As the travel industry endeavors to keep evolving, the market will become increasingly congested, making it hard for small hotels and bed and breakfasts to stand out from the competition. That’s why it’s more important than ever that your property makes its mark online.
Fortunately, there are numerous simple ways to go digital and increase your direct bookings:
Social media should be any business’ digital marketing backbone. It offers the opportunity to target and reach a vast audience, and gives your small hotel or B&B a personality.
When used effectively, social media can build a relationship of trust between your accommodation business and your guests – plus, it’s a way of fostering loyalty and return business.
So what should you do to improve your profile?
It’s prudent to be strategic though. Use platforms that will suit your hotel, the type of content you want to post, and the audience you’re targeting.
Maintaining a constant stream of fresh content on your website is paramount if you want to climb up the search engine ranks. Google and other search engines are always trawling for new content to push to the top of their results, so if you’re not producing any you might fall off the radar.
Staying active and engaged is the only way to keep your SEO up to par. You might consider auditing your website content and even your design.
Incorporating new content like videos is a surefire way to boost your engagement too. Many hotels are breaking into the world of virtual technology and offering virtual tours to improve the guest experience.
Retargeting is a specific way of converting visitors who bounced the first time around. Most of the time, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first occasion, so keeping track of a user and putting yourself in the front of their mind can have a big impact. Statistics show that users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.
Find out more about retargeting here.
Mobile search and even mobile booking is on a sharp uptick globally. The first thing you need to do is make sure your website is actually functional on a mobile device, loads quickly, and is aesthetically pleasing. This extends to ensuring your booking engine and social media are mobile-friendly as well.
Mobile devices don’t simply have to be another browser, there are exclusive options to take that could increase your revenue and direct bookings, such as mobile-only promotions and room-rates.
With the majority of people soon to be using mobile to do their travel planning and booking, it’s a medium that can’t be ignored.
Building positive relationships and making sure guests come back for repeated stays will be a huge boost to your profitability. Do this by offering return guests incentives or discounts.
Watch this video on the emerging trend of guest loyalty to learn more:
This also doubles as a good chance to define your audience to know exactly who you’re targeting.
Ensuring your local listing is optimized and you’re garnering positive reviews is vital to appearing on the Google results and driving traffic direct to your website.
If you don’t have a high average rating from a large number of reviews it’s likely travelers won’t find you. It is critical that you manage your local presence across search engines, IYPs, aggregators, business directories, local citations, and maps.
On top of this, linking to other sites and resources is an easy way of making yourself available as an information provider, building trust, and raising your credibility in the eyes of travelers.
You might not be a typical hotel or bed and breakfast. Your small hotel may be a boutique property, have a unique theme, and target a very niche audience.
Try to take advantage of this by appearing on alternative travel and search websites to capture the right guests for you.
There’s no harm in checking out what some of your most successful competitors are doing with their strategy and think about how you can use it to improve your own while also coming up with something new.
You might find aspects of yours gel with theirs to create an overall stronger approach.
Are you investing in your online presence?
It’s a hyper-competitive and dynamic industry landscape, and if you aren’t paying the appropriate attention to digital marketing, you’ll quickly be buried behind a crowd of smart and slick B&B operators.
To learn more about enhancing your online presence, download our free eBook on the subject.
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