A hotel website is the most critical marketing tool for your business. It assists with branding, a better customer experience, and leads to more direct bookings. However, annoying website features can make it useless.
Quite honestly, a website is a necessity without which your hotel business can end up in grave peril.
Having a poorly designed website is equally bad.
As a leading hotel marketing agency, Adigital knows the importance of good website design, and it is among the first topics of discussion we have with any new client.
When planning a hotel website, one should not overlook any design element, no matter how small or irrelevant it may seem.
Everything, in the end, has a lasting effect on customer retention. After all, the website’s primary goal is to keep the guests interested, lead them to make bookings and have them return in the future.
While it may all seem simple enough, website design can sometimes have an unwanted effect.
Let’s find out how…
Annoying hotel website features
Below, we look at 17 annoying website features directly affecting hotel bookings and brand value.
Pop-ups are possibly at the top of the list when it comes to annoying hotel website features.
At the same time, pop-ups are somewhat of a necessity, so you can’t simply remove them.
Pop-ups can be for various reasons. One of the main is to take cookie consent as per GDPR requirements. Now, most people are used to this pop-up. However, to make it less annoying, you can have it as a bar at the bottom of the page rather than in the center.
Pop-ups for advertising various features and facilities at the hotel should be minimal. Also, ask your hotel marketing agency to analyze the results of which pop-ups drive the most results.
Most importantly, it would be best if you did not have pop-ups during the booking process unless they are to personalize the guest’s stay as per their selected preferences.
Autoplay video with sound
Auto-play videos, especially with sound, are among the most hated website features.
Here are some reasons why:
- They are unexpected, which leads to visitors closing the website instantly.
- They result in slowing down the webpage loading time.
- Videos require the visitor to take some action, which can be frustrating for them.
- Videos take up space on smaller screens like that of a mobile.
Furthermore, if a guest has too many tabs open on the computer, and suddenly there is music, sometimes it becomes a pain trying to figure out the source?
The solution to this problem is simple. If you have auto-play videos, keep them short so that it does not affect the website loading time.
More importantly, have them play without sound. If someone is interested, they will turn it up!
Irregular spacing and tiny buttons
We mentioned above that good web design involves paying attention to every tiny element on the page.
Guests on hotel websites often find it annoying when clickable buttons are too small or too close to one another.
There’s also the frustrating website feature when the “close” button is not visible on an advertisement until after a few seconds.
Avoid all this and allow visitors to instantly close pop-ups or advertisements.
Furthermore, remember the spacing, especially since travelers often visit websites on mobile phones, which means they will use their fingers to tap the buttons.
Slow loading time
Research shows that over 40% of visitors leave a website if the loading time for a page is more than a couple of seconds.
It also affects your overall SEO, making the page and hotel website lose out on search engine rankings.
Work with your digital agency to reduce loading time to avoid this annoying website feature.
This will generally include removing unnecessary plugins, optimizing photos and videos, and finding other elements on the page that might delay loading.
Unsupported back buttons
Everyone knows that feeling of having to go back to the previous page to make a change while filling out a form. But when you do, all the previous information is no longer available, and you must start from the very beginning.
An unsupported back button is a frustrating experience for any client filling up a booking form on a hotel website.
Your web developer can implement the fix to the problem by making sure the information is not lost should a visitor hit the back button.
Fake customer reviews
We’re sure you’ve seen those fake customer reviews with generic or one-line wordings and a guest photo which is clearly off the internet.
Even a hint of a fake review instantly makes the prospective guest doubt you.
The best way to tackle this issue is to link the review section on your website with outside reviews on places like TripAdvisor and Google Review.
If you want to highlight any specific review, ensure it links back to the same on the external site.
Quality over quantity is the mantra for content on any website. Sadly, many hotel websites, wanting to stay consistent, bombard their pages with irrelevant information, articles, or blog posts.
Furthermore, forced SEO headlines, incorrect grammar in the hope of capitalizing on keywords, and overall poor writing are website features most visitors find annoying.
All of the above is not only a lousy SEO practice but also a sure-shot way to lose the interest of interested clients.
Instead, work with your hotel marketing agency and devise a long-term content creation plan focusing on quality information.
