With an unlimited amount of travel options available online, one of the major challenges hoteliers face is how to drive traffic to their hotel website. And not just any old traffic, but quality traffic; travel shoppers who actually plan on visiting your area and are looking for accommodation.
This article outlines the digital marketing strategies to focus on in order to increase the volume (and quality) of your website visitors
1. Content, Content, Content
At the heart of any good digital marketing strategy is content. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing seeks to build credibility with travel shoppers by providing content that’s helpful or relevant to their needs. This may be in the form of blog articles, website copy, social media, images, video, curated content, or something else.
Quality content serves two important purposes:
- It gets you found online
- It helps website visitors convert on your website
Producing high quality content that travel shoppers find informative, helpful or entertaining ensures they spend more time on your website, an important factor in SEO rankings.
It also helps you rank for a wider range of targeted, long-tail keywords. Today, long-tail keywords – search terms that include 4, 5 or maybe even more words – account for roughly 80%-90% of your website traffic.
Google rewards websites with content that address these longer and more specific search queries. So instead of trying to compete with OTAs and larger brands on generic keywords, consider what specific terms travel shoppers may actually be searching for.
For example, “Hotels in Downtown Toronto” is very broad and therefore competitive, but “Hotel near TD Centre Downtown Toronto” is much more targeted and likely to get you a higher ranking in search results.
One of the ways to do this is to focus on targeted content. Consider your ideal guest, and create a buying persona for them. What motivates this travel shopper? What kind of hotel and experiences are they interested in? What nearby attractions and amenities will they be looking for? Use this persona to guide your content creation.
Once you have your content, don’t let it go stale. Your website is a living, breathing thing. Update it regularly. This doesn’t mean investing a huge amount of time into new content development. It could be as simple as posting some new photos to your website and social media, or adding some new web copy for an upcoming event. Updating your website regularly keeps web visitors engaged and is another factor that influences your SEO ranking.