Hotel Marketing Coach
Neil L. Salerno, CHME, CHA
Hotel Internet Marketing Articles
Building Traffic (SEO)
Hotel Internet Marketing
Maybe I'm a little unusual, but I actually measure hotel program success by added revenue and profit. I'm still getting used to the increasingly popular measurement of counting followers and fans. I fear that many hoteliers are spending more time and resources tweeting and posting on non-travel related social media while neglecting the most important travel-related social media like TripAdvisor.
More than twenty years ago, I read a book about break-it marketing which, from that point on, influenced the way I view the hotel marketing process. Break-it marketing changes the way we look at everything we do. Everyone is familiar with the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This saying implies that what we are doing is working, can’t be improved, and should, therefore, be left alone.
Isn't That Like A Hotel Offering 3 Nights For The Price of 2?
For those too young to remember, there was a day when tailors actually sold suits which came with two pair of pants. It seems that the perceived-value concept to consumers is really nothing new; smart tailors preferred this over reducing the price of each suit. That was their way of presenting a better value while preserving price integrity. These days many haberdashers still offer extra value
The unique quality of Web 2.0 social media
is that it consists of user-generated content. Social media users post
comments directly on the Internet and all they need is access to a computer.
At the same time, users have the ability to read and absorb comments made by
other users…sounds like a marketer's dream. But, how well does social media
serve individual hotels?
For many independent hotels, electronically generated sales are the only viable tools to compete with franchised hotels. Yet, there are still many independent hoteliers who think that volume electronic sales are out of reach, too costly or too complicated to implement.
An Electronic Marketing White Paper
Electronic channels have changed hotel sales and marketing forever. Internet web site marketing, the Global Distribution System, social media, and third-party aggregators have all presented new marketing opportunities for hotels around the world. In effect, the Internet has created the first affordable global marketplace for large and small hotels everywhere.
It seems that the age-old practice of creating familiarization trips, to check-out hotels and facilities, is another victim of the economy. This economy has caused many planners to research travel information via the Web to help ease their shrinking travel budgets. Apparently meeting planners rely on guest comments, too.
The firestorm, which began when the negotiations between Choice Hotels and Expedia broke down on October 15th, stirred-up a lot of deep-seated feelings about OTA's and Expedia in particular.
I just got through reading an article titled "Growing Tension Between Hoteliers and OTA's". There are so many of things in this article with which I don't agree, I don't know where to begin.
Online, your competition set amounts to those hotels which appear, with yours, on search results. At this point, your hotel's title and description tags are of critical importance, but more about this later. I'm sure you can name all the hotels in your local market, but do you know which hotels compete with your hotel online?
There have been a torrent of articles and webinars extolling the virtues of social media for hotels. Social media is certainly applicable for hotel franchise brand-building, but this writer is still unconvinced about the marketing value of social media for individual hotels.
The content on your proprietary website performs two separate, and extremely important, functions. The first is to attract visitors to your site through organic search; second, to generate interest and drive visitors to your site's booking page.
Recently, I read an article discouraging hoteliers from posting a website link to TripAdvisor or posting TripAdvisor reviews via the TripAdvisor widget on their website. In my opinion, making broad statements like this, is absolutely absurd and demonstrates a lack of understanding how and why people choose a hotel online.
There's only one way to know whether or not your website is doing its job and, that is, to check the number of reservations it's generating. If you have an independent hotel, this is an easy task; your booking engine's analytics should tell you.
Imagine having the ability to change and update the content of your hotel's website on your own; change text, add information, that would be great. At the onset, it sounds terrific. No more waiting for your site developer to make the changes and additions you requested.
To win in 2009, you will need your hotel's website to contribute to your reservations production. So, here is a countdown of the Top Ten Tip-Offs that your hotel website needs attention. It's time to seek advice from a hotel Internet Specialist, when:
Finally, most hoteliers would agree that the only way to measure the effectiveness a hotel website is to track the number of reservations being generated from it.
Times are tough and, as a result, budgets tend to shrink. In times like this, more and more hoteliers are looking to the Internet and other electronic sales channels to generate new revenue. There is actually no other sales channel that has a greater potential return on a relatively modest investment; it offers the biggest bang for your buck.
Today, more than ever before, hotels need the exposure and marketing power that only the Internet can provide from a cost-effectiveness standpoint. Your website may look great, but can Internet searchers find it through generic search?
Limited service hotels have become indispensable to the hospitality industry, but they share a common dilemma when it comes to staying competitive on the Internet
As I review various hotel websites, I am constantly amazed by the number of poorly designed sites which are being developed by some hotel website design companies.
It’s 1:20 am and the hotel manager is reviewing last month’s profit & loss statement; room revenue is below planned budget and expenses were higher than ideal. That’s not great news, but the really bad news is that forecasted revenue looks weak for the next several months. Something has to be done quickly.
In my opinion, the only social media, which are currently relevant to our industry, are the few travel-related sites like TripAdvisor and VirtualTourist.
"He, who reduces his rate, is the only one who knows what his product is really worth". The traveling consumer today is well informed. In the absence of first-hand knowledge of your facilities and service, your rates define your hotel in the marketplace
With all the talk about search engine optimization, web site optimization often gets left off the radar for many hoteliers. Yet, WSO is the necessary first-step to building and marketing a functional hotel web site.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked how much hotels should spend to develop a successful presence on the Internet. I guess this is one of those questions that would get many different answers from many different people, but I will attempt to present a common-sense approach to the Internet budgeting conundrum.
Among the many terms often mentioned among web site knowledgeable people is PageRank. In reality, it has great importance, although I don’t think there is a popular consensus for why it is so important to a web site, nor how it functions.
I often wonder how many people truly understand the process of search engine optimization and what it means to have a search engine friendly web site.
I agree that the benefits could be enormous; maybe in the not-so-distant future for hotel franchises but, less likely for individual hotels.
If someone can help me fill empty rooms, that works for me. That’s why it amazes me that there are still many hoteliers who reluctantly participate in third-party travel portals.
At this point, your web site should be producing upwards of 35% of your total business; many hotels far exceed that.
Judging from the articles I’ve read about Web 2.0, there are some web and hotel marketers making some incredible claims about social media and its impact on our industry.
The challenges that hotel managers face today have been further complicated by the popularity and growing importance of the Internet
There’s a lot being written lately about Social Media. Some people talk about it like it’s something new; but, social media have been with us for several years; does anyone remember AOL?
Search-Ready & Sales-Driven Hotel Web Sites Since the 1990’s, hoteliers rushed to create a presence on the web. Most of the early sites were no more than online brochures created by techies who had little or no marketing experience.
It’s amazing how easily myths are born. One origin of many myths is the reality that many technical people out there do their best to promulgate confusion about the Internet
Having a web site, and not promoting it, is like buying a flashy new car and leaving it in your garage; great web site, but few people will ever see it
Anyone, who has been around our industry for a while, has experienced the scams and deceptions created by opportunists preying on hoteliers
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