15 Online Travel Marketing Tips for Independent Hotels and Resorts

By Matthew | Internet Marketing

Jan 26

15 Online Travel Marketing Tips for Independent Hotels and Resorts

Do you manage an independent hotel or resort? Are you looking to attract more customers and keep them coming back to your hotel? Do you want your place to be accessible, visible, likable and attractive both online and offline? Whether your resort or hotel is located in the downtown core of a city or in a distant and remote location, here are 15 online marketing tips tips for any independent hotels or resorts out there looking to attract more attention more tourists from near and far while also growing your business at the same time.

  1. Hotel reviews

From TripAdvisor to Google ratings, reviews are crucial and key to success. It’s important to have ongoing reviews on the property’s Google listing, TripAdvisor and other hotel listing sites. Of course you can’t push your customers to leave a review on every site out there, so focusing on at least these two popular review sites are a great start.

  1. Online PR

Whether this PR comes through bloggers or travel sites, every mention of your hotel or resort counts and can potentially mean more than the amount of spending on advertising that you would otherwise be doing. You want to get as many reputable and influential bloggers and travel related sites to write about you and your offerings, as well as having a link back to your site. Check out popular names such as Lonely Planet, Travel+Leisure, Matador Network, Buzzfeed Travel, and National Geographic Traveler to name a few.

  1. Start blogging

While reaching out to established travel bloggers is great, it’s time to also take matters into your own hands. Starting your own blog for your hotel or resort can server as a very useful content hub within your website, where your target audience can read interesting stories, articles and other content about your place as well as about themselves. A useful blog can even attract thousands or even millions of visitors to your website.

Here are some things a blog can also help your business achieve:

  • Increase the number of your site’s indexed pages in the search engines. This will result with increased search engine visibility and organic search, especially for certain keywords.
  • In the form of blog posts you can share your content via social media to encourage viral marketing, as well as establishing your brand identity.
  • Collect feedback, reviews, insights and any other important data from your audience.
  • Establish and maintain good relationships with your existing and potential customers.

Read this articles to learn more about business blogging:

http://etravelseo.com/blogging-for-business-and-marketing-is-blogging-necessary/

  1. Blog about the top tourist attractions in your location, hotel or resort

Tourist attraction such as beautiful beaches, scenic surrounding mountains, historical landmarks and cultural festivals are some of the main motivators tourists are attracted to your city or region. People will typically search information about these things using search engines and referrals from social media.

Here are a few examples of some titles or headlines you can use for your blog posts to attract guests to your place.

  • 12 reasons why you should visit ____________.
  • Top 20 things to do in __________.
  • Top 10 tourist destinations in ________________ (insert your city, region or country).
  • 20 amazing photos that will make you want to visit ___________ right now.
  • 6 reasons why you should experience the _____________ (insert the festival held in your location).
  1. Optimise titles and meta description on your website

This might seem like a simple suggestion, but it can make a significant difference. If your hotel’s website already ranks on the first page of Google, then you simple need to ensure that you clearly say who you are and what you do. Create your title and description for your customers, not only for the search engines. Avoid using descriptions like ‘We are one of the best hotels’, this will not bring real-time users. Just be honest and deliver what you promise to your prospective customers.

  1. Local SEO

Search engines such as Google answer numerous searches per year. This indicates that Google is still the top place on the internet to seek for consumer goods and services. With that said, a business such as yours needs to target a portion of these searches that are relevant to the hotel or travel industry. If you search for “Hotels in Lisbon” in Google, the search engine will give you the following results.

According to these results, hotels that are shown on the top of Google results receive more visitors than those that are displayed at the bottom or at the next search engine results pages.

