If one of your resolutions for the new year was to boost your hotel’s web traffic by improving your search engine optimisation, then you should hopefully be seeing some results by now in the form of more people looking at your pages online.But what if this isn’t really translating to many more conversions? How can you ensure that you not only achieve the traffic, but also turn browsers into bookers? Here are a few top tips that might assist you with boosting your bottom line:
1. Optimise your website Maybe you have optimised your site for search and mobile already, but you should also ensure it is sales-ready once visitors land on it. To do this, you need plenty of well-written copy that makes your would-be guests really want to get their credit cards out; professional-looking photography; a sensible structure with headings to guide people; and plenty of outbound links, meta tags and other marketing tools.
2. Make your photos work harder When it comes to images for your hotel, don’t just stick some basic photos of your empty lobby or the beds – be creative. Include images of people (preferably posing models if you have access to them) enjoying themselves and making the most of your facilities. Remember that you’re effectively selling a dream here. Also, add an extra layer by putting text captions with every photo and adding keywords for the search engines when you’re uploading.
3. Make navigation really easy As soon as people arrive on your website, you want them to be able to find what they need, i.e. rooms and availability, as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea, therefore, to have tabs at the top of your pages that take visitors directly to particular landing pages. For example, you might have one that says ‘resort’ if you want to draw attention to your great location within a popular holiday destination. However, don’t over complicate this with scores of labels – and don’t be too clever with what you caption them, or it might get confusing. Keep it simple and help people to get around.
4. Use text that sells Although you want to be as creative as you can when you’re writing landing page copy, it should ultimately aim to sell your rooms. As such, you need to speak plainly when it comes to the sales part and ensure would-be guests know exactly what they’re looking to book. Don’t see your text as something that is just there to fill your pages and prevent them looking blank; it’s the most important part of your site.
5. Use meta tags and keywords Many people neglect the meta tags and descriptions when they’re sorting out their website because it seems like just another unnecessary step that gets in the way of putting it live. However, these little extras can be really useful when it comes to driving even more traffic to your site, so always include them and be thoughtful when it comes to creating them.Don’t forget keywords either. Although they are an older form of SEO, they are still effective as long as you use them naturally and don’t try to cram your copy with them at the expense of your message.
6. Finish off with a good booking engine There’s really no excuse not to have a online booking engine these days, as people simply won’t bother filling in a form for an email or call back in order to make their reservation – they’ll just go elsewhere. Implement an intuitive booking engine that looks professional, offers plenty of security and doesn’t come with commission fees attached.
Hopefully these tips should allow you to improve your direct bookings and ensure your website isn’t just a glorified advert for your hotel.