Are you losing customers because of your bed and breakfast website? If it’s difficult to use, guests will be instantly put off! Here are 5 quick and easy ways to improve your website usability and make sure you’re not wasting your potential.
1. Make Navigation Clear and Intuitive
Is it easy and intuitive to move from one page to another on your website? When customers can’t find the page they’re looking for easily, they leave the site before making a booking.
The best way to check is to imagine you’re a customer – put yourself in their shoes and try to move around the website from information to photos to prices and booking. If it doesn’t work smoothly, think how the navigation could be improved.
Clear, large links at the top of the website or on the left hand side are a good way to make navigation to different sections easy for customers. Divide the content into manageable and logical chunks – such as About, Rooms, Location, Book – and add links to these pages that are bold and accessible.
2. Use Good Design Practices
How does your website homepage look? Is it designed in off-putting bright colours? Is the text a good contrast to the background and easy to read? Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in a design idea and wanting to make your website stand out from the crowd. But light coloured text on a dark background doesn’t help your customers read and engage with the content on the page – in fact, it’ll send them scuttling away before making a booking.
Simple is best when it comes to user friendliness. Keep backgrounds light and easy on the eyes, with large sized font in dark colours for any text. Avoid elaborate fonts as well and stick to something simple like Times New Roman or Calibri.
3. Use Concise Content
Do you have long pages of content on your website? Although it’s important for you to express yourself and to tell customers all about your bed and breakfast, the aiming of writing for the web it to keep it as short, clear and concise as possible.
Avoid long paragraphs and sentences and cut all about the most essential content – especially on the homepage. Pictures speak volumes, so let high quality images present your B&B in the best light.
Find out more with our golden rules for writing for the web.
4. Make it Easy to Scan
With so much information available on the internet, market research has proved time and again that customers need to understand everything in a single glance. You can improve your website usability by making it easy to scan and digest.
Headings, web page titles and bullet points all help your potential guests to find all the relevant information by scanning the page. Remember to put the most important thing about your bed and breakfast right at the top – try to sum it up in 10 words or less. For example, ’4 star B&B in the city centre’, ‘cheap guest house near Westminster’ or ‘homely B&B in peaceful countryside’ – this is an at-a-glance description that’s easy to digest in a few seconds. Once you’ve pulled in the right customers, they’ll look further for more information.
5. Make it Fast to Book
The golden rule of business websites is to make it easy to buy the product on your website. In the case of bed and breakfasts, this means ‘easy to book’. If you don’t have a direct purchasing method on your website, include a link on the top or left hand navigation which takes customers to a instant online booking engine – such as your property profile page on Enjoybedandbreakfast.com.
Try to avoid contact and enquiry forms – new technology means customers expect fast results and having to wait and see if the room is free will often result in a customer choosing a different property that can be booked instantly.
Image: Thanks to Calsidyrose on Flickr
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Category: The Internet