Do you feel like your hotel is on the precipice of success or simply missing that je ne sais quois, so you’re looking for some nifty and smart ways to capitalise on your hotel’s online presence? Then look no further, as we have put extensive thought into how we can help give you advice on this. We have outlined ideas that are easy to implement, involve no costs and have a proven track record in the hotel industry in bringing you website traffic.
A Captivating Online Presence Brings You Website Traffic
It’s important to increase the amount of online traffic directed to your hotel’s website. While some still argue whether a website is necessary, we’re here to tell you that some good old-fashioned handshakes around a table are no longer enough.
The digital sphere is a stressful place, with huge amounts of noise. You may find it difficult to have your hotel’s voice heard amongst the crowd. There are a lot of hotels out there that offer great deals for their guests, and boast websites that are unique. We want to provide you with some food for thought when it comes to improving your hotel’s online presence.
Your hotel’s website is often the first touch point that guests have with your hotel, and where they get to see your brand image and hear your brand voice. It’s the place they go to for reassurance of your brand authenticity, and brand honesty and where they look to cultivate or create that initial level of trust. The trust between guest and host (hotel) is very important and also very special.
In a massive bubble that is filled with website upon website and hotel upon the hotel, how do you take your online visitors and convert them into loyal, consistent, and financially supportive guests that visit your hotel often?
You start by taking your hotel online or improving your online presence.
Then, you make your online presence as captivating as possible.
Why You Should Work Toward More Website Traffic
The reason for this is simple: more and more guests are making bookings online. There has been a surge in people purchasing items online. This means that what was once uncommon i.e. entering card details online, has now turned into people casually booking the Swan Suite at your hotel for the next sunny Sunday whilst on the train to work. Online shopping has, without a doubt, become not only a norm but also something guests find both practical and enjoyable. You have thousands of daily commuters sitting in the tram for an hour each way to and from work, who have the purchasing power to make a real difference to your hotel’s bottom line.
How Do You Ensure You Have The Right Target Audience At An Intended Sales Funnel?
First things first, you need to understand what the terms ‘traffic’ and ‘rank’ means. This will make the below all the more enjoyable to read.
- Traffic refers to the number of people who visit your hotel’s website over any given period of time. Whether you measure this over a month or over a day is completely up to you.
- Rank refers to where your hotel and its online performance slots in on Google ranking or other ranking measures, in comparison to hotels that are in the same league as your own hotel.
The goal is to get the right people to view the content intended for them and make this happen as often and as seamlessly as possible.
How To Increase Website Traffic For Free
On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Each of your hotel’s web pages and landing pages needs to be as highly functional as possible. That is done with the copy i.e. the words you use/the text.
There are certain words and phrases that rank higher than others. You need to find out which of these are suitable and implement or incorporate them into your text. Examples of these are ‘hotels near me’, ‘hotel bookings’, ‘hotel stays’ and the list goes on. This will improve your rank and thus the traffic to your website.
SEO of Meta Descriptions
A meta description is that little bit of writing under a heading. Do you know when you Google something and all those results churn out? Below each heading, you can often read a short line (often between 150 - 160 characters) and this is what we know as a meta description. This is a smart place to start, as it gives people a quick glance at what your website is about. Use catchy words here that have a proven track record. This is time-consuming but absolutely worth it. The best thing is that all it costs is time! This is another free and creative online tool.
An example of this would be:
‘Come spend an afternoon at our Doris Dining Room, where you will be spoilt by our hotel staff with the best any afternoon tea has to offer. From freshly baked scones to homemade jams and more, the Doris Dining Room is ideal for an afternoon with your mum, in-laws or special party. Available to book online via our hotel’s website at your earliest convenience. This exclusive afternoon tea is available for a limited time only, so be sure to snag yourself a seat or two.’
What is a backlink? This is a link to your website from another website—and its benefits are threefold.
The first benefit is that it gives you the opportunity to be seen by a much larger audience of potential guests than if people could only see you through your own website.
The second benefit is that Google likes backlinks! Backlink building teaches Google to trust your website—and this trust is a magical thing to be bestowed with. It means a higher chance of receiving a higher ranking and thus more visibility. If you have an exciting and stimulating website, then visibility will lead to an increase in conversion rates.
Trust is important on Google, but it is also vital for guests. It is hugely important for potential guests to feel like your hotel is established, reputable, and enjoyed by many. Seeing your services, offerings or even simply your hotel’s name on various platforms will give guests the impression that you are an institution in your own right, and this will lead to an incentive to book with you.
The third benefit is internal. This one is about networking. In order to get on to another hotel’s page, you either need to get in touch with someone from that hotel and ask them, or they simply enjoy your content so much that they want to have it on their page too in some form. Either way, you are both helping each other out and you are thereby increasing your network. The great thing about this in the hotel industry is that you can then embark on collaborations.
Many hotels have worked on collaborations before, where one hotel is famous for its spa and the other is famous for its fitness facilities. Two hotels can come together to create a package that hotel guests or longer-term residents of hotels can enjoy. This is often the case with hotels that are in the same hotel group/hotel chain. However, if you are a small and independent boutique hotel, then collaborate with other boutique hotels in your city and offer special deals together, so that you both increase your reach. An example of this would be offering a weekly or monthly package that a hotel guest can then use to visit either hotel for their Spa or be a guest at their Gym. The only way that these collaborations come about is if networking takes place. During networking, mutual benefits can be established and then created for hotel guests.
Posting to social media is a creative and free marketing tool that is very popular, and if used correctly, also very useful. You need to stick to the platforms that you feel suit your hotel best and then keep at it.
The key to social media is consistency and great content. Be sure to post regularly and share content that is informative, interesting and useful to your followers. If you run a Spa Package for example, this would be a clever thing to post about. Or if you have a unique restaurant dining experience coming up, shout about this on all your platforms. Whether you are using Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. all of these channels need to stay active and you must stay on top of the trends. You don’t need to follow every single TikTok challenge, but it is important of stay relevant.
Get in touch with your guests through email. It’s a nifty marketing tool that is too often forgotten. You can send emails in a recurring time frame of your preference, whether it is one email a week or once a month. It is a great way to stay in communication with your guests and to share useful information with them.
Try to not limit these email send-outs to only sale incentives. Be sure to include some tips that could actually benefit the reader. Examples of this would be ‘How to Travel Safely in a Foreign Country – Our Top 10 Tips’ or ‘Spoil Yourself at Home with Tips from Our In-House Spa Gurus’. Whilst we’re on it, these would be great headings or even subject lines! You want to ensure that your subject line is as catchy as possible, as this is the first thing that pops up on a screen.
Neatly Wrapped in a Bow
These five tips are a grand way to start your endeavour of increasing traffic to your hotel’s website. They are all free and creative ideas that are going to help propel your hotel into the digital stratosphere! Increasing the traffic to your website and your online visibility is something that is hugely important in today's age and we know that it will help on your hotel’s journey to success.