Your hotel should have a blog – here are four good reasons why …

By Stuart Dickinson |

Author Bio

Stuart is a freelance journalist, copywriter and media developer with over 10 years' experience in communications. His passion for travel and tourism has seen him work with high-profile clients like South African Tourism, Fodor's Travel Guides, City Sightseeing, The Grand Daddy Hotel, Collection McGrath, Kruger Lowveld Tourism and the Gauteng Tourism Authority.

Your_hotel_should_have_a_blog.jpgMaintaining a blog can seem like a lot of effort. You might ask, “What’s the point of having one? People already know about my hotel.” But do they really?

It’s no secret that direct bookings equate to higher profit margins, and one of the best ways to sell your business is via a well-run blog that speaks to potential guests in a friendly, honest and engaging way.

Here are some of the top reasons why you will reap instant rewards from including a blog on your hotel’s website.

1) It helps gain new clientele and cuts through the clutter

Picture this – you’ve been meaning to visit the coast for ages, and you finally have time to spoil yourself with a short holiday. You do a quick search for accommodation near Cape Town, and notice a blog near the top of the page entitled ‘Top ten reasons to visit the Western Cape’, written by a hotel in the area. You read the blog, which reaffirms your excitement for this trip, and find yourself clicking through to other pages of their website to find out more.

The rooms look amazing, the price seems reasonable, and soon your mouse cursor finds the ‘Book now’ button …

Using clever search engine optimization practices within well-written, concise and unique content can bring your hotel to the top of a related Google search, and convert website visitors into happy guests. Like the old saying goes, ‘content is king’.

2) It gives your hotel business a human element

Your hotel should have a blog - it adds a human elementWouldn’t you rather stay at an establishment that has a warm, caring persona, than somewhere that just comes across as four walls and a roof? A blog gives you the space to tie your entire brand and its personality into a coherent package, showing readers exactly why visiting your hotel is a great idea. You can speak directly to your target market and create engaging conversations.

3) A blog gives you an authoritative voice

You know what you’re talking about in your field – so use that knowledge to educate others. It paints you as the expert and authoritative voice within that sphere, and people are more likely to stay at an establishment that knows what it’s talking about, or gives great advice on what else there is to do nearby. The stories and wisdom you share will enhance your credibility – don’t be afraid to share this insight with your growing client base.

4) You can build a strong relationship on social media

By writing content that speaks directly to your target market, you can ignite conversations on social media. Your blog and social media channels work hand-in-hand to engage with potential and existing guests, and give you the means to reply directly to feedback. Your blog will grow your social media presence, which will in turn attract more visitors to your website, and eventually your hotel. Ditch the old-fashioned one-way website experience and speak to your potential guests directly.

How to write a strong blog post

So once your blog is up and running, what then? Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when you sit down in front of your keyboard.

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  • Be mindful of using the right keywords to help get your blog and website ranked higher on Google. What are the typical search words people would use within your area of business? Use a keyword research tool like Longtail Pro to help decipher what those might be.
  • Always be sure to include visuals. And no pixelated happy snaps from a cell phone with a shoddy camera – make sure the images you use are of a high quality and help enhance the story you’re telling.
  • Include a clear call to action in your blog. You might end off a blog about why the Western Cape is a great place to visit in summer with something like, “Be sure to take advantage of our great summer specials. Follow the link for more information and booking details.”
  • Think of engaging headlines for your blogs, and always make sure they include a main keyword in order to rank above the clutter on Google, as mentioned above. Research has shown that headlines containing a number always attract more attention – just like the heading we’ve used. People are more likely to click on a link that reads “Five reasons why the Lake District is a traveller’s dream”, rather than a headline that asks a question like “Why should you visit the Lake District?”

    Also consider using negative superlatives every now and then, like “Ten mistakes travellers make when planning a coastal holiday”. People are more likely to follow the link to find out if they might be doing something wrong.

Blogging may seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it and find your distinctive voice, you’ll be churning out interesting, engaging articles every week. You’ll soon see how, when done right, blogging certainly pays off …

If you are keen to get started blogging, have a look at this detailed guide to setting up a blog from On Blast Blog.

 

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Topics: Best practices, Hotel marketing, Reputation

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