Continuing our discussion from a recent blog post, with the summer busy season on the horizon, independent hotel operators are putting the finishing touches on property enhancements as they prepare for guests to make their way into town. But in addition to property updates, operators must also focus on improving their most valuable marketing tool – their hotel website.
Tourists are currently logging countless hours online in search of the “perfect” hotel for their upcoming vacation. As noted in part 1, hoteliers can stand out from the crowd by making simple, but impactful, enhancements to their websites. Here are a few more tips that will help independent hotel websites catch the attention of travelers.
As we’ve also discussed recently, social media should be an important and integral part of an independent hotel’s marketing plan. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular sites and apps are full of news, reviews, photos and other information that help influence travel decisions. For example, click here to see how popular the #TravelTuesday hashtag is on Twitter. With this much travel-related online engagement, it’s important for hoteliers to maintain a strong and active online presence.
Additionally, it’s equally as important to include links or widgets in a highly visible area of a hotel’s website, preferably the top navigation area of the homepage. Including direct links to the property’s social media pages allows visitors to click directly without leaving the hotel’s digital environment and potentially moving on to a competing hotel. The pairing of seamless website navigation with great social media content can be all that’s needed to influence more guests to click “Book Now” to secure their future reservations.
Nearby Things to Do and Map
Even for the most well-planned traveler, finding a listing of attractions, restaurants and events on their hotel’s website is extremely helpful. Out-of-town guests can spend hours researching the best restaurants, famous landmarks and fun activities, but they still lack the local insight that independent hoteliers can easily provide. By providing suggestions for shopping, eating and sightseeing, along with an easy to follow map, on their website and social media channels, hotel operators can enhance their guests’ lodging experience before they walk through the front door.
On-Property Event Listings
Regularly listing on-property events and activities is very important for many travelers, particularly during the pre-booking phase when they are researching and narrowing their lodging choices. Depending on their taste, some guests enjoy a hotel that remains fairly quiet over the course of the day. While on the other hand, some travelers love the buzz and excitement generated by people constantly coming and going throughout the property. By noting weekly events, operators can ensure guest expectations are properly set and in-line with the on-property experience prior to them booking a room.