By Justin Thareja on March 1, 2011 at 7:23 PM
As a hotel site owner, you may have created the world’s best hotel website, you may believe it is the elephant in the room, which no one can ignore. Cheers, but are there any “suitors” for your elephant? Is it drawing in the traffic? Is it paying you dividends? If silence is your answer, then let the truth be told. Successful, prosperous websites are gauged by traffic (to a degree) and meeting website goals and not by buzz. And to reach the pinnacle of successful online is to think like an end user, not a site owner. Below are some ideas to help you with your transition from site owner to end-user.
Is Your Message Mixed?
Make the site’s goal loud and clear. If you are selling French perfumes online, push it to the forefront of the site, rather than splash images that do not call for measurable and tangible action.
Blend Your Design With Content
Too much design, too little content, is like gloss that ends up as gross. The content has to be populated the right way, across the shell, homepages, section pages and interior pages. Don’t be mesmerized by design, but don’t give it a cold shoulder either. Form should follow functionality, and not the other way round.
Ease of Navigation
How does your navigation link work? Is it easy to use or a potential trap for visitors? A visitor should not feel challenged. He should be able to go where he/she wants on your site, quickly and easily, period. Using a search box on the site is the way to go, to get your visitors to their product/service directly.
Do Not Ignore The Shopping Cart
There are a million shopping carts out on the web, so you should know how to pick and choose the right one with the right fit for your site. Default shopping carts are best avoided; always go for a branded shopping cart, to lend credibility and confidence to your purchaser. You cannot be too careful when it involves your customer’s money!
How to Remain in Style – Always
On the web, today’s trends are passé tomorrow. It’s the perils of e-commerce evolution. So how do you retool your site’s design that might look archaic sooner than you think? Redesign your site? But it’s like a journey without end. The trick is to realign, not redesign. Think up ways to realign your site’s features with changing trends on the go.
Everyone loves to experiment, but don’t throw consistency out the window! In the hands of a professional web designer, your site will wear a consistent look – standard formatting of fonts, links, colors, etc. This is lost when you do the edits or touch up the site yourself, banking on your rudimentary knowledge of simple HTML by adding new content pages. A small change leads to inconsistent formatting – which might put off a visitor.
You Have Got Mail
You may have experienced this before: Impressed by the touch and feel of a great looking site, you look to see up the owner’s phone number – and you get lost, making you wonder for a moment, that the customer (the site owner) may be in hiding! Don’t make the simple mistake of sending your prospects hunting for your contact. Put your phone number/contact details in a prominent position.
Cash in on Merchandising Opportunities
Never miss up on an opportunity to make that extra dollar. Merchandising opportunities abound for your website, such as cross-sell, multiple add-to-cart, and other direct call-to-actions.
Practicing the above, especially as you foresee future growth and create a larger bouquet of offerings, will get you on your way to becoming the successful, prosperous site you once thought you had.