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Hilton Seeks to Improve Conversions with Major Web Upgrade

Hilton Melbourne Airport

Hilton Melbourne Airport

One of the world’s largest hotel chains has recently announced some major changes to its website to meet the demands of modern day guests and improve conversion rates from mobile platforms. The revamp and move to a new content management system will optimize the user experience for mobile as well as featuring new corporate branding.

The upgrade was announced by Melissa Walner, Hilton’s Head of SEO, at Stone Temple’s recent Next10 event in Boston. In unveiling the changes, she commented that it is absolutely critical for businesses to do everything they can to improve conversion rates, as even the smallest improvement by a fraction of a percent can equate to a six-figure increase in revenue.

Upgrading the site

Any SEO expert will know that the first step towards improving conversion rates needs to come from within. That means a website that people want to visit, with content that is interesting, useful and engaging.

Hilton was an early adopter as far as an online presence is concerned, and was one of the first corporate hotel chains to launch a website, back in 1995.  Unfortunately, the company has still been using much of the same site architecture.

Walner acknowledged that a full update was very long overdue, but commented that with almost 5,000 hotels spread across 14 brands, it was, in her words, a case of “moving an aircraft carrier, not a speedboat.”

Mobile first

Making the site as mobile responsive as possible was absolutely crucial for Hilton. Google’s mobile first strategy is an accepted fact, and the majority of searches take place on mobile.  According to Google, conversion rates have grown an astonishing 88 percent on mobile travel sites.

In fact, Google Maps is touted as the most searched travel site, because many last-minute customers are looking for something close to a specific location. Further evidence, if you needed it, that it is vital to have the right physical address on your website.

Social engagement

One area that Walner did not discuss was Hilton’s social media presence, but the fact is that no discussion of improving your web traffic is complete without it. The power of recommendations cannot be overstated, and every like, share or retweet will strengthen the brand and turn more lookers into buyers.

We can only assume that the upgrades announced by Hilton have given their aircraft carrier a new maneuverability and that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter will be its next ports of call.