Tech Talk

Recent posts

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

Is Your Website Optimized to Drive Online Bookings?

05/24/2017

This year the 2017 AAHOA Convention was a huge success; not just for the thousands of hoteliers that attended, but also for the hundreds of venders that participated in the trade show. While conventions such as these are supremely famous for bringing together hoteliers and management companies from around the nation together in one platform, the primary focus of the AAHOA Convention is to educate on the newest hotel trends and offer classes that teach how to get the best out of various marketing tools. One of the biggest questions that came up at the convention from hoteliers this year was about their website and how to get the best out of it as a major marketing tool. Now that hotels have finally made the push to create private non-branded websites, hoteliers are left not knowing how to get the best out of them to drive the online bookings as was expected.

One of the major reasons your website may not be driving online bookings is the way it was designed. It’s not enough to just create a website, but it must be custom designed for each individual property and the services they provide. The core purpose of a hospitality website is to first visually, then through the content, showcase the reasons why your hotel is THE hotel to stay at. After all, that is what marketing is all about and this is not the place to cut costs in your marketing budget. When created the right way, your website can and will be your number one marketing tool! Here is a quick and easy checklist of must have items for your website that will help drive more bookings for your hotel.

  • Memorable Web Address – this one is the simplest of course. Create a URL for your website that customers can easily remember. An easy to remember website is probably the first stop for a repeat customer as opposed to a site you must do research on to find because of how long or complicated the wording is. Repeat business is always a core revenue source.
  • The term SEO (optimizing your site for search engines) seems to confuse people, but really it’s quite simple. When you google something like Hotels in San Francisco, a list of hotels in San Francisco will pop up. Now the goal is to get your hotel in the top ranking on that list so customers see you first without scrolling through a long list. This is where a lot of hotel websites fail; they do not have strong keywords that search engines use to find your site. Make sure you have strong keywords on each page of your site that will direct customers to you. The other and equally important way to get customers to find you in search engines, is to have strong backlinks on your site that direct customers to you. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to create an account and post your backlink there.
  • Having clear and easy to find dropdowns with informational pages that showcase your hotel is paramount. Customers want to know what amenities you have in an easy-to-find place. If your hotel is in a tourist area, then guests will want to know what to do in town and where to eat. Have a separate drop down for that. Do not lump all your information in one dropdown. Think about what you look for when you are booking a hotel, especially when you are on a weekend getaway or vacation.
  • Photos, photos, photos!!! Post lots of pretty photos of your property, of breakfast, of lobby décor, of the palm trees out front, of anything that will attract customers to your property. We love photos that draw us in. More important than anything else, make sure your site is mobile friendly so that customers can see vibrant photos from their cell phone, as we know, that is where our millennials are booking.
  • Updated content – Create a website that has content that is regularly updated. Update with weather status, with events in town, with updates to your hotel, with updates on new additions and renovations, or even with new pictures/videos of you and your staff and guests. Post video testimonials that are updated on a regular basis so that customers can see, hear and feel recent happy guest experiences. Be current!

To me, these are the main things that I think rank highest on how to make your site work for you. Other obvious things are promotional discounts and social media engagement. These are staples of any website. Find a web designer that will regularly maintain your site and update with changes as needed. Your site can and will be a marketing tool if you just take the steps to audit your site for the main things customers are looking for and expecting from a customer’s perspective.

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code