Brand-name hotel websites failing to keep pace
A new study shows that top global hotel brands are struggling to optimise their websites despite investing huge sums in their online activity and knowing how sensitive their revenues are to website speed.
The study by London-based digital marketing agency Positive Partnerships reveals an analysis of 10 global hotel brands by Google PageSpeed, generating a comprehensive data benchmark (see chart below – data generated on 24 October 2017, scores out of 100).
The results suggest that many leading hotel brands are losing customers to Online Travel Agencies by not having a fully optimised website, particularly on mobile devices.
Leading brands such as Holiday Inn, Hilton, Four Seasons and Best Western all have a long way to go to satisfy Google with their website PageSpeed scores, despite the big marketing and technology budgets at their disposal.
Many of the big hotel groups seem to focus on aesthetics above usability, with media-heavy sites leading to a lower than average page speed. While this is understandable for the luxury brands in the study which wish to create an immersive experience for their visitors, it is less clear why budget brands like Ibis (Accor) do not pay more attention to PageSpeed.
Direct bookings are after all essential to the bottom line for all hotel executives who wish to achieve a positive return on investment from their extensive online activity.
Rajul Chande, managing director of Positive Partnerships, said: “We’re always surprised to discover how many brands miss the opportunity to build faster websites.
“Having worked with many clients in the travel and hospitality industry over the years, we’ve noticed that companies tend to focus on more ‘sexy’ activities like social media or design, when in fact site speed optimisation would offer them an immediate return on investment.”
With these findings in mind, Positive Partnerships has developed a service to help travel companies to boost their page speed and give their SEO keyword rankings, conversions and revenue an immediate shot in the arm, for a relatively modest investment.