Strategy, Link Building, SEO
The thought of hotel blogging may appear bizarre to some - why would a hotel have a blog? You may question what there is to talk about and what benefits it may have for your business, but the truth is that hotel blogging can be an ideal opportunity to showcase your hotel’s individuality and build personable relationships with your guests. With the right strategy and direction, you can create a hotel blog that not only impresses guests but benefits your search engine ranking and reputation in the long run.
We recently talked a little about content marketing and how you can attract the right guests to your hotel, but what steps can you take to ensure that your running a blog successfully - avoiding those that can actually harm your website when not thought out correctly?
Does your hotel need a blog?
The first big question on your list - is running a blog something you should definitely be doing? Despite being in the digital age - where having a website for your business is viewed as a must, it can be commonly misconstrued that these websites must also be accompanied by a blog. Quite frankly, this is not the truth. The reality is that blogs can sometimes do more harm than good, especially when you have no idea of the content you should be posting and how effective it is in building a customer base.
Conduct a SWOT analysis of your hotel’s marketing strategy to make the best-informed decision as to whether a hotel blog would be the right choice for you. Remember, it requires time and effort to ensure that you’re getting it right, and if you don’t have the resources within your own team, you’ll need to turn to hiring a digital agency to help out.
What does a successful hotel blog look like?
Every blog is different, whilst some may focus more on how often they post content, an effective hotel blog will focus on the quality of its content. Your guests aren’t bothered about how regularly you’re posting - it’s more about whether your content can accommodate their needs and provide them with that little slice of entertainment they’re looking for.
You want to establish your business as an authority for offering guests current news and trends within the local area, and anything that is relevant to why and when they’re staying. Understanding your target audience is vital for this, so that you can create the content that’s right for them - if you haven’t yet identified your hotels target audience, take a look at our recent insight on how to do it, as they’ll be the driving force behind many of the marketing decisions your business will make.
It’s always a good idea to scope out the competition and take note of what people are talking about the most on their blogs. Take a look at these examples of some top-notch hotel blogging…
- The Journal, University Arms - we’ve been working with the University Arms in Cambridge for over 2 years now, they run a fantastic blog that showcases their ‘Hidden Cambridge’ section, where you’ll find detailed guides to visiting the local colleges at the University of Cambridge, hidden gems in the picturesque city and tips from their hotel concierge. Their ‘In The Press’ section is a great example of acquiring backlinks from other sites to increase your search engine rankings.
- Life is Suite, Kimpton Hotels - the global boutique hotel chain fills its blog with a boatload of interesting topics, catering to its diverse list of locations. Not only do they post recommendations on secret spots and local delicacies, but they also tailor content to specific audiences, such as business travellers - with their ‘5 fresh ways to kick off a meeting’ and ‘how to create work boundaries on vacation’.
- The Almanac, The Pig Hotel - this creative blog offers a different approach to hotel blogging, with its ‘shop local’ series to benefit local businesses and recipes for a variety of mouth-watering dishes. The blog is fitting for The Pig’s brand and style, catering to a unique set of guests.
Optimise the user experience with SEO
A great blog isn’t just about the juicy content, there’s also a huge focus on how well it reads and looks for the user. On-Page SEO is responsible for making sure your content provides a quality ‘user experience’ for your visitors, from readability to page speed. Whilst on-page SEO deals with improving your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) Ranking, off-page SEO is responsible for the page ranking factors that happen ‘behind the scenes’.
- Include targeted keywords: Increase your chances of gaining organic traffic to your hotel blog by incorporating targeted keywords into your content, imagine what a potential guest might search for… “the top 10 restaurants in Suffolk” or “family-friendly things to do near me”. Using these keywords and terms throughout your content (just the right amount) will ensure that your site is ranking for the words that people are searching for, and that your blog is getting noticed by the right people.
- Use intriguing images: By using relevant and high-quality images within your hotel blog content, you’ll be sure to attract the attention of visitors and make your blog a fun place to visit. Users are much more likely to engage with content that includes visuals rather than just a block of text, so take advantage of this technique.
- Headlines should be interesting and keyword-friendly: As with your blog content, your headline should be optimised for search engine results, but it should also stand out to users and will be the determining factor in whether or not they click on your post, so make it interesting! How-to’s and guides are always sure to catch the eye of potential visitors, as they’re most likely searching for an answer to a question they have in mind.
- Incorporate backlinks into your blog: Another effective way of increasing traffic to your hotel blog is by building a network of backlinks within your content. Not only should you link to other sites (even competitors) to show search engines that your site is trustworthy, but gaining links from other pages (especially those with high authority) will dramatically improve your ranking.
Need ideas? Tips for creative blog posts
Use popular influencers to boost engagement
Social media is taking the world by storm, led by a community of ‘influencers’ - bloggers and content creators who have the power to heavily impact the behaviours and opinions of their dedicated followers. Team up with influencers in your niche to create content that guests will love, such as a series on taste-testing local cuisine or an interview with them for their top travelling tips. This content can then be shared on their personal social channels, increasing the chances of engagement and interest in your blog.
Create video blogs to spice up your content
Video is a highly effective way to boost engagement on your site, 87% of video marketers say that using video has increased traffic to their website. Not only is it easy to watch and more entertaining for users than reading paragraphs of text, but it lets you show a more personal side to your blog. The possibilities are endless with video content, you can create a series where your concierge shows users the best spots in the local area, or even post UGC (user-generated content) from your guests.
Use infographics in your hotel blog
Infographics are a great way to dress up ‘boring’ pieces of information. Rather than staring at a screen of text, show users your content in an exciting way by designing infographics - you can use your hotel's brand colours to show a personal touch. They’re also an effective way to earn backlinks from other sites that use your infographics in their own content!
Investing your time and efforts into creating a hotel blog that guests will love can achieve fantastic results, from both SERPs and potential guests. The best advice we can give is to take the time to determine whether it’s the right decision for your hotel’s marketing strategy and what resources you’ll need to do it successfully. If you feel like you’ve got the foundation for creating a successful hotel blog, but need a little more guidance, get in touch with our team of experts here at FLOCC - we’re always happy to lend a helping hand.