Documents > Reports > Hotel industry (November 2000)
 
Preliminary report
16 websites scanned - Date: November 7-15-17, 2000:
Epsom Manotel - Beau Rivage - Rhône - Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza - Intercontinental - La Réserve - Noga Hilton -
Penta Forum Park - Président Wilson - Ramada - Bergues - Bristol - Cigogne - Richemond - Armures - Tiffany
1. General aspects:
1.1. Search engine visibility - Test: Yahoo, Altavista:
Compared to the other sectors of activity already analyzed, the Geneva 'luxury' hotels are fairly well referenced in search engines. It was one of the first industry to understand the advantages Internet would represent; thus explaining why, within the 10 most visited websites in Switzerland, we find a large number of hotels - but not necessarily those in Geneva...
Research with the following combinations Altavista Yahoo
+hotel +genève
+hotel +Genève
+hôtel +genève
+hôtel +Genève
+hotel +geneva
+hotel +Geneva
4
3
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4
4
3
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4
2
2
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1.2. Websites compatibility with browsers:
This analysis will be performed upon request...
2. Ease of download:
Once more, the average amount of slow pages on the scanned sites stands between 30 and 40%... still nothing is made for Internet surfers in this area! Please remember that they are seeking more for information than for images (especially those of rooms!), even though this aspect is valuable for potential clients. It is far more important for them to quickly access the information they need, before "having the possibility" to see various pictures - such as the Alps or the look of a junior suite - by clicking on a specific link, leading to photos of higher resolution.
3. Ease of use:
3.1. Broken links:
As for the real estate industry, we noted that the number of broken links is very low. What does it mean? On the one hand - internally - that the sites are well managed (regular checks and clean-ups), bringing to a minimum the number of bugs which could occur while surfing on a site (one good point!). On the other hand - externally - it shows that these websites are not connected to others; i.e. they are functioning like islands ignoring one another - which is the exact opposite of the Web purpose - therefore becoming invisible for the search engines which pick up sites ONLY with regards to the number of links they have with other sites having a similar content (e.g. Google).
Moreover, the most important argument is that broken links frustrate your audiences/customers and make you look bad...
3.2. Attributes:
An attribute consists of tags (information) regarding the height, width and alt (alternative text description for an object) of an image on a webpage. Adding these tags decreases the time needed for a browser to render a page when requested.
Furthermore, an alt tag (name) allows to reduces "further" surfing difficulties; i.e. for even slightly disabled people or for users with the 'image function' turned off.
Here, missing attributes represent 40% - situation that could be rather easily improved... Yet, if adding an alt tag is technically VERY easy, think about the amount of patience needed when it comes to searching for every single image over hundreds or thousands of objects!!!...
Needless to say the more detailed a project is planned, the less amendments to be made later...
4. High quality content:
It is rather difficult to make an overall comment. Nevertheless, all sites present a similar structure (extremely customer-oriented), where it seems almost always possible to make a reservation - but this has not been tested yet. The only disappointment is that not much information is offered to other "surfers" apart from clients; e.g. potential employees or suppliers.
5. Frequent updates:
Generally speaking, approx. 20% of the pages are more than 4 months old… Part of the content seems to be updated on a regular basis - like special offers - which demonstrates the industry has well understood that a website must be "lively" for Internet surfers to return to it.
Besides, the software used to perform this analysis determines the 'last modification date' by reading the header codes returned by the server when a page is requested. So, websites setting the 'date of the day' instead of the 'last modification date' of a page render the test impossible; i.e. some pages might be 'old' but they are not visible... we therefore cannot establish which elements should be 'updated' on the related sites.
However, what should be kept in mind is that updated information increases recurrent traffic, customer satisfaction and therefore helps building trust! - in addition to the fact that old content should be examined to ensure it is still relevant!?!... for instance, it was rather 'interesting' to fall upon one of May's 'menu of the day', while we are already in November!!!
 
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