When it comes to deciding to redesign your hotel’s website, many hoteliers focus on the aesthetics and put little emphasis on improving their hotel’s story. Redesigning your website with new, high quality photography and graphics is only one part of the equation to converting lookers into bookers. The other major part of the equation is creating your hotel’s story that will give readers valuable insight to not only what your hotel offers but most importantly how the surrounding area will satisfy their travel needs. Every single hotel has their own story to tell, so as a hotelier, it is your job to really give readers a taste of what they will expect when they stay with you, specifically what amenities your hotel offers and how your staff will best accommodate their needs. Luxurious five-star hotels has the advantage of relying on beautiful photography to sell their hotel however, smaller independent hotels that may not have the most impressive rooms but have a great location, find it more challenging to rely on photos to sell their rooms. If say, you are a roadside budget-friendly hotel, then relying on photography to sell your rooms may not yield as many conversions than if you were to focus on telling your hotel’s story and providing a personalized experience through your content. Coupling beautiful photography with compelling content that sells, will give your hotel an edge over competitors and yield higher conversions. Now, let the writing begin. Here are some helpful tips on how to write content that will convert and drive more direct bookings:
Personalize the Content
We see that many hotels face the challenge of high bounce rates from their website and low engagement (page views, session duration) even with the addition of new photography. A big reason for this is because hotels fail to focus on telling their story effectively. It isn’t enough to add high quality photos without any substance to your website copy. In your hotel’s story, be sure to differentiate yourself from your competitors in the area. When visitors read your content, do they get a clear sense of what to expect from your property and can they tell what they will get from your hotel that they won’t be getting if they chose another hotel down street. If you answered no to these, then it is definitely time to rewrite your entire copy and focus on creating personalized content. Before you start writing your hotel’s copy, gather information on what your ideal guest is and create their buying personas. To get some insight into your potential guests’ buying personas, you will need to look into analytics. For further insight, you will want to send out an online or on-site survey. By tailoring your hotel’s message to your guests’ buying persona, the better the engagement and the more conversions will be generated.
Position Your Hotel as a Local Expert
As you may already know, location is the top attribute that travelers look for when booking a hotel. If your hotel is in a prime location, then be sure to play up that characteristic and use it to up-sell your property. Make it apparent how close you are from a particular demand generator and mention that throughout your website’s copy. Position yourself as a local expert in the community by providing valuable information to your target audience. Answer potential questions that guests might have when deciding whether to book with your hotel or not. For example, are you by any specific public transportation outlets? Does your hotel have a shuttle service to and from the airport? Does your hotel provide tours to any attractions nearby? If you’re able to address all these questions in your copy, then you’ve made it much easier for the potential guest to make a decision to book with you. A great way to portray yourself as a local expert is through social media and blogging. Your posts should be about a variety of topics including things to do around the area, travel tips, and upcoming events. When you become a local expert, you also become a helpful resource for travelers.
Focus on Long-Tailed Keywords
Don’t forget to incorporate an SEO strategy into your content marketing. When it comes to writing your hotel’s story, you must be able to balance between writing for the user as well as for search engine bots. The way to build your story for SEO is by providing great copywriting while incorporating long-tailed keywords. Come up with a list of keywords that guests might use to find your hotel on the website and include those search terms in relevant pages of your website. For example, if many guests choose your hotel because of your pool then include the keyword “(city name) hotel with a pool.” Add this keyword in a relevant page of your website, like the amenities page. Don’t waste your time focusing your keyword strategy on short tailed terms because these will actually yield less qualified traffic. Instead focus on using long tailed keywords that is much narrower and specific to the searcher’s intent. You will see that targeting long-tailed keywords will generate less traffic volume, however because it is more specific to the searcher’s intent it will yield higher conversion rates.
When you finally decide to revamp your website, don’t forget to re-evaluate the existing copy on your website. If you find that your copy is mundane and provides little to no value to the reader, then that should be a clear indication that a rewrite is necessary. Before you start rewriting your content, take some time to research what people are saying about you on review sites and social media and take all that criticisms into consideration when rewriting your hotel’s story. Remember, your hotel isn’t what YOU say it is, but rather it is what your GUESTS say it is. Be as genuine and truthful about what your hotel offers and avoid giving readers a false expectation of what your hotel is not.