Blogs are almost as old as the internet itself and telling you that your hotel needs one is hardly ground-breaking revelation. Yet it is something many hotel brands still fail to do, despite the fact that it’s never been more essential.
Hotel marketers are always looking at ways to shift bookings away from online travel agents and towards their own websites. Direct sales mean higher margins. But you won’t have much luck driving potential guests to your hotel website if there’s nothing happening there. Static doesn’t sell. You need to be consistently updating your hotel site, adding compelling, fresh content – both to help with your search rankings and to convert those browsers into bookers.
Whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure, potential guests who perform research on the web are looking for candid, up-to-the-minute information and one of the best ways to provide that is through an active, relevant and regular blog. And in case you’re still not convinced of your hotel’s need for a blog, here are five more reasons why blogging still matters.
1. It enhances your credibility
If you’re working in the hotel business, chances are you have plenty of interesting tales to tell and titbits to share. But with no blog through which to divulge your wisdom, your local expertise will go unrecognised.
A blog is the perfect place to share your insights and advice, as well as witty observations. Offer readers valuable information about local events and happenings, provide canny discount-hunting tips and suggest inspiring things to do and see in the area; these kinds of posts will help establish your hotel’s credibility and secure your reputation as an area expert.
2. It lets you interact with your existing audience
A website is a one-way experience. It speaks at your readers and tells them what is on offer. A blog, on the other hand, is a means of starting a conversation or a discussion. It’s more informal – you start a topic that may be of interest to your readers, who in turn can respond in the comments or on social media. It allows your hotel to have eye-level, one-on-one interaction with your guests. And unlike Twitter, you don’t have to squeeze that interaction into just 160 characters.
3. It humanises your hotel business
All too often, the word ‘business’ is equated with ‘boring’, or even worse: ‘non-human’. We are all guilty of seeing certain large business, including some large hotel chains, as robotic enterprises not comprised of people, but of some unknown corporate species. Seeing a hotel as overtly corporate can be off-putting and certainly does nothing to foster loyalty. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Blogging is one way to reveal a more relatable and human face to your hotel brand, which will ultimately make your properties more appealing to consumers.
4. It helps you attract new customers
If you can create content that is fresh, useful and/or entertaining, then there is a good chance it will be shared. That means there is a good chance it will be discovered by someone who, up until now, hadn’t heard of your hotel. To expose your property to potential new guests, you’ll need to create truly engaging content. We recommend steering away from being too salesy and think about creating content that will give added value to guests.
5. It increases web traffic
If your hotel website is static, it’s unlikely to climb up Google’s rankings. Keeping abreast of SEO best practice can be difficult. Just when you think you’ve got to grips with it, Google goes and updates the algorithm and search results are significantly affected. That said, there is one SEO practice that consistently helps sites perform on search engines and keeps readers interested: that’s creating high-quality content. A blog is one of the best ways to provide this.