Congratulations, you are building a new website! This is an exciting time where you will be making important decisions on how to best represent your hotel online.
NB: This is an article from Blue Magnet
While making sure your website looks and functions well in its design is significant, your website’s content is an integral part of the new site’s success. In fact, according to a Curata study, “74% of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity.” With this in mind, when building a new website, baking in epic content from the start is as important as picking color and fonts.
While “epic content” does not have a dictionary definition, in the marketing world, it is considered content that informs and engages beyond what the website visitor expects. Basic content meets a visitor’s expectations and fills their needs, but epic content goes above and beyond expectations and excites a visitor.
Building a new website with great content will help your organic search rankings, engage your guests, and drive more visitors to your site. But how do you build epic content? Read on as we break down the pillars of next-level content for independent hotel websites.
Invest in Copywriting
Perhaps you have an old, existing website that already has copy. You may ask “why pay for new copywriting?” Often times, you might be able to reuse content from your old website; however, not everything will be salvageable. New copywriting means your development team can create epic-level content or upgrade your old (and perhaps thin) content.
Another benefit of new copywriting is you can change the direction or goals of your website. Your website is the centerpiece of your digital marketing efforts, and that means it must align with your overall digital marketing goals. Even if your old website had goals, it is likely that your areas of need at your hotel are now different. Your website copy should be written and organized in a way that works to accomplish those digital goals.
Focus Your Content Efforts
You cannot write amazing content for every single detail of your hotel right off the bat; the development period would be too long and the burden of questions to your staff would be too much. Development for an all epic content site could take six months to over a year and twice as much money. Rather, you need to communicate to your development team what area of your hotel you currently want to improve sales in. Is your hotel team looking to increase group bookings? Do you want more food and beverage revenue at your on-site dining establishment? Are you striving to book more business guests? By focusing on content that meets your current goals, you will get the best use of limited budgets and deadlines and see results more immediately.
Having clear goals and communicating them allows your development team to focus their energy on promoting those areas of need first. With these goals in mind, your development team will incorporate mini sales funnels throughout your site instead of on just one page. These needs will get the “epic content” treatment first, launching your website with your hotel’s goal seamlessly weaved into the content.
Tap into the local area.
As a hotelier, you know your local area best. What are the biggest and best attractions? Give your development team a list of these to further research in the early phases of the site’s development. At Blue Magnet, we will ask for these to help craft navigation and outline a plan for success from the start.
Building on your local area knowledge, what are the frequently asked questions about these attractions? Gather answers to FAQs to engage your potential guests and give yourself an “insider tips” edge, making your hotel’s website a reliable source of information on more than just your amenities. For example, how should guests park around your local convention center? What is the best spot on the nearby beach to lay out? Provide your development team with a list of questions and answers you may often hear at your concierge desk to incorporate onto your site.
Furthermore, if your hotel is in a foodie town, flaunt it! Create a list of your favorites places, especially if they are off the beaten path, and send it over to your development team to create and epic dining guide unique to your hotel. Looking for inspiration? Check out a few of our favorites like these New Orleans and Nashville dining guides.
Get Epic With Your Standard Pages
Informative pages about your hotel or local area can be epic, even if the topic may seem standard. With great content, these standard pages will attract site visitors and engage guests. Blue Magnet strives to make our hotels’ standard pages epic, and we have brought convention center pages, room block pages, and on-site dining pages to the next level.
Convention center pages can bake in epic content by including nearby services for your typical convention traveler, like the closest UPS, dry cleaner, and professional clothing store. It is also good to include upcoming or annual events at the convention center, but make sure you keep this up-to-date for the best site visitor experience. As a hotelier, you can really make your convention center page stand out with “tips and tricks” about visiting, whether that be information on walking around the center, navigating food options in the area, parking information, or anything you think would be helpful to convention goers. Need inspiration? Check out this New Orleans convention center page.
Room blocks pages are a perfect opportunity to engage group sales guests, even if you do not have a meeting or event space at your property. Epic level content for a room blocks page includes details like location perks, group policies, and transportation information to popular event venues. If you want to encourage wedding room blocks, provide information about bridal suite upgrades or any special wedding perks when guests book with you. To top it off, include short paragraphs directly addressing the different groups that could stay at your hotel (corporate, wedding, social) and highlight the specific accommodations and amenities that would make their specific stay easy. For an example, take a look at this Texas airport hotel’s room blocks page.
If your on-site dining goes beyond an average hotel restaurant, promote that! If your food and service are next level, your website page deserves to be so too. Start with a great dining page within your site that lists standards such as hours, ways to make a reservation, and phone number (if different than the main hotel number). Beyond these necessities, have HTML menus, highlights of happy hour or specials, and a look at your chef or chief mixologist. For inspiration, consider this Dallas hotel’s next-level dining page.
To elevate your on-site dining even further, consider investing in a micro site specifically for the restaurant. A micro restaurant site will not only host the same epic content listed above, but has the advantage of being able to incorporate individual branding outside of your hotel’s. Plus, a micro restaurant website will differentiate your dining establishment from “just another hotel restaurant.” Check out some mouth-watering examples like this Denver burger bar and Tucson craft eatery.
Epic Content Is Not a One Time Effort
Content development should not stop once you launch your website. Take guest feedback and concierge-style questions to heart and share them with your digital marketing team to explore if there are opportunities to address those topics on the website. Continuously share what you see at your hotel to make sure your website reflects it accurately. You should always strive to make sure your content informs, engages, and excites visitors to make it epic.
Baking epic-level content into your new website is vital to success. By investing in new copywriting, focusing your content efforts, tapping into the local area, getting epic with your “standard” pages, and continuing content efforts post-launch, your content will drive more visitors to your hotel site.