You’ve invested a significant amount of time and money to create (or redesign) a website for your property. After careful considerations about formatting, content, and functionality, it’s finally time to publish. You’re excited to share your site with the world, but how exactly do you get people to notice? The many benefits of a well-designed site cannot be realized unless you get consistent internet traffic. That may seem like a daunting task, but it’s all about momentum. Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:
The most important step in driving traffic to your website is to optimize your placement in search engine results. Google processes over 3.5 billion queries every day, so ranking high on relevant searches instantly exposes your site to masses of potential customers. Every search engine has its own algorithm for sorting and ranking search results, but they generally prioritize relevance (be intentional about the keywords you use throughout website copy), quality of content (it needs to be professional), and usability (ensure your site is easy to navigate and mobilefriendly). It’s also advisable to verify your business on Google my Business so your property (and web link) shows up on Google Maps.
Email has and continues to be a powerful marketing tool for hoteliers. Use it to drive traffic to your new site by creating an e-campaign. Offering special packages or amenities will provide ample motivation for users to click through to your page (and potentially share with their friends). It’s also a great idea to add a link to your property’s website in your email signature. This may seem trivial, but as a business owner (and person living in 2017) you probably send hundreds of emails a week. The simple inclusion of a link will expose your new site (albeit subtly) to everyone you correspond with.
No promotional strategies are complete without a significant nod to social media. And with almost 2 billion monthly users, Facebook should be priority number one. When it comes to platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, only choose the mediums that suit your property’s needs and culture (so you don’t spread your efforts unnecessarily thin). Whatever the platform, use it to increase exposure for your site by leveraging the social reach of your followers. Posting sharable content (think social media competitions, discount codes, and insider info) will encourage users to not only interact with your brand but suggest their friends do the same. Consider collaborating with social media influencers for maximum exposure.
A well written (and curated) blog can do a lot for a website. Not only does it give you great content to promote on social media and email campaigns (instead of just overt advertisement), it can build credibility and improve search engine optimization as well. It is, however, important to note that blogging is a big commitment. And if you don’t give it the attention it requires, a poorly executed blog can undermine your promotional efforts.
The previously mentioned strategies are cost-free, which is especially great for independent hoteliers. But that’s certainly not the only way to do things. If you have some room in your budget for paid advertising, it’s definitely something to consider. Google Adwords displays advertisements to relevant consumers, and you only pay when someone clicks. It’s an option that certainly has the ability to get your site out there, just make sure to do what you can to maximize ROI.
The work doesn’t end after your site is up and running (sorry!). Being proactive about promoting your page is critical to success. Your future customers are out there, so make sure they find you!