What comes to mind when a hotelier decides to improve their brand’s digital reach and effectiveness to bring in new customers? The image in your head might involve new and vibrant graphics, catchy attention-grabbing headlines, paid search marketing campaigns, and maybe, some strategic SEO techniques. While each of the listed avenues can be remarkably useful, when properly implemented, they aren’t the “end-all, be-all” of website marketing. When you are trying to increase your digital footprint, you need to think more holistically. This is where heuristics come into the discussion.
Once you realize how simple it can be, you will realize that focusing on heuristics is the most underutilized traffic-boosters around—especially for hotel and travel professionals.
Bluntly, this is likely because focusing on heuristics is a complex and detailed undertaking that requires more time to grasp than other forms of digital marketing. The loose definition of a heuristic is a process one uses to gain knowledge or some desired result by intelligent guesswork rather than by following some pre-established formula. There are countless types of heuristics in existence, but all of them are based around a large idea that humans make some choices without consulting and reviewing each small detail of a situation.
With the long booking times and consideration, you better believe that travel has some specific heuristics that you might benefit from.
A bottom-line example of heuristic thinking is as follows: an individual decides to cancel after-work plans because he or she is set to complete a difficult assignment in the office, and assumes that a lack of energy will inhibit any plans after the shift’s end.
This thought process doesn’t appear to be very unique (many of you might think that this is a perfectly logical chain of thought, I know I have), but what is significant is that we made those decisions in a matter of seconds, without thorough consultation of the facts (perhaps eating certain foods or sleeping longer would boost energy levels, and the plans could have been followed through with. Furthermore, perhaps the assignment won’t be very difficult after all, and won’t affect energy levels).