Post Covid relaunch –Prepping your travel & hospitality website
The UK lockdown has been hard on all of us, whether that’s meant your business has taken a hit, your working routine has changed, or you have just experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. As lockdown end and businesses re-open, turn your thoughts to relaunching your website. The travel and hospitality sector have been severely affected with many hotels, pubs and holiday parks forced to close altogether. Over the last few weeks, the volume of online searches for holidays have increased as consumers are raring to go and book their next short break. What preparations do you have in place to re-boot your website and ready yourself for the influx of new bookings.
As soon as you announce the resumption of your bookings you are likely to see a sudden surge in online traffic. Is your website equipped to handle it?
Make a few technical tweaks by updating your website and rule out any web development changes during the first few days of your post lockdown relaunch.
- If you’re expecting an increase in website traffic, it is worth checking with your hosting company that you have sufficient bandwidth and server specification to cope.
- Check with them to see what happens if you hit your resource limit. Some hosts will move you to a higher-tiered plan to accommodate for extra traffic.
- Your website may be reliant on a 3rd party booking system or other integrations via an API connection. Opening up your business for new bookings is likely to cause heavy traffic so it is also worth keeping your 3rd party providers informed to ensure you have enough capacity available to deal with a spike in demand.
- With heavy traffic also comes the increased threat of hackers. To protect your data and your website’s reputation make sure you have a current SSL in place, which encrypts communication between server and browser.
- Again, check with your web developers to ensure that your site’s software is kept updated and audit any plugins and extensions so that you are running the latest versions.
- The time it takes to load each of your web pages influences user experience and booking conversion rate. Use a site speed tester like Google PageSpeed Insights to see a broad picture of your website’s load speed. If there are improvements to be made now is the time to raise them before you re-launch.
- Check that all the images on your site are optimised properly for the web, as this will help with page load time. Check that all your images are consistent in quality and size and have an alt-tag to help with SEO.
- Give your website the once over on an iPhone and an Android smartphone to satisfy yourself that your website and booking journey can be used properly.
- Make sure the booking journey and the contact forms on your site flow properly. When someone makes a booking or fills out a form, do they get an auto-response email? Does submitting a booking lead to a confirmation page?
- It’s critical that every link on your website leads to where it is supposed to?
- Keep an eye out for placeholder text that you may have forgotten to replace with content. Make sure all your formatting is consistent and there are no oddities in your copy.
- Don’t forget to make sure you have the tools in place, like Google Analytics and conversion tracking so that you can measure how well your post lockdown relaunch is going.
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