Plus, topic ideas to get you started writing.
by AMBER WOJCEK
Why should hotels have a blog? A blog provides helpful information to travelers making booking decisions. Plus, blog content also helps Google and other search engines find your website. Here’s why you should start writing and publishing.
HELP TRAVELERS MAKE BOOKING DECISIONS
Blogs provide an area to publish content that complements your website. While you already have pages that give an overview of your hotel, a blog can go into much more detail. It can explain exactly what is included in your hot breakfast, what time the pool is open, and where the best nearby restaurant is. More information can help a traveler feel confident in booking.
GET MORE POWER FROM SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
People scrolling social media on their phones like short, to-the-point posts. A recent study found that Facebook posts that are a mere 40 characters or less receive 86 percent more engagement. One way you can shorten your posts is to write more detail in a blog and link to it from a social media platform.
Instead of trying to fit all the fine print in a post about a special or policy, give a teaser with an eye-catching photo. Then, link to a blog detailing what you’re trying to say. Sending followers to your blog gets them off of social media and onto your hotel website, where they can check rates and book.
INCREASE SEARCH ENGINE PRESENCE
There are many tactics to improve your SEO and search engine rankings. One of the best ways to increase website visibility is to write helpful content on your website. Helpful content is a mix of quick answers (“When does this business open?”) and longer queries (“What are the best places to eat breakfast in the city?”).
Content that answers longer queries include what marketers call long-tail keywords. These keywords may not drive huge amounts of traffic. However, the traffic it does bring in includes valuable customers ready to purchase.
Instead of searching for “hotels,” travelers may search for “hotels in Dayton Ohio with a heated pool.” This is generally because the customer knows more about what they want to purchase. Longer search queries are also common in searches using mobile speech-to-text. Writing content that includes keywords from these queries can help you to show up higher on search engine results pages.
A hotel blog works hand-in-hand with the rest of your hotel marketing strategy. You can improve the search engine ranking of your hotel website by adding new content to a blog. Plus, a blog is a source of helpful information to travelers making booking decisions.
BOOST YOUR HOTEL MARKETING STRATEGY WITH THESE BLOG IDEAS
When faced with a blank blog page, it can be intimidating to come up with content. By making a content plan ahead of time, you can craft blog posts to attract travelers and build SEO.
Blog content serves two purposes. It should help inform people making buying decisions. It will also help search engines find your website. Here are some content ideas that will achieve both goals.
WRITE DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF AMENITIES
The bulleted amenities list on your hotel website leaves a lot of details out. That’s why so many peruse the Traveler Photos section of TripAdvisor. Write amenities blogs to help the traveler know what they can expect when they stay.
Speak to the amenities in a way that will appeal to different travelers. This may mean repeating some topics in different blog posts. For instance, both business and leisure travelers want to know about Wi-Fi. Include photos to help readers visualize what you offer. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Business Travel Amenities for Busy Travelers in [City]
Write about the business center, Wi-Fi availability, on-the-go breakfast options and laundry services.
- [Hotel Name] Stays are Perfect for Family Fun
Discuss fun amenities like the pool and relevant information such as quiet hours. Include information on video game system and video streaming services. Share pricing specials for families.
- Feel at Home with Extended Stay at [Hotel Name]
If you have an extended stay hotel, there are more amenities to work with. Provide pictures of features that matter most: the kitchenette, closets and outdoor space.
ANSWER COMMON QUESTIONS
Is the pool heated? Is your breakfast hot or continental? Can I request a late check-out?
Ask your front desk staff to take note of questions they get throughout the day over the phone and in-person. Not only will this help travelers ready to book, but will also be more visible online. Customers who are almost ready to purchase are likely to use longer search phrases.
It can be surprising how many questions seem like a given to you that travelers want to know. Collect questions from staff and answer them here.
- Prepare for Your Stay at [Hotel Name]
Give check-in and check-out times and processes, plus how to request an early check-in or late check-out.
- Convenience at [Hotel Name]
Find out important information for those traveling by car. Share the distances and travel times from your hotel to major highways, airports or attractions. Parking, shuttle, and mass transit information is also extremely helpful to non-locals.
- What to Eat When you Visit [City]
Name some of your favorite restaurants to help travelers plan. Also, share which restaurants are walkable, provide delivery or have late hours.
SHOW OFF THE VALUE OF YOUR HOTEL
Many travelers say that price is the most important factor in making a purchase decision. In low seasons, use your blog to publicize discounts and specials. When you’re not running a special, you can still show off how you provide a better value than the competition.
Those reading your blog are at the decision-making stage. If you’re being compared to another hotel option, what makes you stand apart? Add these topics to your blogging list.
- Free Amenities at [Hotel Name]
Make it clear in a blog post if your Wi-Fi, breakfast and parking are free and emphasize the value of those services.
- Dig into Breakfast at [Hotel Name]
Take photos of the breakfast bar and highlight fan favorites. Hot options can make a difference for travelers – don’t underestimate the power of a waffle maker.
- [City Name] Pet-Friendly Hotel
If you allow dogs or cats, state your exact pet policy and what travelers can expect. Include information for owners of service animals.
The most important part of a content marketing strategy is to publish consistently. Ongoing posts will help build your credibility online. Blogs will improve your search engine ranking and help guests make a booking decision. ■