Online Marketing in Hotels
There’s a big chance that your hotel already has its website, social media account, and online presence in listing and booking sites. But here are some online hotel booking statistics that may help convince you to invest and focus more on online marketing: (1) there are about 148.3 million internet bookings made per year, (2) 65.4% of internet bookings are made through the website while the rest is done through merchant and retail websites, (3) 81% of travelers find user review of hotels important, and (4) 49% of travellers are hesitant to book a hotel that doesn’t have any reviews.
Allow, Respond to, and Encourage Reviews
Whether it’s on your social media page, your website’s review page, or some other listing site’s review segment for your hotel, it’s important that you try to be as responsive as possible. If there are negative reviews, you need to acknowledge them, apologise if necessary, and be sincere in saying that you’ll strive to have these inconvenience corrected. You also should respond to positive reviews by thanking the reviewer and hope to see them again. Lastly, you must encourage reviews by having your front desk remind them when they check out or even send them an email to do so — but you mustn’t bribe them with freebies to give you a good review as that would backfire immensely.
Have a Good Website
First off, you must have a good website, not just some placeholder showing your hotel’s name, address, and map. It’s a big no-no to allow ads and pop-ups on your site, as customers are more likely to click away when they see online advertisements in what’s supposed to be a professional website. In a way, your website should be like your front desk: well-designed, user-friendly, accommodating, and interactive. That said, you can have your website have features such as online booking, reservation, and payment as well as having pages to show off your rooms and amenities. Later on, you can even have a live customer service representative available in case potential customers would like to inquire or have difficulty in booking.
Flaunt Your Features
Your website and social media page (as well as your hotel’s page in hotel listing, booking, and review sites) must have descriptions and photos of what your hotel can offer such as its spa, swimming pool, restaurant, breathtaking view of the Australian outback, etc. Apart from highlighting unique features of your hotels your website, social media page, and booking site page should also list down amenities such as hot showers, hairdryers, ample parking, in-room irons and such. It also wouldn’t hurt to include additional in-room freebies like high-quality coffee packets, cookies, or even hotel supplies unique to hotels in Australia such as Kakadu Plum-infused shampoos and shower gels.
Consider Search Engine Optimization
Even with a good website, there’s still the problem of making your site show up when potential customers look up hotels in your particular area. This is where Search Engine Optimization becomes your best online marketing tool. It’s a method of online marketing that optimises your website in a way that it shows up higher in online search engine results. There are many digital marketing firms and SEO companies that you can hire to assist you with building your website and implementing SEO.
The hotel business in Australia is ever-growing, which is why you have to capitalise on online marketing to have the edge over your competition. If you’re still not convinced, here’s one more reason why you should invest in online marketing for your website: your competition is doing it, too.