In Part 1 of this two-part series, we outlined 4 important areas of focus in your digital marketing strategy, to help drive more quality traffic to your hotel website. By “quality” we mean travel shoppers who actually plan on visiting your area and are searching for accommodation.
We covered the importance of using targeted content, selling your local destination (not just your property), optimizing your website for SEO (including a focus on long-tail keywords), and leveraging social media to help you get found.
Let’s now build on that and look at 4 more ways you can drive more quality traffic to your hotel website.
5. Be Everywhere, Be Mobile-Friendly
Our smartphones have become an extension of our bodies. We use our phones for just about everything – waking up, listening to music, tracking our steps, counting calories, communicating with friends, and yes, even travel shopping. 69% of smartphone users are searching for travel ideas in spare moments of their day. By the end of 2016, 50% of all travel bookings will have been completed on a mobile device. So if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, that’s some serious revenue you’re missing out on.
Furthermore, Google has now started penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile. Websites deemed to be mobile-friendly are given a higher position in search engine rankings because of their superior end-user experience.
Some key elements of a mobile-friendly website include:
- Avoiding Flash and other software that doesn’t work on mobile devices.
- Having quick load times. 40% of shoppers won’t wait any longer than 3 seconds before abandoning a slow-loading mobile site.
- Automatically resizing photos and text to be proportional to each screen size. That way visitors don’t need to scroll across or zoom in on content.
- Links are separated by enough space, to make for easy tapping
6. Have a Visually Driven Hotel Website
Seeing is believing, and visual storytelling is the way to do it. Travel shoppers don’t just want to read about your property, they want to see it. They want to visualize what their travel experience will be like at your property.
Therefore, having a visually-rich website is essential. High-quality images, 360o virtual tours, video content, user-generated content, and other rich media is extremely important for creating an emotional connection with travel shoppers. One hotel that does a fantastic job of this is Sunset at the Palms. By leading with great visuals and engaging videos, their average time on site is 10:37, nearly double that of most other travel websites.