Writing Copy for Hotel Websites
The heading of this item was a search phrase used to find the Alberghi Marketing website yesterday and I thought it worthy of comment. This is how you, as an independent hotel owner, can manage your own website to good effect, assuming, of course, that the website is fully content manageable.
In my opinion, there are two primary objectives when writing copy for your hotel website:
1. To persuade visitors to respond in some way before looking elsewhere
2. To help the website achieve a high ranking in Google
You could argue these two objectives should be the other way round, in that in order to get people to your website, they have to find it.
Firstly, it’s vitally important that you identify a key search phrase, and variations thereof, for every page. For instance, the ‘Rooms’ page might be ‘Hotel accommodation in Devon’ or ‘Luxury hotel accommodation in Devon’. You then need to ensure that the page search phrase is featured two or three times in the copy, especially the page headline, if possible. Of course, in order to optimise each page properly, the primary words that comprise the search phrase, i.e. ‘hotel’, ‘accommodation’ and ‘Devon’ should feature in the page URL and the phrase should feature in the page meta tags.
Once you have optimised each page, you need to monitor the performance of the page in Google by typing in the search phrase and if it’s not on page 1 after a few months, try redrafting the page and adjusting the tags.
Remember that the search engines love links, especially links from the Home page. So when drafting the copy for the Home page, try to insert links to as many of the most important pages as possible, using the search phrases you have identified for each of the site’s pages. Don’t worry if you think the Home page, in your opinion, looks a bit messy with all those links. It won’t bother visitors who will actually appreciate you making it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.
Secondly, you should know which are the most popular pages on your website. After the Home page, it’s more than likely to be, not necessarily in this order, the Accommodation page, the Dining page, the Breaks page and, if you have one (you should), the Late Availability page. These are therefore the pages you need to focus on in order to tempt visitors to respond before moving on. Bear in mind, people looking for an hotel will check out perhaps five hotel websites, so why should they stick with you?
Finally, before writing the copy, try to identify the reasons why your hotel is better than the others in your area; what makes it uniquely preferable. Also remember that you’re writing the copy for visitors to read and not for you to read. Most importantly, don’t leave the copy to stew for years; you should change it regularly. Search engines don’t like ‘dead’ websites.
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