Hotel Blogging Best Practices 2019 (PART 1)
- Posted by Todd A. Vines
- On May 29, 2019
Whether you’re just getting started, or breathing new life into a stagnant content marketing program, every hotel property needs an active, robust blog.
Working in tandem with your hotel’s primary website and social media outreach, a branded blog is an advantageous inbound marketing asset. It offers an opportunity to showcase your hotel’s spirit, insights and service without hard selling the hotel itself. When done right, your posts can showcase your brand’s personality and capabilities in a way no promotional services page or Google My Business presence can.
We’ve written at length on the importance of maintaining a blog, its role in a larger strategic content marketing strategy, how blogs boost organic SEO, influence travelers during the planning phase, drive direct website traffic, build inbound links, and ultimately offer an opportunity to stand out from the competition.
For these reasons (and more), it’s important to periodically revisit your blogging best practices and be confident your hard work is working hard for your property.
(Editor’s Note: This is the first post of a two-part series. Part two is to be posted in June at ScreenPilot.com.)
The Art of Organization
What you post, of course, matters a great deal, but so does how that content is organized and featured on your site.
The easier it is for travelers to navigate your blog, the better. Each post should have a date, an author, and be assigned to up to three categories that readers can sort by, such as Local Attractions, Hotel Hot Spots or Travel Tips.
If your posts are only accessible in a linear fashion (one scrolling post, one page at a time), you’re not maximizing the value of all the posts that came before, and you run the risk of seeing readers bounce after one page.
Make it easy for your readers to find not only the content they’re searching for, but the posts they didn’t know they wanted to read. The key is maintaining a high-end internal search function and clearly defined categories with easy-to-find navigation.
What Categories Make Travelers Click?
The categories you ultimately assign your content to is everything. People planning their travels – for leisure, business or other – long to know very specific things about your property and surrounding area.
Think about your blog categories like stages in the conversion funnel. Many categories serve more than one point depending on the planning style of your leads. Articles about activities and attractions near the hotel are either at the top of the funnel (helping travelers choose where to go) or at the bottom (helping people decide what to do upon arrival).
Articles that feature lots of photos of the hotel or the surrounding area tend to be toward the top or middle of the funnel, giving readers a feast for the eyes to help make up their minds.
Let’s dive deeper into a few basic categories and how to leverage them.
Offer Legit Local Insight
Most every hotel with a blog offers a variety of posts outlining things to do in the general vicinity. This has been a hotel tradition for much longer than blogs have existed. Commercials, brochures and in-house travel guides have long been available to help guests select their hotel based on proximity to activities and attractions. In the digital era, however, new tools offer a potential reach previous generation couldn’t possibly have conceived.
Avoid generically glossing over the fact that there are neat shows, marketplaces, or historic places of note near your hotel. Take your guests out into the community with words, and offer a rich taste of the local culture and history.
Don’t feel like all your content has to stream from the management team. Work with your local tour partners and vendors and invite them to share their unique insights and adventures via posts on your site.
Have a colleague who knows how to find the best local produce? Get their list of top eats, and where to find them. And don’t feel beholden to publishing AP style. When it makes sense, let those local voices showcase their own unique personality and flare to get guests intrigued early.
(Editor’s Note: Part two of “Hotel Blogging Best Practices 2019” is to be posted in June at ScreenPilot.com.)
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