The 8 best ways to chase away guests from your website

The 8 best ways to chase guests away from your website

The 8 best ways to chase away guests from your website

After being in the online booking industry for a number of years, we have come across some beautiful websites and a fair number of sad sites.

We decided to make a list of the worst ideas we’ve seen. If you have fallen into the trap of any point listed below, perhaps consider making some changes.

Here are the top eight ways to alienate people and lose bookings:

1. Background music

There is a good chance your potential guest is browsing the net secretly during office hours, possibly contrary to the office policy of no personal internet browsing. By having music playing (albeit a pleasant, tranquil ditty), your site will be closed immediately (before the boss hears), never to be opened again. Gone is your potential guest. Forever.

If you play music on your site, you might as well shout at people too
If you play music on your site, you might as well shout at people too.

2. Prices on request

Ever been to a restaurant and noted the SQ on a menu? SQ loosely translates to, You’ll lose your appetite when they tell you the price”. You normally move straight on and choose something else more palatable. Although your prices are subject to seasonal changes and there may be a reason why your rates are not listed, it sends the incorrect message to the guest. In this age of information, all information must be easily accessible.

We don't really need your business

3. Blinking or flashing text

Unless you have a casino or nudie bar’ on premise, it’s highly advisable to steer clear of overly flashy banners or text. If you want to attract attention to a specific area of interest, consider deploying a large button with a distinctly different look than anything else on the site (without making it look too alien). Another possibility is to add slight intermittent movement to an element you’d like to have attention drawn to.

Cos this is really irritating.
In some cases, animated banners might work, but often it’s a pain in the… a… eyes. (By the way, it’s irritating, not iritayting.)

4. Oversell your establishment

If your establishment doesn’t have it, don’t suggest that it does! You will get caught out and the damage done by disgruntled guests will be irrevocable. A trip through TripAdvisor should convince you of the perils of perfidy.

Something

Container ship in wave

5. Cliché. Cliché. Cliché

Phrases such as Your home away from home’, Arrive as strangers and leave as friends’ should be avoided.

Why? Because it makes you sound like a (lazy) parrot. If you really want to add value by way of website copy (and you should), tell guests exactly what they can expect to experience at your place. If you feel the need to get flowery with your language, make sure the floweriness is understandable and relates to your offering.

Little men parroting one another

6. Broken or misdirected links

Make sure that all page navigation goes to where it is supposed to go. Also consider adding relevant information to your 404 page (the page visitors to your site reach if the page they clicked through to does not exist anymore). For instance, a good 404 page should have an error message telling the visitor that what they’re looking for is no longer there, but that they can have a look at this or that page or category (show categories or pages the visitor might like to see), and include a link to the home page.

Don't let your visitors get lost.

7. Too little information

Your website is your stage – provide as much relevant content as possible. In fact, rather have too much info, than too little. This does not mean that you should cram your site with bloated blocks of text. Break large pieces of content into easily digestible chunks and you’ll have the best of both worlds: lots of information, yet not boring.

Website intro text with lots of words but saying nothing

8. Bad or irrelevant images

Before posting an image on your site, make sure that it is of good quality and that it sells your establishment. A picture of your granddaughter may be dear, but will a guest choose to book at your establishment because of this image? If ever you’re tempted to post an image that gives a different impression of your establishment than what reality portrays, refer to point number 4.

Little boy

In conclusion

It all comes down to common sense, really. Integrity and honesty will go a long way in establishing you as someone deserving of patronage.

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