Critical Mass or how many people need to see a hotel web site before you get a booking?

I do not know if you have ever made an Nuclear Bomb. But if you had been involved in this pastime, you would know that you can lump enriched Uranium together quite safely. Then suddenly it reaches critical mass, and BANG.

A web site is a bit like that. You get a few people to look at it and you get really no business from it. Certainly you can live without it, and you wonder why you spent all that money on getting a web site in the first place

I was curious about it. The snake oil salesmen never really seemed to get down to what you needed to make a site work. Instead they talked about the millions of people using the Internet in general, or their mega site in particular.

To this end I can tell you that 200 million people have access to the Internet, and that figure is growing. And that a big UK site like the BTA has 10000 unique users per day. That shows you that all 150 million are not going to the BTA every day. And of the 10000 that do get there, you find that there are 24,000 accommodation outlets on the site data base. Figures given to me by one of the largest of the UK hotel sites show that they expect about 2 browsers per day to look at the average hotel page on their site

So if you rely on your hotel web business to come from a mega site, then you will be disappointed. You can expect somewhere in the region of 1 to 15 enquiries in a year from such sites.

So what are the facts

And it therefore boils down to how often you get 100 people to look at your web site as to how often you get an e-mail, and then a booking. It all boils down to numbers (there are some reservations to this statement, for example you could get more people to look at a site with the keywords "sex" or "free", but there would be little point of you were not actually offering sex or freebies, or possibly both)

My analysis of numbers of people looking at hotel web sites in the UK can be read by clicking this link

This analysis of 100 hotel web sites shows that the bulk of hotel sites are not getting near "critical mass". They are not getting enough visitors each day to generate enough e-mail to make it worth the hotel's time looking three times a day to see if they have received any e-mail.

The hotel ends up looking at their e-mail once a week, and when they do get a message and reply a week later, the punter has already made a buying decision at another hotel that did reply in 6 hours

So how do you make your web site work? Click here for an analysis

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