10 questions for a solid website foundation

When our company reached the 100 mark, we stopped counting the number of websites we had built. (Okay, so we’re past 200 — who’s counting!?) Regardless of the size of your property, its star ranking, location or feature set, the development of any successful website is based upon your ability to provide appropriate input to your web design team.

I imagine that your house was built on a solid foundation. The same should be true of your website! By utilizing this checklist for deciding which direction to take, you’ll be able to help yourself get the website that meets your business needs.

1. What is wrong with your current website? What are you hoping to accomplish with a new website? What do you see as the strengths of your current website, and what are the weaknesses?

2. What other property websites do you like and why? What other (non-hotel) websites do you like and why?

3. What is your property’s primary raison d’etre (that is, leisure, business, wedding, weekends, golf, casino, etc.)?

4. Define your competitive set. How do you differentiate your property from your competitors? What do you like and dislike about their websites?

5. Who is your core target market: demographically, geographically and psychograpically?

6. How do your guests view you? What differences do they perceive when comparing your property to your competitors?

7. How do your competitors view you? What would they perceive as your key strengths and points of difference?

8. How would you describe the character of your property? What special values do your property and management consider critical?

9. What are your key success measurements, including ADR, RevPAR, RevPOR, average rate, occupancy or TripAdvisor ranking?

10. Everyone wants site visitors to immediately make an online booking from your site. But, in addition to that, what key selling point would you like site visitors to take away from your site?