People travel for all kinds of reasons, but both business and pleasure are the two key things that get people packing their bags and jumping onto planes or trains, and in both cases the traveller is going to rely on local expertise to get the most out of their trip.
It might be as simple as finding the best restaurant to take a client for a good meal, or the best coffee shop in town for a quick catch-up between meetings. Or it could be that a tourist is looking for places of historical importance, those that offer beautiful scenery, or the best entertainment and events a city can showcase.
Regardless of what kind of information the visitor is searching for, however, if they can get it from your hotel’s website, they are much more likely to book one of your rooms.
Why is that, you might ask? On a basic level having lots of good information on your website helps ‘place you in the community’ keeping you front of mind for the visitor, which in turn makes your hotel look like it is in tune with what is going on in the area. Being an informative and helpful resource to a traveller is a good look for your hotel brand.
But on a more scientific level, there’s some web-browsing psychology at work here. Having a lot of quality content on your website means visitors are likely to spend longer on your website, which means they’re also likely to want to do business with you and book a room.
One of the key metrics for any website is how long someone spends on it – also known as visit length. This is good for search engine optimisation – meaning the longer people spend on your website, the higher it will appear on the rankings of search engines such as Google, when people actively search for terms like “hotels in Sydney” if Sydney is your local area.
So, without getting knee-deep into technical processes, in order to boost the number of people staying in your hotel who found you on Google, you need to convince them to spend as long as possible on your website.
Visit length relies on having a lot of very good content that’s of genuine interest. Three of the top five techniques to increase visit length can be achieved by simply writing interesting and good quality blog posts, web pages, and guides on things to do in the local area:
This does not just mean that each page on your hotel’s website is free of typos and grammar errors (although that is important). It also means that the content topic is of deep relevance to the service you’re offering. For example: guides on things to do and local attractions as provided by a hotel business is great quality content, but an article on the best movies from the 1940s would be pointless (unless there’s a local cinema with a vintage film festival on of course…)
Multiple Page Articles
Rather than write one long page that lists everything you can do in the local area, break it down into sections. For example:
- Food to Eat
- Ways to Unwind in the City
- Places to Explore
By taking this approach you’ll have your visitors clicking from page to page a lot more, reading a higher volume, and keeping them on your site for longer.
Having a section on your hotel’s website (a bit like the classifieds) where local businesses can provide menus, photos, opening hours would turn your hotel’s website into a helpful hub of information, which has people clicking through to it more frequently, and spending longer on researching the information they’re looking for.
By increasing the length of time that people spend on your website, you are delivering a key part of your website’s strategy, making visitors more favourable towards your hotel, and helping boost your Google ranking in order to attract, reach, and convert visitors from all over the world.
While it might sound like a challenge to build such a comprehensive website, with the assistance of website creators such as SiteMinder’s Canvas, building new pages and populating them with great information and photos is actually very easy.