In the crowded online world, getting people to engage with your property can be challenging. Digital marketing is an ongoing cycle of attracting users to your site, getting them excited about your brand – and ultimately, convincing them to spend money on your product. More and more, businesses are using blogs to get their name out there and increase bookings. In this article, we’ll give you the basics of blogging for properties.
What exactly is a blog?
Blogs are websites that are regularly updated with fresh content. Until recently, they’ve been small-scale affairs run by individuals who record various aspects of their daily lives – often on themes like cooking, travelling and dietary regimes. But a few years ago, businesses realised it was a smart way of connecting with their customers, improving their search ranking and increasing sales.
Why make a blog?
There are a few main reasons why blogging can help push your business to the next level. The first centres around engagement. As someone involved in the hospitality industry, your sales depend on your guests engaging with your sales proposal – in this case, your hotel rooms (and the whole experience of the stay). Without that, there’s no booking, no guest and no money.
By starting a blog, you can post interesting articles about your surrounding area, local customs or property history, and spark an interest in the minds of potential guests. In turn, this can be what closes the deal when it comes to them making a buying decision.
But it’s not just about making sales then and there. Blog posts are exactly the kind of thing that people love to share on social media. If you have great content that resonates with people, there’s a good chance a lot of them will want to post it on Facebook or Instagram. In turn, this gives exposure to your property, bringing it to a wider audience without you having to invest any extra time or effort.
Increase search traffic
The other big reason to start blogging is to do with search traffic. In other words, the volume of internet users you attract to your website. With so many people using search engines like Google to look for travel inspiration, it’s a factor that simply can’t be ignored. The more people you can get to find your site, the better your sales will be.
When it comes to search results, Google rewards pages that are fresh and dynamic. That means that websites that are regularly updated (in this case, with blog posts) appear higher in search results than comparable websites that don’t.
Another reason that Google loves blogs is because they’re usually relevant to the user’s search. As a result, they’re less likely to click away from the site once they land on it. These clicks are logged, and over time, pages where fewer users leave straight away are pushed up Google’s rankings.
So as much as anything else, blogging is a useful tool to bring more traffic to your page. Once you have over 20 blog posts on your page, your traffic can increase by up to 30%.
What to write about
Unlike some other industries, hospitality is an area with a lot of scope for interesting content. Since one of your aims should be inspiring guests to travel to your area, you could consider creating little travel guides. What are the most beautiful natural spots near you, or the quirkiest local customs? Where can you get the best local dishes, or buy the most traditional souvenirs? All this authentic, interesting content will help readers picture themselves staying with you – and ultimately, help convince them to click on the ‘reserve’ button.
You could even create a partnership with other local businesses and post content that acts as a win-win scenario. For example, if you’re friendly with a local restaurant or people who run certain tours, you can promote your area and its attractions while also giving exposure to their business.
Another option is to write a piece about how your property operates. You could interview a staff member to show the human face of your business – where are they from, what do they like about the hotel, what do they recommend in the area? This kind of post will get users engaging with your property beyond the façade, the rooms or the restaurant.
What tone to use
As we’ve seen, the aim of blog content is to connect with your reader. Therefore, you need to be speaking to them on their level. Posts should be friendly and relatable – but it’s important to think a bit about your audience. Are they likely to be families looking for a country break? Couples after a romantic city trip? Or business people who need a place to rest and catch up on emails? This should inform the kind of language you use, as well as the subject matter in your blogs.
How long to make your posts
There’s no hard and fast rule on length. One thing’s for sure – if the content isn’t good, then the length becomes irrelevant. People just won’t engage. But in general terms, data shows that in ‘shareability’ terms, long-form posts win out. In this study for example, articles of over 3000 words were the most shared.
Now, you don’t have to spend your time writing epic treatises – it’s unlikely you’ll have time, and ultimately, getting people to book your hotel won’t depend on huge posts the size of novels. However, try to keep posts over 500 words in order to add more credibility to your content.
How often to post
By their nature, blogs are regularly updated. That’s the whole point – without that regularity, they’ll quickly become stale, and you’ll lose that edge on search engines.
One thing that’s key is to put together a content calendar, in which you plan your posts in advance. In general terms, the more you post, the more traffic will end up on your website. Data shows that companies who post over 11 times in a month get significantly more visitors to their website as a result.
However, posting every day can be unrealistic when you’ve got a hotel to run. Aim for ten posts per month, following a planned agenda – and alternate between different types of articles to keep things fresh. They don’t all have to be massive posts – even little recaps of day-to-day life at the property will sometimes suffice to keep Google interested.
All in all, blogging is an increasingly indispensable tool to increase sales and awareness for properties. If you do it right, the rewards are great. It’ll take consistent effort – but it can also be fun to photograph and write about your area. It can lead to greater connections with local businesses – as well as ultimately bringing more money into your account.