Is a website really necessary when third-party sites like Airbnb and Owners Direct are available? Do I need to spend time and money developing an online presence?
It’s perfectly natural to ask questions when considering your marketing strategy, but here’s why having your own website could be great for business.
Travel sites are highly influential
According to a 2017 Travel Website Behaviour Study by Fuel and Flip.to, leisure travellers are highly influenced by a hotel’s individual website when it comes to researching and booking somewhere to stay. Indeed, a quality website can be more influential than word of mouth, third-party agents (OTAs), search engines and review sites, indicating how important it is to develop your own personalised site.
Leisure travellers crave information
The Fuel and Flip.to travel study of over 2,000 travellers also revealed how people spend an average of 29.8 minutes on a hotel website they like before making a booking. Since research is such an essential part of the travel shopping journey, why not use this to your advantage by creating an informative, detailed website?
Interesting text and beautiful imagery can capture your target audience without the restrictions that come with advertising on a third-party site.
People spend an average of 29.8 minutes on a hotel website they like before making a booking.
Websites showcase your individuality
Having your own site is a wonderful way to showcase your individuality and present your accommodation in a positive and innovative manner. Not only can you make sure all relevant content is included, but you can tell your own story with a series of enticing photographs. Believe it or not, 90% of information processed by the brain is visual, so go ahead and get creative with imagery and graphics.
When deciding what to put on you site, be sure to include any ‘unique selling points’, or USPs. Maybe you’re open all year round, or have a swimming pool; perhaps you’re close to the best Michelin-star restaurant in town – whatever it is, make sure your customers know about it!
Improve SEO with an independent site
If you’re part of a franchise, you may feel satisfied being featured on the official brand site. While this is great start, you could be missing out on a huge amount of traffic. With an independent site, you’ll be able to implement an SEO strategy that’ll help you to rank for many more keywords and reach a wider audience.
From updating meta tags to refreshing content, there are many ways you can optimise your site away from the restraints of a brand website. You’ll also be able to interlink pages and accept external links which in turn should improve your SEO performance.
You can amplify your accommodation’s location
Rather than relying on your customers being able to find your location with a series of clicks, why not make it completely clear about where you are and why someone should visit? You can do this by sourcing imagery from the surrounding area and describing local activities/entertainment that people may enjoy.
Competition is fierce, so whether you’ve a hotel in the heart of the city or a countryside B&B, give yourself the best chance of success by effectively tapping into the online market.
If you’re near the Peak District, for instance, a few snaps of rolling hills and beautiful cycle tracks could attract adventurers. If you’re close to the beach, include some scenic seaside shots to entice future holidaymakers. Moreover, you could create an events page which focuses on specific location-based keywords, as this will improve local SEO.
To conclude, having your own website is one of the best ways to promote what you do. Competition is fierce, so whether you’ve a hotel in the heart of the city or a countryside B&B, give yourself the best chance of success by effectively tapping into the online market.
At Minerva Creative, we work hard to provide independent accommodation providers with affordable, responsive websites to help promote their business. From B&Bs to complete hotel web design, we can help you achieve greater online success for your business. Get in touch today on 0800 180 4085 for more details.