We have previously written about the importance of visual media in a hotel website.
At the same time, any photos and videos you share should be of professional quality.
Poorly taken photos and videos inversely affect your hotel’s brand.
Simultaneously, visitors often find stock photos to be an annoying website feature.
When placing photos, make sure they highlight your property and its unique selling points. Hire a professional who can take aesthetically beautiful pictures that merge with the website’s theme.
Additionally, your hotel marketing agency should optimize all the photos so they load faster and help with SEO.
Confusing website navigation
Clarity and ease of use are a hotel website’s most essential features.
Not having an easy-to-understand or navigate website is exceptionally frustrating and will send visitors searching for another hotel.
Even first-time visitors should, in an instant, know where everything is on your website. A clean and visible copy, menu, readable content, and booking directions make for an inviting web experience.
Everything boils down to good website design. This is why you should always hire an expert hotel marketing agency that knows about the hospitality business.
Okay, this is not so much an annoyance but a missed opportunity. A blog allows you to become a source of information for the guests.
Since a website’s main pages must be succinct, you can write articles in extended form on a blog to share detailed facts about the hotel, its features, the people who work there, and the city you are in.
Again, by having a blog, you keep the customers on your website for longer, and they do not have to go elsewhere to get essential information.
Lastly, the blog assists with SEO, helping your hotel’s website pages rank higher on Google and other search engines.
Not mobile friendly
Imagine zooming in and out of a website while accessing it on a mobile device.
The sad truth about many run-of-the-mill digital agencies is that they still do not inform their clients of the importance of having a mobile-first website.
At Adigital, we know that a higher percentage of travelers use mobile devices to make bookings and search for hotels.
Therefore, the website should function as smoothly on a mobile as on a tablet or computer.
Furthermore, from an SEO point of view, Google has made it clear that it prefers mobile-friendly websites.
As an expert hotel marketing agency, we also know features such as videos that are acceptable on the larger screen of a computer can be annoying when viewed on a smaller mobile screen.
Keyword stuffing refers to adding unnecessary keywords to your website’s content, hoping the page will rank higher on SERPs.
It’s considered a Black Hat SEO technique that search engines look down upon.
Moreover, having unnatural keywords makes for a poor reading experience for the guests, leading them to leave the page.
Keywords should always be relevant and included naturally in the content.
Hotels place maps on their websites for two reasons: for directions and to let guests see what is available in the neighborhood.
Thus, having a static map can be pretty annoying as it doesn’t help the guest. Similarly, if the map does not link to Google Maps, it serves little purpose.
Missing social media buttons
Social media is the need of the day. Everyone seems to be on it, and quite frankly, it makes for an excellent medium for marketing.
Guests require a hotel’s social media information for various reasons, from feedback or contact information to tagging them when sharing photos.
Thus, building a website design that displays various social media links on most pages, especially the main page, is crucial.
Misleading Call To Action
Another annoying hotel website feature is misleading or misaligned CTA buttons.
For example, you come across a button on the main page of the hotel website that promises you a 15% discount on bookings. You click on it, only to find out that the page leads to an advertisement for an upcoming hotel event. Or, it may lead you to the general deals and discount page and not the specific one about the 15% discount.
While it might seem cunning, using the discount button to lead customers to a different desired page, this trick has a long-lasting negative impact. Most customers will no longer trust your website anymore and, by association, your hotel.
The solution to this annoyance is simple. Make sure you align all links to what they advertise.
Irrelevant “about us” information
As more and more travelers look for boutique properties around the world, having an “about us” page on your website is becoming necessary.
Sadly, one of the annoying website features is when such a page is very business-like, laden with information that doesn’t tell the guest anything about the place of stay.
Instead, use the “about us” page to form a connection with the visitor. Tell them a story, speak about the history of the building and its design, and don’t shy away from sharing your motivation behind starting the hotel.
Lack of distinctive branding
Creating a website requires a theme that should resonate with your hotel’s brand.
Opting for a theme that resembles other hotel websites can make visitors lose interest quickly. A guest planning a stay with you expects something different, and your website is the first impression you make.
This is also why hiring a hotel marketing agency with expertise is important, as they are knowledgeable about the hospitality industry and your competitors.