As we all know, increasing direct web traffic is vital for independent hotel survival. The majority of travelers and guests prefer to book online/mobile via over the phone by voice. With the rise of OTAs, it’s more important now, than ever before, to increase direct website traffic and consequently increase direct bookings. Check out our six favorite strategies for increasing independent hotel website traffic.
Is your hotel modern? Contemporary? Classic? Romantic? Quirky? Branding is your selling point, it’s your unique message to the world, it’s your “why”. Branding is essential for independent hotel survival. Make sure to identify your brand and then promote it. How and where will that attract travelers? Think about these questions and more as you contemplate and create your hotel brand.
What makes your hotel stand out? What makes you unique? Every hotel, especially independents, have a story to tell. Promote yours, tell your guests why you love the business, tell your guests what makes your hotel different and better than the rest. The more you let people in, the more people will let you in. Put your picture and your story out there. You will see website traffic and bookings increase.
Travelers are no longer only planning their trips on their desktop computers or laptops. More and more travelers are turning to their cell phones and mobile devices, especially in the beginning moments of planning their trip. It’s important to capture these future guests in those moments and to do that you need to be cross-device marketing.This means that you are running consistent and accurate branding and marketing messages on mobile devices and desktop devices. This also means that your website should be optimized for mobile so that it’s easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and captures guest data.
Promote reviews 77.9% of consumers think that other travelers’ online reviews are extremely or very important for deciding where to stay.* 97.7% of consumers read other travelers’ online reviews.*.
These statistics speak for themselves. Reviews matter. Does your hotel have positive reviews? Are you responding to all online reviews? Make sure to highlight and reference your positive online reviews in your marketing and advertising. This will help your property stand out from the others and will create third party credibility and references for your property.
A picture says a thousand words”. In this digital day and age, visuals matter. It’s important to have high-quality photos and videos of your property so that guests can get a glimpse into their future accommodations. High-quality images perform better across social media channels and consequently drive more traffic to your website as your social channels receive more traffic. Make sure your pictures are up to date and easily accessible on your website.
Optimizing your site for search is an essential step in driving organic traffic to your website. While SEO Is a long-term project that needs constant management, getting it set up will make a large difference. Make sure your domain name reflects your property. Also make sure your landing page is clear, easy to navigate and accurately reflects your property.
The content on your website should include words that many people might search like “deals” “hotel” “quality” or geographic indicators, however, it’s important to use these words naturally throughout your content. This process is called “key-wording your content”. Also always include alternative text behind your images on your website that provide a basic description of the image. This helps Google pull your images when someone conducts an image search on google.Still have questions on SEO?
Check out our Hotel Owners Guide to Search Engine Optimization and find out how to get a free optimized website with visually appealing booking engine with activity, car and cancellation protection add-ons that increases direct reservations and reduce no-shows/chargebacks.
*statistics from hospitalitynet.org