There are quite a few pieces to the digital marketing puzzle that drive results and conversions, but we’ve outlined the top five tactics that you should focus on when it comes to your online marketing strategy.
Your website is a vital part of your online marketing as it acts as a central hub for all the information about your property and should be treated with care and constant updating.
Two important elements of your website management concern your website type and design and the user experience or UX.
- Website type – You have a few options when it comes to your website type, whether you choose static or a content management system. From there, you have to also choose if you want a templated site or custom designed website, and both templated and custom sites should follow today’s design standards.
- UX – To meet today’s UX requirements, your website needs to be responsive, meaning it displays well on all Internet-enabled devices. A responsive design is essentially conversion-focused and helps mobile users find what they’re looking for and book right away.
If you want learn more about website management and design best practices download The Definitive Guide to a High-Converting Website!
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tactic you’ve heard about but may not understand all the little tactics that fall under its umbrella.
- Keyword optimization – When you do an Internet search, you’re often using basic phrases or words to tell the search engines what you want – these are keywords and keyword phrases. By using the right keywords on the right pages of your website, you can help the search engines understand what your page’s content is about and what keywords they should associate with your site. Of course, you’ll want to be somewhat specific with your words, so for example you’d want the keyword phrase, “pet-friendly hotel in Denver” on your site instead of just “pet-friendly hotel.” That way you’re reaching people that are more likely to convert than just getting lots of traffic that never makes a reservation.
- Metadata – Metadata is essentially data about data! Metadata is used for your webpage’s title, description, and a list of relevant keywords to the content. Metadata tells the search engines more about your webpages and provides a good overview for searchers to quickly see if your page is right for their search query. Read more about metatdata in our four easy ways to improve your organic listing blog!
- Link building – Link building involves making sure quality sites are linking to your website and that you’re linking to quality sites as well. Read more about link building in our latest infographic: 7 link building strategies for 2017.
- Content marketing – Another great SEO tactic is done through content marketing and this can involve updating your website’s content, adding blogs, or creating event calendars. The search engines like seeing websites that produce new content or make frequent updates to their site instead of just creating the content and forgetting about it.
Though you’ll want to use your SEO tactics to improve your ranking in the search results, you can help generate some immediate presence with paid advertising. Ads provide a stronger guarantee that your brand will display in appropriate search results.
What are some options for advertising?
- Google AdWords – Traditional AdWords ads are text-based with an exciting title, a few lines of supporting text, and potentially some enhancements like a star-rating or listing of amenities. AdWords operates on a Cost per Click (CPC) model and has a robust reporting platform to see what ads are performing well and which ones may need some improvements.
- Remarketing – Have you ever been online shopping for a pair of shoes and suddenly that pair of shoes is following you on every website you visit? That’s remarketing. Think of traditional ads as ways to reach people that are unfamiliar with your brand and remarketing as ways to reach people that have been on your website but need some incentive to finish their booking.
- Directories – You can also run ads through your online directories, like TripAdvisor. Most of these also run on a CPC model.
- Facebook – Finally, you can run ads on Facebook to encourage new reservations or to call attention to a new package or promotion.
Having an engaging presence on social media is an important part of your overall online marketing strategy. Of course, social media maintenance takes time and it can be hard to justify that time without seeing results. We’ve outline a way to cut down on your time managing social media and a way to track results!
- Automated publishers – Using a tool like HootSuite or Buffer can cut down on time needed as you can schedule your posts out in advance instead of logging into each network each day and trying to find something to share.
- Tracking – Most social media networks have their own set of analytics or insights but to better track website traffic from your social posts, use a tracking tool like Google’s Campaign URL Builder.
Want to learn more about social media tactics? Download the Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing!
Finally, we have email marketing to round out your online marketing program! Email marketing can be a great way to develop relationships with your past guests and encourage more reservations. Not all email campaigns are built equally as some have very specific goals to drive reservations and others have goals of keeping guests in the know through a newsletter, but there are some general best practices:
- Consistency – Pick an email schedule that works for you, perhaps one email every quarter to share any news and highlight a new package or maybe you have time for an email every month. Just be consistent and timely.
- Messaging – People have short attention spans so make your content clear and concise.
- Mobile-friendly – More than ever, people are checking email on smartphones so it’s imperative your emails display nicely on mobile devices. Be sure to send yourself a test email and view it on your phone before sending it to your guests.
- CTAs – Include calls to action with clickable buttons instead of embedded text links. It makes it easier to see what the desired action is and easier to click, especially on mobile devices.