The travel industry has evolved tremendously in the last few decades. The shift to online is the biggest change. The vast majority travel research, planning and booking nowadays is done online, so it is crucial that your hotel have a strong online presence. A hotel blog can be a strong vehicle to promote your brand, connect with guests and offer an insight into what makes your hotel stand out.
Whether it’s your stellar staff, prime location or award-winning amenities, your blog can emphasize your strengths. Properly done, a blog is a powerful asset to your hotel and SEO. Here’s how a hotel blog can help you, tips for setting up and running your blog, and some suggestions on content to get you started.
Independent Hotels Connect to Guests with Hotel Blogs
As an independent hotel, you have a unique story to tell. The blog is the perfect outlet to share what makes your property stand out. Whether it’s your restaurant, staff, amenities, events or breath-taking views, this is content worth sharing with the world. It gives you the upper hand over the competition, and sets you apart.
Like social media, a hotel blog can offer a direct line of communication between you and your guests.
Instant, personal feedback through comments and engagement with your blog content can improve your customer service and relationship. This is also a highly cost-effective way to obtain more customer information. Engage with them through questions and polls, encourage feedback and ask them to share in the dialogue. Just remember to respond, and you’ll open the way for better, more personal communication with your guests.
Keep your user’s interest in your blog with an option to subscribe for new article alerts. This email address also allows to you to communicate selected special offers and sales to these potential guests.
Your social media accounts will also be an extremely useful tool for keeping readers interested and coming back for more. Share your content across platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to get the word out and inspire return readers.
A Hotel Blog Boost SEO and Make You More Visible
Hotel blogs are not only a key source of information, interest and communication for your hotel. They’re also an important player in your keyword ranking in search engine results.
Keep this in mind when creating content by including keywords you want to rank for in headlines, sub-headers, and meta data. These keywords will not only draw attention to your hotel from people interested in topics related to it. They’ll also help you appear higher in search results, and garner more trust and authority for your website.
Publish frequently with well-written, interesting content, and you can boost your search engine results ranking. Search engines consistently favour websites that provide fresh, updated and dynamic content. The more interested in your content readers are, the lower your bounce rate will be, and the higher the chances of you appearing for keywords related to your content will be.
A word of warning, though: there is no point having a blog if you don’t keep it up to date and fresh! An outdated or stagnant blog will do nothing to improve your SEO, only drag it down.
It is important to keep in mind that your blog is only useful if it is a part of your website. Keeping a blog on a separate server on a platform like Blogger or WordPress will do very little to help your SEO. If your blog is on a separate platform, it’s a separate website and won’t help your brand website appear.
So, what kind of content should you write about? That question has a wide breadth of answers, but here are just a few suggestions:
- Expert local tips: Share interesting events, attractions, and sights in and around your hotel. ‘Listicles’, like “Top Ten Places to Have a Cocktail in Killarney”, are very popular. These types of articles are often shared widely on social media and other networks. Other popular types are ‘how to’ articles and local guides.
- Behind the scenes look: Take the reader behind the scenes at your hotel to learn more about how things work. Share a typical day behind the reception desk, an interview with the GM, or give a look at how the chef curated the menu for the restaurant.
- Hotel updates: Any recent renovations or staffing changes? Let the guests know what’s going on at the hotel to keep them informed and make them feel like insiders.
- React to travel trends: Is there anything going on in the wider world that affects your hotel? A new loyalty program, foodie trend, or airline opening a route to your city? Write about it! A small caveat here: avoid controversial or negative topics, like contentious political situations or natural disasters. You’ll risk polarising or alienating your audience.
- Recaps and guest stories: Share a recap of a recent event with photos or an interesting story involving a guest’s recent experience at your hotel.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing your hotel blog is that it is not a simple press release or news bulletin.
This is a more personal, informal channel, where your unique voice can be expressed. Whether you’ve got humour, wit or an eloquent way with words, use it. The reader will appreciate this. The more you establish a personality, the better. A hotel blog allows you to move beyond being a faceless brand. Ideally, you’ll become a warm and welcoming character they can identify with.
Blogging is a relatively low-cost, low-stress way to engage with your guests in a whole new way, putting a face to your brand and giving it a voice. So, what are you waiting for? Get blogging now!