“How can I welcome more guests?” “How can I get more bookings and grow my revenue?” “How can my small hotel become big in terms of growth?”
Every small hotel owner asks himself questions like these. It isn’t easy to look at the bigger picture – managing the growth of a hotel or motel – as you handle the day-to-day operations of your business.
In an increasingly crowded market, it is essential for your property to stand out from the competition – and vital for it to have a digital footprint.
It’s important to have a website to showcase what’s different about your property, offer convenience, help clients to find you, get repeat business – and, ultimately to grow your business.
Here’s what every small hotel owner should do to improve their online presence and grow business:
1. Make sure your hotel website is fast
Your hotel’s website is your identity in the digital world so it’s important that it creates a really good first impression. A Google study has shown that visually complex websites are seen as “less effective and less aesthetically appealing”. So make sure your design and navigation are simple.
The site speed should be great – no one today has the time to wait. More than half of people looking for options will leave for a competitor’s site to avoid delays.
Make sure the gallery page is extremely attractive. The pictures of rooms and amenities are what will draw prospective guests to book a weekend!
2. Focus on mobile bookings
Mobile searches and bookings is the number one method customers are using to book their holidays. Having a mobile-friendly website helps you target this wide customer base.
The site should look aesthetic, should load quickly, and must allow easy, intuitive navigation. Offering mobile-only promotions and room rates is another way to increase conversions.
3. Build your social media profiles
In the digital age, social media must be a huge part of any business’s digital marketing initiative. It gives your small hotel a personality along with the opportunity to target and reach a vast audience.
Have a presence on every platform – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat – and target the audience that uses that form of social media.
Use attractive photos (have them professionally shot, if needed), use local hashtags, offer complete information, and make sure the profile leads to a reservations button.
4. Refresh your content
It’s not okay to set up a website and create social media profiles and then just let them sit. It’s important to create and maintain a constant stream of fresh content – across channels – so that you climb up the search engine ranks.
If you don’t produce fresh content regularly, you may fall off the ranks completely. Experiment – small blogs, long articles, videos, photos, virtual tours, and more.
5. Speak to your guests
Research shows that travellers tend to be 150% more engaged with listings that have more than 20 photos than with hotels that have only a few photos. A picture can say a thousand words, which is why you need to use visual stories to turn “lookers” into “bookers”.
List your amenities in a way that makes them sound more appealing. So not just a spa, pool, play area, and conference room; list them so that they translate into benefits and time well spent for guests.
Tell stories: “unwind at our spa”, “let your hair down at our salon”, “enjoy me time as the kids play”, and more.
6. Offer your guests social proof
The power of social proof is indisputable in the hotel business. All potential clients are most likely bombarded with a range of ads on social media and tend to be wary of claims.
In such a scenario, social proof works best to help them change their mind and convert leads into clients.
Most consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. So make sure you encourage happy guests to leave reviews, ratings, and testimonials along with tagging you on social media.
Any badges, awards, and certificates should be prominently displayed. Don’t miss the power of “influencers” when it comes to hardselling your property.
7. Have a compelling CTA
Most businesses tend to focus on largely visible aspects of marketing campaigns – digital initiatives, email campaigns, ad designs, social media copy and images, and more.
Everything is important, but you need to work towards one common goal: conversions. A convincing call-to-action can help you persuade prospective customers and make all the difference between a bounce and conversion.
Speak your prospective customers’ language and use a lot of action words and phrases to get their attention.
8. Retarget your visitors
It often happens that people visit your website, check it out, and then leave. Try retargeting to convert visitors who went away the first time. Visitors who are retargeted are much more likely to convert and come by to your hotel.
9. Reward old guests
Experts say it costs five to eight times less to retain existing customers than attract new customers. Making customers happy and building positive relationships ensure they give you a word of mouth publicity to their family, friends, and colleagues.
Do this by offering incentives, discounts, specials, and perks to returning customers. A desirable loyalty programme may make you the favoured destination for guests.
It’s also important to keep an eye on what the competition is doing – their pricing, their offers, their strategies, and more – and chart out your plan.
The best way to achieve it all
In the highly competitive and dynamic hotel industry segment, it’s important you follow all the above points. It can seem difficult to perform these tasks while performing your day-to-day activities and management.
This is where you can use Boost360. You can create a beautifully themed website for your hotel business, helps you perform digital marketing, take bookings online, connect with customers, offer deals, add updates and much more, all in one single app.