HOTEL WEBSITE DESIGN BY LOCUS FOCUS
OVAL MOTEL BENDIGO — AUSTRALIA
This popular motel located in Bendigo, Australia was hand crafted using Squarespace by Locus Focus, and is a great example of a simple yet information rich website that features photography foremost, and clearly defines the benefits of staying at this property.
There are very clear calls to action for direct bookings, and reasons to book directly with the motel.
Tracking the analytics of the website, they saw a 90% increase in traffic after switching to this new website, and a substantial increase in bookings (over 40%) that have been sustained ever since the launch.
HOW WE DO IT
Locus Focus utilises the fully managed cloud based web service Squarespace to create beautiful, responsive, direct booking optimised websites for small, independent hotels, costing AUD$1500-$1700 as a complete, turnkey package.
Squarespace is an amazing success story with a market cap of $1.7 billion in late 2017 and more than 700 staff all supporting and growing the platform, which consists of a CMS (Content management system), Website Builder and the actual underlying Hosting Platform.
What you get is everything you need in one fully supported and managed service, without the need to purchase additional services, plugins, templates, themes and their associated burden and technical problems.
It is almost impossible to break a Squarespace site. It also offers incredibly beautiful designs that are favoured by with little need for further design customisation other than your branding (logo, colours and typography).
Locus Focus builds your site using Squarespace, then hands it over to you for billing (they charge AUD$25 per month) and management of the ongoing content. There is no reliance or dependence on Locus Focus or any other party going forward, unless required. We charge a flat fee to build the site for you.
For more information about Squarespace, please visit their profile on Craft.
Why we use Squarespace
Firstly, all of our clients are smaller (less than 100 rooms), boutique independent hotels in the APAC region with unique stand-alone brands, and not part of a chain or franchise. That means each website can be tailored to the unique guest avatars that stay at the hotel, consistent with the brand messaging.
We focus on optimising the content of your website more so than the design or coding. Paying for a custom designed website is not in the best interests of a smaller independent hotel for many reasons including:
- The added cost of ongoing maintenance and updates.
- The longer lead time and initial cost up front.
- Increased bugs, design flaws and user experience issues.
- Your money can be better spent elsewhere, in terms of return on investment.
The benefits of a Locus Focus Hotel Website design using Squarespace are:
- Increased direct bookings due to optimised copywriting, messaging and design.
- Clear and prominent "Book Now" buttons linking directly to your booking engine.
- Improved guest experience with clear, easy to find and understand guest information and hyper local area attractions.
- Squarespace has built-in support for TypeKit and Google Fonts meaning adherence to your brand standards and a unique look and feel for your hotel.
- A 100% responsive website design that works perfectly on mobile, tablet and desktop.
- We use HTTPS for all websites which means the entire site is secure, encrypting all guest information and providing a ranking signal for Google. There is no extra cost for HTTPS.
- Built-in marketing tools such as mobile information bar, announcement bar, promotional pop ups, analytics, google maps, contact forms that are all utilised out of the box.
- Updates, maintenance and support are provided by Squarespace, so no unexpected extra costs.
Once we understand your typical guest avatars and combine this with a clear narrative about the unique benefits of staying at your hotel, your website will convert more visitors to direct booking guests.
With Hotel Website Design by Locus Focus, most of the story of your hotel and how it meets the needs of guests is told through great photography.
If you don't already have great photography that makes sense for the scale of your property and the number of rooms, we can:
- Take great photography for you based on our hotel photography services.
- Project manage a local hotel photographer for you on a consulting basis.
We are unable to accepts clients for Locus Focus Hotel website design that have poor photography, because this should be your first priority.
ONE MAJOR CAVEAT - GET GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY FIRST
There are at least 11 Types of Hotel photography. All of these types of photography from interior shots, to hyper local attractions are critically important to the philosophy of successful "Locus Focus" hotel marketing.
Therefore, we only offer hotel website design to independent hotels that already have great photography, or engage us to shoot their hotel photography. If your current photography is poor, this should be your initial focus.
Getting great photography is the first step before updating your website. It has the potential to impact on increased revenue and direct bookings even more than updating your website.
Your hotel website is really just the scaffolding for your content, including logo identity, copywriting and photography.
