10 Non Fluffy Ways To Improve Your Hotel Online Marketing
I was recently on a plain to Bern in Switzerland for a meeting which I got with a Luxury Resort. The agenda was SEO and Hotel online marketing. While I was sitting in the waiting hall of the Frankfurt airport. I looked around and saw a big advertisement for one of the major players in the Hospitality Industry.
The first thought which came to my mind was. That the company is spending big time $$ to be at this airport. Wow, what a waste of money this is. Because if we look closer how we humans behave today.
Then you know that this add is just useless! I challenge you to go out there. Find a big ad for anything else and then write back to me your observation.
Billboards are dying, same as magazin ads…
Let me tell you what I have observed. No one and I repeat, No one was looking at the add above them. Everybody was busy with their mobile phones, their tablets and their laptops.
So we went on to the airplane, and as usual, you have the magazines in front of you. Again same observation no one was looking at the magazine.
Everybody was busy with their phones, checking the latest Facebook feed and Instagram update. But wait, when they are in the air, they will need to switch off their phones. Well not really, you have a flight modus on each phone and you can still watch downloaded videos on your phone.
So much from my side to print media!
If you as a Luxury Hotel & Resort Owner, GM and Marketing Director observe the behaviour of your guests. Then you will understand that you have to market in a different way. You have to take Hotel online marketing serious and to the next level. You have to market for the now!
You have to market for the year 2017 and not 1992. Stop wasting your money on all the billboards, in-flight magazines and other print media.
Take your smartphone in your hand and try to connect to the world and with your guests.
You have to take Hotel online marketing serious if you want to stay ahead of your competition. Be better prepared for the future, because Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Google are just starting out.
What will I learn?
You will learn the 10 best Hotel online marketing strategies which you should use, to stay ahead of your competition. These strategies will not only help you in your market but most importantly it will bring you more guests.
Another great benefit, which people tend to forget in Hotel digital marketing is. That we are marketing for real people and some machines or an algorithm.
If you want to have a better guest engagement if you want that more guests talk and share more of your Luxury Hotel & Resort. Then this post is for you and you should read on.
But if you are someone who hates his smartphone and thinks Facebook is going out of business soon. Then please close this page, go back to your print media. And feel the pain of your competition destroying you with Hotel online Marketing.
This 10 very useful strategies are things which you should have already in place. And if not, then it is time to start working on them. Nr. 8 is very controversial but I believe this is the way for the future of any Luxury Hotel & Resort
Free to use, super easy to upload and you can rank them very quick for keywords. Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world.
Google.com owns Youtube, which means if you perform well with videos you will as well rank better in Google. Every Luxury Resort & Hotel should have youtube videos available.
You can create so many videos about your Hotel & Resort. The potential guest will not watch any other videos than yours for 2 hours straight.
Most of the time we see that big brands have videos, of a drone flight over their Hotel with some epic music. But why don’t you create some actionable videos?
Videos which reflect you in a totally different light. Why don’t you just go with the camera insight the kitchen, follow the housekeeping and engineering staff on their day to day job?
These things are very interesting to the current and future guests. So many people always wonder whats going on behind the scenes. This is your chance to show up, and be bold about your operation.
Another crazy Idea which will give you so much leverage about your competition. Is to create a vlog from your GM or someone else in the Luxury Hotel & Resort.
Videos are a must in your Hospitality marketing Strategy. Therefore start now before it is too late.
Courtesy of Comelite Design Studio
Target Longtail Keywords
SEO is a complex subject, but what is even more complex is the algorithm of Google. Why is it ranking sites for this keyword and why not mine?
Most of the Hotels want to rank for short keywords like the city name plus Hotel or Resort. Unfortunately, these keywords are as well the most competitive out there.
Most of the Ad’s on Google are as well for the short tail Keywords and they are as well very expensive.
Can you rank for them? Of course, but it will take a lot of work with onsite optimization and building lots of high-quality backlinks.
Instead, you should be more focused on the lower hanging fruits. Keywords with a long tail like 4 to 5 words will make your life easier.
Let’s say you are a Luxury Hotel & Resort is in Phuket. Instead of trying to rank for Phuket Resort, it would be better to target Best Luxury Resort in Phuket or Best Luxury Hotel in Phuket with kids.
This long tail keywords are easier to rank for, and if you have as well a youtube video with the same long tail keyword. Than BINGO you have a clear winner.
