Over the past decade, blogging has skyrocketed in popularity. Even as far back as 2008, a new blog was created every second. Nowadays, businesses around the world incorporate blogging into their content strategies. As these businesses have discovered, blogging is a great way to increase website traffic and reach new audiences. In fact, it’s been proven to be more effective at increasing website traffic than social media and SEO. Shockingly, although there are so many benefits to blogging, many hotels don’t utilise their knowledge and channel this into content. In this blog, we’ll share 5 reasons why your hotel should have a blog, some examples of hotels with blogs, plus how you can start incorporating this into your hotel’s marketing strategy. Here’s why your hotel should have a blog:
1. A blog keeps your website content fresh
Now more than ever, up-to-date content is so important on your website. But did you know that search engines also reward fresh content? Google in particular really values new content. Regular updates and adding blogs to your hotel’s website can help to improve your discoverability, and therefore website traffic. On a human level as well, recently updated content is important too. Especially as people start travelling again, they will be looking for up-to-date information and guides on what is happening in the areas they want to visit. Your hotel’s recent blogs, news and updates will make a difference here.
2. Reach new and relevant guests
Blogging can increase your hotels search rankings and can result in a 434% increase in indexed pages and a 97% increase in indexed links—meaning your discoverability is increased. As Marcus Verrell, Brand and Content Manager at Clink Hostels shares, “We use our blog to increase our brand SEO footprint, drive traffic to our website and to show potential guests that we are connected to the things that matter most in the locations we operate.”
Research from Google has shown that one of the best ways to engage with your guests while they are planning their journey is through search. Blog content helps potential guests to find you in their search and once they’re on your website you can begin that relationship. As travellers search for destinations, they are starting to narrow down their trip ideas, even if they don’t have all the details planned. This is a great place to meet your travellers and convince them to stay not just in your city, but your property too. Your hotel’s blog is a great place to highlight local events and attractions and promote these to help reach a new and wider audience who might not have considered your city or town a place to stay. You can help solve problems for your potential guests and start building trust from the beginning.
3. A blog gives your hotel authority
Blogging can help to establish your hotel’s reputation. Sharing your team’s expertise and knowledge is a great place to start. Your hotel blog can become a cultural hub with guides, lists and recommendations. Blogging also helps to communicate your brand's identity and potential guests are able to identify themselves in the content you create. As Robbert Munsters, Commercial Manager at The Student Hotel, emphasised, “make sure your content is relevant and is written with the guests’ needs in mind; ask yourself what a potential guest wants to read about.”
This is especially important as even after a traveller has made a booking, they continue to research and find inspiration. A huge 95% of travellers visit travel-related sites after making a booking. If they haven’t booked with you, there’s a great opportunity to establish your hotel as the experts in your city and act as an online concierge. And there is still some hope to convert these travellers—8% of travellers cancel and rebook somewhere else while researching.
4. Grow your social media presence and fuel your marketing channels
Blogging is the third-most common content marketing strategy for businesses. And the return on investment is huge. Businesses that prioritise blogging can see 13-times the ROI of businesses that don’t. Aside from this, a huge benefit of blogging is that blogs are so easily shareable—both for you as a brand and for your audience too. By writing blogs, your hotel now has more content to share on your social media channels and for other marketing activities, such as newsletters. While it can be tempting to get started right away with this new direction for your marketing channels, Marcus Verrell from Clink Hostels shared some advice around this, “Without a clear strategy, content plan or KPI’s a lot of time can be spent producing content without considering the ‘why’ behind it. As with all aspects of marketing, having a strategy is key. Set some metrics for success, work towards these, then adjust accordingly.”
Taking a look at social media channels, blogging can help to fuel more than just your hotel’s Facebook and Instagram pages. When starting to plan a trip, many travellers go to Pinterest first for their inspiration. In the past year, travel searches on Pinterest increased 60% compared with the previous year and in 2020, Pinterest had more monthly active users than Twitter and Snapchat combined. If you’re creating blog content with good imagery, Pinterest is a great place to share this. Hilton has started creating Pinterest content to meet travellers searching for inspiration—creating guides around Staycations and day trips. Design Hotels are also utilising Pinterest, with 26.6k followers and 1.1 million monthly views. If this wasn’t enough to convince you yet, Pinterest has the highest conversion rate compared to other social media channels—users are 3x more likely to click through to the brand website.