DIGITAL MARKETING PLATFORM
With a modern, versatile and constantly improving platform like Squarespace, we also lay the groundwork for best practices in hotel digital marketing including:
- Organic Search Engine Optimisation of your website that helps search engines find content and deliver it in search results. Search engine optimisation of the entire site is included.
- Google Analytics statistics and tracking so further improvements and insights can be made over time.
- A solid blogging platform where you can now leverage hyper local attractions photography to blog about why guests should stay at your hotel, attracting more traffic and bookings.
- Facebook pixel integration for future audience remarketing etc.
- An events page where you can blog about upcoming local events and get the head start on competition in terms of getting the attention of guests planning a stay in your area. This may form the basis of your content marketing strategy, in addition to other content creation.
In short, Squarespace can provide a very robust foundation for both your current and future digital marketing tactics, which we will leverage to the fullest extent.
Locus Focus Hotel Websites have a base price of AUD$1500+GST for hotels in the APAC region with 1-7 room types and standard facilities (a typical small, independent hotel, motel, apartment hotel, lodge or guest house).
They are affordable, and are fully inclusive of everything that really matters, except photography such as:
- Site meetings, planning and discussions over the phone and Skype or Facebook Video. For hotels in Brisbane, we normally do this on-site.
- Guest avatar, positioning and branding consultations (determining or confirming your typical guest avatars, so we can design the website messaging around these).
- Understanding your unique selling propositions, whether that be your location, amazing product or superior guest experience, we need to know what makes you unique.
- Getting to know your hotel at a detailed level to ensure we understand the amenities and features of each room type and the hotel in general.
- Copywriting - rewriting room descriptions and hotel summary information and landing pages for key pages and facilities as required.
- All the static pages required for a modern hotel marketing website such as contact pages with forms and Google Maps, Group Booking Enquiry forms, Local Area Attractions, Room Pages etc.
- Typography selection - choosing appropriate fonts and combinations consistent with your branding if this does not already exist in a branding style guide.
- Template selection - selecting the best Squarespace template for your hotel, depending on the above and your business objectives. Extensive styling of this template to meet your brand requirements.
- Search Engine Optimisation - optimising the main home page and every single static page on the site, after considering your local market and competition and devising a keyword/phrase strategy.
- Integration of all analytics, third party platforms and tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Mailchimp, Social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram etc. (excluding conversion tracking, but available on request).
- Uploading and presenting all your amazing photography to the website, and captioning it to appeal to the target guest avatars.
- Integrating your existing booking engine which is normally part of your property management system (PMS) but may also be provided by your channel manager e.g. The Booking Button.
- Managing the correct migration of an HTTP site (non secure) to your new secure HTTPS site (which will change all URL's in Google). This is managed correctly so it has minimal impact on Google search results, through the use of appropriate domain forwarding, 301 redirections and Google Search Console management.
- The actual DNS transfer process, the technical side of pointing your domain to Squarespace servers. This is not trivial, and can take several hours to plan and manage the migration.
- For hotels that also have a dedicated on-site restaurant or bar serving food (excluding cafes or motel breakfasts) then there is an additional AUD$200+GST cost for styling these pages, including integrating and styling your menus and creating a separate landing page.
- Larger independent hotels or resorts may require a quotation if they have significant other facilities such as creches, business centres, multiple restaurants, bars or cafes etc. Please contact us for a quotation if your property is more complex as we may suggest using Wordpress in these cases.
- Very small independent hotels, B&B's or accommodation providers, with one room type and limited facilities cost AUD$1200+GST.
WHAT COSTS EXTRA
- Photography (we offer hotel photography and online presence optimisation services separately as this step should come before a new hotel website design).
- Writing blog posts and descriptions of local attractions (this is best done by the hotel owner anyway).
- Squarespace training (editing content, adding blog posts etc). This is available on-site in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast or other cities during our tours, or via remote control of your computer using TeamViewer anywhere else for our standard hourly rate (AUD$80+GST).
- Extensive integration of existing content such as blog posts, this normally takes 1-2 hours and costs approximately $200 more.
THE CLASSROOM HOTEL PATTAYA — THAILAND
The Classroom Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand is a fantastic examples of a hotel website design by Locus Focus that emphasises the key benefits of staying at this property, and the local area.
Using a combination of internal room photos, restaurant and bar hero shots, event photography from the Classroom Music Lounge and an array of hyper-local attractions photography, we were able to present the hotel in a visually vibrant and stunning way, that pulls the guest into the property and the surrounding area.