In 2014 changes in how Google ranks online content will mean further focus on highly individual, quality content for your establishment. This means serious considerations for your marketing online.
Since online searches make up at least half of bookings on hotel websites, it’s important to keep up with the changes Google makes. The new Hummingbird algorithm and Penguin 2.0, for example, mean it’s not just enough to have great keywords throughout your online content, but the content needs to be truly engaging and unique to your business to rank highly. These new tools will mean your website (and other efforts online such as social media) will need to be responsive to conversational questions viewers type in – so the more helpful and ‘human’ the content, the better for your results.
Of course, this is useful for everyone involved in marketing, but Max Starkov and Mariana Safer point out some tips to help the hospitality industry in particular. ‘We’ve heard the complaint before that creating quality content is hard for a hotel, that hotels have nothing new to consistently write about – this is not true! Travel is a subject that is fun to write and read about. It’s worth the effort here. Not only does Google value consistent, new and quality content, so do potential customers. New content gives them a reason to keep coming back to your website.’
They suggest that you:
- Create content that is helpful to readers, such as suggested itineraries for spending the day in the area
- Create content that represents a unique, local experience and is really about your establishment, such as events you are holding, or off-site specials and events nearby
- Make a point of developing an SEO strategy for your website that is centred on quality content
- Consider using professional copywriters and SEO specialists that will know what type of content to write about while also targeting long-tail keywords (e.g. Perth hotel with rooftop pool)
We would also add our tips – these aren’t news, just important reminders that are still relevant to Google’s changes in 2014:
- Refresh your website and other online material with regular updates. The difference in website hits (and therefore sales) is amazing when substantial content, such as an article, is updated once or twice a week on the website
- Consider a good-quality blog, updated at least weekly, rich with stories and news of what is happening at your establishment… and don’t forget the pictures
- Think about how you can make your online content more interactive (e.g. allowing comments on blog posts, linking web pages to social media so people can share content) to help make your news viral! Most of all… add ‘sharable’ content – fun stories, jokes, great photographs and other visuals are what people like to share with others
- Where possible and appropriate, include the people that make up your business – as people connect with and buy from people
- Impress with great images to match the visual sophistication of your online audience in 2014
Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions for Hoteliers for 2014 Max Starkov and Mariana Safer