A high quality, personalized hotel website can be one of the best assets for any hotel. It bypasses the plethora of OTAs, is more authentic than a brand website, and can be used to highlight the very best of what you have to offer.

Here’s five top tips for how to make sure your hotel’s website isn’t just functional, but also a cut above the rest.

1. Make it user friendly
This should be a no-brainer, but convoluted, hard to use websites kill revenue. However, a good design isn’t just easy to navigate on one screen, it should be responsive. This means it’s designed to look great on everything from full size PC screens, to laptops and tablets, to smartphones. Responsiveness is so important, even Google has started taking it into account in search ranking algorithms. This means if your website performs badly on smartphones, it’s probably also performing badly in search engine rankings.

2. Emphasize the best of your location
Remember that people stay in hotels to travel, not the other way around. Your best asset is your destination. The local culture, history, food and events. Your website should reflect this, showing how your hotel is not just a great place to crash, but also a conduit to a fuller, authentic local experience.

3. Make it beautiful
This should also be pretty self-evident, but the fact is ugly websites are a dime a dozen. A generation ago, this was acceptable. High resolution images were off limits in the days of dial up, and tools like JavaScript were in their infancy. Nowadays, bare bones websites are simply unacceptable, and will turn off clients. Splash out with stunning photos of your establishment, and your visitors enjoying the best of what your destination has to offer. Splash out with aesthetics that will make your visitors excited before they even arrive.

4. Include user generated content
Believe it or not, SEO terms and chunks of generic text don’t inspire potential visitors. Modern clients value content they can see is clearly made by real people, and reflects an authentic experience. We’re talking about user reviews, user social media feedback, user photos and press coverage. Your website should be cram-packed with this kind of material. Also consider integrating a blog, to give the public an insight into the day to day highlights of your hotel’s life. The end result here is to create a story for your hotel.

5. Personalization
Remember how we said before that websites need to be responsive? Well, that doesn’t just apply to screens, but also to people. With modern website analytics, it’s easier than ever to pinpoint exactly what site visitors are looking for, and respond. For example, if a website visitor spends most of their time on the meetings page, the next time they visit they should automatically be shown your hotel’s corporate packages. If they don’t go near the meetings page but to visit the leisure page, the site should respond in kind. Perhaps the latter visitor should be shown your golf packages, or some other kind of content highlighting why your establishment is a great choice for anyone wanting to kick back.