Hotel guest shopping habits are changing, as should your marketing efforts. A checklist for attracting more guests and outperforming your competition with digital marketing.
With many years of experience in the hospitality industry, we know that digital marketing in this space is not always easy.
Let’s face it, creating, managing and executing your own digital marketing plan can be time consuming, difficult and even draining. That’s why we have put together a quick checklist to help you achieve the most success from your digital marketing plan.
A well-built and optimized responsive website is the foundation to all digital marketing efforts and has the potential to be your highest performing sales asset. Think mobile-first! You can view a complete checklist for properly optimizing your hotel website on our blog.
In today’s market, your guests’ first impressions no longer take place the moment they walk through your doors. It happens when they visit your property’s website.
With dynamic content personalization capabilities, hotels can customize their website content specifically to the visitor.
Simply put, if your website is not aesthetically pleasing, is not responsive, lacks trendy functionality or makes it difficult and time consuming for your potential guests to book a room or reserve a table, it is likely they will choose to stay somewhere else.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Though having a beautiful website is an absolute must in digital marketing for hospitality companies, it is not enough just to build it and forget it. Now comes the task of making sure that your website is easily found by potential guests.
One of the most critical digital strategies that your hotel must have in place includes search engine optimization or SEO. In fact, our data confirms that over 50% of online revenue comes directly from natural search efforts.
What is SEO?
According to Google, search engine optimization is defined as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
Essentially, SEO is the process of making updates to your website’s content to improve its likelihood of ranking in user searches/making it more likely to show up when someone searches for something like “book a hotel in [your city].”
Why is it so important?
Say you are constantly battling your three nearest competitor hotels for the top position in search results for a given “hotels near me” query. A simple improvement in your website content could improve your ranking to help you secure the #1 spot in the results.
This may not sound like a huge accomplishment at first, but Google data shows that over 33% of searchers will click on the top result, 17% clicking on the second result, only 11% on the third and significantly less as you go down in rank.
There are many reasons why SEO is crucial for a hotel’s website, each of which should be justification enough to invest in getting your strategy straight. Here are just a few of the numerous reasons why you should take a good look at your SEO strategy:
- Strong organic search strategies (SEO) can drive over 50% of your online revenue
- Improve your company’s online brand exposure
- Build your website’s organic search engine ranking
- Increase quality traffic to your website, time on site and conversions
- Out-perform competition online and garner more site visitors
3. Online Media
Most hoteliers still think of SEO and Online Media (Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Ad Retargeting, Display Advertising, etc.) as separate strategies functioning independently. While it’s true that you could just employ the use of just one or the other, it’s best if you have both working in conjunction.
A Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign is a targeted, cost-effective way to drive travel shoppers to your site. With a PPC strategy in place you can gain twice as much visibility in search results.
When competing with other hotels and OTAs for the top placement in search engine results pages (SERPs) this becomes increasingly important. With a PPC campaign, your business will show up in more places in the SERPs, will reach highly targeted audiences and can gain immediate visibility online.
For most websites, only about 2% of traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting (also known as remarketing) is a strategy that aims to reach the other 98% of customers that don’t convert right away.
Retargeting is a cookie-based technology used to ‘tag’ visitors to your website and follow them all over the web. Once a viewer visits your site, a cookie is placed on their browser that allows you to display targeted messaging to them while they are away from your website.
Having a retargeting campaign in place can help your hotel stay top of mind with your potential guests and drive more direct bookings.
A display advertising campaign places your visual or graphic ad on popular websites where your potential guests might shop or read blog posts and articles.
Using tools like the Google Display Network can help your hotel reach potential clients on popular websites such as the New York Times Travel section, niche travel blogs and lifestyle magazine websites. Audience targeting ensures your ads are served to potential guests most likely to book.
Online media campaigns can drive a 10X higher conversion rate compared with traditional display marketing and an increase in conversions across both the B2C and B2B markets. Is your digital strategy driving that kind of results? Contact us online for a Custom Media Plan with Good, Better and Best recommendations from our digital media analysts.
If you’ve ever conducted a broad search like “hotels in [city]”, you might notice that Google and other search engines do a few things to make the search easier for the user. Frequently, a map will appear at the top of results with three to five hotels listed with high-level information and room rates, followed by any ads and then the actual search results.
Features like this, along with basic SEO rules, might make it difficult for hotels to stand out from the competition for a few reasons. Ranking for broad queries like “hotels in [city]” is difficult to begin with; the search results don’t show up until further down the page and the search engine will only show a few results in the featured list to name a few.
This is where local search marketing comes in. There are a few things you can do to optimize your website to display at the top of search rankings for location-based searches.
Google provides hotel managers a way to stand out from their competition and makes it easy for potential guests to get in touch. In your My Google Business Listing, you can display information like your location, a description, your hotel’s contact information, hours of operation, photos of your hotel, room rates and even links to other websites where you may be featured (such as TripAdvisor or Yelp).
My Business also allows guests to review your hotel. This provides users searching for a hotel a quick reference to the quality of your hotel and your service, which could help you stand out from the competition.
A properly optimized business listing sends a strong signal to search engines that your business listing is trustworthy, and is much more likely to be served up than your competitors with inconsistent or incomplete information, resulting in more online and in-person visits. An estimated 40% of searches on mobile are looking for travel-related information, such as hotels and restaurants. Setting up your Google My Business page gives them the option to view your website and/or call you instantly. Read more about optimizing your business listing on our blog.
Is your property optimized for local search?
Local search visibility is vital for your business’s online presence and new customer acquisition. With so many other channels to manage, businesses are often surprised at what a huge impact local marketing improvements can have.
You can run a scan of your business’s online presence here.
Your property has collected an immense amount of customer data, how do you use that data to engage guests and generate more bookings? Now, more than ever, it is crucial for your property to consistently engage potential and past guests with relevant, smart, timely and high-quality content to differentiate your property from your competition.
Email marketing is a low-cost, low-effort tool that can help your hotel reach potential guests at the right time, with the right message. Email continues to be an increasingly important marketing channel for hotels who are looking to increase direct booking.
- Drive direct response and brand loyalty.
- Increase bookings
- Utilize behavioral data to target guests
- Target prospects using robust segmentation capabilities
- Find and nurture contacts with targeted campaigns
With email, you can deliver custom, branded messaging directly to your customers and potential guests inboxes without much time, effort or money spent on the campaign.
In fact, many companies that utilize email have seen upwards of a 38:1 ROI from these marketing efforts and continue to see growth from this channel. Email marketing is the most dependable tool in the hospitality marketers toolkit. That is not an opportunity that you should overlook or take lightly.
Drive more direct revenue with powerful website design and digital marketing.
Trying to measure and manage disjointed digital campaigns is difficult and unproductive. If you are a hotel owner or property management company looking to attract more guests and boost bookings at your properties, you need a partner to help you manage your digital marketing strategy for you.
For 18 years, Vizergy has been helping hotels and property management companies attract more guests to their properties through proven and effective digital marketing strategies.
Vizergy’s Digital Marketing Platform and our cloud-based Content Management System (CMS) enables hoteliers to maintain their website content, monitor social media, manage their online reputation, deploy creative email campaigns and evaluate site performance without specific software requirements or profound technical skill and provides the tools they need to grow their online business all in one easy-to-use system. Get a FREE Demo of the Platform today!
Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help take the burden of digital marketing off your shoulders and allow you to focus on what you do best – running your hotel and providing a superior guest experience.
Want to reach more potential guests online? Call 800.201.1949 or contact Vizergy online at any time to get a custom quote form an enhanced digital marketing strategy for your property.