It’s not just about getting visits to your website. It’s about getting quality traffic to increase conversions. Our expert partners at STAAH will guide you through this journey.
To have a visitor come back to your website to book with you is not easy, especially with so much competition around. Even if you have the best deals and prettiest rooms, you need to attract guests and convince them to book many other ways.
We are not just talking about safety and hygiene, but to show that the guests will have a great experience at your premises.
Here are a few tips to consider on attracting guests to your hotel website:
Build a website that attracts and retains users
The first and most important step is having an attractive, clutter-free website and easy booking steps. No amount of promotions will help if your website doesn’t deliver a great experience.
Your website must be:
- Mobile-friendly. It makes sense, given that more than 50% of search traffic now comes from mobile devices.
- Fast-loading. 53% of visits are abandoned if a website takes longer than three seconds to load.
Now about the visuals. Less is more seems to be the philosophy these days. In the world of travel, nothing sells better than a good image or video. Make sure your website has plenty of them.
Your page should also be easy to navigate, the booking button easily reachable, and try to include features such as WatchMyRate which improve user stickiness.
Content content content
The foundation of any digital strategy is content. Online ‘noise’ can be overwhelming, so try to figure out relevant content, that is unique to you and your audience. Think out of the box and beyond the four walls of your property when brainstorming.
Most importantly, you need not be the only one creating content for your website. Smart hoteliers will get the guests involved. That’s called UGC – User Generated Content – the most authentic and sellable kind of content available.
You could ask one of your trusted returning guests to blog/post about their experience, or invite someone well-known for a weekend, and ask them to endorse and advertise your premises.
Promote Staycation deals
Staycationers are looking to escape their daily routine. Remove the stress of planning by offering multiple staycation deals.
Plan different packages for each season or based on special events (e.g. Easter, Mother’s day, etc). Cater to the audiences that often come to your hotel (are these families, single travellers, couples?).
Consider offering online vouchers that can be bought from your website but redeemed later.
Give your guests the chance to build their own itinerary as well. Allow them to choose the perks and events they care about most. Customisation will help them feel more like they’re on vacation even if they’re not going too far away from home for their holiday.
Don’t forget to update your distribution channels with these offers!
Become a Storyteller
Extending on the point above, you need to tell a story – your story, the story of your location, and the people around you.
In fact, other people’s stories are a great way to engage a wider audience and build more local advocates. This could be for e.g. building your hotel’s brand around the local scenery, history and services. (Are you a big city hotel that caters to busy business people, or are you a small boutique that hosts honeymooners?)
Pro tip: use virtual reality to give a room tour.
Don’t forget SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is a great way to drive quality traffic to your website. However, SEO is not an overnight results-generator. It’s more of a long term stable traffic earner.
With people spending so much time online, this is an excellent opportunity to concentrate on building brand equity by engaging with consumers and providing them with quality content.
Organic search is perfectly placed to make the most of this opportunity. In a post-COVID-19 world, your website could be more valuable than ever to drive business.
How to get started? Here you can find a great resource base.
Paid Ads & Marketing
Facebook, Google and your OTAs are all commercial businesses. To get ahead on any of these platforms, it’s crucial to have a paid presence. Update your features, photos and text whenever you have new information available.
Try running campaign ads on social and also retargeting your visitors who viewed deals on your website. Retargeting targets potential hotel guests who have already visited your hotel’s website including your booking engine by displaying advertisements for your hotel to them on other digital platforms.
Many companies will do that for you such as Net Affinity, The Hotel’s Network, or STAAH.
It goes without saying that responding to your online reviews is important, and a great way to promote traffic to your website.
These days, potential guests are all online and one of the key factors influencing a guest’s booking decision are your property’s online ratings and reviews.
Monitor all your feedback across your website, GoogleMyBusiness, and social channels.
Explain the Direct Booking perks
Be transparent in your communication and prove your offer to be the best, by displaying comparative rates on your website, emphasise the perks of booking online.
Many hotels fail to capture direct bookings simply because OTA sites give the impression that they offer the best rates.
And it is a fact that room rate remains as the top driver in the booking decision, independent of other offers and deals.
It is a good idea here, to work towards adjusting your inventory and pricing, to portray direct bookings to be the best option always offering the best rates in the market.
And finally, you can always target your loyal customers via emails to come back.