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Digital Marketing
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a favoured marketing strategy for many hotels. It allows you to target your key consumer base and is a valuable way to grow your business and secure more direct bookings. However, when you set up a PPC advert and then fail to meet your revPar goals, the disappointment is massive. You want your PPC campaign to deliver bookings, and yet you can literally watch the tumbleweed as the clock ticks on, budget depletes and no reservations are made. What is going wrong?
Here are four potential reasons why your hotel’s PPC adverts are not delivering.
1. Too Many Keywords
Here is an interesting fact. When it comes to PPC adverting, sales are generated from around 12% of keywords on average. The general feeling when it comes to paid advertising is to keyword everything to excess; you are paying for the leads, so you want the best results. However, this rarely works as a theory. Poorly performing keywords drain your budget and can impede your efforts to bolster direct bookings by delivering a higher cost per conversion than is desirable while also making it harder to pick out the keywords that are delivering better results. Your Google AdWords account can help you identify the keywords that work for you provided you have it properly structured and regularly review keyword performance in line with conversions. Removing keywords that are very broad may lead to a decrease in click throughs, but you should see an increase in conversion by focusing on better quality traffic. Cutting down on excess keywords can therefore help you achieve the direct bookings the campaign was intended for.
2. Badly Structured Adverts
Hotel internet marketing is a crowded market, and sadly a lot of adverts tend to mimic each other and frankly, leave the user cold. To up the conversion and ROI from your paid advertising, you need copy that that is exciting and enticing. What are you offering your guests that no other hotel is, or more importantly that your competition has forgotten to highlight?
Don’t forget the all-important call to action either- it may seem obvious you are looking for direct bookings, but if you do not have the book now hook, you could find your advert is simply not compelling enough to attract potential customers. travel-essentials
3. Mobile Traffic Failure
Over 60% of internet users access websites on mobile devices (this includes mobile phones and tablets). You need to ensure that your site or landing page is optimised for mobile users following the click through. If your site isn’t responsive, it won’t be optimised for mobile users. This means a poor user experience and issues such as slow loading pages, large tracts of texts to scroll and impossible to use booking forms. It doesn’t matter how good your paid advertising is, a lack of mobile optimisation will see you losing sales originating from your PPC ads.
4. Complicated Booking Process
In a similar vein, you need to consider the booking process itself. If the booking process is complicated, even the best hotel internet marketing campaign will fail. This is the instant gratification generation – they are not interested in hanging around filling in form after form. Look for ways to help your customers out by speeding up the process with a modern, user-friendly booking engine optimised for desktop and mobile use.
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Digital Marketing
When it comes to finding new ways of increasing your hotel’s direct bookings, your marketing team have much sway over the strategies and tactics deployed to help achieve this goal. Here are five activities your digital marketing team can do now to help boost your bookings:

1.Make Your Hotel Website User-Friendly
A hotel website which isn’t user-friendly will suffer from reduced hotel guest interest, whereas a site with an attractive, mobile-responsive design, clear navigation and an emphasis on easy online bookings will reap the rewards of paying attention to end-user needs. Optimisation across different devices is essential now that mobile browsing is dominating online activity, so your digital marketing team must remember this to help convert more browsers into hotel room bookers. User friendly elements include features such as one click log ins, easy reservation forms (no superfluous form fields and no forcing the guest to register for an account before they can make a booking) and at a glance room type information. Features such as Google Maps for directions and a prominent phone number or online chat system are also worth considering.

2. Try Remarketing
When you experience abandoned bookings, you can always consider bringing them back to your site with a little remarketing. It’s as simple as adding some code to your website, and gives you the ability to show visitors who abandon bookings customized ads designed to draw them back in. You may also want to try these tactics for winning back abandoned reservations.

3. Create Great Content
Content marketing is a cornerstone of great digital marketing practice and essential for hotel internet marketing. It’s by no means a quick fix solution, and sometimes getting a content marketing strategy right takes a bit of time and a lot of clever thought as to how to appeal to your target hotel guest, not only through the creation of compelling content, but by placing this content in places where they will find it. Strategic content marketing will help to drive new traffic direct to your website, so it’s also an essential for SEO purposes.

4. Provide Added Value
This will mean pushing your website and digital marketing further. When hotel guests are motivated to take advantage of deals, they are also motivated to book – and the perceived value of your hotel could increase significantly simply with the introduction of some offers; a free drink in the bar, a complimentary meal, late checkout – or alternatively by offering special packages to particular guest segments as a means to boost your direct bookings.

