If you manage a hotel, then we do not need to tell you how hard it has been over the last 18 months. However, at long last, things are finally looking a lot brighter for the sector and we couldn’t be more pleased to see it. The government restrictions have been rolled back, more and more people are being vaccinated every day, and people are at long last going on holiday again. But the fact of the matter is that you cannot afford to take your eye off the ball right now. The kind of hits that were taken during 2020 will not be recovered from overnight. We also know that there is still the chance of further pandemic waves that could potentially have a tremendous impact.
With all that in mind, it is so important that hotels take positive action to not only shore up their strategies for potential problems but look for ways to raise customer awareness and drive custom. Your online presence is a huge part of this. In the past, hotels may have relied on word of mouth, location and tradition to keep their customers coming back. Now, that may not be enough. Here are a few ways that hotels can boost their online presence and use it to give customers as much freedom and information as possible.
Start With Your Website
First things first: you need to make sure that your website is working for you, and not just acting as a placeholder keeping your domain name from being used elsewhere. Your website should be actively driving customers to your business. How does that happen? Let’s start with SEO. We are sure that you have a pretty good understanding of how SEO works, but you need to remember that it is about so much more than keywords and “near me.”
Good quality SEO means good quality content. You need to think about what kind of content you can put on your site that reflects your hotel’s personality, history and quality. It is also important to note that Google’s recent updates have made user experience a key part of their rankings, so don’t be afraid to splash out on a website redesign that will make things easier for your visitors. We have all been spending far more time online since the pandemic, and people are both savvier and pickier. If they don’t like what they see when they land on your page, they may just click away.
Look For Ways To Improve Your Visibility
We don’t need to tell you how important listings and booking sites are to hotels. They have been a crucial part of the game since long before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has definitely had an impact too. First of all, everyone is feeling the pinch financially and they will definitely be scouring the web for the best deals before they make their choice. But the pandemic has also had a huge effect on the way we think about going on holiday.
People seem to be split into two groups. The first is gun-shy after having been through endless lockdowns and cancelling at least one holiday. The second is more spur of the moment than ever, driven by a combination of seizing the day and worrying that if they don’t book now, they might miss out. What both of these groups have in common is the accessibility, the information, and the ease that booking websites provide. So, what is the best way to make sure that you boost your ranking on these sites and manage your information on them with ease? A channel manager will help you to boost your reach and visibility, and to connect with hundreds of different sites.
Start Using Your Social Media Creatively
Running a hotel is more than a full-time business, and there are some tasks that we know are important which can still get bumped to the bottom of the to-do list. However, as we head into the second half of 2021, social media is going to be more important than ever. This is not just a necessary evil; this is an opportunity for you to highlight what makes your hotel special.
Don’t just use it to tweet the occasional promotion, use video to show off your fabulous rooms and location. Talk to staff members about getting involved to show their personality and friendly faces. Social media gives you a direct connection to potential customers. It is also an invaluable customer service tool, allowing you to update potential guests on changes in circumstances, such as staff shortages due to the pingdemic. One note: make sure that you reply to customer queries and complaints promptly on social media as they can blow up very quickly.