This is a back-to-basics episode where the Fueligans discuss 21 tangible tactics that your hotel can implement today. We break the ideas down into categories and go through them in detail. Whether you want to improve your website guest experience, revisit your approach to content, or simply sharpen your pencil on your advertising spend, this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast has you covered.
Here’s our hotel marketing t0-do list for 2021:
- Do a Monthly Usability Check
Go through your website and booking engine experience on your mobile device and make a monthly booking, with a real card, to audit the actual customer experience. Google will begin mobile-view indexing in 2021. Your phone (or mobile emulation) should be your primary way of viewing your site – like it is for your guests.
- Do a Coronavirus Audit
View your on-site experience through COVID glasses. What amenities should be changed to work with a more socially-distancing guest? What signage or processes can you put in place to instill a safe and sanitary environment.
- Identify and Fix Your Content Gaps
Add a keyword search to your website to learn where you have content gaps and fix them by creating new content based on the searched terms.
- Provide Accessibility Information
Add an accessibility page to your site that lists all of the accessibility features your property has to offer
- Continue To Monitor the Site for Accessibility Issues
Use a tool such as WAVE or a paid system such as PowerMapper to check your site for WCAG 2.1 AA compliance. Consider hiring a company like InclusiveWeb to do a manual audit and frequent scans. Pro Tip: in many cases, ADA compliance work can be tax-deductible. Contact Inclusive Web for more information on this.
- Evaluate Your Booking Engine Options
No matter how good your website is, a poor booking engine experience may be hurting your conversions. Is your booking engine within your domain? Does it look like the rest of your site? Is it tracking all the things? Now is the time to evaluate this critical piece of your tech stack. (Episode 131 – Is It Time To Re-Evaluate Your Booking Engine?)
- Check That Your Analytics Is Working Properly
Audit your analytics tracking, both on your site, and all ongoing campaigns. Is your entire site tagged correctly, with attribution passing to your analytics system? Are your form submissions being tracked? Is ALL of your paid marketing tagged in a way that is easily identifiable and segmentable in your analytics system? Is anyone stealing attribution? #attributiontheftisreal
Content and SEO
- Speed Up Your Site
Google is rolling out Page Experience as a ranking factor in May. Get your site “up-to-speed” before you start losing rankings to your competitors with similar content but faster sites. (Ep. 160 – Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 160 – Google’s Latest Ranking Signal Marks A New Age In SEO)
- Revisit Your Stale Page Titles and META Descriptions.
They probably haven’t been updated in years. Test new page titles that will set you apart from the SERP competition and entice users to click. This can help increase your CTR and possibly even rank. Consider adding COVID-related terms regarding safety and cleaning protocols.
- Audit Your Old Content.
Do you have blog posts you haven’t updated in over a year? We bet there is some new information you could add to those posts to spruce them up for the new year. You can republish them and share them on social media.
- Add More internal links
While you are refreshing your old blog content see if you have new posts that you could link to or link from your newer posts to this refreshed content.
- Encourage Shares of Your New Content
When you create new content, make sure you are thinking about sharability/linkability. Don’t create content just to create content. You should be creating content that your audience will want to consume and share. Your content should also be useful enough that other sites like DMOs would want to share and link to it.
Data & Communication
- Organize Your Data Collection
As third party cookies become less and less usable, first-party data will be key to connecting with your past guests and others who are familiar with your brand. (Ep. 165 – Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 165 – How To Prepare For A Cookieless World). Collect info about your guests to create a complete guest profile. Not only their email address but also when they booked, when they stayed, who they stayed with, why they traveled, etc. You also need to know why someone provided information. Was it a requirement or are they looking for more information about your property? You should tailor email and remarketing campaigns to serve the appropriate information at the right time to generate new bookings.
- Survey Your Database
Survey your guests and ask them when they will feel comfortable traveling, what is preventing them from booking, what they want to hear about, etc., and use the data to create content that addresses the specific findings. See Fuel’s sentiment studies for question ideas.
- Use Social Proof To Encourage Bookings
Record conversations with the guests that are currently coming and ask them why they are traveling and how safe they feel, use the footage on your site and on your social channels to show non-travelers that it can be safe to travel. Pro Tip: Evaluate the Flip.to platform and learn how you can use UGC to encourage people to travel.
- Check Your Touchpoints
Review your welcome, confirmation,b and pre-arrival emails and update them with relevant coronavirus information. Pro-Tip: keep them updated with real-time information about the local area.
- Make Sure Your Not Wasting Budget On Unnecessary Keywords
Schedule a monthly review of your Search terms report in Google Ads and add negative keywords to eliminate unqualified searches or remove keywords that you’re wasting money on (or make sure your agency is doing it)
- Update Your Audiences
Adjust your targeting to focus on drive markets and/or markets that are still able to visit your property based on travel restrictions. This is also ideal for hotels with limited budget. (A How-To Guide For Targeting Drive Markets)
- Be Prepared To Be Agile With Your Rates and Offerings
Keep a close eye on your rates. We expect guests to book closer in and a real-time revenue management strategy is more important now than ever (insert COVID catchphrase) In addition, as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, the packages and offers you are promoting may need to shift to cater to the audience expectations.
- Allocate Time To Building Partnerships
Create new partnerships with local businesses and/or leverage old partnerships in new ways. Can you combine your efforts to reach a larger audience and provide more value? Bonus: This can be a great way to get links to your hotel’s website.
- Keep Educating Yourself and Your Team
Keep an eye on the broader market and news trends. Today’s hoteliers are going to need to be more nimble and able to quickly adapt and capitalize on fast-moving trends. Especially on the web things can change in an instant. For instance, your Parler marketing strategy is now out the window…
In The Newsaroos:
- Sandals Resorts Offer Free COVID Testing
Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @fueltravel or email@example.com.