The Tavistock House Hotel opened in May last year and owners Brad and Gill have worked 24/7 to get themselves on the map and make their website really stand out from the crowd. We spoke to Brad to find out more about what makes a B&B or hotel’s website so great.

How important do you think your website is for your business?

From personal experience, it’s the most important thing! If I was going to give anybody any advice coming into the industry it would be that that’s where you spend your money to start off with, without a doubt. Unlike the local papers or magazines, the impact you have immediately is just the most important thing.  

What do you think is the best way to capture a potential guest’s attention when they land on your page?

The first thing is pictures. That main picture is the first thing you see and that is worth more than a thousand words. That one picture needs to help the person who is potentially looking to book your hotel make their decision. For me, that main or banner picture is the most important so keep it strong and simple.

I think the homepage needs to be nice and clear and once you have their attention they’ll start looking deeper into the website for the specifics. I think the front page is all about keeping it simple with pictures and key headlines or facts, showcasing the picture of the best room or if you have a beautiful exterior – whatever the best feature or best room showcase it on that first page.

Would you advise getting a professional photographer?

Yes, I would pay for a professional photographer to come in and take the pictures as it’s the most important thing. A photographer gives far more attention to detail when taking the pictures, especially say if it’s a bedroom and you’ve got certain things in the way. If there are cords where the lamps are or something that could potentially detract from the main picture, they can notice, they can stage it and remove certain things on their software afterwards. It’s the equipment they use too, the quality of the camera and the pictures, they are far better. That definitely influences what people think of you as a business.

Is there any advice you would give B&B and hotel owners new to the business?

The most important thing is to get your website right, it’s your shop window. Your website is how you’re going to represent your business. I know from the feedback I’ve had about the pictures I’ve had done, the impact from that is the reason people have booked.

Check out the Tavistock House Hotel’s website here.

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