Guests looking to book a hotel room online are also looking for a good user experience on the hotel’s website. If the site is slow or confusing, they are less likely to book than if it loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and provides the information they are searching for. Google’s elusive algorithm acts similarly, ranking faster sites above slower sites in an attempt to please Google users. Since Google leads countless guests to hotels’ and inns’ websites, it is critical for hoteliers to be sure their website is performing well and loading quickly.
Ryan Solutions, a database marketing and CRM company, examined 4,800 hotel websites to determine if they were performing at a level Google deems acceptable. To do so, they used Google’s PageSpeed and tested hotels of different levels. Google has determined that a score of 85 (out of 100) or above means the site performs well.
Google analyzes two load times: above the fold and full-page load. “Above the fold” is the content that is displayed on the screen after landing on the page and before the user scrolls down to view more. Once the site has completely loaded, the full-page load time is measured.
Surprisingly, luxury resorts (4-5 star hotels) had an average score of 65 and only 6% scored an 85 or higher. Lower-star properties (2-2.5 star hotels) performed better than luxury hotels with an average score of almost 70. Clearly, luxury properties need to improve the speed of their sites in order to please both Google and their guests. Ryan Solutions suggests that these slower sites may be a result of complex websites.
Hoteliers looking to improve page speed on their properties’ sites can update and simplify their websites by making the small adjustments that Google identifies as problems, or they can redesign using a less complex, but still user friendly layout.
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