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As the internet has pretty much taken over our lives, your online reputation is important now more than ever. Let’s talk about 5 good practices to improve your hotel’s online visibility.
1. Hotel Website
It is primordial for the hotel to have a professional website. Here is where the customer should find all general information, as well as prices, availability, link to restaurant, bar, spa, etc. Ergonomics here are key. The site must always be improved for its comfort, security and efficiency. While they’re looking for information, make your customers’ life easy and ensure they arrive at their destination in just a few clicks. Scrolling to your website must be simple and satisfying for them. What should also be included in your website is an easy-to-use reservations platform, in order to encourage the customer to book directly on your website.
2. Online Travel Agencies (OTA)
Another way clients can book is through Online Travel Agencies (OTA). These include TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Trivago, amongst others. When the hotel decides to use OTAs, it should make sure it has a very good reputation online, as bad reviews could hurt it. Make sure you have somebody or a department in charge of always responding to comments, whether they be positive or negative. If they post a positive review, reply with a thank you! If they post a negative review, make sure you publicly reply that you will look into the matter and, if needed, provide the customer with a direct email where he can send you his coordinates if the issue has to be dealt with in a custom way. This will show that the happiness of your customers is your top priority. Whatever you do, don’t be intimidated by these reviews. These reviews are like gold as they allow for real time comments, and unlike polls that will give you insights after a longer period, you’ll be able to deal with the problems encountered immediately as well as continuously check the image of the hotel. You’ll also be able to easily see where you’re positioned in your competitive set.
With the use of OTAs, you’ll be able to open up to markets in a very wide range, creating visibility from a local and even international point of view for the hotel. However, this comes with a price. For instance, with TripAdvisor, you’ll need to pay a processing fee of 3%, plus a commission fee for each transaction. The commission fee will be based on your total rent, including any required and optional fees you specify for your property, for things like cleaning.
So as much we recommend using OTA’s to widen your market, try to have your customers book directly on your website as much as you can (you’ll find ways to do so in the rest of this text).
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In terms of online visibility for your hotel, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key. It will attract more traffic to your site, and therefore more direct bookings (which is what we want!). The point of good use of SEO here is that whenever a client writes a few keywords in search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, your hotel should appear in the top results. For example, if the customer types up “hotel downtown Montreal Canada”, ideally your hotel should be amongst the first in the list of results.
4. Social Media
Social media has a very large part in today’s society and most of us are scrolling for big chunks of our days. So it’s no surprise that having a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Tik Tok and even Snapchat presence gives more visibility and allows the hotel to communicate and connect with its customer in an important way. When running your social media pages, make sure to post regularly and go through the creative process to come up with good content such as relevant posts, articles, images, videos, etc. It’s also super important to ensure you have the link to the hotel website clearly written and visible on all of your social media platforms so that the client can easily access it when needed (and increase your direct website bookings!).
5. Good Connectivity
Whatever you do, don’t slack on the process of selecting the best internet provider you can find. You must ensure that, above everything, you have good connectivity. This is in fact essential for the terminal to be able to respond within a certain time, as it will save you so much time and therefore money. We’re talking short seconds here, if that.
Thanks for reading this quick guide on how to improve your hotel’s online visibility. Hope it helped!