Hotel industry is a highly competitive sector of the leisure market. Consequently, hotels are in fierce competition with each other to offer most suitable packages for their customers. In order to maintain their lead in the market, hotels need to keep track of current trends continuously and anticipate the next challenge at the same time
Considering internet as the medium to reach large number of audience, hoteliers always look for strategies in this new era. Now it’s time for them to evolve with technology and take advantage of the same. There are many ways to target potential clients through social media and website. To be more specific a website can be considered as the face of your hotel.
It would be worthwhile to spend some time studying the various phases of the guest’s stay in a hotel. The life cycle of a guest stay includes the phases Pre-Stay, Stay & Post-Stay.
- Guests find the rooms through third party websites and check the rates, offer & availability of hotels in the destination of their choice. Relevant promotions like free airport pickup, wi-fi and car park or availability of spa play an important role here.
- Once they find the hotel they want, they continue to look for the selected hotel’s website or social media profiles or reviews to find out more about the hotel.
- Book a hotel from a third party website or from a hotel’s website directly and receive confirmation message from the hotel with other booking details.
- Guests check-in at the hotel.
- The hotel makes sure that the room service and house keeping services provided are upto the standard.
- At the end of the stay during check-out process, outstanding payment is made.
- It is good to get a feedback form filled up by your guest before they check out.
- Hotel sends a thank you message with upcoming offers and follow up message.
- Guest can share photos of their stay, write reviews about their stay at the hotel on their own social media pages. Reviews can also be provided on the hotel’s website or social media pages. This helps in expanding brand awareness of the hotel and attracts new customers.
When the lifecycle above is considered, you may observe that there is no hotel agent involved in booking, check-in or check-out. Therefore a strong online presence can be the biggest internet strategy for your hotel in 2015.
Below are some tips to increase your hotel’s online presence:
- Website Have a website with clear information and online booking facility. The information on your website should be up to date. If your website is CMS enabled managing the content everyday becomes extremely easy.
- Mobile design 97.3 billion users are logged into the internet through mobile at any point in time. 3 to 5 people use mobile devices to search and 80% of local searches on mobile devices convert to purchase. With Google coming out with new ranking factor for mobile websites, it is highly important that your website is mobile friendly.
- SEO Your website should be designed in the way that meets the search engine factors and a proper SEO brings your website on top of search results in search engines. Choose the right keyword for your product and optimize the same on search engines.
- Local search Localized results are increasing on search engine results. Results with hotel reviews, contact number, full address with map.
- Reviews Again the reviews of the hotels are important which create confidence among new customers about your hotel.
- Social channels Social presence of a hotel is highly important and now you can convert your social media profile as a sales engine by installing a booking app. Upload all your hotel images, videos, articles, content and regular posts about your USP. Increase more followers and forward them to your hotel business page.
- PPC / Display Advertisements : Very cost effective advertising in online industry unlike traditional marketing. You will be charged when people take action on your ad. Run your search and display ads on Google and Google display and partner networks. Your ad performance can be tracked through analytics to avoid unwanted spending.
- Channel Connect: Display your hotel on as many online portals as possible to get more visibility. Getting reviews from your customers can make a lot of difference as new customers want to make a quick decisions.
Some of the online portals to list your website are:
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