offers and our packages: therefore, we created a dedicated page with a detailed description for each offer or package

We have set up more stress marketing techniques to trigger the purchase: integration of a price comparison widget, pop-in messages…

We also wanted to offer more customization: this has been fulfilled thanks to a module that makes visitors register via their social networks account. A feature with multiple benefits: the visitor gets preferential conditions and a personalized welcome, and we enrich our customers database for future direct marketing actions.

Finally, we offer a Dynamic Calendar on our new site to ease the access to rates and availabilities. With this tool, prices update and display in real time.

At the end of the day, we implemented many changes while keeping the gist and spirit of our hotel, stirring up emotions and telling the hotel story through a tailor-made design.

And so what are the results you’ve recorded since the recasting?

Well we have fulfilled our goals! The site generates more natural traffic: + 37% of SEO-driven sessions, a nice increase of non-paying sources traffic!

We can feel that travelers are more engaged: the average time spent on the Explorers site is up, and the bounce rate [proportion of visitors who have visited only one page, Ed] has decreased by 10 %.

And in addition to having more visitors, they book more! 94% of travelers who open the dynamic calendar “convert” by going to the next step of the reservation journey.

Globally, more than one out of five travelers who visit the Explorers website land on the booking engine.

And last but not least: since the recasting, mobile traffic has almost doubled. This is a real good news given how sales skyrocket on this channel.

So, are you satisfied?

Completely! The FASTBOOKING team immediately understood what we wanted to do: highlight our special offers and packages, and promote them on social networks. This is totally the mindset of our establishment! Trusting FASTBOOKING has allowed us to quickly achieve very good results.

 

The expert’s word

When should you decide to completely recast your hotel site rather than adjusting it? What are the golden rules? Tips from Adnane Kassamaly, VP FASTBOOKING Web Studio:

Why recasting your website is important?

Attracting visitors to your site is not a piece of cake! A declining SEO or a rising bounce rate can be signals that your site is outdated.
The first reason for considering a recast of your site is certainly the evolution of habits on the internet: is your site always adapted to new mobile devices and to the mobility of your visitors (responsive, search on mobile, multiple devices booking, geolocation…)? Does it incorporate the latest developments in search engine algorithms?
It is also important to refresh its content: a user will rarely click on a link whose referencing date is in 2015, or on obsolete or uninviting photos. Take the opportunity to integrate 3D as well as video!
Finally, technologies evolve rapidly, and your site can benefit from the latest technological innovations and web marketing. I see, for example, sites that still integrate flash plugins: at best, when it works, it takes time to display and degrades the user experience. At worst, the content is not displayed at all.
If a site does not appeal, the user will not come to stay at your hotel: a site that no longer respects the digital codes trends in terms of design and user experience geopardizes the credibility of the hotel in itself.

What is a website lifespan?

In addition to animating your webiste with regularly renewed content, you need to plan an evolution of your site every two years, whether it involves a complete restructuring of the design to optimize performance or a simple ‘refresh’ through additional widgets, new pages, photos, videos, or localization with translations, to boost your site.
Your site is the virtual lobby of your hotel: in the event of a major change in your offer (new services, new positioning, renovation…) check if the site of your hotel still conveys its DNA and its value proposition.

What are the main steps to take before the redesign of a site?

Start by analyzing your performance to understand what’s working, what your visitors favor, what you need to improve and what’s missing compared to your competition
Then comes the time of definition: your strengths & assets, the facilities and services you want to highlight, your brand identity, the other websites that make you dream, your content, your internal dedicated team for the recasting and nurturing of the site, your marketing campaigns, in what context and from what needs was the website project born (communication, sales, marketing, legal, performance, organization, strategy, competitive set)?
No success without clear objectives. Define your goals and document what you want from this site and how to measure it!

 

Discover the Explorers Hotel website

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Contact one of our experts to diagnose your site

Published on: December 5, 2017
Author:
FASTBOOKING’s e-commerce solutions will help your hotel increase profit through a direct sales strategy.

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