5. You can create a schedule that suits your team
Writing blogs can take a lot of time. If you have a small team, you should consider starting with less frequent blog posting or starting with shorter content pieces, like news and updates. If you already have old blog content, updating and resharing old content is a good strategy too. Search engines reward freshness, so if you can update old blog content on your website, this is super beneficial. “Having a blog can be useful but having relevant and up to date content is more important.”, Marcus Verrell from Clink Hostels shared. “Once you have a pool of listicles or articles it’s relatively easy to manage and keep the content current… This year we have reduced the amount of blogs we are writing and have focussed on updating existing content rather than pumping out new content all the time.”
If you don’t have the resource in-house to write blogs, think about outsourcing your content writing. Getting local experts or partners to write guest posts, or hiring freelance writers (if you have the marketing budget to do it) can be a great strategy. Marcus Verrell stated that this is also something that Clink Hostels incorporates into their strategy, “Guide writing can also take a lot of time so it’s worth looking at out-sourcing or using content producers to work with.”.
6 examples of hotels and hostels with blogs
A blog with shareable city guides, inspirational posts and updates on the latest initiatives at their hostels, such as “Clink Hostels pledges 1000 free beds for volunteers”.
The Student Hotel
A digital destination to get your brain ticking and interest sparking on everything from sustainability and impact to travel and adventure. For example, “How are we making our hotels more sustainable?”
A luxury journal covering their locations, food, culture, wellbeing and sustainability. They even feature special recipes, such as “London Cocktail Week: Napoleon Espresso Martini Recipe”.
Covering updates, news and tips, Victoria Jungfrau’s blog shares information about upcoming events, local sporting activities, culture and things to do in the area. A great example is this post: “Leading Golf Courses in Interlaken”.
Combining property-specific news and updates as well as guides for travellers, such as “10 Fun Holiday Activities To Do With Kids At Lux* Resorts & Hotels In The Maldives”.
How to write a strong blog for your hotel
1. Consider your topic and keywords
There is less than a 1% chance that your blog content will go viral. Instead of trying to write viral content, focus on creating “evergreen content” which is useful and generates consistently steady traffic. It’s important to write for humans but don’t forget the search engines too. Find out your keywords, using tools like Ubersuggest can help you to define your keywords to include in your title and blog copy before you start writing.
2. Include visuals
Images are crucial—posts with images get 94% more traffic than those that don’t have any images. Plus, having at least one image helps to increase the possibility of your blog getting shared on Facebook & Twitter. A good rule of thumb is 1 image for every 350 words.
3. Have a clear & engaging headline
80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will click through and read the rest. An amazing headline is super important for getting traffic, so spend some time refining your headlines to capture attention. A click-baity title is only click-bait if the content piece doesn’t provide the value you’re promising, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
4. Include a call to action
Always include a call to action in your posts. Whether this is booking an offer in your hotel, finding out more information or booking a tour in the area. Giving your visitors a clear follow-up action is key. It’s also very important to ensure that your hotel’s book now button is clearly visible on all of your blog pages too.
5. Use headings in your blogs
43% of people admit to skimming blog content. Use headings and write a conclusion at the end to ensure your readers, even those who are skimming, are getting value out of your content. Breaking content into list-style formats is a great strategy too. List-style posts get more shares on average than any other type of blog content. Aiming for a list with 10 items is a good benchmark.
Set up a blog for your hotel
Incorporating blog content into a marketing strategy is something that more hotels should consider. The increase in traffic, intrigue from potential guests and content for your channels are just some of the top reasons to get started. Robbert Munsters shared some insight for those thinking of starting blogging, “it takes time to see the results of a blog and it is difficult to convince internal stakeholders of the value of a blog.” To get started, think of the quick wins, like updating old content, or sharing news and updates, and start building your blogging strategy from there.
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