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5. Respond to Online Comments
Whether it’s online reviews or comments on your social media channels, responding to reasonable requests for information or in response to a review (even critical reviews) has a very positive effect on the perception of your hotel, which can in turn increase the likelihood of those prospects searching for the ideal place to stay opting for your hotel.
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Digital Marketing
Writing an enticing headline can go a long way towards boosting overall engagement with your hotel blog and news pages. Taking time to craft a strong headline is something all travel marketers and hoteliers should commit to when creating new content. While it can be easy to assume that this is the shortest element of any piece of content, it’s actually one of the most important as the title will help readers determine:

  • How relevant the news item or blog post is
    How interesting it is
    Whether it’s worth clicking through to read more or scrolling past in favour or another piece of content or news
The next time you’re compiling a blog post, try keeping our top 5 headline writing tips in mind to boost views and click throughs for your blogs and news items…

Use A Working Title
One of the most inhibiting aspects of blog or news writing is facing a blank page, so be sure to use a working title to help outline precisely what it is you need to write. By its very nature, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Through the process of writing your post, you will likely find something catchier and snappier to draw in interest from your readership so refine, refine, refine. You won’t want to leave it too open-ended, as a title which is too generalised won’t help to guide your content. Once you have drafted the basics of your post, you can then convert the title into something more SEO-friendly and compelling at a later stage.

Avoid Hyperbole and Clickbait
If you want your hotel blog or news items to be trusted as a source dispensing genuinely interesting content, then try and avoid drawing in (and disappointing) your readership with false promises and over-exaggerated claims . There is sometimes a thin line between conveying enthusiasm and conveying downright falsehood in order to boost click throughs. Social networks are cracking down on this with Facebook in particular saying it will penalise Pages that use clickbait to get readers to click on the post so the title you choose could have ramifications elsewhere.

Keep It Short and Clear
Clarity is hugely important when crafting a title for your piece. The immediate nature of online content appeals to the impatient in all of us, but it’s a little more critical and techy than that; social sharing requires that headlines remain to within around 8-12 words for optimum shares on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, so be sure to keep it simple.

Optimise Content for Social
Sharing blogs, news and articles is a major part of the social media landscape, and if you want your hotel internet marketing to perform at its very best, it’s important to take this into account when crafting your title. Include vital keywords and catch reader’s attention to improve your click-through rate.

Brainstorm Ideas
Not sure how to get your headlines into the best possible shape? Brainstorm some ideas either solo or with a trusted friend or colleague to be sure of getting some unexpected content curation tips from your own network, ensuring you can supercharge your hotel’s marketing content!
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Digital Marketing
Every hotel interne marketing professional knows the importance of SEO but, that doesn’t mean that it’s always done right. SEO is a complex and ever changing field, with new schools of thought, new best practice advice and new algorithms to contend with on a seemingly endless cycle. So, while you might think you’re doing the best job you can with your SEO, if you aren’t keeping up with the changes or are taking your advice from the wrong sources, you might be falling victim to outdated methodologies or find yourself caught out by an SEO myth. All of this can and will have a damaging effect on your hotel’s online presence and reputation. Keep reading to find out how bad advice could be undermining your activities….

SEO

1. Mobile Optimisation Doesn’t Matter
Google (not to mention other search engines) certainly care about whether your website is optimised for mobile users. With about 50% of browsers consistently searching the web on the go, there’s never been a better time to make sure your website is fully mobile-ready.

There are bigger factors which search engines take into account when testing your mobile-readiness than just how the page looks. They also consider page load time, click-speed, even the page size. With the arrival of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), the importance of mobile to SEO is only going to grow. Make sure you get up to speed ASAP.

2. Image Optimisation Doesn’t Matter
As social marketing shifts increasingly towards image-led content, the importance of optimising those images for SEO grows, too. Doing this is quite simple, but can be easily forgotten when creating content. As with many things SEO-related, a little care and attention goes a long way.

3. SEO is Just About Keywords
Keywords definitely still matter – but they’re by no means the full story when it comes to getting SEO-ready in 2017. Relying too much on an SEO-strategy which prioritises keyword building at the expense of everything else often simply results in clunky copywriting and disappointing results. Taking the time to assess your SEO weak-spots and addressing them systematically is no quick fix – but it is a great way to ensure long-term SEO-ranking success.

4. SEO Isn’t Important
Ignoring the importance of SEO overall is a little like the digital equivalent of going to live in a cave instead of paying rent. Sure, you can still have a website which doesn’t pay any attention to SEO – but it won’t be very effective for drawing in leads or filling up your rooms (much like a cave won’t have central heating or cosy double glazing).

Investing a little time and money into getting your website SEO-ready will pay huge dividends for years to come, both in terms of your hotel’s reputation and profit margins.

Not sure where to go from here? Digital Hotelier are experts in hotel internet marketing. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you upgrade your efforts.
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