The following guest blog post was written by our Account Manager, Sandra Martinez, who discusses the importance of a hotel’s website.
Should you care about having a website? Is it really as important as most people say it is? If you want more bookings, your answer is YES! Did you know that small changes to your site can make a big difference?
Become a Local Expert – An Area Guide & Blogging Greatly Helps
You need to become an expert in your local market. Remember to stay updated on the events and attractions near your hotel. A good way to provide your customers with events and attractions close by is an area guide on your site. Check out this example of an excellent area guide.
Now, how can you add a personal touch to your website? Do not forget to Blog about events, local attractions, and venues.
- 42% of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57% of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
Affiliate Marketing – Build Relationships with Local Vendors or Venues
Is your hotel close to a Convention or Conference Center? Is it a 5 minute walk? Will your guests spend $10.00 on cab fare? Hotel managers should take advantage of this local attraction and have a working relationship with the convention’s sales director. If there is a relationship there, your hotel can be listed on the convention’s website as a hotel with a discount or a special. If not, you should consider locating the Association or Sponsor to be a featured partner. Becoming an affiliate or be featured on their site is a huge opportunity for your hotel. Here’s an example of hotels featured on a convention center’s site.
Add Value – Offer a Special Amenity on your HomepageHoteliers need to add value and stand out in the crowd. So, why should an attendee stay with you? Do you have a shuttle or a taxi service that can be available to attendees? What are you going to do to gain that business? Most convention attendees attend annually, you will secure continued business by offering value. A cost effective value solution can be to offer a bag full of snacks for them to take with them to the convention. How about offering a pickup service for their purchases? Can your hotel provide a durable bag with your hotel name for them to put convention items in? Can you offer a networking social hour for the attendees? An off-site tour for attendees that travel with their families. What amenity will you offer that will bring your guests back? The thing to remember is that in order to attract a consumer, sometimes you have to change the recipe. The recipe changes depending on the consumer. Same base ingredients but you have to change the flavors in order to accommodate everyone’s taste. By updating your websites with local events, building relationships with your vendors and neighbors, and offering amenities you will be sure to attract more people to your area and increase direct bookings.