Any hotelier nowadays will tell you that the best bookings are those that come in through the hotel’s own website. Why? Because those bookings don’t incur expenses to third-party channels, meaning they have the highest DRR (direct revenue ratio). But in the competitive hospitality industry, driving traffic to your hotel website is no easy feat.
One key factor determining how high your monthly visitor count ends up being is the website content you publish, and how well that content is optimised for search engines. In other words, the more often you create content, and the easier you make it for Google to find it, the higher your website traffic (and ultimately bookings) will be. But not just any content – with over 5.6 billion searches per day, Google favours websites that are creating great, high-quality content.
That means generating content that your target audience is not only interested in, but is also actively looking for. Here are our tips on how to up your hotel’s content writing game and increase your website’s conversion rate:
1.) Know your audience
As with anything digital marketing related, knowing your audience inside out is paramount. Because even if you create the best content the web has ever seen, if you’re not reaching the right people, it’ll be a waste of both your time and money. As such, creating buyer personas for your ideal hotel guests should be one of the first tasks to complete when putting together your hotel content marketing strategy.
Online giant HubSpot defines a buyer persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer based on data, interviews and educated guesses. It should include your customer’s demographics, interests, needs, goals and behaviours. A great place to start collecting this information is by closely analysing your website’s monthly Google Analytics reports. Once you have a clear depiction of your audience in mind, you can start figuring out what type of content they like to read. This brings us to point number two…
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2.) Optimise content for SEO
SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, is the process of driving more quality traffic to your website by optimising your content in an easily readable way for search engines. While there are many different parts to SEO (namely technical, on-page and link building), we’ll focus on the area most important for content creation: on-page optimisation.
Now that you have an idea of who you are targeting, you need to understand what content they want to see. The best way to do this is by conducting keyword research to find the key questions, terms and phrases your audience is searching for. Start by noting down any keywords you think could be relevant, and then use online tools (such as Google’s keyword planner) to find out how many monthly searches they get and how competitive they are. If you’re unsure where to start, use your Google Analytics and Google Search Console tools to see what past search queries have led people to your website.
Once you have your list of keywords, you need to place them in the right areas throughout your content. This includes ensuring they’re evenly spread throughout your URL, title, H1 tags, alt tags and text body, to name a few. For a full list of on-page optimisation techniques, have a look at Moz’s on-page ranking factors.
3.) Remember that local content is king
As a hotel, chances are you know a great deal about attractions and events happening in your local area. Use that knowledge to your advantage and write about what makes your hotel’s destination stand out. From museums to famous pubs or annual happenings, be creative and highlight the attractions your target audience would most likely want to visit.
For example, if you are targeting potential guests with kids, then talking about the upcoming fair nearby will do the trick. Couples, on the other hand, will likely be more interested in the top romantic restaurants. And if you want to target LGBT guests, then highlighting your area’s local gay scene is key. Side note: have a read of three ways to target LGBT travellers through your hotel brand identity to find out more on how to reach this niche segment.
On another note, articles about local attractions are also great content to share across your social media channels. It’s a great tool to promote event-related hotel offers with a subtle call to action. We’ve recently written an article on how to promote your hotel on social media, have a look if you want to know more on this topic. Just keep in mind that most social media users access the platforms on mobile – in fact, statistics show that 3.26 billion people scroll through social media on their smartphones. If they click through to your website, you want to make sure it is optimised for mobile. Here are three ways to make your hotel website mobile-friendly if you need some help.
4.) Use high-quality images
According to recent research, people are 80% more likely to read content that includes an image, and 64% more likely to remember it afterwards. What’s more, adding media, such as images or short films, throughout your website copy will actually help your SEO efforts. Breaking up text with images improves the user experience of your site, which in turn increases Google’s likelihood of sending visitors your way. High-quality images are particularly important: studies show that they have a 225% more likelihood of receiving a booking enquiry. Here’s more on the importance of image quality for hotels.
Last but not least, make sure that all images on your website are optimised for search engines as well. That includes adding relevant images next to related text, saving them with coherent file names and using alt text and captions correctly. Have a look at our tips on how to optimise images for SEO to learn more.
Boost your hotel marketing efforts
At HotelREZ, we provide quality distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services to more than 1,500 hotels in over 100 countries. We’re experts at online marketing to help our member hotels receive more bookings, offering a variety of services including social media, image optimisation and content creation. Find out how our hotel marketing package can help your hotel or get in touch today.
HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts was founded in 2004 by Mark Lewis, an experienced hospitality industry professional and entrepreneur. Over the course of over a decade, the company has grown to be one of the leading hotel representation companies dedicated to marketing and connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide. HotelREZ now provides distribution, revenue, sales consultancy and marketing services and support to more than 1,500 hotels, apartments and hotel groups in over 100 countries including private label GDS chain code solutions. HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is a SAAS company. HotelREZ also incorporates the global World Rainbow Hotels, the world’s only GDS enabled LGBT global hotel consortia representing some 1200 hotels in 230 destinations across the globe.