Website Management for Independent Luxury Hotels
Your hotel’s existing website has the potential to be your most powerful, most economic marketing tool. In order to achieve this, the site has to be managed effectively. A website that doesn’t regard every page as an SEO opportunity, that has mediocre content and is only occasionally updated is unlikely to perform well. Good website management comprises the following elements:
Monitoring Competitor Hotel Websites
You need to know what your competitors are up to. You need to know if their websites are ahead of yours in Google, for instance, and if so, why. Then you need to ascertain what they’re offering in their attempts to generate interest, enquiries and bookings. Knowledge should enable you to compete effectively via your website but obviously, there’s nothing to say that what they’re doing is working!
Monitoring Website Performance
Someone needs to be monitoring the performance of your website constantly. You need to now how well your website is performing , including:
- the search phrases used to find your site
- daily website visitor numbers
- the most popular pages
- where visitors have come from, i.e. search engines, referring websites or direct.
If your website is properly optimised for the search engines, Google should account for the majority of your visits and you should be looking for over 2,000 individual search phrases being used by people each month to find your site.
Website Visitor Numbers
The more qualilfied visitors you can attract to your website, the more enquiries/bookings you will receive. Effective website management has a direct beneficial effect on visitor numbers, where they go and what they do once they’ve arrived.
Most Popular Pages
Obviously, visitors are not going to visit every page of your website but you need to know which are the most popular. These are the ones that need special attention to persuade browsers to respond. You also need to concentrate on how to improve the popularity of other pages. The more time visitors spend on your website, the less likely they are to visit competitors
Where have your visitors come from? You need to know.
- Search engines. Google will account for by far the most number of visitors. How many search phrases have been used to find your site and what are they?
- Referring Websites. If you are featured on hotel portal sites, whether or not you have paid to be there, you need to know which ones are sending most traffic to your site…most will send very, very few, if any!
- Direct. The more people arriving at your website because they know your website address is a good indication of how well-known you are.
Search Engine Optimisation
Every page of your site should be optimised and you should be checking regularly where each appears in Google when using the relevant key phrase(s). If it’s not in the top 10, you need to consider editing the page. Your objective must be to have each selected search phrase in Google’s top ten. Bear in mind it can take a while for a page to achieve its search engine potential.
You need to know how many phrases have been used over a given period and what phrases they were. Constant attention to optimising your website can pay dividends.
Keep Your Visitors
Most people, when searching for a hotel will consider at least three before making a decision. You’re well aware how competitive the market is, with a great many websites targeting the same people as you. It’s essential, therefore, that on your website, there is plenty to keep visitors browsing.
Ensure everything is easy to find. Remember, if your website is properly optimised, visitors will be arriving at any page, not necessarily the home page. Therefore, navigation needs to be entirely natural from any page with the most important elements of the site accessible directly from every page.
Browsing your hotel website should be a pleasure, so encourage visitors to go directly to the elements that are unique or special to your hotel, then through the rest of the site, helping them to make a positive decision.