How to Increase Your Direct Bookings with Stellar Hotel Blogging

How to Increase Your Direct Bookings with Stellar Hotel Blogging

Interested in learning more about hotel blogging? In this age of mega-hotels and AirBnB, how can a small boutique hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast possibly compete? Hospitality companies can, and should, partner with outside travel agencies to get bookings. But a 15-30% commission to an external agency can take a considerable bite out of your profits.

Five Ways that a Blog Can Lead to More Direct Bookings

Besides giving your clients excellent service, the most effective way you can increase bookings for your small hospitality business is by creating an informative and engaging hotel blog. These days there are two main ways to attract direct bookings: ranking high on Google SERPs and obtaining personal recommendations. Well thought out hotel blogging can help your hospitality business do both.

1. Get You to the First Page of Google SERPs

In the past, a large, nicely written ad in the phone book, a local paper or a magazine might be enough to get your booking line ringing. Today’s consumers, constantly bombarded by advertising, have become increasingly skeptical of overt marketing attempts. Yet, many small hotels continue to conduct business as if we were still in the age of the Yellow Pages.

These days, Google searches have rendered telephone directories and many advertising campaigns obsolete. Most consumers look no further than page one, or even the first three entries, of a Google search result. Google’s algorithm rewards pages with fresh content and punishes stagnant websites.

Unfortunately, even if you have a fantastic hotel site, your business will never see page one on Google SERPs unless you’re continuously adding useful content. Armed with a regularly updated, SEO-optimized hotel blogging with high-quality photographs, your small hospitality business can surge to the top of search results pages.

2. Create a Community of Loyal Followers

A well-executed blog will help you establish your brand and attract clients who will resonate with the unique business model of your hospitality business. If your blog consistently provides useful information for clients and potential customers, you will soon build trust among a group of loyal followers. These folks are your “superfans” who will help your business in a myriad of ways, including:

  • Providing you with repeat bookings: Your loyal tribe will repeatedly choose your accommodations, providing you with a reliable source of income.
  • Making recommendations to friends: Repeat bookings and recommendations from your biggest fans will keep your rooms booked during lean times.
  • Sharing your blog articles on social media: Superfans will gladly share useful blog articles, especially if they come from businesses that they see as friends.
  • Buying brand merchandise: Loyal tribe members love to buy T-shirts, mugs and other brand merchandise, giving you immediate income and free advertising.
  • Supporting your affiliate partners: A dedicated online community is more likely to purchase from partners that you recommend, which can open up a lucrative passive income stream for your hospitality business.
  • Giving you helpful suggestions: Your core fans will tell you what services they would like you to offer them, helping you improve your business.

3. Serve as an FAQ for Guests

Busy consumers don’t want to be forced to make phone calls or pore through boring hotel FAQs to find information about your accommodations. A well-managed hotel blog provides your potential guests with the details they need in a faster and much more pleasurable way.

An FAQ in the form of a blog does more than convey facts. Blog-based hotel FAQs convert browsers into bookers. For example, FAQ blog articles can creatively present information about:

  • Hotel policies: An inspiring blog article that includes a photo of a guest playing with a dog will convey much more about your pet-friendly policies than a tiny line of text in a standard FAQ.
  • Restaurant menus: Blog articles featuring new menu items or house-specialties accompanied by mouth-watering photos may be just the thing that causes potential guests to book with you instead of a competitor.
  • Luxury services: Whether it’s in-house massage, gym facilities or meditation classes, a comprehensive blog article can highlight your extra amenities.
  • Interviews with hotel staff: Personalized interviews give clients a chance to get to know your staff as real humans.
  • Past and future events at your hotel: Articles and photos of successful past events can be especially effective for getting clients to book corporate and family functions like conferences and weddings.

4. Create User-Generated Content

Customers trust recommendations from real people exponentially more than they trust overt advertisements. You can encourage user-generated content in several ways, including:

  • Asking questions on your blog to encourage client feedback.
  • Designating a special area of your blog for hotel customers to post photos of your business.
  • Creating custom hashtag campaigns for your guests to share on Instagram.
  • Launching competitions with special prizes to boost engagement.
  • Using embedded social media buttons and subtle CTAs to facilitate sharing.
  • Encouraging satisfied guests to leave reviews on travel sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

5. Give You Plenty of Material to Share

Why start from scratch every time you need text or photos for your business? Hospitality businesses can repurpose blog content for a variety of contexts, including:

  • Social Media: Hotels can reuse parts of articles, photos and videos for social media posts.
  • Ad Copy: Create advertising quick, easily and effectively by repurposing blog content.
  • Guest Blogging: Partnering with a prominent travel influencer opens up a whole new audience for your hotel.
  • Magazines: Submitting well-written articles to glossy local monthlies, airline publications and even, major travel magazines can work wonders in getting your hospitality business noticed.
  • Podcasts: Blog content works exceptionally well for podcasts or YouTube video scripts.

Pro-Tips for Successful Hotel Blogging

Create a mixture of long and short posts. Short, concise posts of 1000 words or less have a better click-through rate and work well for presenting special offers. Long posts tend to attract more backlinks, which translates into higher search engine ranking.

Craft eye-catching headlines, and make blog articles scannable by using subheadings and bulleted lists. Break up blocks of text with high-quality photos. Avoid using overused stock photos, and don’t forget to use appropriate keywords to name your images.

Successful hospitality blogs create compelling articles on subjects such as:

  • Local events
  • Seasonal articles
  • Business partners
  • Things to do in your city
  • Travel tips
  • Photospreads

Should You Hire a Professional for Hotel Content Writing?

Not only can a dedicated, content creator give your brand’s hotel blogging a consistent voice, but a professional SEO expert will:

  1. Help you choose relevant, longtail keywords that the megabrands are ignoring. An experienced SEO professional will place your keywords effectively in your content and provide ongoing in-depth SEO analysis.
  2. Create user-friendly landing page designs with quick loading times and easy booking interfaces.
  3. Help you establish quality internal and external links to help your customers navigate your site and encourage backlinking.
  4. Publish blog articles and social media posts on a regular schedule.
  5. Craft and send newsletters to your RSS feed and email list.
  6. Write guest blogs and help you to syndicate your blog articles on sites like Medium and in print magazines.
  7. Create sales funnels and email opt-in freebies.

Get in touch when you’re ready to take your travel content marketing to the next level. Together, we’ll create a stellar blog that will help you skyrocket your direct bookings!

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