If your hotel is not displayed in the top or in the first page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) for relevant keywords or search queries, then you’re losing web traffic and leads. To help improve the search engine visibility of your hotel and drive relevant traffic to your site, you have to establish local search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are a few local SEO tips you can do:

  • Add keywords to your page titles that identifies your location. For example, “Name of Your Hotel – Hotel in Lisbon” or “Name of Your Resort – Resort in Orlando”.
  • Be sure to Include your local address and contact numbers, not only in your homepage and contact page, but also in all your web pages.
  • Add a map to your website.
  • Add a map to your Facebook page.
  • Add your business to Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and Yahoo Local, (don’t forget to verify your address!).
  • Get your accommodation listed in TripAdvisor and or other relevant review sites.
  • Add your property at Expedia, Booking.com or Agoda.
  • Add photos of your hotel or resort to your business listings.
  • Ask reviews from your guests.
  • Publish blog posts using local keywords in your titles.
  1. Email marketing

Don’t ignore email marketing in the age of social media. Email marketing is still a direct marketing channel to message to an audience using email. It is one of the most effective ways to reach out to guests by using information that you already may have. Include content that appeals to each individuals needs. Personally targeted email marketing is much better than sending mass emails also considered as spam to the receiver. When gathering information, try and get as many details including email address from your customers, age, gender and so on. Emails not only help by building loyalty but also in your Google Adwords campaigns (PPC) as well as in your social media.

  1. Segment your list of audience

Simply put, segmentation is the process of dividing an an already existing list on the basis of various criteria put inter different segments. You can create these segments based on the customer’s location, age, gender, time of visit, duration of stay, area of interest, single/couple and so on. By this you can communicate with your customers uniquely

  1. Request for feedback and review

Send an email within 15 days of the customers checkout for a survey and asking for a review on TripAdvisor and or Google Listing. This seems to actually work quite well! You could even request for some pictures from during their stay which you could use later on social media (with their permission).

  1. Have your guests revisit online

Send emails on occasion about happening near by festivals or cultural events. Let them know what’s happening in the area or at your hotel that they stayed at. No better way than reminiscing someone about their good times. This tip could also be including in a blogging and social media strategy.

  1. Use Database for custom Audience targeting

With a database for custom audience, you can upload the email IDs or mobile numbers of your customers to Facebook Ad’s account (create a custom Audience by using PowerEditor). You can also run personalised campaigns for your already existing customers by offering them exclusive coupons or discounts on their next visit for example.

  1. Wisely Choose audience Interest / demographics / behavior

Choose a targeted audience in Facebook ad manager can be quite savvy. There’s even a Travel Filter (found under the Behavior title) which includes, every frequent traveler, business travellers, commuters, those who are returned from a trip one week ago, or two weeks ago, those who use travel app, and the list goes on. Using this manager tool can help you segment your target audience with ease and is certainly beneficial.

  1. Use plenty of visuals and images

Not only should you use images to show your hotel or resort, but also post images from around the surrounding area to entice visitors to come to the location where you are situated.

  1. Promote online channels to your guests offline

Placing a simple banner or card in the reception or hotel lounge area for social media follow can go a long way in helping share the word. Discounts on check-in or even accessing hotel-guest wifi via Facebook could be a good idea to spread the word. There are many ideas out there to help easily spread the word and often your guests are happy to do it.

  1. Share a story using video campaigns

I’ve seen many hotels using video ads, some which have been very creative and enticing. In the hotel niche, visuals and video ads should be more personal and share a story and not just be about your rooms that you offer. Instead, engage with the prospective customer, share about where your hotel is situated, the cultural events around the area, hospitality, facilities, staff, and then of course your service and what makes your place so unique.

So to wrap it up, these were some of my thoughts and tips in regards to marketing a hotel digitally. I’d love to get your insight and ideas too! Feel free to write in the comment box below.

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About the Author

Co-founder at eTravelSEO, Matthew Roblin is a content creator, entrepreneur, and travel enthusiast. He has worked as a travel coordinator for UNU-WIDER and currently works as project assistant for ToolBox-Travel Marketing & Consulting. He has a University Bachelor’s degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management. Matthew is originally from Toronto, Canada and currently lives in Finland. He loves Jazz music, loves to travel and also has a slight obsession for marketing.

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