In the online hotel business, having more of something usually leads to success. Bookings, guests, market share – you can’t have enough of those. There’s one exception though. Property websites. In this post, we explain why having multiple websites only leads to more work, more costs and more confusion among potential guests.
Let’s start with the obvious question: why would a business want to have more than one website anyway?
In certain cases, it can make sense. For example, a large multinational company may own and run several domains and websites in order to cover different markets, distinct products or separate business divisions – and they have the resources to do it.
But for a small or medium-sized accommodation, having multiple websites for the same property can do more harm than good. Here’s why:
1. Multiple property websites dilute your domain authority
Although owning multiple websites or domain names for the same company may appear to cover all bases, it actually detracts from your overall authority in the market.
Firstly, travellers tend to search for a company by name, so having multiple domain names can make it difficult for a potential guest to even find what they need from the outset.
Depending on your brand identity (how you want to be perceived by customers), dividing products and services up on different sites can undermine the overall power and impact your property has on your main target audience.
Furthermore, while it’s really easy to set up multiple websites, if you later want to merge them as one site, it takes a significant amount of technical expertise – which doesn’t come cheap.
2. Multiple property websites hurt your SEO
There’s no denying the power of SEO (search engine optimisation).
Your property website is a reflection of your hotel marketing strategy and its overall Google ranking. The higher your property appears in the search engine’s results, the better placed you are to get direct bookings. And for that, you need original content.
Search engines reward websites that provide relevant content – pages that relate directly to specific search queries – with a higher ranking in their search results.
Running multiple websites usually means repurposing content across the various domains, and just having content that’s duplicated across multiple websites will end up hurting your page ranking on Google.
In addition, search engines like Google can find your web pages more easily if they’re linked to other forms of content. These links can be either external (to other websites) or internal (on your own website).
Having multiple, unmaintained domains increases the risk of accumulating bad links to irrelevant sites – or worse, phishing sites.
3. Multiple property websites only confuse guests
From the point of view of a website user – in your case, a guest who wants to find and book a room with the minimum of fuss – it’s confusing if they come across two websites that seem similar but are slightly different.
Even if you set up separate websites for different accommodation types – hotel rooms vs. holiday cottages, for example – there’s no guarantee that the right guest will find the right website.
Instead, aim for a smoother user experience by first making potential guests aware of your property’s brand, and then using attractive content and smart call-to-action messaging to help them select the accommodation that suits their needs.
What’s more, having more than one property website can harm your credibility. Guests using search engines like Google will be put off from making a booking if they come across multiple search results that appear to be different businesses with the same address, phone number, etc.
4. Multiple property websites take more work, time and money
On a practical level, it’s also important to ask yourself whether you simply have the resources – the hours, expertise or budget – to manage more than one property website.
Think about all the tasks that are required to run just one successful website: creating and uploading SEO-rich content, ensuring the design is mobile friendly, setting up security certificates, keeping an eye on site performance and analytics...
Now double or triple that workload, or imagine the cost of hiring someone else to do it.
Doesn’t sound appealing, does it?
In summary, it’s smarter to focus on optimising one website rather than trying to be clever and outwit the search engines with multiple sites (a battle you’ll never win).
Better still, why not save yourself time, energy and money by using a property website builder that makes it easy to change your site’s design, update your content and accept direct bookings? Check out BookingSuite web solutions for more information.