At the same time, the long tail Keywords will help you with ranking for short tail keywords. As crazy as it sounds but this is what they do over a longer period of time.
You do this and you will have a better success with your Hotel online marketing strategy.
Instagram Teach Your Employees How To Make Pictures
Making great pictures putting a filter on them and sharing it with the world is the basic concept of Instagram. Instagram is the second largest Social Media network, after Facebook and it is still growing.
You see it all the time, guests posting pictures and videos from your Resort on Instagram. The love having Instagram like locations, food and drinks which they can post.
And if you as a Luxury Hotel & Resort do not have an Instagram Page. Then you are missing out on traffic and most important on the engagement with your guests.
You should have already at check in a social media guide for your guests with the hashtags which they should use. I mean just think about it. You tell the guests which hashtags they should use, for posting pictures from your Hotel.
The benefits of it are huge.
The guests will post something with your hashtag, and you can then respond to them. While they are still in your Hotel, what do you think how good the guest will feel.
At the same time, you should invest a bit of money to have a photo course for your staff at your Resort. And I don’t mean a photo course with a pixel camera.
It should be a photo course with a mobile, and you teach your staff how to make great pictures of your guests. Yor employees are anyway getting asked by guests to take pictures of them. So why not have employees who know how to make kick-ass photos for social media.
All this picture sharing will create over time a very deep profile of you Luxury Resort & Hotel. You should sit down with your marketing Guru and start implementing it. An Instagram strategy for your Hotel online marketing.
Content. Content. Content
Content is king in the eyes of Google period. Over are the times where you could put up some cheap ass websites with 500 words on them and you were supposed to rank.
I see so many Luxury Hotels & Resort with really bad content. When they describe let’s say an outlet, then you can hardly find something with over 200 words on it.
It is so short, how am I’m as a guest should have a feeling about the outlet? While I understand that you should keep your description sometimes a bit shorter. Because of the flow of the website, I do not understand why Hotels don’t include an inbound content strategy.
All it takes is, having Blog on your website where you can write about your Hotel and the surroundings. Here at the blog you can be really very creative, and write long content.
If the content is then as well optimized for a long tail keyword, well then you make everything right.
There are so many things which you could write about, and all these things could be a separate blog post. This is the real power and link juice what you can create for your Luxury Hotel & Resort website.
Take a look at your competitors. Most of them do not have a blog page and if yes their content is just mediocre and short. So take this step, build up a blog page write amazing content. And observe how your website is outranking your competition.
Optimize For Local Listings
Another crucial aspect of Hotel digital marketing is local citations. What is this exactly?
|A local citation is any mention of your business on the web; it is any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code, and website address. Citations in SEO are a key factor in improving your local search results.
Local citations come in various forms, for example:
Company name & phone number.
Company name, phone number, & address.
Company name, phone number, address, & website.
Company name, & website.
Company phone number.
And so on.
A citation does not need to link back to your website to be valuable. The value in a citation is the mention of your business. Google identifies that your business was mentioned through the presence of your NAP info, and you get credit for this mention.
The more mentions of your business out on the web, the more prominent your business appears to Google, and this will help with your local rankings. The actual links from most business directories are usually nofollowed anyway.
This is not to say that links aren’t valuable. Links are valuable, and citations that include links are even better than citations that do not include links. The point to remember is that a citation does not need to have a link to be valuable to your local search efforts.
Courtesy of whitespark.ca
What is actually a backlink? Let us put it in an easier perspective. A backlink is nothing other than a referral to your business. You offer a great service, people who visited you refer your Luxury Hotel & Resort to someone else.
In the digital space, we call it a Backlink. There are many different backlinks dofollowed and nofollowed. There are as well backlinks which are blackhat and white hat.
So when I write or talk about backlinks I always talk about white hat backlinks. These backlinks are not harmful to your website, but they are as well not that easy to get.
You could purchase one thousand backlinks for under 200$, but the results will be very bad for your Website. Instead, you should concentrate on Hotel online marketing.
Build backlinks the right way. The right way means, having great content on your website and working with outreach campaigns etc.
This is just one of the many examples which I can show you when it comes to building high-quality backlinks.
There is no doubt about it, that your business needs high-quality backlinks. Even people were talking already for so many years, that backlinks do not matter. My question to you is. Do referrals still matter?
