When it comes to your online presence, an accommodation blog can seem like a ‘nice to have’, rather than a ‘need to have’. But if done right, a blog can drive traffic to your website – helping you to find new bookers, build guest loyalty and boost your revenue.
The key to successful blogging is planning ahead, especially when you’ve got a property to run. Taking a few moments to sit down, maybe once a month, and create a marketing strategy can really take the pressure off and help you to get the most return on your investment.
You’ll need to define what you plan to write, why you’re writing it, when you’ll be posting and how you’re going to share it. To help you out, we’ll share how a property blog can help your business and outline our eight golden blogging rules below.
How does a property blog help your business?
When you write useful content, you’re positioning yourself as an expert – a reliable source for everything your potential guests might want to know about your destination. This shows potential guests that they can trust in you and your property, making them more likely to book.
Equally important is the fact that the keywords you use in your posts will boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimisation), leading to more traffic. This means more travellers will be finding your property in the first place.
Not only is a blog free advertising, but this kind of digital marketing subtly builds your brand as well – giving guests an idea of what to expect from your hospitality when they arrive. This extra engagement could be the thing that seals the deal and makes them book a stay with you over someone else.
Golden rules for your blogging strategy
1. Know your audience
Think about the type of people who usually book a stay at your property. Are they domestic travellers or do they come from overseas? Are they mostly families, couples, groups or solo travellers? Do they stay for business or for leisure?
Answering these questions will help you to think about what this type of guest might like to read. It can also help you realise which guests you’d like to see more of, and tailor your content towards that audience.
2. Create guest-first content
When coming up with post ideas, always consider what your audience would most want to read. A blog post should not be a promotional or salesy piece about your property. Instead, intrigue and inspire your guests and you’ll foster a natural interest in what you’ve got to say – and therefore, in your property as a whole.
3. Plan to post frequently and consistently
Updating your blog every day is a lot to ask when you’ve got a busy property to run. However, it is important that you post regularly so your content stays relevant and maintains a decent ranking in Google search results, supporting your online presence. Research shows that you should aim to post around 11 times a month – or roughly twice a week – to get plenty of traffic to your site.
The most stress-free way to do this is to make yourself a content calendar, where you plan out what you’re going to post and when.
If you decide to post on particular days of the week every week, try to keep this consistent so your visitors know when to expect an update from you.
4. Come up with attention-grabbing headlines
If you want people to read your content, you’re going to need some eye-catching headlines. Luckily, there are a number of simple things you can do to grab potential guests’ attention. Questions or ‘how to’ statements are great for piquing curiosity. Headlines that include numbers also work well – especially if they’re odd numbers, as these are seen to be more credible.
That said, your blog headlines still need to accurately reflect the topic of your post. It will annoy your readers if they click on a juicy-looking headline only to find the post they’re reading is about something else entirely.
Once you’ve written your headline, be sure to check if it’s possible to make it shorter while keeping the same impact. Hubspot data suggests the posts that get the most shares have headlines 8-12 words long.
5. Research possible keywords for each post topic
When you write a blog post, you’ll probably naturally use the sort of keywords interested readers will be searching for – however, a little research can make all the difference to your search result rankings and is a good online marketing strategy.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner help you find the most effective keywords relevant to your post topics, so you can make sure you get them into your writing. Take a look at our SEO article for more information.
6. Source high quality photos to enhance your writing
When planning your content, make sure you’ve got some high quality images on-hand for the topics you’re writing about, or that you can at least get some in time for your posts to go live*.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is cliché, but for a reason – just showing someone what you’re talking about can chop down an article’s word count and help you hold your readers’ attention for longer.
Besides that, who wouldn’t feel inspired to book a stay when looking at beautiful pictures of your property and its surroundings?
*If you’re sourcing images from the internet, make sure these are royalty free or under creative commons – you can find this by Googling ‘creative commons’ and the type of image you’re looking for.
7. Decide how you’re going to tell people about your blog
Once you start posting, you’ll need to let people know about your updates. You can do this in a number of ways. Probably the easiest is to share your post across social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. If you send out any sort of email newsletter, you can also include a link to your posts there.
You can even give your readers the option to enable ‘push notifications’ on your website, so a notification pops up on their phone or desktop when you post.
8. Set goals and measure your results
If you’re going to invest time and energy into running a blog, you want to be sure that your efforts are paying off. The easiest way to measure this is by looking at your page views, along with social media comments and shares.
To get more in-depth insights, try Google Analytics. This handy tool tracks things like your ‘bounce rate’ – how long people spend on a page before clicking off it – and which countries your visitors come from.
With Google Analytics, you’ll also be able to see which other articles people clicked onto. This is helpful for gauging the type of content your visitors are interested in, so you can write more of it.
We hope these golden rules will help you get started on your hotel blogging strategy – and give your online presence a welcome boost.
Great online marketing starts with valuable, unique content that attracts potential bookers and builds trust with new and returning guests alike. Remember to plan well and keep it consistent to set yourself up for success.
For more blogging advice, take a look at our ‘blogging tips to get people visiting your website’.