Regardless of whether you have opened a new hotel or want to start again after the restrictions caused by Corona, now it is time to take online marketing into your own hands, because even small, family-run hotels without a huge marketing budget the top names in the industry can compete. Marijus Kasmauskas, PR Manager at rankingCoach GmbH, gives 5 tips with which every small business owner can achieve a sustainable and uncomplicated online presence.
From Online editing
// July 29, 2020 //
Estimated reading time: 3 Minutes
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Build a website and optimize it for Google
Even when looking for a suitable hotel, the website can now be a first point of contact for interested parties. It is even more important for Google algorithms and crawlers that continuously crawl the web to find the right search results. Setting up a sitemap on Google, adjusting the coding of a website so that Google can “crawl” it, installing plugins that improve the user experience of visitors – these are the first important tasks for strategic search engine optimization (SEO). This makes it easier for Google’s crawlers to give the website a good ranking. When it comes to SEO, choosing the right keywords to incorporate into the content of a page is one of the keys to success. You have to make an informed and realistic selection of keywords. The point is to find a golden mean between the search volume – how many people search for the term – and the competitiveness of the search term – the number of other websites that optimize for that term. Therefore it is better to optimize the keyword “Hotel in Berlin Mitte” rather than “Hotel in Berlin”. This makes the keyword more specific and increases the chance of a top position.
Get new customers immediately with advertisements
Admittedly, SEO is like a marathon that you have to run to have more online presence, which means it can take a few months for Google to get a page to the top of the rankings. For those who want to sprint to the top on Google, advertising on search engines is suitable. Google Ads make it possible for the website to appear as the top result for every search term, so that you can quickly bring many new potential customers to the website directly from Google. Assuming you’re willing to pay the price per click when a searcher clicks on the ad. Google Ads offer the advantage of attracting highly qualified traffic and thus more customers very quickly. But only if the ads are managed correctly, because you have to bear in mind that poorly optimized ads can consume an advertising campaign budget very quickly and without significant results. The advertisement that specifically targets newly married couples with romantically decorated rooms is sure to be successful and generate revenue for a hotel.
At Google My Business and be consistently present in online directories
Since 2020, local business directories have received more attention from Google. Links to Booking.com, Trivago, HRS, Expedia appear at the top of the first page of the search results when looking for a hotel in a certain city. In addition, it is advisable for every smaller hotel to save a profile on Google My Business and fill it with relevant information. For example, if a band is about to appear in the hotel bar, you can publish and promote it as an event via Google My Business. If the information about a hotel (telephone number, opening times, etc.) is identical in all online directories, you automatically achieve more visibility, more trust from potential customers and a higher ranking on Google & Co.
Protect your reputation online
Building and protecting one’s online reputation is critical to any small business. A hotel that keeps an eye on its online reputation can respond to questions and problems from customers before they lead to negative reviews. Responding to reviews in a timely manner can avoid or mitigate bad reviews. The effects of negative reviews are also reduced. Potential guests are much more likely to resort to a hotel that publishes constructive responses to all of its reviews. The owners of the small hotels should use their personal relationship to customers to write individual answers. A consistent and open response to online reviews will result in more positive reviews and will make guests feel valued.
Use social media wisely as a hotel
A major reason why social media is such an important marketing tool is the network effect. This effect describes the way in which networks become more attractive to followers the larger they get. More followers create more interactions, which in turn creates even more followers. In order to use this effect optimally, mutual interactions must be encouraged. People who follow the hotel via social media channels provide a direct communication channel through which they can be informed about special offers, changes or news. The big advantage is that people who voluntarily follow the hotel on social media are definitely interested in it. However, this trust should not be abused. Potential guests will surely appreciate special offers and some nice photos of the new pool area after it reopens, but if you advertise here too much, nobody will want to subscribe to the profile.
In today’s digital world, online marketing is also accessible to smaller hotels. These tips show that, even without a huge marketing budget, it is possible to achieve more online presence quickly in the long term. There are also suitable tools on the market that can help every entrepreneur to develop an effective online marketing strategy and to implement it efficiently.
About the author:
Marijus Kasmauskas works at rankingCoach, an app for small businesses that covers all important areas of online marketing: SEO, SEA, social media, local marketing, reputation management and brand monitoring and does not require any prior knowledge or a large marketing budget.