Don’t Rely On TripAdvisor
Now first off, I have nothing personal against TripAdvisor. They have a great Business model which works very well for them and only for them.
When I was still an F&B Director at a Luxury Resort, there was once a guest well let’s say there have been some of them. Who threatened us with a bad review.
I still see our GM running around trying to talk to the guest and connecting with TripAdvisor to not publish his review. Because we all know a bad review has much more power than ten good ones.
Anyway, if you pay a premium listing at TripAdvisor then you will be treated better. If not, and it does not really matter how good of a Hotel you are. You will never be able to climb the ranks on TripAdvisor.
This is not official, but this is what we can see in the rankings. TripAdvisor is as well very clever, in giving you FREE tools and widgets which you can put on your website.
The problem is, the widgets are embedded with keywords which help TripAdvisor and only TripAdvisor. You are losing 30% of your hard earn traffic to your website through these widgets and other TripAdvisor graphics.
What are you going to do, if TripAdvisor decides today to change their algorithm and you end up on the bottom? Your business will be badly heart. And in fact, why do you pay commission to TripAdvisor? Better convert your visitors directly on your webpage.
All you have to do is, have a nice looking Booking engine and some great offers. TripAdvisor is a giant in this industry and a very big brand. But do you really want your business to rely on TripAdvisor?
Build Your Own Review Page
Now, this is something which I really hope Hoteliers will take serious and by the horns! I mean you as a Luxury Hotel & Resort brand send out surveys to your guests.
Why not encourage the visitors to review your Hotel on your own review site. This review site is not that difficult to build, in fact, if you use WordPress. Then you will find many plugins who can do the job for you.
Of course, you should still hire a designer and web developer to help you with the look of it.
If you really implement a review site on your web page. You will have a much higher leverage over your competition. Because each review will help you with SEO, each review will be distributed on the internet with your web page address.
Guests can upload pictures and share them on your review page. You could create so much free content just from guests, and if you get sometimes a bad review. So what, take it as a chance to show that you have fixed it.
Why do you send your guests to write a review on TripAdvisor or Booking.com etc? Every review just helps them to generate more traffic and take direct bookings away from you.
It is time to get a bit more creative and see your Luxury Hotel & Resort website as a digital premium real estate.
I know you heard it already so many times. Social media here Social media there. Where is the ROI in social media? Can you measure it?
The real truth is, it depends on how you look at the glass.
You need Social Media for social proof. What I mean by that is, people not only want to book a vacation. People want to book an experience.
When people research a Luxury Hotel & Resort to spend their vacation, they are checking all the channels. What are they doing on Facebook, are people posting pics on Instagram?
This are all small little things which can help you convert a potential guest into a fan of yours. Did you know that you can do Facebook retargeting after a visitor have viewed your website?
Social media is an amazing tool if you know how to use it right. I never see a Hotel do a ask me anything campaign. People can ask you anything on social media about your hotel, and you can answer them live.
I never see that a Luxury Hotel & Resort is streaming live from the beach, a party or a local ceremony. Don’t you think guests will be interested in it?
There is not enough interaction on social media between the Hotel and the guests.
Did you know that Instagram will roll out a new function? Which allows you as a user to by directly through a post. Would this not be something useful for a Luxury Hotel?
Choose two Social media channels which you like, and dominate the space.
If you can dominate Facebook and Instagram. Your traffic is set for the long term.
Here is a great Video on Social Media ROI:
Hotel Online Marketing & Food Porn
Yep taking pictures of food is just another element of Hotel online Marketing. You see it all the time. The waiter serves the plates and what do people do?
They take out their smartphones and take first a couple of pictures of the food they are about to eat. They post the food on their favourite Social Media account.
And their friends and followers ask them, where they have enjoyed such an amazing dish. Food porn can bring you culinary lovers to your Luxury Hotel and Resort.
This whole taking picture thing of food is actually changing the way we approach an eat our food.
Take a look at the hashtags and see how many pictures were posted.
#foodporn 137.6 Million, #instafood 96,75 Million, #foodgasm 29 million, #foodie 71 million, #healthyfood 33,96 million
This is the power of Food Porn and you should include it in your Hotel online marketing efforts.
We’re a full-service digital marketing agency built for the now. We partner with Luxury Hotels & Resorts to drive their business and direct bookings outcome with the best-in-class digital marketing strategies. Get in touch with us at [email protected]