28 July, 2010
Mastering the Art of Online Sales through Hotel Website Content
The content on your property website performs two separate, and extremely important, functions: the first is to attract visitors to your site through organic search; second, to generate interest and drive visitors to your site's booking page.
Two reasons why hotel site content must be the primary focus of a site's design and why site content must be carefully shaped and written to produce sales.
Relevancy: The Magic Elixir for Search Engines
To many hoteliers, designing content for search is simply choosing the right keywords for the site's search meta tags. The fact is that several major search engines no longer rely on keyword meta tags at all. More sophisticated search engine algorithms have transitioned from reading meta tags to analyzing site content (text). Their primary goal is to provide "relevant" results on searches performed.
The new rules for working with search engines require melding or incorporating keywords into the text content of the website itself. This makes the actual composing of your site's text content the single most-important element in your site's design. Yes, content is still king.
Important Elements Which Contribute to Search & Sales
Location, Location, Location
The first and foremost design element necessary for search and sales is highlighting the hotel's location. Now, don't confuse this with the hotel's address; location is far more significant. Travelers always choose their destination first. They choose hotels near where they want or need to be. A good location description will highlight the hotel's location in relation to major businesses, attractions, event venues, and trade shows.
Packaging and Promotions
Everyone wants a deal and packaging is a great way to provide strong perceived value to drive visitors to your booking page. Destination-focused packaging also serves both a search and sales function for your site. Because packages are highlighted on your site, it allows your webmaster to include additional keywords for search. This is a great site booster.
Third-party endorsements contain a strong message. Providing guest comments directly on your site adds plausibility and credibility to your site. The best vehicle to do this is the TripAdvisor widget, which will display comments made about your hotel directly on your site. For those skeptics, experts agree that guest comments add credibility to hotel websites.
Every hotel website needs a site map, no matter how large or small the site may be. Major search engines use them to index your site. Sometimes, the little things count too. Make sure that your webmaster understands that you expect sales results and not just visitors. Set goals to improve your site's productivity and create content to achieve those goals. It does not happen by itself; make it happen for you. Adapted from an article by Neil Salerno – Hotel Marketing Coach